Page 1

ThE hog PRocESSiNg plant in Rantoul is operating again now that Rantoul Foods renovated the facility and reopened it earlier this month. ......................................2

NEW hEalTh caRE deliver y systems likely will be delivered by “creative people in their local communities,” rather than Washington lawmakers. ......4

Monday, June 27, 2011

Two sections Volume 39, No. 26

Economic bull’s-eye forming around direct payments? BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Periodicals: Time Valued

The timetable for setting “2012” farm bill spending priorities could be greatly accelerated if the U.S. economy takes another serious “shot” this summer, according to American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Bob Young. During a teleconference with Illinois Farm Bureau board members last week, Young offered “a pretty strong case” to suggest producer direct payments could fall squarely in Congress’ crosshairs within the next several weeks. Meanwhile, IFB’s Farm Policy Task Force at an upcoming meeting will review options for preserving some form of farm safety net. Young anticipates an inflationary resurgence based on key contributors such as an upswing in housing prices linked to a rising consumer price index and the prospect of long-term bond rates climbing rapidly in coming weeks. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke last

T h E i l l i N o i S Fa R M FaMiliES coalition kicks into high gear this summer by bringing a national program, “Farmers Feed Us,” to Illinois. ..............................12

week seemed “more worried about inflation than ... employment,” Young said. With the Fed’s $25 billion in weekly U.S. Treasury note purchases (a strategy aimed at spurring economic recovery) “about to dry out” and growing political uncertainty about Congress raising the federal debt ceiling, Young sees the possibility of rising interest rates and “some significant market roiling over the course of the next few weeks.” That anxiety could intensify public pressure for substantial federal spending cuts, possibly as a Democrat tradeoff for Republican support for a boost in the debt limit. Total 2012-2021 budget authority is estimated at $46.3 trillion. With hefty Social Security and veterans program spending likely “off the table,” Young sees a roughly $28.9 trillion “pot” open to selected cuts over the next 10 years. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) seeks cuts in direct payments

and crop insurance funding as part of a $4 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction plan. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggests Congress could realize $40.4 billion in 10-year savings in part by reducing direct payment acres by 20 percent and limiting insurance premium subsidies to 50 percent even for higher-coverage “buy-up” policies. That basically leaves the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program, which has performed well for Illinois corn growers, and Supplemental Revenue (SURE) disaster assistance, which has drawn mixed reviews nationwide. “If we can protect what we have in ACRE and crop insurance, that might be about as good as what we could hope for at this point in time,” IFB President Philip Nelson told board members. “We’ll probably take a hit on direct payments, depending on what (cuts lawmakers) assess to the farm bill.” See Payments, page 4

QUITE A SPRING

Burton Hocking of Albion in Edwards County surveys a field of corn he planted April 8 that already is tasseling and shooting silks. While he started planting his 1,000 acres in early April, he didn’t finish until June 15, more than 10 weeks later because of the 12 to 17 inches of rain that fell in the county from May 2 to June 19. While he expects to begin harvesting early, Hocking says harvest will be a drawn-out process as well. “I should be able to start shelling around Sept. 1. However, harvest will also last about 10 weeks” because of the differing maturity of the crop, he said. (Photo by Rebecca Perry, Edwards County Farm Bureau manager)

Senate battle looming over NPDES permits

The U.S. Senate Ag Committee voted last week to block forthcoming pesticide permit requirements, but a contentious battle likely is ahead on the Senate floor. Barring congressional action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set in November to institute a new Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for aquatic pesticide applications. The new permit system “jeopardizes the farm economy without providing any real protection to water quality,” National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott argued. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act — approved by the Ag Committee in an informal voice vote — clarifies that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the sole federal authority for pesticide regulation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (DNev.) must OK the bill for a full Senate vote. American Farm Bureau Federation

analyst Tyler Wegmeyer sees Reid torn between two “very opinionated” lawmakers: Senate Ag Chairman Deb Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Senate Environment Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “Boxer says no way — she opposes this altogether, thinks it weakens the Clean Water Act,” Wegmeyer told FarmWeek following a meeting with Reid last week. “She’s mad because she didn’t get jurisdiction over the bill. “Senator Boxer’s a formidable foe to agriculture with regard to environmental regulation and protecting her jurisdiction. She’ll oppose this no matter what, but will she throw herself in front of the bus to stop it? “If we can get it on the floor as a (freestanding) bill and it comes up for unanimous consent, will she hold things up or just vote no?” Wegmeyer was unsure whether supporters could garner the 60 votes needed for approval by simple consent, stressing “it

FarmWeek on the web: FarmWeekNow.com

only takes one senator to object.” However, he notes a lack of major legislative vehicles “actually passing the Senate these days,” and warns attaching the measure to a larger bill that might stall on the floor would be “counterproductive.” Land-based crop applications are exempt from forthcoming permit requirements, but the likelihood of environmentalist “citizen’s lawsuits” raises the specter of regulations beyond existing FIFRA pesticide labeling and applicator licensing-training requirements. Wegmeyer noted a “big gray area” regarding chemical use near water supplies, opening the door for EPA to expand the list of activities subject to permits. “This fix needs to happen for farmers,” he said. “It’s a double-permitting issue. You have a driver’s license to drive a car. If you had to get another permit to drive a car, to do the same thing, pay more money, fill out paperwork, it just wouldn’t make any sense.” — Martin Ross

Illinois Farm Bureau®on the web: www.ilfb.org


FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Takes ETHANOL INITIAL ATTACK POINT?— While Senate proposals to eliminate the federal ethanol tax credit must clear a potentially more resistant House, Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson sees the attack on biofuels subsidies as an early budgetary shot across agriculture’s bow. “I think this really is a wake-up call to the challenges we have right now in some of the votes that are being taken, not just on ethanol but as we look at the farm bill discussion that’s looming,” Nelson said. American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Bob Young saw Senate approval for ethanol credit elimination as part of small business legislation as a “free vote” senators could make without long-lasting repercussions, since the House must initiate tax revenue measures. But however the House greets the proposal, Young sees a strong signal “that the 45-cent ethanol tax exemption is gone,” at least in its current form. Barring congressional action, the credit expires at year’s end. STATE LAUNCHES DATA WEBSITE — Gov. Pat Quinn last week launched a state website designed to provide access to state data. It is the second initiative of the Governor’s Illinois Innovation Council. The website {www.Data.Illinois.Gov} is a searchable clearinghouse of information from state agencies. The first phase of the site was launched with data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Department of Revenue, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Information includes traffic data from IDOT. The site will continue to grow as more state agencies are added, with the goal of being a comprehensive source of information on how state government operates. ISA RECEIVES GOVERNOR’S AWARD — The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) last week received the Governor’s Export Promotion Agency of the Year award. The award recognizes Illinois organizations that provide substantial export assistance to companies statewide. “Illinois farmers have grown and supplied an increasing amount of soybeans to meet international customer needs,” said Matt Hughes, ISA vice chairman and soybean grower from Shirley. ISA has been involved with soy export promotion activities since the mid-1960s. USDA estimated 13 percent of all U.S. soy exports originate in Illinois. ADM EXPANSION — Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) has announced plans to expand lysine and threonine amino acid production capacity at its Decatur facility. The expansion project, which is expected to allow the company to produce 340,000 metric tons of the products annually, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013. Lysine is used in the feed industry and is seen as a costeffective way to supplement swine and poultry feeds that are low or deficient in amino acids. Threonine helps formulate diets closer to an animal’s amino acid requirements, reduce dietary crude protein, decrease nitrogen excretion, and improve nitrogen efficiency.

(ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 39 No. 26

June 27, 2011

Dedicated to improving the profitability of farming, and a higher quality of life for Illinois farmers. FarmWeek is produced by the Illinois Farm Bureau. FarmWeek is published each week, except the Mondays following Thanksgiving and Christmas, by the Illinois Agricultural Association, 1701 Towanda Avenue, P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61701. Illinois Agricultural Association assumes no responsibility for statements by advertisers or for products or services advertised in FarmWeek. FarmWeek is published by the Illinois Agricultural Association for farm operator members. $3 from the individual membership fee of each of those members go toward the production of FarmWeek.

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COMMODITIES

Rantoul Foods renovates, reopens processing plant BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

The lines at the hog processing plant in Rantoul (Champaign County) are rolling again. Rantoul Foods renovated the facility — built and formerly owned by Meadowbrook Farms — and reopened it earlier this month. Rantoul Foods was created when Trim-Rite Foods purchased the facility in September 2010. Rantoul Foods and Trim-Rite Foods are sister companies servicing the retail, food service, further processing, and export markets with fresh and frozen pork. The plant initially will process 500 to 600 hogs per day. It currently employs about 150 workers. But Chris Fleming, procurement manager for Rantoul Foods, said the goal is to process about 4,000 head per day and employ 350 to 400 workers once the plant is at full production. “We hired a lot of the crew from the area (who worked at the plant when it was operated by Meadowbrook),” Fleming told FarmWeek. “We’re running one shift now with hopes of eventually going to a double-shift.” Rantoul Foods imported technology from Europe to make the facility state-of-the-art and improve on quality of the final products. Some of the improvements to the plant include a CO2 stunner, four robots capable of performing precise cuts, and a new refrigeration system. “We made a lot of updates to the plant,”

Fleming said. “Our main concerns are the three Cs. We want to keep the hogs calm, the plant clean, and the meat cold.” The CO2 stunner is one of the most soughtafter euthanizing tools in the industry, according to Fleming. It allows the hogs to remain calm just prior to slaughter, which maintains the quality of the meat. Meanwhile, the robots perform precise cuts that produce high-quality and consistent products. “That’s what our Japanese and Chinese customers really like,” Fleming said. Not all of the processing will be done at the Rantoul facility, though. Some of the cuts will be sent to Trim-Rite’s facility in Carpentersville for further processing. “Meadowbrook had 600 (employees, compared to the current goal of 400 at the Rantoul facility),” Fleming said. “But we’re using Carpentersville to do a lot of work for us.” So far one of the biggest challenges at the newly re-opened plant is sourcing hogs. Record-high prices on the open market and some bad feelings left over when the facility was owned by Meadowbrook have made it more difficult to source animals, according to Fleming. Meadowbrook, which opened the plant in 2004, closed the facility in January 2009 and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March that year after its attempts to find last-minute financing to save the plant failed.

