Growing Your Future
in Agriculture

Agronomy 8 posts

13 May 2011
Topic: Agronomy

An Agriculture Plague - The Black Cutworm Moth

According to a Purdue Extension Entomologist, the presence of the Black Cutworm Moth has never been greater. Cooperators throughout the state have been catching abnormally large numbers of these moths over the past few weeks with pheromone traps.

The Purdue Newsletter article informs us that barren fields are not an appealing place to lay eggs, however, the black cutworm has a broad range of hosts so fields showing green, yellow and purple weeds are still at the highest risk. The moths are also particularly attracted to winter annuals, such as chickweed and mustards.

"Remember, corn is one of the black cutworm's least favorite foods," Krupke said. "It just so happens it is the only plant remaining by the time larvae have emerged and weeds have been killed."

Typically, cutworm larvae will starve if weeds are treated with tillage or herbicide two to three weeks before corn emerges, but with the wet Indiana spring, Krupke said it is already too late for that.

He also suggested farmers pay attention to seed-applied insecticide and Bt corn labels to determine management strategies so farmers don’t get a false sense of security. They need to know what they’re getting.

With so little of the state's corn crop in the ground right now, Krupke said it would be awhile before growers start to see black cutworm damage. He encouraged scouting fields once crops are planted and determining control strategies as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, cooperatives are going to continue to work with the traps and keep us posted on what’s going on in the coming weeks.

For up-to-date black cutworm scouting and treatment guidelines, watch future issues of the Purdue Pest and Crop Newsletter at

Photo from Something Wonderful
29 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Urban Gardens Create Community Responsibility

Career Solutions understands that growing doesn’t just involve big farms and rural areas. More and more urban areas are developing ‘urban gardens’ in their communities to foster growth, better health, and community responsibility.

As part of Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged congregations and neighborhood organizations to plant gardens in their communities.

According to the Let’s Move Blog, there are many positive benefits to starting a community garden: increasing access to healthy, fresh food; improving soil and water quality; providing exercise for people within a wide range of physical ability; and creating the opportunity to teach about nutrition, agriculture, and ecology. In short, starting a garden can help make real and lasting change in communities.

To learn more about the “how-to” for starting a new garden, the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Community Garden Start-Up Guideprovides guidance on how to organize a sustainable garden site in your neighborhood.

Here are some more stories from Earth Eats to help you get started in the right direction: Urban agriculture is great way to eat local and reduce your food miles while supporting your local community. Here are some inspirational urban agriculture projects that have been in the news recently… Stories

How exciting to be able to make a difference in other people’s lives and your community. To learn about different community gardens that you could be a part of or to start a new project, visit the USDA coverage on the First Lady initiative.

20 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Agriculture concerns with rising costs

There has been rising concerns recently in the agriculture community about the costs of crop production continually rising, and according to Fox News, it's most likely going to get worse. For decades, farmers have had a sacred place in the federal budget and have received massive handouts from congress. Fox News says this may be coming to an end, but not without a fight.

Here are the three programs that face cuts:
conservation subsides that give farmers money to take marginal lands out of production for wildlife, crop insurance, and direct payments to farmers who plant corn, cotton, wheat, soybean, rice and peanuts. The farmers of these commodities are eligible for government payouts whether they farm or not.

That's only one issue concerning rising crop prices. According to the Huffington Post:

Groundbreaking events are adding to the list of things pushing up food prices. Erratic weather in key grain exporting countries, the increasing crop use for biofuel production, export restrictions, and low global stocks, have been key contributors to the spike.

Now, it is also linked to surging fuel prices connected to events in the Middle East and North Africa. Crude oil, for instance, increased 21 percent in the first three months of 2011, pushing food prices up because it raises the cost of inputs needed in agriculture, among other things.

Just last month, a gang of thieves absconds with $300,000 worth of tomatoes, cucumbers and meat. As food and commodity prices continue to increase, is this the tip of the iceberg?
12 April 2011
Topic: Agronomy

April Showers and Lightening Safety


We’ve all heard the saying, ‘April showers bring may flowers,’ but with that can also come dangerous lightening, damaging winds, and even tornadoes. So, Career Solutions has compiled some safety precautions to keep you and your family safe if you happen to be in harm’s way. We’re going to start this series with lightening.

Lightening - According to Lightening Safety, In the United States, an average of 58 people are killed each year by lightning. To date, there have been 29 lightning deaths in 2010.

Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more.

While most lightning casualties occur at the beginning of an approaching storm, a significant number of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed. If thunder is heard, then the storm is close enough for a lightning strike. It is very important to seek safe shelter immediately

However, when inside during a thunderstorm, avoid contact with anything that could conduct a lightning strike to you, including anything that plugs into a wall outlet, corded phones, plumbing, metal doors, and window frames.

This means do not take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm. Battery-operated computers and cell phones are fine. Generally, enclosed metal vehicles (not convertibles), with the windows rolled up, provide good shelter from lightning If a storm is approaching, get inside immediately.

