e-neighbors "They [other farmers using the Internet] help me with drainage tiles or overhauling a tractor. It's like an electronic barn raising." - Dennis Riggs, a Broadlands, IL, farmer who uses AgCast and started his own Internet Service Provider and then encouraged area farmers to join

Industry Standard Wireless on-tractor information manager If Qin Zhang's research comes to fruition, your tractor may soon become a wireless communication center to help you make the right decisions on-the-go, in the field.

The University of Illinois assistant professor of agricultural engineering says the on-tractor computer system will work like a cell phone, with a working distance of up to 1_1/2 miles. It will be installed on most any tractor to read sensor data to "see" the surrounding environment. A wireless system such as this will allow use of a large amount of information to support precision agriculture because the data will be sent to the tractor instantly. This will eliminate the time needed for the data to download from the Internet, as current technology requires. - NAEDA Equipment Dealer

Weed watch You've planted a herbicide-resistant crop, but now the weather is preventing you from applying the "dedicated" herbicide at the right time. What do you do?

Expert advice is at your fingertips with the Weed Control Manual 2000. This updated popular weed guide tackles this question and others about genetically enhanced, single-herbicide crop systems. It also includes a weed identification guide, with color photos of both the seedling and adult stages of most weeds; descriptions of all U.S.-registered herbicides; a chart describing worker protective equipment; a nozzle selection guide; and a weed management glossary. Price: $50.

Information in the manual also is presented in a software package, called WCM-E 2000, that is available in a laptop, desktop or network version. Price: $50, or $70 for both the manual and the software program. Contact Meister Publishing Co., Dept. FIN, 37733 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094, 800/572-7740.

Revolutionary change "Not since the industrial revolution has the farming industry seen the kind of change brought by the Internet." - Mark Frauenfelder, writer, "Home (page) on the range" Industry Standard Act, don't react Farming is a risky business. Uncooperative weather, variability of yields, low prices, changing technology - all contribute to the uncertain environment of farming.

A new publication from the MidWest Plan Service will help you develop a strategy to manage the risk inherent in your operation.

Managing Risk in Agriculture will help you to anticipate possible problems and plan to reduce their consequences, rather than simply reacting to difficulties after they occur. It also discusses how to improve your decision-making ability. Price: $4, plus $3.75 for shipping and handling. Contact NRAES, Dept. FIN, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, 607/255-7654.

Hot or cold " [Farmers] either don't want to touch [the Internet] or they live and die by it." Derrick Sharpe, AgCast Industry Standard

Finish the "Honey Do" list From doing plumbing or electrical work, to mending a leaky roof or replacing doors and windows, The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair from Black & Decker shows you how with detailed, full-color photographs in a step-by-step format.

Five hundred pages offer more than 2,000 photos, how-to tips, troubleshooting guides and numbered steps for interior and exterior repairs. Each project features a complete tool and material list that helps to make the repair job run smoother. Price: $35. Contact Creative Publishing, Dept. FIN, 5900 Green Oak Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55343, 612/936-4700.

Keep in touch With two new products from Cobra, a warning of bad weather or hazardous road conditions is just a touch away.

Cobra's updated version of its two-way radio, MicroTalk, now includes the capability to tune into all the National Weather Service channels for immediate local weather news and emergency and disaster information from across the U.S. The new radio features a backlit display screen and a silent vibration alert for incoming calls. A voice-scrambling circuitry keeps communications private. And the radio covers a wide array of channels with a memory setting for quick access to frequently used channels. It requires no licensing or service fees and no charges for calls. Price: about $160.

Radar detection has gotten more sophisticated with Cobra's latest model. Besides detecting radar, the ESD-6700 spots emergency vehicles, road hazards and railroad crossings. The device displays a text warning and gives a voice alert that tells what hazard lies ahead.

The detector's six-band radar-spotting abilities have gotten high-tech, too. It can alert you to a device that's trying to find detectors, without alerting the device. And the radar detection area covers 360 degrees to find laser guns. Price: $240. Contact Cobra Electronics Corp., Dept. FIN, 6500 W. Cortland St., Chicago, IL 60707, 773/889-8870.

If it's not in here . . . Gempler's 2000 Master Catalog is ready to ship, and it's also available on the company's Web site. This year, you'll find a large selection of protective eyewear and an expanded section on shop accessories with products to organize your shop, including industrial-grade shelving and cabinets. Contact Gempler's, Dept. FIN, Box 270, Belleville, WI 53508, 800/382-8473.