IFB commodities conference July 27

Farmer-comedian bringing his blue-collar act

Attendees of the Illinois Farm Bureau Commodities Conference next month will have an opportunity to look at the lighter side of the ag industry through the eyes of farmer-comedian Jerry Carroll. Jerry Carroll Carroll, a 52-year-old farmer from Willow Spring, N.C., will perform his blue-collar act at the IFB conference July 27 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. Pre-registration for the event runs through July 15. Visit {www.ilfb.org} or call your county Farm Bureau for details. The theme of this year’s conference is “Local to Global; Knowledge is Power.” Carroll’s southern-based, blue-collar jokes and style could be described as a cross between Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. In fact, Foxworthy helped mentor Carroll early in his comedic career. But stories told during the act come straight from Carroll’s farm and his experiences. Carroll performs 50 to 60-plus shows per year and he has opened for performers such as

Michael Bolton, Patty Loveless, Lyle Lovett, and Larry Gatlin. “I still consider myself a farmer, first and foremost,” Carroll told FarmWeek. “When I’m in the cab of a tractor or combine, it’s weird, but that’s when I come up with a lot of new material.” Carroll has survived some harrowing experiences on the farm, such as falling off a 3,000-bushel grain bin and having his clothes torn off by a power take-off shaft. He incorporates those experiences into his act to entertain crowds and also promote serious points about farm safety. “I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” he jokingly admitted. “But I try to leave each crowd with a serious message.” Carroll in the process has a knack for relating to farmers and entertaining them. “Farmers are farmers,” he said. “They spend their lives around bullcrap, and they can smell it if that’s what you’re giving them.” He got his start in stand-up when he was offered free meals and a little money to tell jokes and stories at meetings put on by local seed representatives and fertilizer dealers in North Carolina. Carroll’s

career blossomed from there. “If people have dirt under their fingernails and calluses on their hands, those are the people I want to talk to,” Carroll said. “Being a farmer and real independent, I didn’t like comedy clubs and I hated LA (Los Angeles),” he continued. “California people are like California strawberries. “They look good but they have no taste.” Carroll usually avoids politics and keeps his stories clean. But he admitted some folks don’t have a taste for his brand of humor. “Probably 80 percent of my business is repeat business, which is a good sign,” he said. “But I tell a lot of HR (human resources) people that (each show) I’m probably going to make three or four people really mad.” He may refer to his home life (which is centered around a wife, three daughters, a female cat, and a female dog) as an “estrogen-fest” or talk about “country condos,” otherwise known as trailer homes. And that’s just the way he likes it. “What do you do when your life exceeds your dreams,” he added. “You keep it to yourself.” — Daniel Grant


Page 3 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

STATE

State to move forward with education reforms, technology BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Illinois will receive federal funding and corporate support to move forward with some proposals in the state’s Race-to-the-Top education reform application. Illinois is one of nine states selected to share $200 million in the third round of Race-to-the-Top funding, after the state lost out in two previous rounds. Race to the top is a competitive federal grant program that provides resources to states that are leading reform efforts in four areas: improving the use of standards and assessments, increasing the use of data, increasing the effectiveness of teachers, and improving struggling schools. “Illinois could receive up to $50 million” that would fund a scaled-down version of its proposal, said Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Education. State educators will select one or two parts of the state’s plan to fund and implement, but Vanover said he didn’t know what those might be. One of the state’s proposals is to develop career-based learning about agriculture and eight other

network on career areas,” Tyszko told members of two state agriculture education committees that met last week in Decatur. He outlined a learning exchange’s components, which include work-based learning, student organizations, and student projects. “Agriculture does a lot of this quite well,” Tyszko Proposals to reform Illinois education recommend students gain said. more work-based learning experiences in agriculture and eight Currently, state other industry sectors. (FarmWeek file photo) groups for agriculture and each of state industry sectors. the eight other industry sectors are Jason Tyszko, deputy chief of staff compiling information with a goal of for the Illinois Department of Comcompleting their work by the end of merce and Economic Opportunity, the summer. reported work continues on the career Illinois also will move forward with proposal idea, known as learning its proposal to develop statewide exchanges. The curriculum would be access to online educational tools. Illioffered to preschool students through nois was one of five states selected to adults with a special focus on the elepilot a new virtual network for educamentary- through high-school grades. tors. “We’re trying to create a statewide

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corp. may spend as much as $100 million to develop the network, according to Vanover. Educators envision the network making a difference in classrooms.

‘Agriculture does a lot of this quite well.’ — Jason Tyszko Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity deputy chief of staff

Vanover illustrated its potential use with an example of an elementary teacher who would go onto the network to find lesson plans or other materials to teach a specific topic. The teacher also would be able to access real-time information about his students’ knowledge and tailor lessons to help students master the material. Initially, a couple of Illinois districts will be selected to pilot the new network, Vanover added.

U of I crop researchers face squeeze for farm buildings The University of Illinois crop sciences department is being pressured to move one building at a time from it’s longtime south campus research farm without due consideration for the overall impact, Illinois Farm Bureau board members learned last week. Germán Bollero, head of crop sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) said the university has bought farmland identified in a 1999 plan to update the South Farms, but hasn’t replaced the crop sciences

buildings that were considered outmoded in that same plan. The university’s athletic program wants the land now occupied by crop science researchers and is pushing them to move, Bollero reported. “We take very seriously the responsibility to provide unbiased research and information to the farmers of Illi-

nois,” Bollero said. “We want planning on campus (to be): ‘If you need $10 million to build a new stadium, then you need this much more to move the people already there,’” he said. Meanwhile, the condition of the existing crop sciences facilities has continued to deteriorate because the university and college have planned to replace those buildings for

State legislators OK capital bill in special session

The Illinois House and Senate resolved the issue of a state capital bill within a matter of hours last week during a short special session. In May, the Senate attempted to add about $430 million in spending to the bill that contained the capital plan; however, the House didn’t accept the additional spending. Both chambers adjourned, a capital plan

was never passed, and the state’s construction projects and many construction jobs were poised to halt. Last week, Senate Democrats agreed to pass a capital plan without the additional spending. Then both chambers unanimously passed the plan, allowing capital plans to continue without interruption. The fall veto session is scheduled for Oct. 25 through 27 and Nov. 8 through 10.

Governor Quinn signs map

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that establishes a new map of congressional districts — the last of three redistricting maps passed by the General Assembly. The state will have an 18member congressional delegation, one less than the group that currently represents Illinois.

A decrease in state population growth compared to other states resulted in Illinois losing a congressman. The Democrat-controlled legislature crafted districts expected to be more favorable to their party. Republican lawmakers had predicted a lawsuit would be filed over the district boundaries.

more than a decade but did not do so because of a lack of funding, said Robert Dunker, manager of the South Farms. “The (research) field situation is great, but we don’t have the infrastructure to support the new faculty we’re recruiting now, and that’s sad,” Dunker said. But the U of I’s six research farms are becoming financially self sufficient for staff salaries with only three positions supported by state funding and the rest paid for with other funding sources, according to Bollero. The six research farms

are in Urbana, DeKalb, Monmouth, Perry, Brownstown, and Simpson. Bollero thanked IFB board members for supporting crop science research and agriculture programs at the U of I. Continuing that advocacy with campus officials and political leaders is vital, he said. “We’re big contributors of dollars to the university in research grants ... It’s more crucial than ever,” Bollero said. — Kay Shipman

DATEBOOK July 20 Good agricultural practices workshop, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., University of Illinois Extension center, Westchester. For information or to register, call 708-679-6889. July 24 Pull and Cast for Illinois Agriculture Education, World Shooting and Recreation Complex, Sparta. July 27 Illinois Farm Bureau Commodities Conference, Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Normal. Aug. 3 Western Illinois University Allison Organic Farm field day, near Roseville, starting at 9:30 a.m. Advance registration required for morning session and lunch. Call Illinois Organic Growers at 217-454-1204. Aug. 12-21 Illinois State Fair, Springfield. Aug. 16 Agriculture Day and Sale of Champions, Illinois State Fair, Springfield.


FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, June 27, 2011

rural health Health reforms ailing

Economist: Local creativity will shape rural care

BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Jeff Bauer sees opportunities to develop “neat new health care delivery systems for the 21st century.” But those opportunities likely will be delivered by “creative people in their local communities,” rather than Washington lawmakers, the Chicago-based medical economist told FarmWeek during a recent gathering of rural Illinois hospital officials and providers. Bauer argues the federal Affordable Care Act signed into law last year includes “some highly desirable features” but “also has a lot of

problems.” The Democrat measure was “ramrodded” through Congress and is “one-sided” in its approach, Jeff Bauer Bauer said, though he stressed “I have no more confidence in what the Republicans would propose.” While a congressional call to repeal White Housebacked reforms has subsided somewhat, 28 states have challenged the constitutionality of new individual health

insurance mandates. Three federal court rulings have upheld the law’s constitutionality, two have deemed it unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court may review arguments by year’s end. The plan thus is “probably a red herring” in the health debate, Bauer said. Instead, hospitals, businesses, and communities must partner to improve access and services “in spite of the health care legislation,” he said. “The chances of the law actually being implemented as enacted are very small,” he said. “The law contains many internal inconsistencies. The

Safety coalition seeks funds, plans Progress Show exhibit Farm Bureau leaders, grain elevator managers, An Illinois-based coalition is marshaling local health care providers, or emergency resources and planning a public debut at the responders. Farm Progress Show in an effort to spare rural The target audience is equally broad: The communities the human and economic costs of coalition notes the cost of grain-related incigrain-related accidents. dents in economic as well as human terms, with The fledgling Grain Handling Safety Coalirespect to lost wages, operational downtime, tion has been approved for a $20,000 grant time and resources expended from the Iowaby local responders, liability based Great costs, and fines or other Plains Center for penalties related to commerAgricultural Health. ‘We want to focus on all cial safety violations. “We’re not looking at just Coalition segments of the rural farmers or the people running member and community.’ operations,” Adkisson told Grain and Feed FarmWeek. “We also want to Association of look at the people who are Illinois Executive — Jeff Adkisson working for them, whether Vice President Grain Handling Safety Coalition member they’re youth, people in their Jeff Adkisson 20s, or those who are even notes a wealth of older. We want to focus on all scattered informasegments of the rural comtion on grain bin munity. injuries and safe “Any time you have a fatality or an engulfentry procedures, machinery safety, fall prevenment, it affects the whole community. There’s a tion and protection, and related issues. With grant funding, the coalition — a collec- cost to the community related to that loss of life. We hope to be able to provide quality traintion of industry, government, university, and grassroots interests — hopes to “pull that infor- ing material that will be easy to implement and mation together and encourage small communi- that people can use on an ongoing basis.” Adkisson admits Great Plains funds will ties to come together” to support training, he “roughly scratch the surface” in generating and said. delivering those materials. Thus, the coalition Community-based efforts could include also is applying for a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) grant that would support training in bin entry and grain handling. A recent article in FarmWeek erroneously Meanwhile, the University of Illinois’ Illilisted Coles County as one of 33 Illinois counnois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), a charter ties where producers are eligible for quality coalition member, has developed a mobile adjustments in Supplemental Revenue (SURE) grain engulfment-suffocation simulator, and program 2009 harvest loss claims. the coalition plans to provide a recently proInstead, qualified Ogle County growers may duced National Grain and Feed Associationreceive 2009 harvest SURE payment adjustNational Corn Growers Association safety ments for moisture or other corn or soybean video to every fire district and grain elevator quality factors. “Quality adjustment factors” statewide. will be applied within the standing disaster proFurther, the coalition is set to participate in gram to address damages that occurred during this year’s Farm Progress Show, Aug. 30-Sept. 1 2009’s wet, delayed harvest. in Decatur. The group’s exhibit will feature the July 29 is the deadline for producers to apply IFSI simulator and a “tug-of-war” demonstration for 2009 SURE payments at their county Farm that illustrates the sheer pressure of accumulated Service Agency (FSA) office. grain on a trapped body. — Martin Ross

