Page 1

A niche dairy business has allowed a young farmer to carry on a four-generation tradition. page 5

Peach lovers, never fear! Despite winter damage, Illinois growers will soon have fruit to sell. page 11

USDA sees binbusting crops for the season, yielding an outlook that’s pressuring prices. page 8

WRRDA on the books

Obama signs waterways bill

Monday, June 16, 2014


Two sections Volume 42, No. 24


Seven years in the making, President Barack Obama last week signed a bill authorizing improvements to the nation’s waterways infrastructure. The bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), estimated to cost $12.3 billion over the next 10 years, “will put Americans to work modernizing our water infrastructure and restoring some of our most vital ecosystems,” President Obama said. “As more of the world’s cargo is transported on these massive ships, we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got bridges high enough and ports that are big enough to hold them and accommodate them so that our businesses can keep selling goods made in America to the rest of the world,” he said. Agricultural groups, including Illinois Farm Bureau, applauded the bill’s final approval but acknowledged that the work isn’t over. “The greater challenge is the appropriations — finding dollars to get it done,” IFB President Rich Guebert Jr. told FarmWeek. “We will be lobbying for those dollars and

Renee Sheaffer Koster collects eggs and checks on her poultr y flock on the family’s operation, Windsweep Farm near Dixon. In addition to raw milk, customers at the farm can also buy eggs and cuts of beef, pork and lamb. Read more about Koster’s fourth-generation farm on page 5. (Photo by Ken Kashian)

IDOA, IEPA share state nutrient loss reduction strategy See WRRDA, page 2


Periodicals: Time Valued

Illinois based its plan to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorous going into rivers, lakes and streams on science and input from many sectors, two state agency officials told

the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable last week. “The next biggest step is working together,” said Marcia Willhite, water bureau chief for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Willhite and Warren Goetsch, IlliMarcia Willhite nois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) bureau chief of environmental programs, discussed the proposed Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and some nutrient targets. The document will be released in mid-July for a 30-day public comment period. “We have science behind this strategy,” Goetsch said. Mark David, University of Illinois biogeochemistry profes-

sor, assessed nutrient runoff and contributions around the state. Willhite and Goetsch described differences in nutrient contributions and sources in different regions. Nearly equal proportions of excess phosWarren Goetsch phorous come from single identifiable sources, known as point sources, and agriculture, according to Willhite. In comparison, agriculture contributes about 82 percent of excess nitrogen, while wastewater treatment plants and other urban point sources supply 16 percent and urban runoff adds 2 percent. Scientific assessment strengthened the strategy to

FarmWeek on the web:

focus on the most important areas to have the most impact and largest reduction, Goetsch said. Urban nitrogen reductions would target highly populated northeast Illinois, while tiledrained areas of central Illinois would be the focus for agricultural nitrogen contributions, according to Goetsch. Agricultural phosphorous contributions occur more frequently in areas with rolling typography. Goetsch commented the state may want to “reinvigorate its T by 2000 program” to reduce soil erosion to tolerable or T levels. Municipalities recommended larger communities provide a “nutrient feasibility plan of what I can do at my (wastewater) plant,” Willhite reported. A national hypoxia task force assigned Illinois an eventual target of a 45 percent

reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous loads going into the Mississippi River. The state strategy includes an interim target to reduce nitrogen by 15 percent and phosphorous by 25 percent by 2025. After reviewing the input from next month’s comment period, the state plans to sub-

More Roundtable coverage on page 3

mit its reduction strategy to U.S. EPA in September. Illinois will track implementation of strategic actions, such as implementation of ag conservation practices, and report every two years on progress, Willhite said. “There will be education and outreach ... and all kinds of activities,” Goetsch said. “The document is intended to be a living document and a road map to meeting targets in the future.”

Illinois Farm Bureau on the web: ®

Quick Takes


FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, June 16, 2014

FSA ISSUES PHONE SCAM ALERT — USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants farmers to be aware of a phone scam regarding disaster assistance funds. The caller identifies himself as a farm loan services representative out of Washington, D.C., and states that FSA “owes” you disaster assistance funds. The caller proceeds to request your checking account information or requests a credit card number, alleging that funds will be credited to these accounts. FSA officials urged farmers not to provide any personal or financial information to the caller under any circumstances.

ELLIOTT JOINS NCGA BOARD — Rob Elliott, a Warren County farmer, has been elected first vice president of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board. He takes office Oct. 1. “I realize farmers face many challenges right now as threats to the Renewable Fuel Standard abound and misinformation about our industry permeates public perception,” said Elliott. “I look forward to working with our grower leadership over the coming years to find innovative, impactful ways to not only meet these challenges but also seize the opportunities certain to come.” Elliott farms with brothers, Rick and Dan, as well as his 91-year-old father, four grown children and their families, and a nephew. Farming for 36 years, he also runs a seed business. Elliott holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Illinois State University, Normal. He and his wife, Stephanie, have four children: Erik, Jared, Robbie and Gina. On the national level, Elliott co-chaired the Commodity Classic Committee for 2014 and serves as vice chair of the NASCAR Advisory Committee.

BLACK BEAR SEEN IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS — Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller encouraged northwest Illinois residents not to approach a black bear that was seen in several locations, including Galena, Genoa, Rockford and Belvidere. Currently, black bears are not protected under state law. Newly passed legislation adds black bears, gray wolves and mountain lions to the list of protected wildlife in Illinois. Even when signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, the law wouldn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, Miller noted. “Once the new law takes effect, the Illinois DNR will have the exclusive statutory authority to manage these animals in Illinois,” Miller said.

DISCUSSION MEET DEADLINE JULY 23 — A safety net for livestock producers, balancing food insecurity with environmental impact of farming and encouraging Farm Bureau membership growth and involvement. Those comprise some of the topics for upcoming Young Leaders discussion meets. Associate Young Leader members can also compete at the district and state levels. Sign up by July 23 at { get-involved/young-leaders.aspx}.

Buis: ‘We’re going to win this’ BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, urged ethanol producers last week to keep fighting. “We all know it’s a fight that’s bitter. It’s a fight that’s tough. And it’s a fight that won’t let up,” Buis said. “But it’s a fight over market share, plain and simple ... We’re going to win this.” Buis, keynote speaker of the 30th annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Indianapolis, outlined several challenges facing the industry. He called Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to reduce the volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) a “super wake-up call for our industry.” He hears “a rumor a day, at least” about when EPA plans to publish the final rule. “I sincerely think they all want to get rid of the issue, but I also think they understand they made a mistake,” Buis said. “They were wrong on the information they used to prepare the rule. They were wrong on consumption. They were wrong on the methodology by using the blend wall as a rationale for lowering it.” “The methodology is the most key component,” he said. “If they stick with the methodology of the blend wall, we’re forever at the mercy of our competitors in oil on how much we can produce going forward.” He also described EPA’s draft rule aimed at reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted


by power plants as inconsistent. “They are going forward with reducing stationary sources of carbon and ignoring the only mandatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the RFS,” he said. “They’re backsliding. Hypocrisy in Washington is not a sin. It’s a fine art. A lot of people practice that very well.” He urged people to get involved in the fight, joining groups such as Fuels America. Illinois Farm Bureau got involved in the fight earlier this year via a call to action in which members made nearly 700 phone calls and comments to the White House and EPA opposing the proposed rule. IFB, on behalf of its more than 400,000 members, also submitted a six-page letter to EPA, urging the president and his administration “go back to the drawing board to write a new 2014 RFS rule.” IFB continues to work with Illinois stakeholders on the issue. “When you see those candidates, ask them how they stand on our issues. Ask them to make a commitment,” Buis said. “Oftentimes what they’ll tell you is ‘Well, you know some friends are for the RFS, and some are against. And I’m with my friends.’ You can’t let them get away with that.” Participants of another panel discussion agreed the fight against the oil industry must continue. “If we relax, we will get run over,” said Neal Jakel, general manager for Illinois River Energy. “There’s no doubt about that.”

world market.” Continued from page 1 The Senate approved the different projects. I think we have the support of our con- conference report for HR 3080 on a 91-7 vote. The gressmen and our two senaHouse voted 412-4. Congress tors. They know the imporlast reauthorized water infratance of it.” structure Guelegislabert said tion in WRRDA 2007. includes Illinois Farm Bureau leaders Gary IFB-suplobbied for passage of WRRDA. Hudson, ported president proviof the sions, Illinois Corn Growers Assoincluding the change in ciation, said Obama’s signafinancing for the Olmsted ture brings the country “one Lock and Dam project and a step closer.” public-private partnership “We’re one step closer to program. In addition, he said, WRRDA “improves our abili- working on our locks and dams, getting them upgraded ty to be competitive in a

and becoming an exporter again,” Hudson said. “Problem is: We’re not sure how we’re going to get them funded.” U.S. waterways transport 60 percent of the nation’s export-bound grain and supply American farmers with fertilizer for planting season, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The ports, channels, locks, dams and other infrastructure that support our waterways transportation are vital to America’s ability to provide affordable agricultural products at home and abroad,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

Diving into WRRDA (ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 42 No. 24 June 16, 2014 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 goes toward the production of FarmWeek. “Farm, Family, Food” is used under license of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation.

Address subscription and advertising questions to FarmWeek, P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61702-2901. Periodicals postage paid at Bloomington, Illinois, and at an additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send change of address notices on Form 3579 to FarmWeek, P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61702-2901. Farm Bureau members should send change of addresses to their local county Farm Bureau. © 2014 Illinois Agricultural Association

STAFF Editor Chris Anderson ( Legislative Affairs Editor Kay Shipman ( Agricultural Affairs Editor Deana Stroisch ( Senior Commodities Editor Daniel Grant ( Editorial Assistant Margie Fraley ( Business Production Manager Bob Standard ( Advertising Sales Manager Richard Verdery ( Classified sales coordinator Nan Fannin ( Director of News and Communications Michael L. Orso Advertising Sales Representatives Hurst and Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061 1-800-397-8908 (advertising inquiries only) Gary White - Northern Illinois Doug McDaniel - Southern Illinois Editorial phone number: 309-557-2239 Classified advertising: 309-557-3155 Display advertising: 1-800-676-2353

Highlights of WRRDA include: • Change in financing for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project. The Inland Waterways Trust Fund would finance only 15 percent of the project’s costs, freeing up money for other projects. Federal government support would increase from 50 percent to 85 percent. The bill also requires the U.S. Corps of Engineers to submit annual financing plans for any inland navigation project that costs more than $500 million. • Public-private partnership program. The pilot program would explore public-private partnerships to pay for previously authorized projects. The program is based on legislation introduced by Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Cheri Bustos, DEast Moline, and Sens. Dick Durbin, DSpringfield, and Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park. • Increased funding for harbor maintenance. The proposal increases the amount

of money generated by the Harbor Maintenance Tax each year for harbor maintenance and dredging. By the year 2025, 100 percent of the funds generated by the tax will be used for that purpose versus half the funds currently used. • Mississippi River Basin study. The bill authorizes a study to evaluate how the basin functions and how it should be managed, especially during times of severe flooding and drought. It also creates an environmental management pilot program for the middle Mississippi River. It was based on a bill Durbin authored and introduced with Davis and Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville. • Accelerates the planning process and streamlines environmental reviews. WRRDA limits most Corps studies to three years and caps the federal cost of them at $3 million. Currently, no limit exists for either.


