Thankful for Ag: the History of Cornucopia

The Horn of Plenty, or cornucopia, is a common harvest motif, but do you know why?

You’ve likely seen the traditional symbols of the harvest—ears of corn, strands of wheat, and the cornucopia among them—but do you know the history of the cornucopia? Depicted as a horn overflowing with fruits, vegetables, and nuts, it is also called the Horn of Plenty. It has long represented the harvest in Western culture, and it has come to be associated with Thanksgiving. Read about the cornucopia’s ancient roots and modern depictions below.Read More

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Fresh Agriculture Recipes

For this month’s #AgAmericaEats special, bring everyone to the table with these agriculture recipes for each of the three meals of the day.

Food is one thing we can all agree on, and agriculture recipes featuring a state’s top crop are sure to please for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try these delicious #AgAmericaEats recipes that each incorporate a tasty top crop the next time you gather around the table.
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#AgAmericaEats with favorite U.S. Crops: Potatoes, Peanuts, and Peaches

There’s a wise saying that goes, “Life is too short to skip dessert.” This is especially true in summer when fresh-from-the-field produce is ripe for creating a knock-out dessert. We’ve rounded up some of the best dessert recipes for #AgAmericaEats using commodities that are in season throughout summertime. We had our eye out for unique combinations that are sure to please at your next barbecue or get-together.Read More

AgAmerica through the Lens: Recent Photo Contest Captures Ag Industry

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science’s Center for Public Issues Education (PIE) just wrapped up a contest that explores what the lens has to say about agriculture, wildlife, our natural resources and more. In the PIE Center’s 3rd Annual Photo Contest, contestants were challenged to enter photos that spoke volumes about agriculture, natural resources, and related categories.

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Money Minute: UF/IFAS Study Shows 10-day Forecast Can Increase Farmers’ Profits

Weather has always been an important factor in agriculture, but it’s the ability to predict upcoming weather that attracts those in the ag industry. Predicting the weather is one reason why farmers and ranchers are full of adages, rhymes, harbingers, and clues about what the weather is about to bring. For instance, “Clear moon, frost soon,” is one proverb that would compel farmers to hurry up and finish the harvest of cold-tender crops, keeping the harvest from ruin. In a similar way, any farmer or rancher will tell you that a herd of cows lying down foretells a coming storm, and you’d then know it’s a poor time to cut hay!

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Peanut Farm Loans: A Look at What’s Happening in the Peanut Industry

Peanuts are a hot commodity in the U.S.; the twelfth to be exact. According to the American Peanut Council, peanuts are the twelfth most valuable cash crop in the country. Raised in southern states with warm climates like Georgia, North and South Carolina, Texas and Florida, peanuts’ farm value exceeds $1 billion. Georgia grows nearly half— about 44 percent, according to the National Peanut Board— of the U.S.’s peanuts.

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Countdown to the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA

Agriculture is a fascinating blend of time-honored traditions mixed with new technologies and methods, and you’ll see both at the upcoming Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia. Slated for October 20-22, it’s North America’s premiere agriculture show. It’s also a chance for everyone in the industry—from farmers and ranchers to equipment manufacturers and farm lending experts like AgAmerica Lending—to get together to enjoy the show’s annual events and to see what’s new.

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Christmas Tree Farming 101

Oh Christmas tree. Oh Christmas tree.

‘Tis the season!

Ever wonder how your beautifully decorated tree made it into your living room?

Probably not.

But make no doubt about it, it wasn’t a quick, painless process.

Growing Christmas trees is no easy venture. In fact, it is a rather long-term (5-10 years) agricultural venture, requiring a great deal of skill, financial backing, and work.

Before you even fantasize about launching a Christmas tree operation, fully understand the requirements:

  • A sufficient plot of suitable land.
  • A suitable tree species for the land.
  • Strategic site preparation and planting, including an optimal layout of fields and farm roads to reduce risk of pest problems and to lower harvesting costs.
  • A good deal of capital.
  • Sufficient and periodic labor.
  • Special agricultural equipment.
  • Intensive care, including mechanical mowing, shaping, shearing, pruning, and pest control during the growing season to produce a quality product.
  • Integrated pest management, implementing effective cultural practices and pesticide applications to limit pest issues.
  • Optimum fertilization, complete with nutrients that are more resistant to pest issues and environmental stresses.
  • Water quality management to protect sedimentation and contamination by fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Proper groundcover management.
  • Solid record keeping, including a map of the farm layout complete with information on fields, roads, topography, drainage systems, species and number of trees per field, and planting dates clearly reported.
  • A long-term plan and budget to support this long-term, expensive endeavor.

 

Interested in Christmas tree production? Want to diversify your Christmas tree farm? Call on us here at Bankers South, an ag lending company with years of lending experience. Through our AgAmerica Lending Program we offer ag loans covering all facets of farming, from smaller hobby farm loans to larger timberland loans. When it’s time to plant your next row crop, expand your Christmas tree farms, or plant timber, these agricultural loans are a great choice!

 

Fall Salutations!

Pumpkin patches. Apple picking. Hayrides. Corn mazes. What better way to spend a crisp, colorful Fall day?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to visit your local area farms to get involved in fun Fall activities.

To get you in the proper seasonal spirit, here are some pretty mind-blowing agricultural facts about two traditional Fall delights: Pumpkins and apples.

  • This first one is seriously mind-blowing: Pumpkins are not vegetables…they are fruits! Who knew?
  • Pumpkins were once suggested curatives for removing freckles and treating snakebites. Fortunately, we’ve come along way since then with our medicinal treatments and theories…
  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,140 pounds. Incredible, right?
  • Pumpkins are comprised of 90 percent water. Whaaa?
  • In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling. This would be an interesting recipe to test: Try baking a pumpkin crusted, pumpkin filled pie for double pumpkin goodness!
  • Pumpkins have been harvested in America for over 5,000 years.
  • The first apple to reach the United States was brought by the Pilgrims in 1620. So, we can give thanks to the Pilgrims for our apple abundance here in the States!
  • There exists approximately 7,500 types of apples. To try each variety would be a feat!
  • It takes approximately 36 apples to produce one gallon of apple cider.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit. Talk about delayed gratification!
  • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  • Archeologists have uncovered evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C. Maybe because they kept the doctor away?
  • Apple trees enjoy very long lives. In fact, a standard apple tree lives an average of 100 years!

 

Now, when you’re selecting pumpkins or picking apples, you can wow your friends and family with an agricultural fact or two!

Happy Fall!

Ever dream about running your own apple or pumpkin farm? Contact Bankers South, an established ag lending company, about your ag loan options. Maybe you’d like to run a small, eco-friendly farm and require a hobby farm loan? Maybe you envision a larger agricultural operation? Either way, we’d like to make your farming dreams a reality.