Correction

Supreme Court challenge is looking more and more serious. “The No. 1 threat to implementing it is the economic situation and disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over future budgets. “Even though the Affordable Care Act was passed on the premise it would save close to $1 trillion over 10 years, it actually costs a lot of money to implement. “Given that Congress is trying to decide how much money to cut right now, it’s going to be hard for health care or any other sector to find a way to get money to do something different.” Bauer instead called on rural hospitals and their communities to “recapture the waste in the system.” Health care costs account for roughly 17 percent of annual U.S. gross domestic product, and he argues 30 percent of every dollar spent for care today “could be put to far

better use.” Maximizing health care resources requires more than merely “partnerships with the big hospitals in the city,” the economist said. Bauer urges rural hospitals to align with local employers and major health care plans and work with federal and state agencies to “rationalize” Medicare and Medicaid with real-world health care needs. Nurse practitioners and other “advanced practice” nurses, clinical pharmacists, and respiratory, physical, and occupational therapists can play a solid role in extending care, Bauer said. And rural providers must come to rely on digital data and other technologies, rather than on the traditional medical “paper trail.” “It’s really rethinking health care,” Bauer maintained. “Sadly, the Affordable Care Act didn’t do anything to rethink health care. But we can do that on our own terms.”

Payments Continued from page 1 Last fall, a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended trimming $15 billion from direct payments, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentive Program, and the Market Access Program from 2012 through 2020. The commission proposed redirecting $5 billion of those cuts to extend SURE, which runs out of funding this fall. The CBO nonetheless indicates an $8 billion to $10 billion injection would be needed to make SURE a truly effective safety net, Young said. The CBO’s deficit reduction report also proposes eliminating new CSP or general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signups, for an estimated $19 billion in 10-year savings. That would mean the eventual end of the perennially endangered CSP, said Young, who suggests lawmakers also could move to curtail CRP “re-enrollments.” Farm Bureau has eyed the idea of diverting direct payment savings to strengthen crop insurance. Young argued the cost of higher farm coverage levels needed to bolster income protection would increase “exponentially.” And given regional differences over the value of direct payments vs. crop insurance, he warned the board “it’s not going to be that easy to just make that kind of swap.”

Farm Talk meetings slated around state Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson and IFB Vice President Rich Guebert Jr., accompanied by various IFB staff members, will conduct five regional Farm Talk meetings later this year throughout the state. The dates, times, and locations are: • Tuesday, Aug. 2, 5 p.m., Hamilton’s Hall (the Fireside Room), 110 N. East St., Jacksonville. • Wednesday, Aug. 3, 5 p.m., Round Barn Banquet Center, 1900 Round Barn Road, Champaign. • Thursday, Aug. 4, 11 a.m., VFW Post 540, 1560 Franklin Grove Road, Dixon, and 5:30 p.m., Joliet Junior College, Weitendorf Ag Ed Center, 17840 W. Laraway Road, Joliet. • Thursday, Sept. 1, 5 p.m., DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, Southern Illinois Center Lobby, DuQuoin. Please register to attend by contacting your county Farm Bureau or the IFB president’s office at 1-800-676-3217.


Page 5 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

commodities

Wheat harvest off to slow start; yields encouraging BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Wheat harvest in Illinois is off to a slow start this as rainy weather has limited fieldwork in many areas. Illinois wheat growers as of the first of last week had harvested just 4 percent of the crop compared to the five-year average pace of 23 percent. “Below-normal temperatures and above-normal rain combined to slow fieldwork progress,” the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Illinois field office noted. Precipitation the third week of June averaged 2.64 inches statewide, 1.6 inches above normal, while the temperature averaged 70.5 degrees, 2.3 degrees below normal, NASS reported. Farmers who managed to cut some of their wheat crop in recent weeks generally have been pleased with the results, though, according to Dave DeVore, grain merchandiser with Siemer Milling in Teutopolis. “I’m hearing a lot of (yield averages) between 60 and 70 bushels (per acre),” DeVore said. “And test weights, for the most part, have been (above average at) 59 to 63 pounds.” DeVore also noted vomitoxin levels in wheat samples

so far this season are well below those of recent years. “If we can get it out before too many more rains fall on it, I’m confident the quality of this crop will be very good,” DeVore said. “But we’ve got to get it out first.” Ken Taake, a FarmWeek Cropwatcher from Pulaski County, admitted he was pleasantly surprised with his wheat crop after he almost gave up on it earlier this season. “Quality seems to be good and yields are running much better than we expected,” Taake said. The condition of the Illinois wheat crop last week was rated 56 percent good to excellent, 35 percent fair, and 9 percent poor or very poor. The wheat crop nationwide, however, has been damaged by drought and last week 41 percent was rated poor or very poor. Elsewhere, soybean planting last week was ahead of schedule and nearly complete in Illinois (96 percent was planted compared to the average of 89 percent). Ninety-one percent of the bean crop had emerged compared to the average of 81 percent. The Illinois corn crop last week was rated 68 percent good to excellent, 25 percent fair, and 7 percent poor or very poor.

Settlement offered to women, Hispanics The U.S. government is establishing a claims process to make available $1.33 billion to farmers who alleged discrimination by USDA based on being female or Hispanic. Farmers must prove they were unfairly denied loans and other assistance from USDA between 1981 and 2000. Women or Hispanic farmers who prove discrimination could be awarded as much as $50,000. The proposal comes after the government last fall settled with American Indians and after Congress provided money for a second round of settlements with black farmers. For more information, visit the website {www.farmerclaims.gov} or, to request a claims package, call 888-508-4429.

An ominous sky remained last week after a storm dumped 1.6 inches of rain on this central Edwards County wheat field that was being harvested by Neil Fearn, vice president of the Edwards County Farm Bureau and one of the principals of Oakleaf Farms. Fearn snapped the picture while waiting for the storm to pass. Wheat harvest in the area started last Monday (June 20) with yields ranging from 40 to 60 bushels per acre.


FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, June 27, 2011

CROPWATCHERS Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: This past week brought many black clouds and not all were created equal. Some had downpours of more than an inch at a time, while others produced only sprinkles. I had only 0.2 of an inch total for the week. Other areas had as much as 2 inches. Crops look excellent. Some soybean fields still need sprayed. I checked some 42-inch-tall corn and found no insect problems. A local produce farm has sweet corn tasseling. Second-crop hay is starting to be made. I have a total of 855 GDUs. Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: It was an interesting week. We were able to get some spraying done and finish sidedressing our nitrogen early in the week. We have a lot of spraying left to do, but it is just too wet to think about it. It has rained just about every day. The temperature also has turned colder. The crops are showing signs of the moisture stress. Corn is yellow and stunted in poorly drained areas. Soybeans also are yellow and very slow to grow. The wheat is starting to turn and it will be time to harvest soon. On the weather wish list: sunshine, blue skies, and normal temperatures. Larry Hummel, Dixon, Lee County: What is it about your worst-looking field that keeps drawing you back to it? We have one field in particular that looks rough. Small areas that were water logged and yellow are now large areas with corn in the middle struggling to stay alive. It appears that the later-planted corn is struggling with the excess moisture more than the early plantings that are now chest-high. Even soybeans are struggling with the moisture. It is not as prominent, but soybean height is quite variable from plant to plant and gives the field a ragged look. As I said last week, the majority of the crops look good — it’s just hard to get that image of the fields that are struggling out of my mind. Joe Zumwalt, Warsaw, Hancock County: Continued wet and stormy weather has kept many area producers from fieldwork during the past week. Many fields are in need of spraying or have drowned out holes which need to be replanted. The corn and soybeans both are really showing signs of too much wet weather. The corn has taken on a very yellow tint and the soybeans might actually be growing back into the ground! Wheat harvest is beginning, but I haven’t heard any details. I’m hoping that over the next month, God and Mother Nature realize that this is Western Illinois, not Seattle! Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: I had a couple more inches of rain early in the week. Not much progress was made spraying or making hay, but I hope to finish up spraying corn before it rains again. Several sprayers have been stuck and the wet spots are getting worse. At least the crops are looking better than last year. Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: Field activity was minimal for the week. On June 18, we were able to spray post emergence herbicides on 240 acres, and we have not been back in the field since then. Friday morning a neighbor began sidedressing nitrogen on his later-planted corn. We received a range of 0.6 to 0.9 of an inch of rain on Monday (June 20). The next day we received 0.1 to 0.2 of an inch on our farms. The next couple days were cooler and cloudy with some light showers that were not measureable. Corn in the area is now anywhere from the V-4 to the V-10 growth stage. At V-9, stalk growth will occur rapidly through internode elongation. Corn growth is equal to or even behind where we were in 2009 in our area. Soybean growth ranges from the V-1 growth stage to R-1. The fields that are at the V-5 to V-6 growth stages are now flowering. After a week of volatile markets, the local closing bids for June 23 were: nearby corn, $6.83; new-crop corn, $6.14; nearby soybeans, $13.24; new-crop soybeans, $12.85.