Page 3 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek

Hanlin: Combined efforts chance ‘to move the needle’

USDA seeks collaboration and innovation to tackle major natural resource issues, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) assistant chief told Illinois agriculture leaders last week in Bloomington. Kirk Hanlin, a HanKirk Hanlin cock County native and Western Illinois University graduate, gave the Illinois Agricultural Legislative

Roundtable an update on farm bill programs, especially the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). He quipped his plans included relaxing on the deck of his Nauvoo home. “Producers in Illinois have stepped up to the plate and prevented soil and nutrient losses,” Hanlin said. “We’re proving voluntary conservation works and can move the needle.” Hanlin pointed to Illinois farmers and landowners who enrolled land in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and developed conservation plans and

Opportunities exist for farmers to learn and participate in nutrient management initiatives and research, according to Lauren Lurkins, Illinois Farm Bureau director of natural and environmental resources. Lurkins disLauren Lurkins cussed activities within Illinois to enhance nutrient management during the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable last week in Bloomington. The state soon will unveil a proposed strategy to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous losses. IFB and other agricultural groups will educate their members about opportunities to comment on the strategy next month, she said. Rather than start from ground zero, Illinois will build on existing conservation and

natural resource programs and “reinvigorate” voluntary conservation and voluntary nutrient management, Lurkins said. Farmers are finding some programs in specific watersheds. For example, a threeyear program began to reduce nitrogen levels in Lake Springfield. Cover crop initiatives, overseen by the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, rely on regional specialists to work with farmers who want to try growing cover crops. Those specialists also will work with community colleges to develop networks of cover crop expertise. Farmers also participate in on-farm research and trials funded by the Nutrient Research and Education Council with money generated from a fertilizer assessment. “This (nutrient reduction) problem is huge and now everybody has an opportunity to address the problem,” Lurkins said. — Kay Shipman


Farmers finding opportunities to enhance nutrient management

Illinois Renewable Energy Conference slated July 16

Biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy will be discussed at the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 16 in Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center, Normal. The early registration deadline is July 9. Conference general sessions will feature topics applicable to all areas of renewable energy. Separate breakout sessions will offer subjects specifically for biomass, wind, solar or geothermal energy. More than 35 speakers will provide important details on renewable energy policy, technology and case studies from around the state. The conference is sponsored by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University, Cultural Resource Analysts and Invenergy LLC. Early registration fee is $50, including lunch and continental breakfast at the event. After July 9, the rate increases to $70. For a detailed agenda and to register online, visit {Renew}. For questions, please email Renew or call 309-438-7919.

restored wetlands. NRCS nationwide will continue to invest in ongoing projects through a streamlined offering that combined 23 programs into 13. “It makes it easier for farm-

View Kay Shipman’s video interviews with Kirk Hanlin and Lauren Lurkins at

ers and ranchers to know what program fits them,” Hanlin said. “Our folks will continue (offering) normal conservation programs on top of new ones.”

RCPP, for example, combines the attributes of NRCS’ main conservation programs, while letting local conservation partners propose projects they deem important, he explained. Two of eight critical areas, the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes, include Illinois, he pointed out. Along with the partners’ financial and technical assistance contributions for projects, NRCS also wants outof-the box proposals. “We’ll award the most innovative projects that gain the most” conservation benefits,” Hanlin said.

Looking at the mix of ag industry, academia and government representatives in his audience, Hanlin noted those entities need to continue sharing information. “Think of this as venture conservation,” he told leaders. NRCS is investing “a lot of seed money out there. “For Illinois, this is an exciting opportunity. I’ve seen what can be accomplished, and I know we can do that in Illinois,” he continued. “We hope people look big picture at a landscape you want to attack and move the needle,” Hanlin said.


John Lee, far right, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois director of safety, health and environmental services, describes safety training with ropes and harnesses to Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert Jr., second from left, and other participants of the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable last week. Representatives of agriculture organizations, government, academia and agribusiness discussed issues before touring the Asmark Agricenter’s grain and agrichemical training facilities near Bloomington. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Bayer taking holistic approach from the growers to retailers A corporation that develops seeds, crop protection and pest control products rubbed shoulders with major food processors and retailers at FMI Connect, a national food retail show last week in Chicago. By understanding the needs and concerns of food processors and retailers, Bayer CropScience better understands the needs of growers’ customers and shares that with farmers and growers as part of its food chain partnerships, Elton Baldy, Bayer CropScience’s U.S. food chain manager, told FarmWeek. Baldy illustrated with a recent example of Bayer’s partnership with beverage companies to solve a prob-

lem of citrus greening, a disease that struck U.S. citrus growers, especially in Florida. Beyond chemical products, the focus includes sustainability and promising treatments that are economically viable and “socially involved” for growers, Baldy said. “A key element is developing close relationships with external and internal customers,” he noted. Working with its direct farm customers includes efforts to help them raise more produce with less waste, said Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience horticulture strategic business management lead. “The growers produce a

high quality crop to extend the shelf life,” Schrick said, adding that food processors are aware of that effort. Another Bayer effort continues to provide outreach to beekeepers and growers addressing the loss and health of bees and other pollinators. “We’re working hard to bring science into the discussion and the true scientific causation” of any pollinator issues, Schrick said. Pollinators play a critical role in agriculture and “we want to improve their health and help those who bring pollinators to the growers,” Schrick said. Recently, Bayer trained 350 employees on bee health and research, Baldy added. — Kay Shipman


FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, June 16, 2014


Stallman: EPA ‘misleading’ about effects of proposal BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Jared Finegan, Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Chair, interacts with Illinois FFA members attending their 86th state convention last week in Springfield. IFB Young Leaders and Collegiate Farm Bureau members hosted a booth at the convention. Information about phases of Farm Bureau membership reinforced the booth theme, “Plant Your Potential: Grow With Us.” (Photo by Liz Koehler)

Clinton uses farming to promote diplomacy

remarks before later news of House Majority Leader Eric CanHillary Clinton tucked comtor’s primary loss in Virginia, ments about farming among her which could have a negative observations of global issues and impact on reform passage. Canpolitics when she addressed about tor helped lead immigration 4,000 people attending a national reform efforts in the House. food retail conference and trade The former first lady told the show last week in Chicago’s crowd she knew they are “in the McCormick Place. middle of a debate of how to The former Secretary of feed kids healthy food.” State’s subjects ranged from globShe raised a question of how al security issues to the country’s the government could give more need for support “for political people who leadership fruits ‘I believe in immigration grow and from and vegetareform.’ child obebles when we sity to subsidize oth— Hillary Clinton er crops that workforce Former Secretary of State training don’t go in programs. lunch boxes.” Clinton frequently raised foodThe nation needs to make related issues to her audience rep- “hard choices” related to stanresenting the Food Marketing dards for healthy school lunches Institute and United Fresh Proand not default to old practices, duce Association. saying, “It’s too expensive to serve Clinton’s response to a queshealthy food,” Clinton noted. tion about her views on immigraThe former New York senator tion reform received applause touted her personal efforts to from the crowd of food procespromote her state’s farm products sors and retailers. in the Capitol. “I spent a lot of “I know how important a time working for agriculture,” she steady supply of workers is for added. agriculture and I believe in immiClinton explained her practice gration reform,” she said. of “food diplomacy” during her She characterized immigration tenure in the State Department reform as a bipartisan comproand as the first lady. The menus mise and “the best opportunity showcased American food. “We for immigration reform this year.” had an opportunity to promote However, Clinton delivered her products around the world.”


Testifying before a House committee last week, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “deliberately misleading” people about the proposed rule defining waters of the United States. “If more people knew how regulators could use the proposed rule to require permits for common activities on dry land or penalize landowners for not getting them, they would be outraged,” Stallman said. He called the rule the “broadest expansion of regulatory control over land use and private property ever attempted by a federal agency.” Also last week, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a 91-day extension of the proposed rule comment period. The new deadline: October 20. The 3 1/2 hour hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee included testimony from representatives of local governments and home builders. EPA’s Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe and Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of

the Army for Civil Works, also testified. Darcy said the proposed rule makes determining which bodies of water are Bob Stallman considered waters of the United States “less complicated and more efficient.” House committee members questioned EPA and the Corps about whether certain situations would require a permit. Under the proposed rule, most seasonal and rain-dependent streams and wetlands near rivers and streams would be protected under the Clean Water Act. Other types of waters may be protected, if a case-specific analysis shows they have a “significant nexus” — either alone or in combination with similarly situated “other waters” — to a traditional navigable water, interstate water or territorial seas. Perciasepe said the proposed rule doesn’t apply to “whole flood plains, backyards, wet spots or puddles.” He also said draining a pond doesn’t require a permit. “What we’ve tried to do in our proposal is make it clear that ditches that are built on

land that is normally dry and somebody puts a ditch through it to drain it from rain or some other wet event and it’s got water in it sometime — that these are not covered, no matter what,” Perciasepe said in response to a question from Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark. Crawford responded: “Here’s the problem I have with that. Ultimately, that ditch is designed to drain water ... At some point, it drains into a body of water that is regulated and then therefore becomes regulated. Is that not correct?” Perciasepe said: “If you just look at the definition of significant nexus, you might start getting into those kinds of thoughts. So, what we did in the rule-making is we specifically, by rule, are excluding those — no matter whether they meet a test or not. I think that’s a key important factor.” Stallman isn’t buying it. “EPA says the rule does not cover ditches,” he said. “Well, EPA has said a lot of things and its statement about ditches is simply not true.” For more information watch a video of Lauren Lurkins, Illinois Farm Bureau natural and environmental resources director, in the “Video” section of FarmWeek

House passes Section 179 expensing BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a handful of tax extenders, including permanent Section 179 expense deductions for small businesses. HR 4457 passed by a vote of 274-144. Illinois Farm Bureau supports Section 179 expense deductions at the $500,000 level. Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureau director of national legislation and policy development, said the strong House vote “keeps the momentum going toward some action by Congress by

the end of the year.” Nielsen predicted that temporary — not permanent — tax extenders will ultimately pass. Tax extenders remain on hold in the Senate. A bill to revive the extenders failed to clear a procedural hurdle in May. Section 179 small business expense deductions are among dozens of tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The deduction limit was set at $250,000 in 2008 and 2009 and at $500,000 from 2010-13. It dropped to $25,000 this year and will remain at that level unless Congress acts.

Get ready to recycle plastic agchem contain-

Got empty agrichemical containers on your farm? Save them for one of 30 July recycling collection events. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), the collections will turn plastic containers into chips used to make pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other products. “This program offers farmers a convenient opportunity to dispose of empty pesticide containers and demonstrate their environmental stewardship,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider

said. “I would encourage them to gather any containers they may have been planning to throw in the garbage and take them to the nearest collection site.” Metal and household pesticide containers are not eligible for the recycling program. Collection sites will accept only high-density polyethylene, No. 2 plastic, clean and dry agrichemical containers. Participants should rinse containers and remove all caps, labels, booklets and foil seals.

Partners in the collection effort include Illinois Farm Bureau, GROWMARK Inc., Agriculture Container Recycling Council, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, Container Services Network and University of Illinois Extension. Visit the IDOA website at { chemical-containers-2014/} to find a collection site and date. To obtain a free brochure about the program, call IDOA at 1-800-641-3934.