Gazebos, rain or picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, convertible vehicles, and golf carts do not provide protection from lightning. When lightning can be seen or heard, the danger is already present.

For more info on lightening, visit here.

Have you ever had any close calls with lightening? We'd like to hear your story.

21 March 2011
Topic: Agronomy

Japan's conditions and the effect on US Agriculture

As most of you know, the crisis that happened in Japan has had tremendous affects in so many areas. This won’t be excluding the agricultural sect here in the US. According to an article from Inforum, growers and marketers of wheat, soybeans and other farm products are watching Japan with concern as conditions threaten to disrupt a top market for U.S. goods.

“Anytime you get something this catastrophic happening in your No. 1 customer, it does raise some levels of concern,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission.

Japan is the No. 2 export market for U.S. wheat and the top export market for North Dakota hard red spring wheat, representing 25 percent of demand in some years, Peterson said.

As of early March, Japan had purchased 60 million bushels of North Dakota hard red spring wheat for the marketing year that ends May 31, putting it on pace to break the previous record of 61.5 million bushels set in 2006-07, Peterson said.

Read the rest of the article here.

We’re going to be keeping a close eye on how the tsunami in Japan is affecting the US agriculture industry and bringing it to you.

2 March 2011
Topic: Agronomy

The rising costs of crop production


We were just having a conversation the other day about how agricultural prices were on the rise. Especially when it comes to corn and soybeans. This goes for both farmers and buyers, and according to two Purdue University Extension specialists, “Farmers will spend more to produce their 2011 crops.” The good news for farmers, according to the article on Corn and Soybean Digest, is that they’re likely to make that up and then some, from higher grain prices.

Which crops farmers choose to plant this season also will play a factor in the returns they'll earn, say Craig Dobbins and Bruce Erickson of Purdue'sDepartment of Agricultural Economics. The numbers suggest acorn-soybean rotation is the best choice, with double-crop soybeans/wheat a good option for farmers living in areas where that cropping system is viable.

Some of the reasons for these higher prices of production is because diesel and fertilizer prices have gone up, and the article says crop insurance is likely to go up as well.

It adds up to a per-bushel production cost of $4.19 for rotation corn on average-yielding land, up 30¢ from 2010. The projected cost to produce rotation soybeans this year is $9.73/bu. on average-quality land, a 33¢ jump from one year ago.

"We're in an environment where that's not a place to think about saving costs this year," he said. "It's an issue of finding the policy that you think will work best for you and pay the premium."

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think farmers need to worry?
25 February 2011
Topic: Job Tips, Agronomy

Agricultural Jobs and Resources

When a person goes off to college and has to answer that one question that everyone asks, "What do you want to do with your life?" or "What do you want to declare as your major?" It can be completely overwhelming. Seven years ago, up to 80% of college freshman did not declare a major. With so many areas of study and so many different fields, it's hard to make a decision. So, since we know agriculture, we're going to fill you in on what we know about that.

In one of the first blog posts we ever wrote, we talked about agriculture and why choosing a job in this field was worth it because over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related. This translates to jobs. And Career Solutions is one of the best places to find these jobs.

But to answer that question on what type of jobs a degree in agriculture can get you, I've done some research and here's a couple of good resources I found.

1. Georgia Agricultural Education - This site lists dozens of agricultural positions and explains them all. It's a great tool resource to

2. The University of Phoenix has a good list of agricultural careers by positions too.

3. Another excellent resource is Purdue University. One of their specialties is in agronomy. Their website can help answer any questions regarding agriculture and education.

4. There is also the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. Their website is full of current statistics, budgets, and laws and regulations and more.

There are so many areas you could explore. Have a look. What are your thoughts?
3 January 2011
Topic: Recruiting, Agronomy

Welcome to the Career Solutions Blog

Thanks for stopping by our new blog. We're pretty excited to finally get this thing launched. We're also pretty new at blogging, so we're getting a bit of istance. However, what we ARE good at is finding some of the best agricultural positions out there, all over the country.

Why choose a career in the Ag world?

This is one of the number one questions we get asked. Did you know that over 1/4 of the United States GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is Agricultural-related? There are millions of people who don't know this. Here are some more benefits of choosing a career in the agriculture field:

  • Stability - When you think about it, people have to eat every year. Period. Farmers' will always be planting and harvesting product.
  • Diversity - the multiple sectors in agriculture field require varied ag backgrounds and skill sets.
  • The agriculture field is international in scope, which increases the number of job locations.
  • The United States is the world leader in agri-business. As mentioned above, 1/4 of the US GDP is from agriculture. People all over the world rely on this constantly evolving industry.
  • Cutting edge technology and new innovations are constantly being developed.
  • Compensation has steadily been increasing. We'll talk about salary negotiations soon.
  • The culture and people of agriculture make it a great place to work.

Most of us have grown up in this industry. You could call it a way of life. What we're here to do is give you the most current information, give you hot jobs of the week, and help you walk into your Ag career with your eyes wide open by giving strait-forward resume and interviewing tips.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things agriculture-related.