Jacob Streitmatter, Princeville, Peoria County: A week with scattered showers and storms left some with hail and strong wind damage. I received only a couple tenths, but some got inches of rain. The corn has decided to take off and most of it has found nitrogen. Most of the soybeans are growing, but with wet weather they are in desperate need of spraying. I can do without rain for a couple days now. Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: Rained out again last week. Every farm activity from planting to spraying has been rained out this spring. Storms missed our area, but north of here there were reports of high winds and heavy rain. Green snap is an option on your hail insurance for corn, by the way. Farmers are trying to finish spraying corn, as you can see a lot of mud on the roads from coming out of fields. That will probably change when July/August arrives, as last year went from too wet to too dry. Trying to cut and bale hay has not been good this year. Wheat is starting to turn and looking good. Soybeans are really small with the end of June approaching. Markets have come off their highs. Will we see one more uptrend when all the drowned-out acres are counted nationwide? Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: Widely varying rainfall of 0.5 of an inch to 4 inches was accompanied by cooler temperatures this past week. GDUs are at 1,015, allowing corn to get its deep green color and fast growth. Soybeans are in need of good spraying conditions to get weeds under control. Overall, crop conditions are good to excellent. Be sure to send your comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding its burdensome farm truck regulations. Corn, $6.73; fall, $6.06; soybeans, $13.23; fall, $12.72; wheat, $5.99. Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: A terrific weather week for crop development with 0.09 of an inch of rain on June 19; 0.04 on June 20; 0.34 on June 21; and 0.02 on June 23 with late-afternoon light rain squalls. Tuesday evening we experienced 60 mph-plus winds that dropped power to 2,100 Ameren customers in Champaign County and damaged numerous trees. Corn and beans have a nice green color. Farmers are spraying, scouting, mowing, or baling. Wheat is a week away from harvest and is standing well. USDA has our crop reporting district at 24 percent short of topsoil moisture so hopefully rain fell on those dry areas. Our heart goes out to the areas that received the torrential rains and the flood victims in Minot, N.D., and the Missouri Valley. Let’s be careful out there! Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: It was pretty much another damp week around here with the gauge collecting 0.9 of an inch of rain over last Friday and Saturday (June 18-19) and then some showers about every day except Wednesday. So it definitely did not dry out much, and I think the crops could certainly use some more sunshine. Some tried a little fieldwork, but I don’t think anymore beans got seeded and some fields are needing spraying again. Most corn is doing real well and nearing waist-high. Beans that are in the ground are also doing well with good stands. Wheat in the area is really turning fast, maybe too fast for good fill. A little hay has been cut, but it isn’t drying very fast, either. Stay safe wherever you may be. Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: Rain showers were on us and around us all week. We received considerably less rain — only 0.25 of an inch on June 18 — than areas around the farm. Some close neighbors received 2 inches that day. Soybeans are starting to bloom. The cool, wet weather we saw during the week has some worried about fungus. Corn continues to grow well. One Japanese beetle was spotted Thursday in a bean field.

Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: We are at full saturation with more than 8 inches of rain in 11 days plus trace amounts at numerous times. It has left a lot of standing water in the fields and a lot of stress showing up in corn that just had its feet wet too long. But the corn looks good considering what it has been through. It definitely needs drier weather. Those wishing to sidedress have been encountering some major problems. Also, the rapid growth of corn is causing problems with trying to spray post-emergence herbicides. Soybeans definitely need sprayed at this time, but fields are too wet to even walk in, let alone think about getting equipment out in them. Fortunately, with corn and beans there is a large arsenal of herbicides that should be able to remedy that problem. The main concern is just getting some drier weather. Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: Another week of steady progress on Mother Nature’s part, but no progress on the producers’ side of the equation as 2 inches of rain kept sprayers parked most of the week. Even the later-May planted cornfields are almost chest-high by now — not quite a foot shorter than the early-April plantings. Both have big potential that will be determined by the weather the next couple of months. Crop protection dealers are out setting up fungicide application plans, and with the wet, humid weather pattern so far, I’m betting we will see the yellow air tractors make alot of rounds this summer. Since last week’s report, the bean crop growth has accelerated seemingly overnight with many fields quickly closing up their rows. It has been frustrating not being able to get the sprayers out to eradicate the growing weeds. I don’t often get specific with what we do on our own operation but one thing I am very glad we did in this difficult bean spraying year was apply a burndown with residual a head of the bean planter in some of the fields with the idea of combating glyphosate resistance. So far, it has had the added bonus of keeping those fields much cleaner despite the delay of our post application and will be done on all of my bean acres next year. Jimmy Ayers, Rochester, Sangamon County: We had quite a wild weekend June 18-19. Western Sangamon, Morgan and Macoupin counties received extreme rainfall. During the Sangamon County Fair, 6.5 inches of rain fell one evening. Some areas received up to 12 inches in a two-day period. Down around the Auburn and south Sangamon County areas, 8.5 inches fell in a two-day period. At our place, we received a little over 4 inches in a three-day period. Lake Springfield was closed due to debris floating. It was dead moss and everything that was brought to the top. The gates were opened and a bunch of downstream land was flooded and several acres of corn and beans were lost, as well as some acres around New Berlin and Jacksonville. The water plant in Jacksonville was flooded, and flooding in the town is being fought. The crops have had plenty of water. It is starting to dry out a little, and some spraying started on Wednesday in areas that didn’t receive the heavy rainfall. The tallest beans I can report are 16 inches high. We have some corn that is more than 6 feet tall. Corn is really shooting up. Actually, for as cool as it’s been, it is growing tremendously. A lot of fields need sprayed and are finally getting some attention. I don’t know if there will be wheat combined this week, but it is getting pretty close. The few guys who baled some hay got rained on. Doug Uphoff, Shelbyville, Shelby County: It has been cloudy and dreary since June 13, when we were rained out spraying corn. Most corn was sprayed, but most beans are really weedy and it’s been too wet to get sprayers in the field. Some were picking spots they could spray last Thursday. Wheat is getting close, but we need heat and dry conditions to get it cut. We have had 3.1 inches of rain so far this month. Corn is V-5 to V8 and beans V-3 to V-4. We have wet areas in the county that are getting too much rain and is evident by yellow corn and beans. For the most part, crops are looking better than they have for awhile. That may explain why crop prices have went way down last week.


Page 7 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

CROPWATCHERS David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: We received a little less than 3 inches of rain since last report, but there were places in the county that had double that along with hail and strong winds. Ground that is in low-lying areas, in the creek bottoms, and especially the river bottoms caught it on the chin last week. Several acres have been ruined and are still sitting under water. Crops in our area need some warm, dry weather. Wheat producers have started to nose into the wheat, and most are saying it is a little better than they thought. On the other hand, some of the storms and a couple of windy days have caused some wheat to fall out of the head. The corn in our immediate area is looking good and continues to grow at a rapid pace. Soybeans are hanging on and seem to be at a standstill with not very good color. There is a lot of spraying that has to be done in both corn and soybean fields. Grain markets did nothing but plummet last week. Ted Kuebrich, Jerseyville, Jersey County: Jersey County received about 1 inch of rain last week. There are still some beans to plant when the fields dry up. A couple fields of wheat were harvested last week. Also, post spraying of beans is still taking place. Prices at Jersey County Grain, Hardin: cash corn, $6.72; fall corn, $6.13; cash beans, $13.20; fall beans, $12.67; June/July wheat, $6.64. Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: Torrential rains the weekend of June 18 and 19 amounting anywhere from 2 to 8 inches caused flooding of roadways and creeks. Showers moved through the area again on Monday afternoon (June 20) leaving another 0.5 of an inch to 2 inches with strong winds causing damage to trees and buildings. Very little or no fieldwork was done during the week. Wheat harvest is getting close, but all the rain has damaged the crop. Corn and bean fields are showing stress due to the excessive moisture. Some fields are in dire need of post chemical application. Some planting and replanting still needs to be done. This week is expected to be drier and warmer.

Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: Just in time for wheat harvest, the rain came. Since my last report, I’ve received 4.8 inches of rain, stalling wheat harvest for several days. Farmers in the area are concerned about test weight of the grain dropping and leaving deep tracks and ruts in the fields that will make doublecropping soybeans a challenge. Harvest slowly resumed throughout the week with farmers quickly clearing wheat fields before the next predicted rain. We started cutting wheat Thursday evening and the grain was dry, but we have to weigh and grade the load to gain more details. Post herbicide applications in corn and soybeans also have been put on hold waiting for favorable ground travel conditions. Many of the fields were planted later than usual and the crops are still within label requirements, but weed pressure continues to increase with more than adequate moisture and moderate temperatures. Peace of mind would be achieved for the farmers who elect to make this practice part of their crop protection plan. Judging from the ground conditions in our fields, application equipment soon will be able to travel. Local grain bids are: corn, $6.66; soybeans, $13.11; wheat, $6.52. Have a safe and enjoyable week. Rick Corners, Centralia, Jefferson County: What a mess part two. Nearly 4 inches of rain since last report. Yes, I know. I asked for a shower, though. Wheat fields are really muddy. Yields are good, with test weights still hanging in there. Little corn and beans could sure use some dry weather for a week or so. Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: Heavy rains over the weekend of June 18-19 caused some local flooding and slowed wheat harvest. I started harvest on the 23rd and the moisture was 16 percent, but the test weight and quality seemed good for the growing conditions it had. I was surprised that I didn’t make more tracks than I did when I cut my first field. Reports received Friday morning. Expanded crop and weather information available at {www.farmweeknow.com}.

Dean Shields, Murphysboro, Jackson County: After hoping for some rain in my last report, we sure got it. Anywhere from 3 to 4 inches in some spots. I had about 2.7 inches in my area. I needed rain to get some beans up that were lying in dry ground. Now I may have to go back and replant them. Jackson County has a mixed bag of everything. We have corn that is tasseling and corn that is only 6 inches tall. We have a wide range of beans as well because of the localized flooding we’ve had from the Mississippi and the Big Muddy Rivers. But things are coming along OK for the wheat harvest people. Yields seem to be pretty good and so does the quality. They are busy doublecropping them back. We also have started spraying beans trying to keep the waterhemp down. Still have the flooding in the river bottom area that I farm. The Mississippi is still high, so we are unable to open our locks yet. Things are looking up for some other people, though. Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: It was another busy week here in deep Southern Illinois. We did have a nice rain over the weekend of June 1819. We got about 2.5 inches. It was really wonderful for the corn and soybeans. We were really dry. We finished our wheat harvest, and our yields certainly were better than we expected earlier in the year. Wheat had really come on, and it was a really good crop. Corn looks good. It is down to the nitrogen and has a dark green color. It is getting taller now and you can’t see the holes and thin spots from the road. It is not as good as it looks, though, because of those thin spots. Soybeans look pretty spotty. There are a lot of stands that are questionable. With the dry weather, they didn’t come up like we’d hoped. At least with the rain over the past weekend, we planted our double-crop soybeans into plenty of moisture and with that and the warm weather we’ve had, they should emerge quickly. Please take time to be careful during this busy season.

Bean fields without residual herbicide getting ‘ugly’ BY BARRY NASH

Throughout the fall and winter, we dedicated a considerable amount of time with our FS members and growers positioning the need for residual herbicides in soybeans. Not only do residual herbicides provide a solid tool for weed resistance management, but they also make successful weed control achievable. Within the past few weeks, we have traveled throughout much of the state and observed many soybean fields that show a considerable difBarry Nash ference in weed pressure where a residual herbicide was applied vs. those where it was not. Additionally, the weeds that have emerged in the residual herbicide fields are smaller and relatively consistent in size, which should result in successful weed control following a post-emergence application of glyphosate. On the other hand, soybean fields that were not treated with a residual herbicide are becoming quite ugly. Weeds such as common waterhemp, giant ragweed, common lambsquarters and velvetleaf have already exceeded the labeled heights for the lower use rate of glyphosate. Further, most of the morning glory species have

reached the “runner stage” of growth. This refers to the vegetative stage when morning glories begin to vine and are much more difficult to control. Currently, most weed sizes in fields without a residual herbicide range from 4 to 20 or more inches in height. This will not only require a higher rate of glyphosate use, but it also reduces the chances of achieving complete control. Although applying higher rates is the correct strategy, a considerable amount of the herbicide will be intercepted by the larger weeds. As a result, the smaller weeds may not receive enough herbicide to

successfully kill them. Now is the time to thoroughly scout fields and adjust herbicide rates accordingly. Many of the weeds may be nearing or at the labeled height for control with higher rates of glypohsate. Be sure to check the glyphosate product label closely for application rates on larger weeds. Better yet, contact your local FS crop specialist for more detailed information. Barry Nash is GROWMARK’s weed science technical manager. His e-mail address is bnash@growmark.com.