Page 5 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek

Lee County farmer finds niche in dairy industry BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Renee Sheaffer Koster, 27, always wanted to milk cows. She comes from a long line of dairy farmers. Her great grandfather purchased the current Lee County farm in the 1930s. So when Koster’s father, Leonard, sold the dairy herd in the 1990s, she knew she likely would have to find a niche to continue the family’s dairy tradition in the Dixon area. “When I was younger and interested in dairy, my dad couldn’t encourage me to get started in the dairy business,” Koster, a Lee County Farm Bureau member, told FarmWeek. “We didn’t have the money to invest to replace existing buildings and old equipment, and we didn’t want to milk 100 cows. “My dad said I’d have to get big, get a niche or get out,” she continued. “So, I got a niche.” Koster joined 4-H and enrolled in the dairy cattle project and started milking cows and selling extra raw milk. She also earned a degree in animal science/dairy from the University of Wisconsin — Platteville. Fourteen years after purchasing her first 4-H calf, the project morphed into a full-


Renee Sheaffer Koster, left, and her father, Leonard, right, pose on their Lee County farm with a Brown Swiss dairy cow. Koster maintains her family’s dairy tradition, which dates back to the 1930s, by carving out a niche selling raw milk from the farm. The father-daughter partners have a herd of about 130 dairy and beef cattle. (Photo by Ken Kashian)

flung farming operation. The farm, named Windsweep Farm by Koster’s grandfather, Harold Sheaffer, currently features a herd of 130 dairy and beef cattle along with hogs, layer and broiler chickens, sheep and goats. Most of Koster’s farm products are direct-marketed to consumers. In fact, the niche of raw milk sales and locally grown meat was critical for Koster to carve out a career in production ag.

“It all started with the dairy,” she said. “I had too much milk to sell privately, so I started raising bottle calves with the extra milk and selling beef. Then, I had too much milk for the number of calves I could handle, so I started raising milk-fed pork.” Customers at Windsweep Farm currently purchase raw milk and also buy eggs, cuts of beef, pork or lamb. Koster and her father are partners in the beef operation. Leonard also

grows 240 acres of row crops and the father-daughter partners make all the hay for the livestock. Raw milk sales are somewhat controversial, though, in Illinois and other states. Alleged raw milk safety concerns spurred proposed regulations and raw milk bans that threaten to shut down raw milk dairies. Potential regulations concern Koster. Leonard served on the State Health Department’s dairy

June Dairy Month

Celebrate June Dairy Month with a quick-and-easy dish from the St. Louis District Dairy Council. The Cheesy Egg Scrambler could serve as a breakfast, lunch or dinner item. Top off your meal with a piece of S’mores Ice Cream Cake. Monica Nyman, St. Louis District Dairy Council registered dietician, says her two sons love helping make the delicious, refreshing treat.

Cheesy Egg Scrambler

Ingredients: 1/2 whole wheat pita bread 2 large egg whites 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mild Cheddar cheese

Directions: Toast pita; set aside. Spray small skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat 20 to 30 seconds. Scramble egg whites and cheese in preheated skillet until egg whites are set and cheese is melted. Fill pita pocket with eggs and cheese; serve.

Tip: Kick up the flavor with zesty jalapeño or Monterey Jack cheese, or add chopped mushrooms, onions or green peppers to egg whites before scrambling.

Nutritional info: Makes one serving. Contains 150 calories, 6 grams total fat, 20 percent of daily calcium and 16 grams protein.

S’mores Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients: 1 box of brownie mix Ingredients to make brownie mix according to package 1.5 quarts ice cream, any flavor 1 cup marshmallow cream 1 tablespoon water 4 to 5 cups of mini-marshmallows Topping: 5 Graham crackers Hot fudge

Directions: Prepare brownie layer according to box in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Preheat oven and bake according to box instructions. Let brownies cool. Remove ice cream from the freezer to let soften slightly to make the ice cream spreadable. Spread ice cream over the brownie layer. In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup of marshmallow cream with 1 tablespoon of water and stir in 3 cups of marshmallows. Spread over the ice cream layer. Sprinkle remaining marshmallows over the top and freeze until the ice cream is hard (about 6 hours or overnight). Optional: Toast marshmallows in your oven on broiler setting for 2 minutes prior to serving. Serve with hot fudge topping and graham crackers. Enjoy!

work group committee. “The (proposed) regulations are above and beyond what Grade A dairy farms have to meet,” Koster said. “A number of the rules listed in the regulations would be impossible even for current Grade A dairies to pass. “We (on the dairy committee) have done a lot of research looking into illnesses that the state is worried about and we can’t find evidence (of raw milk safety issues),” Leonard noted. In fact, Koster’s customers believe raw milk has health benefits and improves the digestibility of cow’s milk. “My customers are my inspectors,” she said. “They come to the farm to pick up milk and can look at everything. If they don’t like it or have a problem with the milk, they won’t come back.” The young dairy farmer, though, remains optimistic about the future. “I am happy to farm and people are happy to get what I raise, meet the farmer who grows their food and see where their food is raised,” Koster added. “As long as those things are important to people and as long as people keep eating, I think agriculture has a bright future.”

Exemption for hauling livestock, poultry OK’d

Truck drivers hauling livestock and poultry received a one-year exemption from an hours-of-service rule. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials granted the reprieve, which had been requested by American Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of livestock and poultry organizations. The regulation requires truck drivers to take a 30minute rest break after eight hours of service. For drivers transporting livestock and poultry, the hours of service included loading and unloading animals. Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government, said the rule will apply only to longhaul drivers. Illinois farmers don’t typically travel long distances to reach a slaughter facility/market. “It might have more impact on the shipment of feeder stock — such as calves coming in from out west or the shipment of breeding stock that often is long range,” said Rund. “Those farmers who do make those longer trips with livestock will benefit from this reprieve.” When a vehicle stops moving, internal trailer temperatures rapidly increase due to loss of airflow though the trailer and heat production from the animals, particularly in summer months. The heat issue comprised the main reason AFBF and livestock groups requested the 30minute rest break exemption for drivers transporting livestock.   “This is an important development for the food-animal industry, particularly the pork industry” said National Pork Producers Council President Howard Hill, a veterinarian and Iowa pork producer. “Pigs don’t sweat, so we can’t have them sitting on a truck for 30 minutes in the height of summer. We recognize the need for our drivers to be safe on the road, and we’re pleased that DOT recognized the rule presented an animal welfare issue for us.”

FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, June 16, 2014 Bernie Walsh, Durand, Winnebago County: We have been getting more timely rains, which are great for the corn and beans, but not so good for the guys trying to make their first cutting of hay. We had anywhere from .2 to .6 of an inch of rain last Saturday night and from .5 inches to 1.2 inches of rain on Tuesday morning. Lots of spraying and sidedressing of nitrogen are the main jobs this week. We are still waiting for the rootworm hatch, but no sign of them yet. We have just about enough GDDs for that to happen, so it won’t be long. Have a good week. Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: Cloudy, drizzly days produced .5 of an inch of rain. Many fields of hay got wet. Corn is at that stage of rapid growth, and the roots are finding nitrogen for that dark green color. Spraying continues before the crop gets too tall. Soybeans have emerged and stands look fairly good. Oats are heading out. We have a total of 773 growing degree units for the season. Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: Last week, we had really good spraying weather. The days were warm and the winds were calm. The corn is already knee high. We completed all the post-season spraying of corn herbicide. Sidedressing nitrogen is also complete. Beans are growing and will soon need to be sprayed to control weeds. We received 2 inches of rain, so it will take a few days to dry the soils. Larry Hummel, Dixon, Lee County: Getting 2.5 inches of rain for the week will go a long way for this year’s crops. A lot of cornfields were looking pretty ragged with uneven height and roots that were struggling to find nitrogen. Plant height will remain uneven, but by Wednesday the corn was turning dark green. No-till soybeans are starting to get enough size so you can at least see the field is planted. We replanted one, 38-acre field of soybeans. The soybeans germinated but struggled with emergence, so we have sent samples in to check for diseases. Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: We had a couple of rains amounting to just under an inch. Post corn spraying and sidedressing is wrapping up with the rapid corn growth. Soybeans are looking good for the most part. The culprit in last week’s corn dump was proven to be a common house fly on a new touch screen. Ron Moore, Roseville, Warren County: We received another 2.1 inches of rain since my last report. That puts this area at 3.5 to 6 inches of rain depending on the location. Tile lines have started to run half full and the grass has shown great improvement. Streams are full for the cattle on pasture. The corn is now knee to thigh high and a dark green color. Some soybeans have been sprayed and the rest need a few days of drying out so they can be sprayed. The rain has also allowed the weeds to germinate and start growing. I did get my hay mowed. More rain in the forecast for this week. We will see if mowing was the right decision. Tim Green, Wyoming, Stark County: A nice week. Total rainfall was in the 2-plus inches range. Definitely helped our subsoil moisture. The tiles are just barely starting to run. A little bit of post spraying corn to be done yet. Bean fields are starting to look a little ragged. The beans just don’t have that good color the corn does. The growth posts south of town have corn at about 2.5 feet tall. Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: Rain last week has delayed field activity. Some have nitrogen to finish up. There has been water standing in a few spots. Three years ago, we received 7 inches of rain in June and hardly none in July-August. It hasn’t been good weather to get hay cut and baled. Corn and soybeans are growing as the weeks fly by. Markets are in a downward trend.

Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: Field activity was limited to two days over the last week. We were able to sidedress nitrogen on Saturday (June 7) and Monday (June 9). An inch or more of rain on Sunday and again on Tuesday kept us out of the field the rest of the week. Our farms received a range of 1.95 to 2.55 inches of rain. We need one full day to finish up the nitrogen application, which we hope to be able to do before the corn gets too tall for our applicator. The range in corn development is anywhere from V1 to V8 with most of the corn between V6 and V8. The earliest planted soybean fields have reached the V5 growth stage, while most fields are in the V1 to V4 range. Local closing prices for June 12 were $4.25 for nearby corn, $4.10 for new-crop corn, $14.30 for nearby soybeans, and $11.81 for new-crop soybeans. Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: 2014 continues its great start with crop ratings at alltime highs. Comparisons to 2012 are being made by fear mongers. They forget that we went into that year with no subsoil moisture, whereas the subsoil is fully charged for this growing season. Root development is phenomenal. GDUs are at the 30-year average. This was Flag Week. Be thankful we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Corn, $4.43; new corn, $4.22; soybeans, $14.22; new soybeans, $11.78; wheat, $5.49. Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: Just a walkin’ in the rain, getting soakin’ wet — .9 of an inch of rain from the weekend, .6 of an inch Monday, and .45 of an inch Tuesday. Fortunately, it did not come down at once, but there are some field ponds filling up. Corn is 21 percent excellent, 53 percent good, 23 percent fair, 2 percent poor and 1 percent very poor, while soybeans are 16 percent excellent, 60 percent good, 22 percent fair and 2 percent poor. For our crop reporting district, all corn has emerged and 94 percent of the soybeans are planted with 81 percent emerged. Farmers are concerned about timely spray applications with the crops (and weeds) growing so rapidly. Also, hay producers have had a challenging year so far. Ford County Fair kicks off June 22 in Melvin. See you at the fair! Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: We actually got 1.3 inches of rain this past week, and the crops have responded accordingly. One can almost watch the corn grow despite the cooler nights and days for June. Sprayers are keeping busy trying to get those small, resistant weeds a drink of chemical as soon as possible. Hay machines are operating between showers, as are the lawn mowers. Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: The 2.91 inches of rain we received at home this week falls into the middle of the range of rainfall totals I have heard from around the county. Very spotty rain. The corn is canopied and looks fabulous, but the beans could use some sun and dry weather. It’s been too muddy for any fieldwork. We hosted 24 teachers touring with Summer Ag Institute. It was a perfect week for cleaning the shop and cleaning equipment to get ready for tour guests. Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: It was a pretty damp week with several isolated showers that limited fieldwork to mowing roadsides. A lot or almost all the soybeans are ready for application of post herbicides, but its been too wet to get in the field. Corn is growing with excellent color. Soybeans seem to be suffering a little more with the saturated soils. They are continuing to grow, however, and if we can have a warm, dry period, their darker green color will be coming back. Overall, crop prospects look very good at this time. Definitely way ahead of a year ago when planting was still going on. Rainfall for the week in southern Macon County was just under 1 inch with northern Macon County having well over 1 inch through two or three rains.

Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: The raindrops keep falling across the Coles County area this week keeping fields muddy and in places flooded. Since last week’s report, we have received another 2 inches in the middle of the county with southern parts getting about twice as much. Both corn and bean crops are treading water in places as producers hope for as much survival as possible. By the time we get the next set of rains across the area and fields dried out, the replant window will be virtually closed. That said, wet weather is much better than dry weather in my book. The good news is the majority of crops are looking very good and growing fast. Many corn fields have closed their rows. Jimmy Ayers, New City, Sangamon County: We received 1 inch of rain, about like we had the week before. One inch a week all summer would be quite an event for us. Crops look really good. The corn has taken a tremendous growth spurt in some of the fields. V6 to V8 stage is common. Soybeans look pretty good. Some of the 15-inch rows tried to close. We got some air-seeded beans in the area that certainly closed a row already. Most of the corn has been sprayed. A few guys have started spraying beans. That’s probably the activity most needed at this point. With wheat, some of the end rows duplicated. A little bit of that fell down with the rains and wind that we’ve had. Some of it sprang back up; pretty happy to see that. The Sangamon County Fair starts Wednesday. If you get a chance, check out the activities. Doug Uphoff, Shelbyville, Shelby County: We got our acres reported at the FSA office and 578s handed off to our insurance agent. We had more than 2 inches of rain. June total is almost up to 4 inches. Fields are showing standing water for the first time this crop year. Corn looks good and soybeans have started to take off. They are close to V-6. We’ve been working in the new shop we had built this winter. Organizing, moving tools, building benches, drywalling, etc. They are calling for more rain, so I know the folks who still have planting to do are getting nervous. Be careful out there and have a good week. David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: It’s been a rainy, cool week around here for the most part. We received around 2 inches of rain since my last report. For the most part, corn and soybeans are looking good to excellent. I’ve been reporting all along this year how well wheat has been looking. Not growing any wheat myself, I have had a couple of local wheat producers tell me wheat is not going to be good at all. Head scab has set in to the crop in a really bad way. Those producers are ready to get the crop cut as soon as possible and get double-crop beans in. When it dries up around here, a lot of post bean spraying will take place. Jeff Guilander, Jerseyville, Jersey County: It was a wet week to say the least. Amounts were from 3 to 6 inches of rain, bringing all fieldwork to a halt and in some cases wondering how much replant will be necessary. A lot of beans in low areas will be a complete loss with corn being questionable. We’ll know more when the water drains. On the upside, any ground that can drain looks like a greenhouse. So, for the next few days, better stay focused on that. Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: Last week, we had cloudy weather with daytime temps near 80 degrees and nighttime temps as low as 60. Several rain showers fell during the week leaving an accumulated precipitation of 1.5 inches of rain, keeping the fields in wet condition. The corn and soybean crop is enjoying this low stress period. However, it is a frustrating period for farmers wishing to do any fieldwork. Post spraying and hay making has been delayed due to wet conditions. The wheat crop seems to be holding onto some of the green color due to the cool, cloudy conditions. There are a few fields of wheat that almost ready for harvest if only we had warmer, drier weather. Local grain bids are: corn, $4.54; soybeans, $14.19; wheat, $5.65. Have a safe week.

Page 7 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: Heavy rains moved into the area Monday evening (June 9) and showers continued for the next three days, halting field activity and leaving 1 to 5 inches of rain or more. The Embarrass River came out of its banks, flooding thousands of acres. Much replanting will have to be done. A lot of sidedressing of corn and post spraying still needs to be done. It will be several days before we can get back into the fields. Wheat is turning slowly. The wheat does not like all of this rain causing diseases. Hoping for a drier week ahead. Rick Corners, Centralia, Jefferson County: Yes, I need to place an order. I’d like two weeks of dry weather with lots of bright sunshine. We had about 4 inches of rain last week. The corn is getting about big enough to handle wet feet, but the beans are looking really nasty. Some of the wheat has lodged in several fields and looks like a steamroller has run over it. There will be lots of four-letter words used combining those fields. Still lots of fields of beans to be planted south of me in southern Illinois.

Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: There weren’t many days fit for fieldwork this past week. Heavy rains have left water standing in a lot of fields. The wet, cool weather is not what the wheat needs now. Hopefully, we can get some warmer, drier days to help move toward harvest. Dean Shields, Murphysboro, Jackson County: This week’s weather was moist. We had scattered showers and thunderstorms all week. We had one dry day to do spraying and some sidedressing. Corn is all planted, and most of it looks dark green with the yellow caused from moisture now gone. The beans look good considering all the rain we have had. Wheat is turning yellow, but has a lot of disease because of the rain. The river, which has been low all year, is now starting to rise. Farmers with land outside of the levee are going to lose their crops. Hoping for drier weather. Take care.

Randy Anderson, Galatia, Saline County: Got some sidedressing done last Monday, but that’s about it. Had around .75 of an inch of rain for the week in a couple showers. About the time it gets dry enough to go to the field again it rains. The corn I sidedressed was good, but the small corn planted the last week of May is showing the most water stress. Wheat is turning fast. I look for some test cuts around the 20th to 25th of the month. Drove up to the State FFA Convention and saw some nice crops on the way. I’d like to say congratulations to my neighbor, Layna Bond, for winning the Star Farmer Award. It was nice to see all the young people with a passion for agriculture and its future. Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: It’s been another week of little to no fieldwork here in deep southern Illinois. We are still at about 20 percent planted on our soybeans, and it will probably be next week at least before we get back in the field to plant any more. On the plus side, we had two local churches join together for a Drive a Tractor to Church event two weeks ago. It was a very nice event enjoyed by all. We had more than 25 tractors of varying ages and colors. Please have a safe week.

Causes of light green crops this year outlined Reports received Friday morning. Expanded crop and weather information available at

Seedling crop response to differences in soil nitrogen (N) this year was more obvious than in 2013 due to the lack of residual N in the soil profile. Unlike the high residual N remaining Howard Brown after the 2012 drought-stricken crop, the 2013 high-yielding crop used nearly all of the N applied. As a result, little plant-available N was detected in the upper two feet of the soil profile following harvest. Microbial breakdown of organic matter usually provides a level of plant-available N utilized as a natural starter fertilizer for our seedling plants to use. This process of microbial release of organically bound nutrients to a plant-available form is called mineralization. The slow warm up of soils minimized microbial activity and the amount of soil N released by such activity. Added together, the lack of residual N following the 2013 crop and BY HOWARD BROWN

the slow war m up of soils reducing mineralization of organic N provided differing shades of green across both cor n and soybean fields in many geographies. Other causes of light green crops this year include: Immobilization of residual N: Incorporating the heavy 2013 crop residue into the soil prior to spring planting was also a contributing factor to the different shades of green noted i n b o t h c o r n a n d s oy b e a n crops. Crop residue is loaded with carbon, the primary food source of many soil microorganisms. When incorporated into the soil, the microbes go to work digesting residue, creating a small amount of humus and releasing a significant amount of carbon through respiration (carbon dioxide). Microbes need N during this degradation process. As the microbial population explodes

in response to the incorporated residue (microbial food source), plant-available N is temporarily immobilized (referred to as immobilization). Once the microbes have digested the added residue, their population dies off (actually starve), releasing the immobilized N (living microbes digesting the deceased microbes). Unfortunately, this release of immobilized N usually occurs much later into the growing season when the plant is not as dependent upon residual soil N. Use of a starter fertilizer or broadcast application of N pre-plant (30 to 50 pounds) will usually minimize the effect of N immobilization. The addition of supplemental N this spring likely made a significant difference in early plant growth. Herbicide carryover: Crop injury from residual herbicide carryover also contributed to

off-colored corn in some fields. Increased use of residual herbicides presents an increased risk of crop injury as a result of carryover into the next cropping season. Wider adoption of no- and strip-till farming practices coupled with surface limestone applications brings with it concern. Fields visited recently due to slow growth and apparent N deficiency were found to have root inhibition (bottle brushing), a soil pH of 7.8 and a 2013 applied herbicide that was sensitive to soil pH for normal breakdown. Caution is suggested when using herbicides that are affected by soil pH (activity

and/or breakdown) in notill/strip till fields where limestone has recently been applied. Check soil pH of the upper two inches of soil in fields that will be rotated to a crop that may be sensitive to the previously applied herbicide. Visit with your local FS crop specialist to check the surface soil pH, learn what residual herbicides may be pH sensitive and to discuss what actions can be taken to minimize crop injury in 2015.

Howard Brown ser ves as G ROW M A R K ’s m a n a g e r o f agronomy services. His email address is


Farmers need to take precautions to prevent heat illnesses, fatalities

Far mers and others who work outdoors risk heat-related illnesses or even death in the summer. Intensive labor in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that nor mally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness may appear first as heat rash or heat cramps, but can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke without simple prevention action, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Each year, thousands of individuals become

sick and many die from working in the heat. OSHA developed heat-illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a cur riculum in English and Spanish for workplace training. Heat-illness information and resources, including how to prevent it and what to do in emergencies, is available {}. OSHA also released a free app for Androidbased platforms and iPhones. The app displays a risk level based on the heat index and can be downloaded by visiting {}.

Clarke Caywood, a Northwestern University professor, left, prepares for a U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Food Dialogue last week in Chicago. Panelists Emily Paster, West of the Loop food writer, and Michael Donahue, LYFE Kitchen chief brand and communications officer, also participated in a discussion of how the food industry responds to consumer demand for product information. To view the Chicago event, visit {}. (Photo by Mary Kobbeman, RFD Radio Network® producer)


FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, June 16, 2014

USDA anticipates large crops; prices flounder BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

USDA continues to look for a binbuster harvest this fall. The Ag Department last week left its corn and soybean production estimates unchanged from a month ago as recent rains bolstered the outlook for big crops. The current forecast calls for U.S. farmers this fall to harvest a record 13.935 billion bushels of corn and 3.635 billion bushels of beans. USDA anticipates national yield averages of 165.3 bushels per acre for corn and 45.2 bushels for beans. “Things are off to a very good start other than a little hail damage, heavy rains and ponding in some areas,� Brian Hoops, market analyst with Midwest Market Solutions, said during a teleconference hosted by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. “USDA has very high yields plugged in for corn and soybeans.� Crop progress continues to accelerate, but remains in early growth stages in most areas. The large production estimates currently are based on planting progress, good emergence and stellar crop condition ratings. Ninety-two percent of the corn crop emerged nationwide as of the first of last week, two points ahead of the five-year average. Meanwhile, 87 percent of soybeans were planted last week, six points ahead of the average pace.