WIU plans organic field day Aug. 3 Steve Groff, a farmer and a cover crop pioneer, will give the keynote address Aug. 3 at Western Illinois University’s (WIU) Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm Field Day on the Roseville farm in southern Warren County. Advance registrations for a morning session and meal are due Aug. 1. The School of Agriculture’s Allison Farm and the nearby Dakin Farm shop are the sites for the annual event. A new partnership with the Illinois Organic Growers Association has resulted in a new morning session at 9:30 a.m. on methods and metrics for soil conservation and stewardship.

A free lunch will be offered at noon. Groff will speak at 12:30 p.m. After the speech, the event will continue with two tours of the Allison Farm. All field day activities, except for the Allison Farm tours, will take place in the Dakin Farm shop. To register by phone, call Carol Elder at the Illinois Organic Growers Association at 217-454-1204 or register online at {http://illinoisorganicgrowers.org/category/community/events}. For more information about the Allison Farm or the field day, contact Joel Gruver at the WIU School of Agriculture at 309-298-1080.


FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, June 27, 2011

New MarketS

Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau growing local agritourism BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Jo Daviess County attracts visitors for its picturesque views, quaint towns, and outdoor recreation. The county Farm Bureau and local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) are working to add agritourism to visitors’ mustdo list. A melding of the county’s top two industries — agriculture and tourism — is a natural, according to Dorian Dickinson, chief operating officer for SotaVenture, a Chicago marketing agency that is working with the county Farm Bureau and CVB. “We strongly feel agritourism development can be a key economic development tool for rural communities,” Dickinson said. The project started with the county Farm Bureau board’s idea to help consumers better understand agriculture

‘We strongly feel agritourism development can be a key economic development tool for rural communities.’ — Dorian Dickinson SotaVenture

through farm visits, explained Annette McLane, the county Farm Bureau manager who also is a member of the CVB board. That idea evolved into the potential for agritourism to diversify farm income by building on the existing tourism industry. The CVB is seeking new experiences to offer tourists, especially those making return visits, McLane added. Several agritourism project components are under way. County Farm Bureau members are being surveyed about

the amount and type of tourism with which they are involved and their interest in providing agritourism. Survey results are expected by the end of July. A new website {www.discoverjodaviesscounty.org} is to premiere this week, and plans are being made for Chicago-area families to blog about their Jo Daviess County experiences, including farm visits, according to McLane. “So many people in Chicago don’t have access to farms, so this is a great opportunity,” Dickinson said.

He envisioned visitors’ farm experiences ranging from picking fruits and vegetables to watching cows being milked to learning about the grape varieties grown in local vineyards. The agritourism project got a boost two weeks ago when Katherine Walker became the CVB’s new executive director. Walker had experience with

agritourism from her previous post in Macomb. There she integrated theater, photography, and agriculture. Other locations and county Farm Bureaus also have potential to build on agritourism, according to Walker. “If you have a convention and visitors bureau, reach out and see what’s going on,” she advised.

Illinois gains tourism dollars Illinois received $29.3 billion from tourism in 2010, an increase of $2.2 billion compared to the previous year, officials with the Illinois Office of Tourism reported last week. Those dollars were spent by nearly 84.7 million visitors, up by 5.2 percent, to locations around the state. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity counts overnight stays and doesn’t differentiate between in-state and out-of-state visitors or the type of tourism experience. The tourism industry supported 287,500 jobs in the state last year. Jan Kemmerling with the state tourism office noted tourists made a substantial economic impact by spending more than $80 million each day in Illinois last year.

Free screening available for resistant waterhemp The University of Illinois is offering to screen waterhemp samples for pesticide resistance. The Illinois Soybean Association is providing funding for the 2011 growing season to test Illinois waterhemp samples for resistance to glyphosate, PPO inhibitors, and ALS inhibitors. Aaron Hager, U of I Extension weed specialist, offered tips to help farmers recognize potential glyphosate-resistant waterhemp populations that survive an application. He said farmers must make certain an appropriate rate of glyphosate (plus proper adjuvants) was applied at the appropriate weed growth stage, and that weather conditions during and after application were conducive for glyphosate activity. Also, be certain plants that survived the glyphosate application are next to plants that were controlled, and the field has a history of glyphosate use. Waterhemp samples should be collected after a glyphosate application, according to Pat Tranel, U of I weed science professor. He recommended selecting five surviving waterhemp plants after a glyphosate application. To collect a sample, remove the top inch or two

(containing young, newly emerged, healthy leaves) from each plant and seal each plant inside a separate, sandwichsized Ziploc bag. Seal those bags in an envelope and send by overnight delivery to Dr. Chance Riggins, 320 ERML, 1201 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801. Ideally, samples should be sent the same day they are collected, Tranel said. If necessary, samples may be stored for a day or two in a refrigerator, but not in a freezer, before they are mailed. Along with the samples, farmers need to include their contact information, any details about the history of herbicide use in the field, and the field location (global positioning satellite coordinates if possible) and the county where the field is located). The service is free, but a turn-around time cannot be guaranteed. Because of the testing method used, a “sensitive” result does not rule out the possibility that the plant may be resistant by a different mechanism than those for which tests were conducted. The names associated with and the exact location of the samples will not be made available to anyone without the farmer’s permission.


Page 9 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek


FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, June 27, 2011

trade

Lesher: Trade helps economies do what they do best BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) Executive Director William Lesher sees pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama contributing not only to increased U.S. exports but to a more economically and environmentally sustainable global food production system. The three FTAs are locked in debate over funding for U.S. workers “displaced” by trade. Lesher argues bilateral market expansion helps create complementary rather than competing trade flows and more resource-efficient production. Illinois Farm Bureau Senior Commodities Director Tamara Nelsen notes developing regions “can’t raise corn the way we raise corn.” By helping nations foster sales of highervalue “native” crops and more efficiently produce domestic staples such as manioc or cassava, the U.S. can reduce competitive pressure on corn and soybean exports, Nelsen suggested. “If you have freer trade globally, then, in fact, those countries are going to grow the things they grow best,” Lesher told FarmWeek. “You look at the free trade agreement with Korea — it’s a winwin for both the U.S. and Korea. “We can produce things

like beef better than they can, more efficiently. They can do some things better. When you make that trade, it’s called comparative advantage. “When you have that kind of robust trading system, the size of the total pie is bigger than it otherwise would be, so you’re producing more with the same amount of inputs.” At the same time, the House proposes reducing

fiscal 2012 funding for Food for Peace food assistance programs by nearly a third and trimming $19 million from the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, which supports global school feeding programs. Jim Hershey, executive director with the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, noted congressional exploration of a possible new emergency “reserve” that would preserve funding for Food for Peace and related programs, but with a new “development agenda.” That could include “food for work” programs which pay workers for local infrastructure improvements or a focus on mother-child health that can translate to improved economic productivity and “a growing market for us,” Hershey said. He stressed “you don’t do that by slashing everybody’s

funding.” Hershey nonetheless is encouraged that U.S. officials recognize the long-term ramifications of global engagement. “The internationally oriented agencies — the State Department, the (U.S. Agency for International Development), the (USDA) Foreign Ag Service — are starting to address food security as an

economic and a national security issue as well as a humanitarian one,” Hershey told FarmWeek. “Because of the food crises of ’08 — and people are talking about 2011 being in the same category, with price hikes and people getting less food for the money they spend on food — these things are having a ripple effect

throughout governments and economies. “Our investment in pregnant or lactating women’s health and their children’s health after breast-feeding is a long-term investment in more than just humanitarian issues. And so Food for Peace becomes one of the tools in the U.S. government’s foreign policy toolkit.”

Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) board member and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Committee ISA representative Pat Dumoulin eyes U.S.-produced ingredients used by a “VitaCereal” processor in Guatemala City. The nutritionally rich product is aimed at improving prenatal health and early childhood nutrition. (Photo courtesy of WISHH)

Link between aid, trade narrowing around globe American producers remain in a prime position to feed the world in time of crisis or need. Some view it as a humanitarian imperative, a gesture of global goodwill. But in the long term, it also can prove an investment in global market development. Amid accelerated world economic and income growth, the path “from aid to trade” appears to be growing shorter, according to Jim Hershey, executive director with the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH). Further, “depending on the country, you can have both aid and trade in virtually the same products,” Hershey told FarmWeek. WISHH helps meet protein needs and fosters soy-based economic development in underor malnourished regions such as Guatemala, where some dietary problems are more severe even than in Haiti. Hershey noted stunting — “chronic under-nutrition” related to child development problems — is a serious issue for rural Guatemalans. Stunting has been linked to protein deficiencies, and he cited estimates it may physically and/or mentally affect 70 percent of children under 5 in some parts of the Central American nation. The U.S. thus is providing funding under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program (see accompanying story) to help the non-

profit Asociacion Share Guatemala bring U.S.-produced corn-soy blend into Guatemala. “On a parallel track, there are companies in Guatemala currently making corn-soy blend,” Hershey said. “They’re buying the ingredients — corn and soy flour or in some cases whole soybeans — from the U.S. “They’re making corn-soy blend for use in food aid programs funded by other entities — the Taiwanese government, for example, or even the European Union. There’s local manufacturing going on, local employment, and it’s still trade in U.S. commodities.” In fact, U.S. product is helping build on one of the country’s more popular middle-class pantry staples: Incaparina, a high-protein breakfast food containing corn and soy protein and developed roughly a half-century ago by the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama. Hershey reported Incaparina has become an “aspirational food” for poor Guatemalans amid rising nutritional awareness. “Everybody knows that if you want your kid to be strong and healthy and satisfied as he or she walks out the door in the morning to school, you need to give (him or her) a bowl of Incaparina,” he said. “It’s a commercial product also made with U.S. corn and soy. That’s pure trade.” — Martin Ross


Page 11 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

productioN

Hog and pig numbers up; prices appear profitable economist at Purdue University, who noted swine weights may increase in coming months due to a recent reduc-

from $6.60 to $6.75 per bushel compared to previous estimates it could climb to $8, The inventory of all hogs will allow pork producers to and pigs in the U.S. increased show a profit of in the most about $6 per recent quarter this year as producers ‘It’s really a remarkable increase in far- head and $7 per head set a record for efficiency. r ow i n g e f f i c i e n c y t h e l a s t s eve ra l in 2012. The econoUSDA in years.’ mist projected its quarterly hog prices, on a hogs and pigs report — Daniel Vaught national lean basis, will averreleased FriVaught Future Insights age $89 to $93 day reported the number of pigs saved per tion in crop/feed prices. litter for the first time ever The larger inventory “will surpassed 10 with an average influence nearby futures a little of 10.03, up 2 percent from more, with some weakness,” last year. Hurt continued. “But there’s “It’s really a remarkable probably some strength in the increase in farrowing efficienwinter futures and next cy the last several years,” spring.” Daniel Vaught, analyst with The hog market in future Vaught Future Insights, said during a Friday teleconference months likely will be supported by a drop in swine numhosted by the National Pork bers. Board. “It shows producers USDA on Friday reported are really working hard on intended farrowings (2.87 milhusbandry practices.” lion sows) for the summer Overall, the inventory of quarter are down 3 percent hogs and pigs in the U.S. as of June 1 totaled 65 million head, from last year. Meanwhile, farrowings for up nearly 1 percent from last September through November year and up 2 percent from were projected at 2.85 million last quarter. The breeding inventory (5.8 sows, down 1 percent from a year ago. million head) and market hog Hurt projected the combiinventory (59.2 million head) nation of a smaller swine also were up slightly from a herd in coming months and a year ago. moderation of corn prices, “We have somewhat more inventory,” said Chris Hurt, ag which he projected to range BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

GAP workshop to focus on farm food safety practices A Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) workshop on food safety will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 20 in Westchester. It will be hosted by the University of Illinois Extension. “The workshop presents strategies for controlling potential contamination before planting and throughout all phases of planting, production, harvesting, and postharvest handling,” said Nancy Pollard, U of I Extension Cook County horticulture educator. The workshop sessions would be beneficial for fruit and vegetable growers, farmers’ market vendors, and non-profit organizations that grow food. Presenters will discuss what pathogens contaminate food, how contamination occurs, personal hygiene, water quality, record keeping, and how to mitigate risks in the event of a food-borne disease outbreak. “At the end of the one-day GAPs training, participants should know what an audit for food safety entails and also how to write a food safety plan. The long-term goal is to increase Illinois produce (food) competitiveness in the market,” said James Theuri, Kankakee County Extension educator. The fee is $30 per person, which includes a GAP resource notebook and lunch. The workshop will be at the U of I Extension Enterprise Center, 2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501, Westchester, IL 60154. To register online, go to {http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cook/}. For more information or to register by phone, call 708-679-6889. The workshop is partially funded by a USDA Enhancing Food Safety Grant from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

FarmWeekNow.com Visit FarmWeekNow.com. for complete details on the latest hogs and pigs report.

per hundredweight in the third quarter and $81 to $85 in the fourth quarter.

“Feed prices are a big part of the profitability equation,” Hurt added. “We’ve seen substantially higher hog prices (this year), and right now I’m showing it will give some profitability to the industry.” Corn prices late last week continued a recent downtrend and traded limit-down.

U of I Monmouth Research Center sets 30th field day The University of Illinois’s Northwest Research Center, Monmouth, will have its 30th annual field day July 20. Tour presentations will begin at 8 a.m., with the last tour departing at 9 a.m. Each tour will take about two hours. U of I department of crop sciences speakers and their topics will be: Emerson Nafziger, tillage in corn production; Carl Bradley, how to avoid developing resistance to foliar fungicides in corn and soybeans; and Brian Diers, comparisons of old and new soybean varieties. Dave Voegtlin, retired entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, will discuss the changing biology of the soybean aphid, resistant lines, and seed treatments. Refreshments will be served. The research center is about a mile north and four miles west of the intersection of Highways 34 and 67 on the north side of Monmouth. For more information, contact the research center at 309734-7459 or e-mail mljhnsn2@illinois.edu or adee@illinois.edu.


FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, June 27, 2011

ag iN the classroom

Fishing contest added to Southern Illinois ag ed fundraiser BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Calling all fishermen. You have an opportunity to show your skills, compete for prizes — and raise money for Agriculture in the Classroom programs in Randolph and Perry counties. For the first time, a bass contest will join the annual sporting clays competition to raise money for agriculture literacy. The Pull and Cast for Agriculture Education will be July 24 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in

Sparta. The early registration deadline is July 11. “This (fishing tournament) is something we’ve added to put an extra spin on it. It is new to have a Farm Bureau fishing tournament,” said Randolph County Farm Bureau President Jack McCormick, the event committee chairman. The early registration fee for the sporting clays competition is $50 per person for participants older than 18 and increases to $60 after the deadline. The registration fee is $30 per person for those 18 and younger. The early registration fee is $120 per boat for the fishing tournament and $130 after the

FarmWeekNow.com Register online for the upcoming Pull and Cast for Ag Education at FarmWeekNow.com.

deadline. A maximum of 35 boats with two-person teams may compete. Boats are limited to a maximum of 10-horsepower motors. Registration for the fishing tournament will start at 5 a.m., followed by a pre-launch meeting at 5:15 a.m. with fishing to start at 5:30 a.m. The weigh-in will be at noon. Registration for the sporting clays contest will start at 7 a.m. with the course opening at 7:30 a.m. All competitors

must be on the course at 1:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., a shootout will be held for those 18 and younger and another for other competitors. Overall, more than $4,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, according to Ryan Ford, Randolph County Farm Bureau manager. Gateway FS and Southern FS will award the winning team of fishermen $1,000. The second place team will receive $600 and other placings will garner lesser prizes.

An additional $250 bonus will be awarded for the heaviest bass. Sponsored by Buyafarm.com, the youth shootout will award $350 for first place and $150 for second place. Gateway FS and Southern FS also are sponsoring prizes for the other shootout. The winner will receive $500 and the second place contestant will receive $250. To register online, go to {www.rcfb.org} or call Ford at 618-443-4511.

Illinois Farm Families launches program The Illinois Farm Families (IFF) coalition — commodity groups for beef, corn, soybeans, pork, and Farm Bureau — kicks into a higher gear for summer by bringing a national program, “Farmers Feed Us,” to Illinois. The program will launch July 5. “Farmers Feed Us” is a sweepstakes contest that runs for 90 days, through Oct. 2. Two grand prizes of free groceries for a year ($5,000) will be offered. Participants must visit the website {www.farmersfeedus.org} for a chance to win the free groceries and other prizes. The launch is a publicity activity to begin a long-running series of events for the IFF coalition. IFF activities seek a dialogue between farmers and consumers about farmers and farming. County Market stores, with 33 Illinois locations, will be the retail partner for this promotion. Print, radio, and television ads for Farmers Feed Us are scheduled to run in July. The ads will feature five farm families that raise the coalition commodities, plus dairy. Ads will run both in the Chicago area and downstate. Featured farm families are: Ron and Deb Moore, soybean farmers from Roseville; Brent and Kathy Scholl, pork farmers from Polo; Dave and Linda Drendel, dairy farmers from Hampshire; Mike and Lynn Martz, beef producers from Maple Park; and Steve and Elizabeth Ruh, corn farmers from Sugar Grove.


Page 13 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

from the counties

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ROWN — Brown and Schuyler County Farm Bureaus will sponsor a Summer Ag Institute July 21-22. Teachers may receive 14 continuing professional development units. Cost is $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 217-322-4353 or 217-773-2634 for more information. Deadline to return applications is Thursday. DGAR — The Edgar County Farm Bureau Foundation golf outing will be at 11:45 a.m. Friday, July 22, at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Paris. Proceeds will benefit scholarships and Ag in the Classroom programs. Call the Farm Bureau office at 217-465-8511 for reservations or more information. • The Edgar County Fair will be July 24-30. Farm Bureau will sponsor the annual Ag Olympics at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 25, at the grandstand. Age groups are: 3 to 6 years old; 7 to 9 years old; 10 to 13 years old; 14 to 17 years old; 18 to 25 years old; and 26 and older. Call the Farm Bureau office at 217-465-8511 for more information. • There are seats available for the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game Sunday, July 31, in St. Louis. Cost is $90. The bus will leave the former Kmart parking lot at 8 a.m. Call the Farm Bureau office for reservations or more information.

AYETTE — Farm Bureau will sponsor a bus trip July 19-20 to the Fayette County, Kentucky, Farm Bureau to exchange ideas and share fellowship. Stops will include the Louisville Slugger bat factory, a Fayette County tobacco farm, a Kentucky member’s horse farm, and two bourbon distillers which use Illinois corn. Seats are limited. Call the Farm Bureau office at 618283-3276 for more information. ALLATIN — Farm Bureau will sponsor a legislative luncheon at noon Monday, July 11, at Ridgway Park, Ridgway. A ribeye steak lunch will be served. Legislators, state staff, and local leaders will attend. Call the Farm Bureau office at 618-272-3531 by 3 p.m. Thursday, July 7, for reservations or more information. ASON — The annual all-member picnic will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, at Samuell Park, Easton. Cost is $2. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday. Call 309543-4451 or e-mail masonfb@casscomm.com for reservations or more information. ONROE — Farm Bureau will sponsor a bus trip Friday, Aug. 12, to see “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Muny, St. Louis. Cost is $35. Deadline for reservations is July 15. Mail a check to Monroe Coun-

Auction Calendar

IL. Buy A Farm. buyafarm.com Sat., July 9. 10 a.m. Guns and Sporting Auction. SHANNON, IL. Jim Calhoun, Auctioneer. www.calhounauction.com Tues., July 12. 10 a.m. 437.96 +/Ac. Ford and Champaign Co.’s. Clark/Warnick Farm and Marvel Norton Farm, PAXTON, IL. Wallace Land Co. www.wallaceland.com Thurs., July 14. 10 a.m. 337.5 +/Ac. Champaign Co. Arbuckle Farm, MAHOMET, IL. Wallace Land Co. www.wallaceland.com Fri., July 15. 9 a.m. Consignment Auction. TREMONT, IL. Cal Kaufman and Brent Schmidgall, Auctioneers. calkaufmanauction.com or brentschmidgallauction.com Sat., July 16. 1 p.m. Real Estate and Personal Property Auction. Kenneth Rients Estate, MINONK, IL. Schmidgall Auction Service, Inc. www.schmidgallauctions.com Sat., July 16. 10 a.m. 166.06 +/Ac. DeWitt Co. Agnes Dawson Trust. Wallace Land Co. www.wallaceland.com Mon., July 18. 10 a.m. Bureau Co. Farmland Auction. W.P. Gross Farm, MENDOTA, IL. Joe McConville, Marty McConville and Dick McConville, Auctioneers. www.mcconvillerealty.com Tues., July 19. Ag Eq. Consignment Auction. Taylor and Martin Real Estate/Ag Sales, LLC. www.tmras.com Fri., July 22. 10 a.m. Champaign Co. Land Auction. Martha Lubben Estate, ST. JOSEPH, IL. Jim Clingan Auction and Realty. www.jimclingnan.com