Three quarters of the corn crop USDA rated good to excellent with 21 percent fair and just 4 percent poor or very poor. The condition of the soybean crop was similar at 74 percent good to excellent, 22 percent fair and 4 percent poor or very poor. USDA noted the current corn condition ratings are better than anytime since 2007 for the Corn Belt. The rosy production estimates stuck a thorn in the markets, though. Corn prices last week dipped to the lowest level since January, while the soybean market traded sideways, Hoops noted. “We’ve basically removed

the entire spring weather premium in the corn market,� the analyst said. On the plus side, “if bad weather arises (during the growing season), prices could move sharply higher.� USDA left its 2014-15 ending stocks estimate for corn unchanged at 1.7 billion bushels, up 580 million bushels from 2013-14. Soybean ending stocks were lowered 5 million bushels for 2013-14 (125 million bushels) and 2014-15 (325 million bushels. The 2014-15 season average price estimates were pegged at $3.85 to $4.55 per bushel for corn and $9.75 to $11.75 for beans, down sharply from a year ago.

Dry conditions in hard red wheat country this spring sapped winter wheat production potential. USDA last week cut its national winter wheat production estimate by 2 percent from the previous month to 1.38 billion bushels.

bushels per acre, down 5 bushels from a year ago. “It’s a pretty major drop,� Brian Hoops, market analyst with Midwest Market Solutions, said of the production estimate during a teleconference hosted by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. “Hard red (wheat) production is down 3 percent.� However, USDA projected soft red winter wheat production will increase 2 percent this year. Illinois growers produce soft red winter wheat. USDA projected the average wheat yield in the state this year could total 66 bushels per acre. If realized, the current wheat yield estimate in Illinois

Wheat estimates slip nationwide, rise in Illinois

Go to for analysis and full details on the June 11 crop production report.

If realized, winter wheat production this year would be 10 percent less than a year ago. The average wheat yield last week was pegged at 42.4

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would be up 2 bushels from last month’s estimate and just one bushel shy of last year’s record yield of 67 bushels per acre.

‘Demand likely could back off n ex t m a r ke t i n g year.’ — Brian Hoops Market analyst Midwest Market Solutions

“The wheat looks real good,� Wade Marten, grain department manager of Gateway FS in Nashville, said recently during the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour. “It looks like the bottom of a broom it’s so thick.� Participants of the annual Southern Illinois Wheat Tour,

organized by the Illinois Wheat Association, late last month projected an average yield of 64.7 bushels per acre. The overall dip in winter wheat production nationwide wasn’t enough to ignite prices last week, though. USDA boosted ending stocks of wheat by 34 million bushels and clipped exports by 25 million bushels. “That (stocks estimate) certainly was negative for what the trade expected,� Hoops said. “Demand likely could back off next marketing year,� he continued. “The market anticipates with cheap corn prices and bigger production (than 2013), we’ll feed (more corn and) less wheat.� USDA last week lowered its season average farm price estimates for wheat by 30 cents to a range of $6.35 to $7.65 per bushel. — Daniel Grant

SoyCam captures crop growth

Want to get a firsthand look at soybean growth? Check out the Illinois Soybean Association’s (ISA) SoyCam. Funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, SoyCam provides a season-long view of soybean growth on eight farms. Participating farmers provide commentary along with photographs. The SoyCam website represents part of ISA’s “Pod to Plate� program and provides access to a wide range of interactive learning opportunities that support the Illinois Ag in the Classroom project. View the latest updates at {soycam. com}.

Corn, soybean price webinar set


 tXXXTUGBSNDSFEJUDPN  tXXXTUGBSNDSFEJUDPN EEqual qual C Credit redit Oppor Opportunity tunity LLender. ender. EEqual qual Housing LLender. ender. C Crop rop IInsurance nsurance is available available to to all qualifying producers producers regardless regardless of rrace, ace, ccolor, olor, na national tional or origin, igin, gender gender,, rreligion, eligion, age age,, disabilit disability, y, political belief beliefs, s, sexual sexual orientation, orientation, and marital marital or family status. status.

Learn the latest corn and soybean market implications during an 8 a.m. July 1 farmdoc webinar. The live event will feature discussion of the June 30 USDA grain stocks and planted acreage report. Participants can send specific questions to the presenters. The format will include 30 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes for questions. Darrel Good, University of Illinois professor emeritus, and Scott Irwin, U of I Department of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences department professor, will review the USDA reports. To register for the free webinar, visit {www1.gotomeeting. com/register/494264993}. The webinar can be viewed on desktop or laptop computers and mobile devices.


Page 9 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek

Corn stover holds potential for ethanol market BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Described as a “growing opportunity for the whole industry,” removing corn stover from fields provides farmers with higher yields and additional income, according to three marketing specialists and a USDA researcher. Currently, about 137 million tons of corn stover is available in the United States. It’s largely used for feed or bedding, but cellulosic ethanol plants comprise a growing market. In addition, too much corn stover can hurt crop production. “I think the whole ag industry is starting to see that corn stover is becoming an issue,” said Scott Wangsgard, biomass marketing specialist for New Holland. Wangsgard served as one of four panelists who participated in a discussion: “Tipping point: Why a Market for Corn Stover is Emerging and What Producers Need to Know to

Participate.” The discussion took place during an Emerging Corn Production Technologies & Science Forum held last week in Indianapolis. Brian Weinhold, USDA Agricultural Research Service’s research leader for agroecosystem management research, said residue removal must be managed on a site-bysite basis. “If you’re growing continuous corn, the amount of residue you need to retain is much lower than if you’re on a corn-soybean system because the residue during that soybean year is reduced in relation to the corn,” he said. Weinhold offered the following tips to alleviate negative effects of residue harvesting: • Control wheel traffic. “Studies have looked at compaction: It’s the first pass across the field that does most of the compaction,” Weinhold said. “Subsequent tracks in the same wheel path do not compact the soil near the magni-


Lois and Terry Schirmer and Jerry Henningfeld, from left, watch Pat Oaks sink a putt. The Lake County foursome joined more than 200 golfers last week at the IAA Foundation’s 18th Golf Outing for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom in Pontiac. Thanks to generous sponsors and participants, the annual golf event consistently raises more than $40,000 for statewide ag literacy efforts. (Photo by Ken Kashian)

tude that the first pass does.” • Maintain adequate soil cover. • Avoid wet soils. Passing over wet soil will cause more damage sooner, Weinhold said. Glenn Farris, marketing manager for AGCO, said research shows that 10 of the top 15 most costly items in the supply chain related to feedstock supply operations. Four of the 10 related to baling operations. Bale density alone, he said, can decrease supply chain costs by about $8 per ton. He said proper windrow formation holds one of the keys to effective baling. Researchers continue to study how to reduce the number of steps required to bale and deliver corn stover, he said. Winston Akoto, operation and supply chain director for DuPont, noted the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plants should come online this year.

Corn stover collection options

Experts attending a forum in Indianapolis last week outlined farmers’ options to remove corn stover. They include: • Stalk choppers. These break up stalks. Windrowing stalk choppers deliver material to a windrow, which eliminates the need for raking and decreases the amount of direct contact incorporated into the windrow. It requires a high horsepower tractor. • Raking corn stover. This leaves stalks intact, which can be more efficient for the baler to pick up, but dirt can enter the process. A lower-horsepower tractor can be used. Packaging options include: • Round bale. While most commonly used, the tractor must come to a stop each time the net wraps the bale to allow the bale to drop. Bales can often be over maximum width when transporting. • Square bale. Allows for continued baling; knots are tied as the tractor goes through the field. They transport well, but initial investment is larger than for round bales.

Cellulosic ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions and will provide local communities with an economic boost. “This is a new economy,” he said. “For individual growers, it’s not simply about managing residue,” Akoto said. “It’s also additional economic benefit.

We estimate, based on the work we’ve done, that growers could have more than $30 an acre in additional income, net income, after accounting for fertilizer and other nutrient replacement. “There is a significant economic benefit beyond yield improvements,” he said.

The landscape is changing. We have the roadmap. Successful businesses look forward, not back. That’s why they turn to FS for next generation agronomy and energy solutions. We’re utilizing cloud-based information technology, while providing essential crop inputs and fuel management tools that point the way forward. FS is always discovering new ways to optimize operations and ensure our customers are ready for what’s next. TM ©2014 GROWMARK, Inc. A14175


FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, June 16, 2014

Innovative farmer converts waste into black gold

Some people don’t care to live on or near livestock facilities. But Alan Dale, a farmer from Walnut (Bureau County) and former Illinois Farm Bureau president, views it as a golden opportunity. Dale converts everything from landscape waste to animal manure into humus. The nutrient-rich product then gets used by farmers and local gardeners as a productive and affordable fertilizer. “I’ve been composting since 2001,� Dale said. “I have a beef cow herd and there is about 10 million gallons of liquid hog manure within a five-mile radius of my operation. So, I have an unlimited supply of nitrogen.� Dale was among the first farmers in the state to apply for and receive a permit to operate an organic landscape waste compost facility. He can compost any type BY DANIEL GRANT

of landscape waste, such as grass trimmings and tree branches, along with animal manure and crop residue. The mixture eventually evolves into high quality humus.

‘I can better control the costs of my fer tility program.’ — Alan Dale Bureau County farmer

“Everything we do is about creating an environment where microbes can flourish,� Dale said. “It’s microbes that actually create the humus.� The homegrown fertilizer reduces input costs and can improve crop yields, accord-

ing to Dale, who served as IFB vice president from 199193 and president in 1993. “I can better control the costs of my fertility program,� he said. A four-year study on Dale’s farm found the humus fertilizer improved yields by 10 percent for corn, 6 percent for beans, 14 percent for alfalfa tonnage and 20 percent for oats. The oats comprise a key part of the operation as Dale uses the straw as part of his compost recipe. Overall, Dale uses about 70 percent of the humus on his crop acres and markets the rest to clients, such as local farmers and gardeners. He also serves as a consultant in the compost industry and has traveled to Australia, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Pakistan in that capacity. More information about composting can be found at the website {midwestbiosys}.

Above, Kit Dunn turns bags of landscape waste in preparation for composting on a farm owned by Alan Dale, former Illinois Farm Bureau president. Dale’s operation has been turning landscape waste and manure into nutrient-rich humus since 2001. Below, Dale’s son, Matt, right, inserts a temperature probe into a row of composting material, while employee Wes Taylor takes a reading. Dale uses about 70 percent of the humus on his land and sells the rest to nearby farmers and gardeners. (Photos by Cyndi Cook and Ken Kashian)

Learn to Shine with IFB’s Young Leader Discussion Meet Friendly Competition That Builds Your Leadership Skills Show your art of discussion for hot agricultural topics - and compete for great prizes, including a chance to represent Illinois in the National Discussion Meet.

District & State Discussion Topics:

Additional State Topics:

The farm bill crop insurance provisions offer a safety net for crop lost due to natural disaster and/or price risk. Should a safety net for livestock producers be developed and what provisions might it include?

How would the conditions of government managed public lands change if they were managed privately? What are the pros and cons of government ownership of land versus private ownership?

+RZVKRXOGRXUQDWLRQ¡VSROLFLHVEDODQFHFRQFHUQVDERXW food insecurity against concerns about the safety or environmental impact of modern agricultural technologies? What role should farmers have in discussing and debating these issues in our society and with our lawmakers?

Should farmers and ranchers be held liable for possible food borne illnesses when the food item of concern can be traced back to their farms or ranches? Why or why not? How can young farmers and ranchers work to encourage membership growth and member engagement for the county, state and national Farm Bureau organizations?