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Mon., June 27. 10 a.m. Inventory Reduction. McLean Imp., Inc., INDIANAPOLIS, IN. Ted Everett, Kurt Everett and Jeremy Edwards, Auctioneers. tedeverett.com Mon., June 27. 7 p.m. Country Real Estate and Land Auction. Ewing Seaton, EDINBURG, IL. Cory Craig, Auctioneer. www.corycraig.com Wed., June 29. 6 p.m. Hunting Paradise and Tillable Farmground. Robert and Amy Smith, CHARLESTON, IL. Stanfield Auction Co. Wed., June 29. 10 a.m. Boone Co. Land Auction. Farmers National Company. www.farmersnational.com Mon., July 4. 10 a.m. Car, Truck, Tractor, Skidsteer, Mowers and Guns. Gervace Law Est., MT. CARROLL, IL. Jim Calhoun, Auctioneer. www.calhounauction.com Thurs., July 7. 10 a.m. Farm Eq. Auction. Ron and Linda McCuan, LINCOLN, IL. Mike Maske Auction Service. Thurs., July 7. 10 a.m. 405.37 Ac. MOL. Ronald Senica Family & Trust, LASALLE, IL. Dick McConville, Marty McConville and Joe McConville, Auctioneers. www.mcconvillerealty.com Sat., July 9. 10 a.m. Land Auction. R. Joseph Graham, ATLANTA, IL. Jerry Watkins Auction Team. watkinsauctionteam.com Sat., July 9. 10 a.m. McLean Co. Farmland. Rodger VanOpdorp and Eileen VanZerzeele, CHENOA, IL. Terry Wilkey Auction Service. www.terrywilkey.com Sat., July 9. 10 a.m. Macoupin Co. Land Auction. CARLINVILLE,

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ty Farm Bureau, PO Box 129, Waterloo, Ill., 62298 or bring it to the office. Call the Farm Bureau office at 618-939-6197 for more information. EORIA — A pennycress informational meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. Friday at the Farm Bureau auditorium. The latest research on pennycress from USDA and Western Illinois University will be given. Contracting opportunities with Pennycress Partners Inc. will be discussed. Call the Farm Bureau office at 309-686-7070 for more information. • Deadline to order Michigan blueberries is Friday, July 15. Cost is $20 for a fivepound container and $20 for a 10-pound container. Delivery to the Farm Bureau office will be Thursday, July 21. ICHLAND — Farm Bureau and Olney Public Library will sponsor a summer reading program at 2 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the library. The children will read and do a short activity about George Washington. Registration is free to the first 20 children who register at the Farm Bureau office or library.

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• Farm Bureau will sponsor a bus trip Tuesday, Aug. 30, to the Farm Progress Show. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Deadline for reservations is Saturday. Call the Farm Bureau office at 618-393-4116 for reservations or more information. CHUYLER — Brown and Schuyler County Farm Bureaus will sponsor a Summer Ag Institute July 2122. Teachers may receive 14 continuing professional development units. Cost is $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 217-322-4353 or 217-773-2634 for more information. Deadline to return applications is Thursday. • Farm Bureau and the Rushville-Industry FFA will sponsor the annual used oil collection from 8 to 11 a.m. Friday, July 8, at the Rushville Two Rivers FS warehouse parking lot, and at 11:30 a.m. at the Camden Two Rivers FS. Those who have storage tanks with oil that cannot be moved may call 217-322-4353 to have the oil picked up. All proceeds for the collection will

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go to the Rushville-Industry FFA programs. ABASH — The Edwards and Wabash County Farm Bureaus will sponsor a summer market outlook meeting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hogg Heaven, Mt. Carmel. Breakfast will be served. Brooks York and Kerri Sykes, Commodity Marketing Services, will be the speakers. Call the Farm Bureau offices at 4452113 or 262-5865 for reservations or more information. AYNE — The Young Leader golf scramble will be at noon Saturday, July 30, at the Wayne County Golf Course, Fairfield. Cost is $50, which includes golf, cart, dinner, and prizes. A hole-in-one contest winner will receive a John Deere Gator XUV 825i. Register online at www.waynecfb.com/golfscramble.html}.

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“From the counties” items are submitted by county Farm Bureau managers. If you have an event or activity open to all members, contact your county Farm Bureau manager.


FarmWeek Page 14 Monday, June 27, 2011

proFitability

Cattlemen concerned about regulatory pressure New IBA president wants more members

any new regulations from affecting our producers.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently released a YouTube video titled

“Overregulation All Across the Nation” to voice concerns about potential regulations. NCBA and its state affiliates are concerned new regulations

could affect the ability of cattlemen to stay in business. “One day (EPA) Administrator (Lisa) Jackson says it’s a ‘myth’ that EPA is going to propose a rule to regulate dust at new levels,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs. “And the next day her staff finalizes final policy assessment leaving the door open for a new dust rule.” IBA as part of its membership push will focus on young farmers. The association has a new initiative to form a young producers beef council in Illinois.

BY DOUG DEFILIPPO

hope everyone is OK?” That’s caring. But did you stop to render aid or assistance? That’s “actively caring.” Geller writes of having the courage to step up and help, or maybe even just saying something. To have courage, we don’t need to have special abilities or qualities. As Doug DeFilippo Geller discusses, having compassion for others, a commitment to others, and a competence with our knowledge and abilities gives one the courage to actively care. If you saw your child mowing the lawn with no shoes,

you’d stop him or her and demand appropriate footwear be worn. But would you say something to the neighbor kid not wearing shoes? Don’t we have a moral responsibility to help others avoid danger regardless of our relationship with them? Shouldn’t seeing someone at risk activate a moral responsibility to correct them, to help them? Thoughts can run through our heads like: “People don’t want us in their business” or “I guess if he’s willing to accept the risk, it’s on his head.” But we know how sick we’d feel later if we hear of the neighbor child losing a foot in a lawn mowing accident. Now it’s on your head. Let’s take actively caring to

‘We need to keep any new

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Jeff Beasley, new president of the Illinois Beef Association (IBA), believes there is strength in numbers. He, therefore, plans to round up cattle producers around the state and build IBA membership during his term. “One of my main efforts will be to increase membership,” Beasley told FarmWeek last

FarmWeekNow.com View the NCBA video on its concerns over regulatory pressures at FarmWeekNow.com.

week at IBA’s summer conference at Western Illinois University in Macomb. “I feel there are a lot of untapped, potential members out there who would be a valuable resource for us.” IBA membership from 2008 to 2010 increased by about 3 percent. But greater participation could help IBA and other farm organizations deal with mounting regulatory pressure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly has considered regulating everything on farms from dust to greenhouse gas emissions. “It’s a constant battle,” Beasley said. “We need to keep

regulations from affecting our producers.’ — Jeff Beasley Illinois Beef Association president

I am amazed at the generosity and compassion we Americans show when a disaster occurs, either here or abroad. Be it an earthquake, tornado, flooding, fires, or tsunami, we give generously of our time, materials, and money to help others. In his book, “The Courage Factor,” Dr. E. Scott Geller, safety advocate and author, coins the phrase “actively caring.” That occurs when we see something scary, frightening, or wrong, and then follow through by doing something about it. Do we have it within ourselves to do something when the moment demands it? Have you ever driven past an accident and thought “I

Feeder pig prices reported to USDA* Weight 10 lbs. 40 lbs. 50 lbs. Receipts

Range Per Head Weighted Ave. Price $12.00-$45.72 $33.84 $37.00-$66.91 $46.41 n/a n/a This Week Last Week 25,138 22,340 *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) (Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week $100.42 $92.82 $74.31 $68.69

Change 7.60 5.62

USDA five-state area slaughter cattle price Steers Heifers

This week 111.00 112.01

the workplace also. If you see someone operating a grinder or drill without safety glasses, do you let them continue? Or do you stop them and ask them to put on eye protection? Again, how will you feel if you don’t say something and later hear your co-worker suffered the loss of an eye? You have the knowledge to work safely and the competence to do the job safely. Do you also have the compassion, the commitment, the courage to “actively care” for your coworkers and customers when you see them in danger?

Do people have the ability to ‘actively care’?

M A R K E T FA C T S

Carcass Live

“If we get young producers more involved, then they’ll be more ready to get involved on the state board and in decisionmaking,” Beasley said. Beasley and his father, Dale, and Bruce Hosmon, run a diversified beef cattle operation near Creal Springs in Williamson County. Alan Adams, a beef producer from Sandwich, is IBA’s new vice president. The leaders were elected last week at IBA’s annual meeting in Macomb, which was held during the summer conference.

(Thursday’s price) Prev. week Change 108.71 2.29 108.20 3.81

CME feeder cattle index — 600-800 Lbs. This is a composite price of feeder cattle transactions in 27 states. (Prices $ per hundredweight) Prev. week Change 124.58 5.50

This week 130.08

Lamb prices Slaughter Prices - Negotiated, Live, wooled and shorn 110-160 lbs. for 169.17-212.43 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 195.99); dressed, no sales reported.

Export inspections (Million bushels)

Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 6-17-11 4.2 20.9 43.0 6-09-11 7.7 24.8 35.4 Last year 9.3 13.7 29.5 Season total 1409.2 53.9 1417.9 Previous season total 1362.3 36.3 1452.3 USDA projected total 1540 1295 1900 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

Doug DeFilippo is GROWMARK’s safety services manager. His e-mail address is ddefilippo@growmark.com.

Have gasoline, oil prices peaked for season? Farmers and other consumers finally may see some price relief at the pump after a major run-up in fuel and oil prices this past spring. The average price of regular gasoline and diesel fuel declined slightly last week and remained below the $4-per-gallon mark. The national average price of gas the first of last week was $3.65 per gallon while diesel averaged $3.95 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average prices, while down slightly from the previous week, still were up 91 cents per gallon for gas and 99 cents per gallon for diesel compared to the same time last year. The good news is EIA in its short-term energy outlook report released this month projected the monthly average price for gasoline will decline after peaking in May at $3.91 per gallon. The energy agency subsequently lowered its projection for the average gasoline price for the summer driving season by 6 cents per gallon. The bad news is the current average gas price estimate for summer ($3.75 per gallon) still is substantially higher than last

year’s average summer price of $2.76 per gallon. “Refinery outages and disruptions in distribution, caused by the flooding of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, temporarily counterbalanced the impact of lower crude oil prices,” EIA stated in its report. “Gasoline prices have been falling as the refinery situation has begun to recover.” Crude oil prices since a lateApril peak have declined by about 10 percent. However, EIA still expects the oil market to tighten in 2012 due to demand growth around the world and limited

growth in crude oil production in non-OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) regions. OPEC’s secretary general this month tried to calm fears of another oil price spike, similar to 2008 when the price of crude gushed to $147 per barrel, as he noted OPEC currently has nearly 5 million barrels a day of additional production capacity. That would be good for the U.S. as it imports the majority of its petroleum needs. The U.S. in 2009 imported 11.7 million barrels of the 18.8 million barrels of oil it consumed per day, according to EIA — Daniel Grant


Page 15 Monday, June 27, 2011 FarmWeek

PROFITABILITY Corn Strategy

C AS H ST RAT E GI S T

Acreage uncertainty will persist On June 30, USDA will release its acreage report, offering the first insight into what the size of this year’s crops might be. But because of late planting and flood issues, acreage uncertainty will persist until the August crop report is released. We are not even sure the July 12 crop report will accurately pick up changes for hard red spring and durum wheat planted in the Northern Plains. In March, USDA projected 92.2 million acres would be planted to corn, 76.6 million to soybeans, 14.4 million to hard red spring wheat, and 12.3 million to cotton. But since then, we had the slowest planting since 1993, flooding on the lower Mississippi River, persistent rains in the Northern Plains, drought in the Southern Plains, and now flooding on the Missouri River. Even with the uncertainty surrounding the numbers USDA will release on June 30, they still offer a good starting point to make projections from simply because the data collection process for the June USDA report is so extensive. Generally, the trade attitude about acreage has coalesced around the numbers USDA used to project production on the June supply/demand report. In that report, USDA lowered the corn planting number to 90.7 million acres, but left the soybean planting unchanged from the March projections. However, the trade seems to think soybean plantings will be a little smaller than USDA currently is projecting, along with

ideas that spring wheat planting, both hard red and durum, will be smaller. USDA does not break out wheat acreages in their supply/demand estimates, but did lower the allwheat planting number by 200,000 acres. But going forward after the report, the uncertainty will lie more with harvested acreage numbers than planting numbers. That’s not to say the planting numbers may not change, but the harvested acreage probably will change the most primarily because of flooding along the Missouri River. The Missouri River flooding is more serious than the earlier flooding along the lower Mississippi. Some early estimates had more than 2 million acres being lost on the lower Mississippi, but because it was early, there was still time to plant land after the flood receded. The latest numbers we have seen suggest 500,000 acres at most might have been lost. The latest, and maybe the best, estimates for Missouri flooding we’ve seen suggest losses could be as high as 500,000 acres each for corn and soybeans. But with the flood waters having just recently inundated land, it’s still difficult to foresee how extensive the losses might be. Additionally, one cannot yet identify how much flooding will occur along tributaries feeding the Missouri River. It’s possible for supply elements to support individual markets into summer, acreage as well as yield. But demand attributes appear to be weakening. And the investment community is no longer interested in anything that has risk. So if any market does rally on supply news, gains may be fleeting and not well supported.

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Cents per bu.

ü2010 crop: If you want to carry risk, it’s better to do it in new crop than old. But if you still have old corn, wait for July to rebound to $7 to price it. Given this break, and possible transportation problems in the West, forward cash sales may be better than hedge-toarrive (HTA) contracts. ü2011 crop: Chicago December futures might have put in a short-term low with the break to $6.20. Wait for a rebound to $6.60 to $6.80 to make catch-up sales. HTAs for fall/early winter delivery are the best tool for sales. vFundamentals: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed corn ethanol use for next year at 13.2 billion gallons. That’s below the 13.5-billion-gallon total expected this year. There are increasing signs of wheat feeding in the U.S., as well as in other countries. And, economic signs increasingly point to sluggish economies. Short term, the grains stocks and planting reports will dominate the trade.

Soybean Strategy

ü2010 crop: Outside influences are dominating the day-to-day trade. But unless there’s a huge surprise on the grain stocks report, old-crop inventories will be large enough to get to the new crop. Use rallies to $13.40 on August futures to complete sales. ü2011 crop: Acreage uncertainty continues to maintain some risk premium for now. But early condition ratings are good, and weather suggests they will get better. Use rallies to $13.50 on November futures to make catch-up sales. vFundamentals: Other than acreage uncertainty, there’s little to support soybean prices, especially if corn prices would drop lower. The crop is mostly off to a good start. Rains in the midsouth should boost double-crop plantings. Long-range weather forecasts for summer still look promising for this year’s crop. And even though

export sales are ahead of last year, the pace of new business is well behind last year’s.

Wheat Strategy

ü2011 crop: A combination of seasonal weakness and outside markets is pulling prices lower. The Chicago September contract penetrated $6.50 support, opening the door for a drop to $6. Once this liquidation ends, there should be a good rebound. Plan to increase sales up to 65 percent on the next major rally. We prefer HTA contracts for winter delivery if you have the capability to store wheat

because the carry is so large. vFundamentals: Harvest in the Southern Plains and midsouth continues to make steady progress. The most recent report indicted 31 percent of the crop has been taken out. Yield reports have been variable, but overall, yields are coming in better than expected considering the less than ideal growing conditions. The recent break in prices appears to be stirring up some export business. Weekly export sales were better than expected. And Egypt has become a more active buyer.


FarmWeek Page 16 Monday, June 27, 2011

perspectives

Cartoonists find humor in insects, entomologists

Major storms, losses on increase The last six months have seen several major damaging storms in the U.S. The December-February period had seven major winter storms, each causing more than $100 million in property damage and taking 187 lives. Then spring brought extremely damaging tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri — and now Massachusetts. They caused 328 lives to be lost. The spring also has experienced very damaging floods to agriculture and towns. Floods have occurred on the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers with levels the highest on record. In Illinois, three winter storms were classed as catastrophes, which are defined by losses greater than $1 million. This was the fifth winter with extremes that caused more than STANLEY $100 million in damage and the CHANGNON only time since 1950 that five consecutive costly winters have occurred in Illinois. Data on storm catastrophes were used to assess the time differences in their frequency and losses as related to hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. Catastrophe loss data have been collected by the insurance industry since 1949, and insurance experts have adjusted these data to make past losses comparable to 2010 conditions. These storm data for 1950-2010 were assessed to define the time distributions of storms in each class. There were 909 catastrophes and they caused $328 billion in losses. During this 61-year period, 78 hurricane catastrophes occurred causing losses of $148.7 billion. There were 248 catastrophic winter storms causing $45.9 billion in losses. Thunderstorm catastrophes, a result of hail, lightning, high winds, and heavy rains, occurred 499 times and produced losses totaling $124.1 billion. Tornadoes produced 84 catastrophes with losses totaling $17.8 billion. The Midwest had 204 catastrophes and losses totaling $102 billion, values ranking as second highest in the nation. The southern High Plains had more catastrophes and the Southeast had more losses as a result of huge hurricane losses. In the Midwest, thunderstorm events had an

upward time trend between 1950 and 2010, but the other three storms types had flat time trends. This valuable national data set, containing the occurrences of all storm catastrophes and events causing $1 million or more in losses, was used to assess the temporal distributions of the nation’s four major storm types including thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms. Assessment of the national annual number of catastrophes between 1950 and 2010 revealed three types had a peak during 19942010. They were hurricanes, thunderstorms, and winter storms. Thunderstorm catastrophes had a statistically significant upward linear time trend for 1950-2005. Assessment of the national losses created by the catastrophes revealed that losses created by hurricanes and by thunderstorms were the largest, $148 billion and $124 billion, respectively. Losses due to hurricanes and thunderstorms each had upward time trends for 1950-2010, while losses from winter storms and tornadoes did not increase over time. Studies of hurricane frequencies and intensities in the U.S. reveal no increases over time. These studies concluded that increases in hurricane losses in the southeastern U.S. were due to a growth in population, structures, and wealth in the storm-prone coastal regions. Climate change due to global warming also is expected to increase hurricane intensities. The upward trend over time in the frequency of thunderstorm catastrophes also is in agreement with trends in population density, wealth, insurance coverage, and inflation. However, the temporal increases in heavy rain days, hail days, high winds, and floods indicate temporal shifts in atmospheric conditions that create convective activity were responsible. The increases in certain storm types and their losses cannot be attributed to climate change caused by human-induced global warming. The climate always is fluctuating, warm to cool to warm, and wet to dry to wet. Furthermore, societal changes are clearly a major cause of the increased severe losses in Illinois and the U.S. Stanley Changnon is chief emeritus of the Illinois State Water Survey and a geography professor at the University of Illinois.

A cartoonist is a person who creates cartoons. Cartoons, both single and multiple-panel creations, are designed to be humorous. The cartoonist often is inspired by foibles of human nature. Those foibles are expressed through words and actions of cartoon charTOM which acters, TURPIN can be human or animal. Sometimes cartoon characters have both human and animal characteristics, such as animals that walk upright on two legs and talk. Many times both human and animal characters are included in the same cartoon. Garfield the cat and his owner, Jon, are an example of humans and animals sharing the same comic strip. Some cartoonists have used insects either as characters or as a foil for their humor. Jim Davis, a native of Grant County, Ind., and the creator of “Garfield,” is one example. In one cartoon strip, Garfield is watching TV and hears, “Someday insects will rule the earth.” Garfield zooms away and appears in the last panel wearing insect antennae, which prompts Jon to ask, “What now?” Garfield answers, “Going with the flow, slave boy.” This is Davis’ take on the overwhelming success of insects in the ecology of the earth and the suggestion that they are the dominant organisms. Of course, fear of insects and other arthropods is always good for a laugh in cartoons. Garfield has had a longstanding feud with spiders. In most instances the spider ends

up getting smacked by Garfield, who is armed with a rolled-up newspaper. Garfield is just modeling the general, though unfounded, fear that most people have for spiders! Even Walt Disney used insects to inject humor into his comic strips. In a “Donald Duck” cartoon strip, Donald is depicted as being bothered by a fly, which prompts Donald to call a pest control company. The pest control company ended up finding termites and ants. Donald ended up with a big pest-control bill. The final panel shows a disgusted Donald with the fly still buzzing around his head. Insects were a mainstay of “The Far Side” cartoon created by Gary Larson. In these cartoons, the insect characters were depicted in biologically relevant situations, such as a praying mantid female pointing out to her brood that before most of them are grown they will have been eaten. Or mocking humans with a female insect driving a car adorned with one of those yellow triangular signs with the phrase, “Maggot on Board.” Gary Larson also included entomologists in “The Far Side” renderings. In most instances, “The Far Side” entomologists were depicted with short pants, tall boots, and pith helmets on their heads. Of course, most cartoon entomologists, including those in “The Far Side,” also had a butterfly net in hand. As cartoonists have shown for years, there is humor in almost everything, including insects and entomologists. It is sometimes good to be able to laugh at yourself! Tom Turpin is a professor of entomology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. His e-mail address is turpin@purdue.edu.

“Do you have any duck tape?”

FarmWeek June 27 2011  

FarmWeek June 27 2011

FarmWeek June 27 2011  

FarmWeek June 27 2011

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