Entry Deadline July 23 (to Illinois Farm Bureau) IAA District


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Newly formed coalition seeks to lower tractor rollover deaths BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Agriculture organizations and manufacturers recently joined health and safety experts and government officials to form a new National Tractor Safety Coalition (NTSC). Tractor rollovers account for a third of agricultural deaths. Eric Vanasdale, a COUNTRY Financial senior loss control representative, attended the NTSC organizational meeting and noted representatives from a wide spectrum of industry participated. Participants discussed the possibility of building upon a Rollover Protection System (ROPS) rebate program now being offered in five, primarily New England, states. The program helps defray the cost of retrofitting older tractors. Recent nationwide farming trends may point to reasons for tractor rollovers, according to Vanasdale. The number of new, less experienced farmers who tend to buy older, less expensive tractors less likely equipped with ROPS has grown. As the price of buying and renting farmland increases and demand for locally grown foods increases, some less fertile acreage is being returned to farm production. Those acres tend to be hilly and rougher terrain that would be more conducive to rollovers, especially for less-experienced tractor operators. Vanasdale said the meeting provided great learning opportunities. If a national rebate program forms, he said the information would be shared with COUNTRY clients. The new coalition and COUNTRY want to raise awareness of ROPS and their importance, according to Vanasdale.


Page 11 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek

Illinois peaches soon are ready to pick, eat BY CHRIS ANDERSON FarmWeek

If biting into an aromatic Illinois peach and letting the juice run down your chin marks your summer rite of passage, never fear. You’ll soon be able to observe your annual practice. Old Man Winter took a toll on southern Illinois peach trees. Growers north of Interstate 64 got hit hardest, but many growers south of Interstate 64 plan to harvest a normal crop. “We have a full crop. We plan to start harvesting the second week of July, which is a little later than usual,” said Michelle Sirles, Rendleman Orchards assistant vice president. The orchard supplies homegrown peaches to 14 county Farm Bureaus in northern and central Illinois in addition to other customers. Mike Flamm, owner of Flamm Orchard at Cobden, also expects to harvest a normal crop. “We had some bud damage, but we usually have to thin the buds. We didn’t have to as much this year,” said Flamm, who sells peaches from his farm and provides wholesale quantities to produce markets and grocers. The situation looks slightly different for Chris Eckert, Aaron Eberlin and Tom Ringhausen, who own orchards north of Interstate 64. Eckert of Belleville, president of Eckert’s Country Store and Farms, estimates slightly more than half a normal crop will soon be harvested. “We have a little less than half a crop. We’re on the divid-

ing line (Interstate 64),” Eckert said. “We’ll have enough peaches to supply our retail and onfarm customers. There will be no major expansion for us this year, but we’re not blown out of the water.” Eckert added he believes winter damage hit early peach varieties more than later-maturing varieties. He expects early variety picking to begin the end of this week. Eberlin, owner of Eberlin Calhoun Peaches & Produce at Golden Eagle, expects to harvest 35 to 40 percent of a normal crop. “We’re in southern Calhoun County. There are no peaches 7 to 8 miles north of us,” said Eberlin. “We’ll harvest Red Havens first (around July 1012), and they look like a normal crop. There’s good size on the peaches.” Eberlin sells peaches at the Jacksonville and Urbana farmers’ markets. He also markets some of the crop to wholesale customers, but probably won’t have enough peaches to sell for that purpose this year. “I probably have enough peaches to make a couple of pies,” said Tom Ringhausen, owner of Ringhausen Orchards, Jerseyville. “Some limbs are dying as well as whole trees. So, the impact of winter continues.” Ringhausen plans to buy Illinois peaches from growers with normal crops and provide them to customers of his roadside stand and area farmers’ markets. To locate peach growers and farmers’ markets, visit {special html} and {illinoiswherefresh is. com}.


Leaders representing collegiate Farm Bureau on three Illinois university campuses recently converged at the Illinois Farm Bureau office in Bloomington. Seated left to right are Darren Riskedal, vice president of the University of Illinois Collegiate Farm Bureau, and Cori Harrison, president of Illinois State University (ISU) Collegiate Farm Bureau. Standing left to right are Jenny Jackson of the new Western Illinois University Collegiate Farm Bureau; Kelsey Schueler, secretary ISU Collegiate Farm Bureau; and Taylor Andy, U of I Collegiate Farm Bureau. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Take ‘systems approach’ for 300-bushel corn BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Farmers can achieve 300bushel corn yields, but there isn’t a “silver bullet.” “For maximum corn yield, it’s a systems approach,” said Fred Below, University of Illinois professor of plant physiology. “There’s no one thing you’re going to do to hit a home run in yield, I hate to say. Now, high yield doesn’t happen by accident. You have to plan for it.” He outlined seven factors that can influence the amount of corn produced each year: weather, nitrogen, hybrid selection, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators, such as strobilurin fungicides. (He assumed adequate drainage, pest/weed control and proper soil pH, phosphate and potassium levels.) Below was one of several speakers during a panel discussion of 300-bushel corn

yields at last week’s Emerging Corn Production Technologies & Science Forum held in Indianapolis. Worldwide, demand for corn continues to increase, fueled by population growth and improving diets. Dwindling farmland and tougher regulations complicate matters. Experts estimate the world’s population will reach 9 billion people in 2050. “In the next 40 years, collectively as humankind, we’re going to have to produce more food than’s been produced since we started working with crops over 8,000 years ago,” said David Meyer of Dow AgroSciences. “Now that’s a lot of food.” How can this be achieved? “We need innovation,” he said. Bob Little, who farms 1,000 acres in Indiana, has produced 300 bushels of corn multiple times. “It’s a lot of paying attention to details,” he said. He

recommended farmers try new products, practices and techniques. He tried spraying sugar on his corn to increase yield. “I used to think it was crazy, but I’m starting to become a believer in it, I got to tell you,” he said. “It wakes up that biological life in your soils, I believe.”  Beth Calabotta of Monsanto agreed that technology helps drive corn yields. She said increasing yields also requires overcoming environmental issues — from weeds, insects, diseases and weather. “There is no one silver bullet,” she said. “With a combination of breeding and breeding technology, biotechnology, precision ag, protecting crops, seed treatment and then in the future with biologicals, we’ll see a lot of potential for increasing corn yields well beyond what’s here and perhaps accelerating the yield trends that we see.”

Accuracy where it matters most.

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Problems getting good cover crop stands FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, June 16, 2014

Q. We’ve had trouble getting a good stand of cover crops the last two years. Last year, we planted cereal rye and radishes on the corn ground going into soybeans. We planted cereal rye, radish and crimson clover with a plane on ground going into corn. Our fields are in northeast St. Clair County. Pete Fandel, Illinois Central College: If you are aerially seeding cover crops into your standing cash crop, you need to focus on the timing of the seeding. When seeding into standing corn, make sure the corn crop is starting to turn brown (maturing) before you seed the cover crop. If you seed too early, the cover crop will germinate, but then die due to lack of sunlight. Also, try to watch the weather closely. The last two falls have had some dry periods. Some of the cover crops had enough moisture to start the germination process, but not enough moisture to get the plants established, so the seedlings may have died due to

lack of moisture. We typically find that aerially seeding into soybeans is much more challenging. The success rate is usually about one out of three years. It might be more economical to drill your cover crops into the soybean field after harvest because you will increase your success rate substantially. As far south as you are, the cereal rye will have plenty of growth into the remainder of the fall. Radishes need to be planted much earlier to get the benefit from using them as they will winterkill. If your radishes are not getting at least the size of a carrot or bigger before they winterkill, you may not be getting a lot of the benefits from using that crop. Dean Oswald, Illinois

Council on Best Management Practices: The last two years were especially difficult in establishing cover crops, depending upon the area, seeding method, timing and rainfall. Northern and central Illinois were extremely dry the last two years for cover crop seeding and establishment. Catching an adequate rain to germinate and sustain the crop was key to success. Last year also had a dry fall. Crop development and maturity were at least two weeks behind average in our area, delaying the seeding of cover crops. Many found out that late seeding was too late to get the growth needed for most species. Cereal rye is about the only cover crop that can be planted very late with success. Mother Nature deals us a different set

Helping you make backyard memories.

Check with Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Illinois Extension crop science educators or the Midwest Cover Crop Council for suggested planting dates. Mike Plumer, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices: Planting dates are very critical and radishes in your area planted after Sept. 20 are too late to do any good. They need to be planted at least 45, and preferably 60 days before a killing frost. Aerial seeding in beans is very dependent on weather and timing. Beans need to be turning yellow before seeding to have the best chance of success. Even then, it takes a good rain and moist soils to get the seeding established. The below-freezing weather the first week of November killed many late-germinating cover crops, including cereal rye.  To view previous questions and answers, visit {farmweek =544}.

of cards each year, and we need to adjust to the situation. My recommendations are: Plant as soon as possible when your main crop is mature, assuming enough moisture is present. This may include planting earlier maturing varieties to enhance your overall farm and conservation plan. Many have found that dropping a few days of maturity does not greatly sacrifice yield. Use aerial seeding or an application method prior to grain harvest to increase the cover crop growth period. Remember, we are still dealing with growing degree days, and as we move later into the fall we have less potential for plant growth. Oilseed radish growth is directly related to planting date; the later planted radishes are much smaller. Legumes are planted to produce nitrogen, and when temperatures are 40 degrees or less they are no longer fixing nitrogen. Probably the best place for clovers is following a wheat harvest in July. Then they have the full potential for fixing nitrogen. For all cover crop species, use suggested planting date ranges and don’t expect late-planted crops to give the expected benefits of earlyplanted crops.

Questions may be emailed to; add “Discover Cover Crops” in the subject line or mail to Discover Cover Crops, Kay Shipman, 1701 Towanda Ave., Bloomington, Ill. 61701.

The annual Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF) Golf Tournament and Reunion will be held June 23 at the Pontiac Elks Country Club. The event features an 18-hole scramble golf tournament and a tour of Cayuga Ridge Iberdrola Renewables Wind Farm for nongolfers. Proceeds from the golf outing and tour support the foundation and its educational program. Since 1981, IALF has provided an agricultural leadership program with a mission to develop knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision

makers for the agricultural industry. A reception follows both activities at 3 p.m. with a dinner at 4:30 p.m. Silent and live auctions will also be held during the dinner. IALF Class of 2014 members will raffle a Gator CX Utility Vehicle donated by John Deere. The hole-in-one contest features a Case IH Farmall Compact Tractor donated by Case IH as the prize. Registration is required by Wednesday. Visit the website for more information {aglead sic-registration/}.

IALF sets golf tournament, wind farm tour

Cover crop meeting, tour slated June 25

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Farmers may attend a cover crop meeting and field tour from 5 to 7 p.m. June 25 on the Brian Parkinson farm near Reynolds in Rock Island County. The reservation deadline is June 23. Farmers who have tried cover crops will discuss their experiences. Information will be provided on the Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) cover crop survey. Dean Oswald, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices and a panelist with FarmWeek’s Discover Cover Crops, will talk about cover crop seeding and species options. Following the program and a complimentary meal, participants will tour fall cover crops planted on corn and soybean fields. The farm is located a half mile west and 1.5 miles north of Reynolds. For reservations or information, call the Rock Island SWCD at 309-764-1486, extension 3, or email

p13-6-16_farmweek 6/13/2014 2:43 PM Page 1


Page 13 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek


OOK — The Commodities and Marketing Team’s 2014 recipe collection is now available. For a free copy, email membershipdeb, call the Farm Bureau office at 708354-3276 or visit {cookcfb. org/buy-local/recipe-collec tion}. UMBERLAND — Farm Bureau will sponsor Ice Cream for June Dairy Month story times at local libraries. Programs will be at 10 a.m. June 18 at Sumpter Township Library in Toledo, 1 p.m. June 18 with the Neoga Library at the Neoga Municipal Building and 2 p.m. June 19 at the Greenup Library. Call the Farm Bureau office at 8493031 for more information. ORD-IROQUOIS — Young Agriculture Leaders will sponsor a farm value sack lunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Hometown Family Foods in Gilman. Cost is 75 cents. ANE — The Foundation will host a pig roast from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 27 at the Farm Bureau office. Cost in advance is $10 per person; $25 per family



(parents with children under age 15). Cost at the door will be $15 per person and $30 per family. Proceeds will benefit the purchase of a grain tube for fire protection districts in northern Kane County. Call the Farm Bureau office at 5848660 to register. ASALLE — The Foundation will host a golf outing/benefit at noon June 27 at Senica Oak Ridge Golf Club in Utica. Cost is $75. Tickets at the door are $80. Tickets for the 5 p.m. dinner are $35. Proceeds will benefit Agriculture in the Classroom. EE — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a marketing seminar from 7 to 9 p.m. June 26 at the Comfort Inn, Dixon. Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension, will speak. Call the Farm Bureau office at 857-3531 or email michelle.leecfb@com by Friday for reservations. OGAN — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor Logan Ag Flavors — A Taste of Logan County Agriculture from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Farm Bureau building. The event will showcase local fla-




vors produced by Logan County farmers and producers. ACON — The Foundation will sponsor a photo contest — Picture Macon County. Members, spouses and children under the age of 22 may submit an original photo taken in Macon County from April 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014. Email photos to tstock@maconcfb. org by July 11. For more information, email tstock@macon ERCER — Farm Bureau will sponsor a bus trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago to see a Cubs/Cardinals baseball game. The bus will leave at 8:30 a.m. July 26 from the Aledo VFW. Cost is $100. Call the Farm Bureau office at 582-5116 or email mcfb1@fron by July 1. CDONOUGH — Farm Bureau will cosponsor a marketing seminar at 7 p.m. June 23 at Spoon River Outreach Center. Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension, will speak. Cost is $10 for nonmembers. EORIA — Farm Bureau will sponsor a honeybee presentation at 6:30 p.m. June 25 in the Farm


Bureau auditorium. Janet Hart, Peoria County beekeeper, will speak and bring a live beehive. TEPHENSON — Farm Bureau will host the Dairy Days Parade themed “Celebrating Agriculture in Stephenson County” at noon Sunday during Union Dairy Ice Cream Parlor’s 100th anniversary weekend. Call the Farm Bureau office at 2323186 or visit {stephensoncfb. org} for more information. AYNE — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a farm bill seminar at noon June 23 in Foundation Hall, Frontier Community College in Fairfield. Doug Yoder, Illinois Farm Bureau, will speak on price loss and ag risk coverage, payment limits and eligibility. Call the Farm Bureau office at 842-3342 to register by Friday. HITE — Farm Bureau will co-host a farm bill meeting at 7 p.m. June 23 at the Farm Bureau building. Doug Yoder, IFB, will speak on loss and ag risk coverage, payment limits and eligibility. Call the Farm Bureau office at 382-8512 to register by June 23. • Young Leaders will spon-



sor a pistol shoot at 8:30 a.m. July 19 at Carmi Trap Range. Cost is $25 before July 1 and $35 after July 1. Visit { shoot.html} for complete details and a registration form. Call Ruth Weaver at 382-8512 for reservations by July 19. INNEBAGOBOONE — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a charity pull at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Boone County Fairgrounds McKinley Avenue entrance. Registration will begin at 3 p.m. Registration cost is $50 for the amateur classes. Cost for admission is $10. Children 10 and under are free. Proceeds will benefit Agriculture in the Classroom, scholarships and local FFA chapters and 4-H programs. Visit {belviderechari} or call Ed Kasper at 309-218-0117 for more information.


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

Looking for a Convenient Supply of DEF?

Schuyler County Farm Bureau member Pat Clayton, left, shares food and fellowship with Rep. Norine Hammond, R-Macomb, and member George Pollock during the recent Member Appreciation Picnic. Farm Bureau staff and directors served a meal at the Schuyler County Fairgrounds in Rushville. Member Donna Pollock won a gas grill raffled by COUNTRY Financial Representative Jim Baack. (Photo by Schuyler County Farm Bureau Ag Literacy Coordinator Jean Barron)

Tuesday: • FarmWeek: “The Early Word” • Eric Schmidt, EJS Weather • Stone Seed representative • Rich Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau president • Chris Anderson, IFB editor of publications: 40th anniversary of FarmWeek Wednesday: • Illinois Department of Agriculture representative • Jim Bower, Bower Trading • Linda Olson, IFB manager

of consumer communications Thursday: • Illinois Corn Growers Association representative • Mike Doherty, IFB senior economist: commodities conference • Michelle Fluty, Prairie Farms Dairy program coordinator: June Dairy Month • Jason Webster, Beck’s Hybrids Illinois Practical Farm Research® director Friday: • Bob Beck, WinField agronomist • Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation president • “Horse Talk”

When it comes to the success of your operation, you can rely on your local FS energy specialists. If your new equipment uses diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), your local FS Co-op and participating FAST STOP® locations have just what you need – convenient supply. From packaged or bulk DEF to even the dispensing equipment, FS has the products and the knowledgeable experts to help you go further. FS – The people and the products to take you further. Go further with FS.


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FarmWeek Page 14 Monday, June 16, 2014

Do we in agriculture really feed the world?

It is commonly said that we in agriculture are “feeding the world.” While this slogan sounds noble and is originated with good intention, the fact is that we are not feeding the world — at least not much of it. For regardless of whether “we” consists of just the U.S. or all of the developed economies, “the world” produces much Kel Kelly more food than we do. In 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United BY KEL KELLY

Nations, the U.S. produced a mere 9.6 percent, and the entire developed world produced a total of 27 percent of the total world agricultural production — excluding fish. (The U.S. produced 10.3 percent of crops, specifically.) Conversely, the developing world produced 73 percent of the world’s food. Over the last decade, the developing world’s share of world food production has increased by more than 6 percentage points. The world can and is feeding itself. Additionally, the developing world’s food production has been outpacing ours — not because it is more productive per se, but because it is playing catch up. The developed world has increased

its per capita food production by 17 percent since 1990, while the developing world has increased by 28 percent. The fact that we are not feeding the world bears out in the export data as well. If the U.S., specifically, was feeding the world, it would be exporting a lot of agricultural commodities to other countries. But it actually exports less than a fifth of its production/supply each year. Additionally, export volumes over the last decade have grown only in line with production. Grain exports, specifically, have fallen. (These facts alone show that it has not been China or the growing world economies pushing up our agriculture prices as they would

have to actually be buying more of our products in order to raise our prices). Not actually feeding the world is just fine. It means the world is not dependent on America, and that it is capable of largely doing what we are doing. This allows people of the world to have their own food and improve their own standards of living. It also means there is more food for us here in the U.S. at lower prices. The agriculture industry is definitely doing good work creating economic growth and feeding people, but it’s mainly our own people.

Kel Kelly serves as GROWMARK’s economic and market research manager. His email address is

Dryness concerns float away; more rain in this week’s forecast BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

M A R K E T FA C T S Feeder pig prices reported to USDA* Total Composite Weighted Average Receipts and Price (Formula and Cash): Weight Range Per Head Weighted Ave. Price 10-12 lbs. (formula) $37.50-$56.82 $46.46 40 lbs. (cash) $101.00-$118.50 $112.23 Receipts

This Week 98,621 *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Last Week 77,122

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) Carcass Live

(Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week Change $112.97 $108.13 $4.84 $83.60 $80.02 $3.58

USDA five-state area slaughter cattle price (Thursday’s price)

Steers Heifers

This week $ 148.68 $148.53

Prev. week $145.00 $146.00

Change $3.68 $2.53

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 This week $198.91 $195.61 $3.30

Lamb prices Negotiated, wooled and shorn, 123-169 lbs. for 133.70-165.50 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 144.73); wooled and shorn 183-198 lbs. for 135-140 $/cwt. (wtd. Ave. 136.20)

Export inspections (Million bushels) Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 6/5/2014 4.5 19.1 45.2 5/29/2014 5.9 19.6 38.6 Last year 3.5 24.8 6.4 Season total 1552.2 13.0 1371.0 Previous season total 1271.3 20.2 546.7 USDA projected total 1600 925 1900 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

An active weather pattern so far this month washed away most concerns about dry soils, particularly in western Illinois. Rainfall the past two weeks totaled 4 to 5-plus inches in west central Illinois (in a triangle from Quincy to Springfield down to St. Louis), 3 to 4 inches in central Illinois, 2 to 4 inches in southern Illinois and 1 to 2 inches up north. “Those (dryness concerns) have been alleviated,” said Eric Apel, ag meteorologist with Mobile Weather Team. “The last two weeks, basically the entire state of Illinois received above-normal precipitation, especially in west central and parts of central Illinois,” he noted. “All the areas (on the U.S. Drought Monitor) that

were abnormally dry (in Illinois) have been wiped away.” And it appears the wet pattern will continue through the middle part of this week. “It looks like the active weather pattern will continue,” Apel said Friday. “There’s a system building to the west that eventually will move into Illinois by late weekend into (this) week.” The recent moisture boosted crop development in most areas. Nearly the entire corn crop (97 percent) and most beans (80 percent) emerged as of the first of last week. But the rain drowned out some spots in crop fields. It also prevented a number of farmers from cutting hay. “The rain really has been spotty but, as a whole, we’ve gotten significant rain in most areas (of southern Illinois),”

Dave Lidy, dairy specialist with FS Total Livestock Services, told the RFD Radio Network. “One significant challenge is that a lot of second-cutting hay is still standing out there,” he continued. “It’s a little on the mature side and still needs to be cut. But the fields are just too soft to get that done.” Jeff Guilander, a FarmWeek CropWatcher from Jersey County, reported his area last week received 3 to 6 inches of rain. “A lot of beans in low areas will be a complete loss with corn being questionable,” Guilander said. “We’ll know more when the water drains.” The rains also could present challenges for wheat growers. David Schaal, a CropWatcher from Fayette County, reported head scab recently developed in some wheat fields in his area.

Illinois adds acres, bucks national farmland trend

The U.S. continues to lose farmland acres, hog prices this year set new records. according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Land prices and cash rental rates subsequently Total farmland acres in the nation declined skyrocketed between the last two censuses. Farmfrom 922 million in 2007 to 915 million in 2012. land prices in Illinois from 2009 to 2013 increased But the rate of loss slowed considerably in the last 66 percent, according to the Illinois Society of five years and a number of states, including Illinois, Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. actually added farmland acres from 2007 to 2012. Looking ahead, Kuethe believes farmland “Although a few states (from losses could continue to slow 2007 to 2012) lost upwards of 5 to nationwide and states, such as 6 percent of farmland, 19 states Illinois, could gain more acres. Go to to see gained farmland, and Illinois is “With a growing population, county by county changes in Illinois one of them,” said Todd Kuethe, cropland over the last five years. we continue to see a need for assistant professor of land ecohigh quality farmland globally nomics at the University of Illiand this (in Illinois) is some of nois/TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research. the best in the world,” he said. “We understand Farmland in Illinois totals 26.9 million acres, that with the productivity and profitability, it up .6 of a percent since 2007, according to the makes economic sense to keep land in farms.” latest census. Illinois during the recent five-year About half the counties in Illinois added stretch gained 162,621 acres of farmland. farmland acres between the last two censuses. Nationwide, the largest losses of farmland McLean County, the largest geographic county, occurred in Kentucky (6.7 percent), Alaska (5.4 has the most farmland acres (692,291) statewide percent), Georgia (5.2 percent), Mississippi (4.6 while DuPage County, a Chicago collar county, percent) and Wisconsin (4.1 percent). But the rate has the fewest farmland acres (7,252). of farmland loss in the U.S. (1 percent between “I was surprised there wasn’t a real strong 2007 and 2012) actually slowed to the third-lowpattern in terms of where counties lost and est level since 1950, according to Kuethe. gained acreage (in Illinois),” Kuethe said. So what’s turning the tide in the ongoing Meanwhile, the trend of vertical integration struggle to preserve farmland nationwide? continues. The number of farms in Illinois Kuethe believes economics play a key role. between 2007 and 2012 decreased 2.3 percent, “The margins we’ve seen in row crop prowhile the average farm size increased 3.2 perduction are enough that folks understand the cent, according to the latest census. ground needs to stay active,” he said. For more information visit the USDA webCorn, soybean and wheat prices jumped to site {} or the U of I site historical highs in recent years, while cattle and {}. — Daniel Grant


Page 15 Monday, June 16, 2014 FarmWeek


Corn Strategy

ü2013 crop: The persistent decline in wheat prices, excellent new-crop prospects and moderating export interest have allowed prices to steadily slip lower. Still, a short-term low is due. Target a move to $4.70 on July futures to make sales. Get basis locked up on hedge-to-arrive contracts and other unpriced inventory. ü2014 crop: The new-crop price decline has gotten overdone. Even though the early crop ideas are very good, it wouldn’t be a normal growing season not to see the expectations erode at some point. Wait for December futures to get back to $4.70 before making sales. vFundamentals: Speculative liquidation may have been the fuel for the ongoing decline, but the good planting pace and excellent early crop prospects have helped by keeping buyers sidelined. China halting imports of dried distillers grains added to the mix, but that’s more of a potential problem for protein than it is for corn. Ethanol grinding margins continue to be very good.

Cents per bu.

Soybean Strategy

Grain export pace moderates

Weekly export shipments have slowed, including corn. Only soybeans were expected to slow with demand shifted to South American origin. The slowing wheat pace in recent weeks is concerning. It illustrates the impact the premium U.S. wheat prices built over other origins this winter/spring has had on our sales. That is carrying into the new-crop year, hinting exports

might get off to a slow start. Even though the pace of corn shipments still looks good, it has slowed. There’s reason to think corn exports might fall short of the USDA forecast. The sales pace has fallen back to the projected level, too, after spending a winter moderately above it, enhancing the possibility summer exports might be disappointing. With soybeans, the focus should turn to the new-crop campaign. The large South American crops, their moderating old-crop exports and our smaller new-crop sales suggest our shipments might get off to a slower start this fall.

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ü2013 crop: The futures break over the past week, along with the eroding basis, is a strong indication the move up is over. Use any rally to wrap up old-crop sales. ü2014 crop: The break in old-crop prices pulled new-crop prices lower with them. Even though they are lower than oldcrop, new-crop prices are still high relative to other grains, leaving them with significant downside risk. Use small rallies to get sales to recommended levels. ü2015 crop: Given longterm, downside risk and prices nearly as high as the 2014 crop, price the first 15 percent of an expected crop. vFundamentals: Like corn, the initial crop rating for soybeans was high — 74 percent good to excellent. Planting is winding down with mostly areas in the northern states and double-crop plantings to be completed. Chinese uncertainty continues to dog the market. Our new-crop export sales continue to lag the last two years. The end-of-month USDA reports will be major market influences.

Wheat Strategy

ü2013 crop: Price remaining bushels if July Chicago reaches $6.50 before the newcrop wheat harvest. ü2014 crop: Nearby Chicago wheat futures now face resistance at $6. A delayed harvest and quality issues in the hard red crop are likely to begin propping up prices in the Kansas City market, but it is uncertain whether Chicago wheat can benefit with the big soft red wheat crop. Hold off making additional sales to take advantage of a potential cor-

rection and increasing carry. vFundamentals: Projected U.S. wheat supplies were reduced by the USDA, but small additions were made to the world stocks. The U.S. will face plenty of export competition from its major competitors in the next marketing year. Concern over weather in Russia has faded. Countries in the Black Sea region are on track for another year of stout production. The European Union is expected to become the top exporter, while expected surpluses would help satisfy their feed wheat demand.


FarmWeek Page 16 Monday, June 16, 2014

New breed of ag communicators bring ‘sexy’ back to agriculture

They say agriculture isn’t sexy. Young folks considering a career in communications often cite this as the reason they shy away from agriculture. Writing and reporting LULU about farming, RODRIGUEZ they say, just does not have that “it” factor. I’m baffled because I can’t imagine a single industry in the world that’s more exciting today (and sexy) than agriculture. Sure, the challenges are persistent and sometimes daunting. We need to build the skill and the will to address the food security challenge, especially with the world’s population expected to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. OK, that sounds more ominous than sexy, but that’s the reality. As always, we need those who can tell the story of innovation in and with the ag sciences. Agriculture uses the most advanced technology, the most advanced science and the most advanced mathematics available. If that’s not sexy, I don’t know what is. The vast majority of today’s consumers are so far removed from the farm that they have

little knowledge about the methods and management decisions upon which their food supply depends. This calls for communicators able to address the information needs of broad and special audiences like moms, millenials and “foodies.” If you’re a journalist with a nose for the newsworthy, that’s downright sexy. We need credible communicators who abide by the philosophy that people are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. At a time when rational thinking is being obscured by demagoguery and the mundane, those who can expand the conversations about food and agriculture issues are necessary to maintain a healthy democracy. Hold your horses, but that’s seriously sexy. Agriculture isn’t sexy because the image of farming, they say, is that of a confined and hard life. But agriculture is more than growing crops and raising animals. It encompasses meeting the food, fuel and fiber requirements of a growing world, and doing so sustainably without insulting the environment. Its reach is worldwide. Across the globe, there are far more consumers interested in agriculture today than there were 30 years ago. Why? Because food safety, food security, new sources of energy and

a wholesome environment are topics critical to those on the farm as they are to those in today’s megalopolis. Thus, we in the academe need to train a new breed of communication practitioners able to apply journalism, advertising, public relations and other persuasive techniques in communicating and enlarging public dialogue about agriculture and related issues. What does the job market for ag communicators look like these days? Last year, USDA announced that “the agricultural, food and renewable natural resources sectors of the U.S. economy will generate an estimated 54,400 annual openings for individuals with baccalaureate or higher degrees in food, renewable energy and environmental specialties between 2010 and 2015.” Eleven percent of this figure represents the demand for education and communication specialists able to navigate and communicate complex issues in agriculture, food, fiber, fuel and the environment. Based on a census of University of Illinois ag comm graduates who received their degrees from 2010-13 (45), our career services office reported 76 percent accepted a full-time position upon graduation; an additional 7 percent pursued

Illinois soybean farmers have come a long way over the last century, from our crop being used for hay and forage to use as a major protein and energy source. As the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) looks to conclude its 50th anniversary this summer, we are moving ahead with a recommitment to the challenges and opportunities of DONALD the future. GUINNIP World and domestic political pressures will always need our attention. Producing soybeans and marketing oil and meal in the global arena demand adaptation to a changing business climate. Continued expansion in South America and expansion of the next frontier in Africa will move along as logistics develop and economics dictate. As always, with new and expanded competition will come new and different marketing opportunities. Illinois producers need to be in a position to engage in those markets. Presently, Illinois commodity groups and businesses are positioning themselves in Cuba.

Change there will come quickly, and we must be prepared. As populations mature in the Pacific, South America and China, spending habits will change. Animal protein and a high-quality diet will call upon soy to help meet those changes. Meanwhile, hunger and malnutrition will require solutions from the world’s ag production community. Soy does its part with programs like the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) where research and education are producing results in areas of political stability. On the production side, soybean yield increases have been steady and will continue as technology and science conquer yieldlimiting factors. Soybean cyst nematode, sudden death syndrome, white mold and a host of seedling diseases take tremendous amounts of research resources. Perseverance to improve productivity will pay off in the end. Consumers will exercise great influence on the characteristics of the end soy product, and health and sustainability issues will be at the forefront of those consumer expectations. Many farmers will produce trait-based soybeans for these markets. And commercial

production of oil and meal will be fine-tuned to meet demand as quality becomes increasingly important. Where we are today has come from our investment in research and development. Both private business and the public land grant college system will produce scientists who will bring the next generation of advancements to the marketplace. Future generation soybean farmers will be less tractor driver/mechanic and more technician/communicator. Regulations, politics and relationships will have to be at the top of each successful farmer’s understanding curve. The soybean industry of the future will strive to be positioned for challenges and opportunities. Producer involvement is crucial. Competing forces with considerable resources must be met headon and aggressively for us to continue to succeed. The future of the Illinois soybean industry will be what we make of it. Do your share — educate, advocate and be involved.

Future for Illinois soybeans shows much promise

Donald E. Guinnip grows soybeans on his farm near Marshall and serves as Illinois Soybean Association District 14 director.

advanced degrees or certification. Entry-level salaries averaged $34,705. Each graduating senior this year received an average of three job offers. At a time when the broad field of journalism is in a state of flux and the job market is still dicey, those with ag comm expertise wonder which job to choose from an array. Now, to me, that’s very sexy. So, here’s the take-home point to those contemplating a career in communications: Make agriculture your bailiwick. Come on in — the water’s fine!

Take it from ag comm veteran and U of I alum Ken Rinkenberger, manager of KWR Consulting in Morton. Without batting an eye, he’ll tell you, “I don’t know how you could pick a more exciting — and sexier — career or a better place than Illinois to prepare for it!” Be an ag communicator and help (with apologies to Justin Timberlake) bring sexy back.

Lulu Rodriguez serves as U of I Agricultural Communications Program director.


Opposition to FDA food labeling act

Editor: The so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act being pushed through Congress is an affront to states’ rights and an attack on consumers who want to know what they’re buying. Deana Stroisch (“Federal GMO label bill filed,” FarmWeek, April 14, 2014) notes the act would give the Food and Drug Administration “the sole authority to require labeling of foods if they are found to be unsafe or ‘materially different’ from foods produced without GMOs.” If they are unsafe, why not ban them rather than label them? Adam Nielsen of the IFB said, “Unfortunately, there are a lot of misinformed people right now who are questioning the safety of GMOs.” Why didn’t he also note there are a lot of people informed by the published literature who are questioning the safety of GMOs? I refer readers to recent examples of important results: “Compositional differences in soybeans on the market:

Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready soybeans,” T. Bøhn et al, Food Chemistry 153 (2014) 207-215, and “How ‘extreme levels’ of Roundup in food became the industry norm,” T. Bøhn and M. Cuhra, Environment, Health, News, March 24, 2014. Scientists from Norway and the United Kingdom (not from our land grant universities!) analyzed soybeans from three kinds of Iowa fields: organic, conventional but not GMO, and GMO, including Roundup Ready. Only the Roundup Ready soybeans accumulated glyphosate and its major metabolite, AMPA. The organic soybeans had a healthier nutritional profile than the other two kinds. These studies clearly show that GMO soybeans are more toxic and less nutritious than organic soybeans — something that consumers have the right to know. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is actually a “Keep the Consumer in the Dark Act,” and should not be enacted. HERMAN BROCKMAN Congerville

Farmweek june 16 2014  

farming, agriculture, Farm Bureau, Illinois Farm Bureau, ag

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