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Celebrate June Dairy Month by drinking a glass of milk and learning about Koester Dairy. page 3

A new federal program will expand conservation efforts with help from private partners. page 4

Despite skirting showers, Illinois farmers made large strides in planting progress last week. page 8

Wheat tour finds above-average yield potential Monday, June 2, 2014

Two sections Volume 42, No. 22

really affects us at the mill,” said Mike Miller, general manager of Mennel Milling Co. “But it’s too early for that.” Not all fields broke dormancy in good shape, though. Jack Rundquist of Butler, who has grown wheat every year since he started farming in 1948, described his crop as fair. “It was dry when I planted (in cornstalks) so I didn’t get a real good stand. It came up uneven,” Rundquist said. “It’s fair (now). There’s enough to

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Could southern Illinois wheat growers actually harvest some fields this summer that average 100 bushels per acre or more for a second consecutive year? It’s possible based on findings of the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour hosted last week by the Illinois Wheat Association. Tour participants randomly scouted fields in four portions

FarmWeekNow.com

Read more about the wheat tour on page 10.

Go to FarmWeekNow.com to view photos and listen to comments from the recent southern Illinois wheat tour.

Periodicals: Time Valued

of southern Illinois. The four legs of the tour began at Mennel Milling Co. in Mount Olive, Siemer Milling Co. in Teutopolis, Wabash Valley Services Co. in Carmi and Wehmeyer Seed Co in Mascoutah. The average wheat yield from all locations scouted on the tour totaled 64.7 bushels per acre. If realized, this year’s yield in southern Illinois would be just 2.3 bushels below last year’s state record of 67 bushels per acre. “The wheat looks real good,” Wade Marten, grain department manager of Gateway FS in Nashville, told FarmWeek. “It looks like the

Participants of the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour discuss yield potential and pest activity in a unique Madison County wheat field, which was planted in 15-inch rows. Participants, left to right, are Ben Tarr of Steyer Seeds; Mark Miller, general manager of Mennel Milling Co. in Mount Olive; John Rundquist, a farmer from Butler; and Wade Marten, grain department manager of Gateway FS in Nashville. The Illinois Wheat Association hosts the annual tour. (Photo by Daniel Grant)

bottom of a broom it’s so thick.” Most yield estimates during the tour averaged between 50 and 80 bushels per acre. But some field averages could top 90 and even 100 bushels per acre if the weather cooperates, according to James Harper, commercial manager at ADM in Mount Vernon, Ind., who led the tour from Carmi. “We thought the wheat (in southeast Illinois) looked good,” Harper said. “I’d say that potential (for 100-plus

bushel yields) is there, depending on what happens with the weather. Overall, I’d say it’s a slightly above-average crop.” Disease pressure and insect activity proved low at many locations scouted during the tour. However, signs of some pests existed, such as armyworms. Some fields also exhibited signs of scab development, Harper reported. “We definitely could tell the difference between fields intensively managed compared to those that are not,” Harper

said. “We saw potential scab development in fields not sprayed with fungicide. “But we didn’t see a lot of disease, which was promising, and limited insect activity,” he continued. “You could tell most producers put an insecticide down.” Development of the wheat crop was delayed by the cool, wet spring. So, farmers should scout wheat fields in coming weeks for disease and pests. “The main disease we’re looking for is vomitoxin. It

make a stand.” In northern Illinois, wheat stands and yield forecasts proved more inconsistent compared to southern Illinois wheat country. “The stuff planted early doesn’t look too bad,” said Pete Tekampe, a wheat grower and FarmWeek CropWatcher from Lake County. “But a lot of the late-planted stuff could be torn up (in northeast Illinois). “I had 90 acres of wheat, but I think I’m going to tear up all but 25 acres,” he noted. The condition of the wheat crop statewide last week was rated 65 percent good to excellent, 27 percent fair and 8 percent poor or very poor.

State lawmakers debating down to wire BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Illinois legislators continued debating a state budget among other issues at FarmWeek presstime Friday. Both chambers were expected to adjourn late Friday before the May 31 deadline. The second, and less expensive, of two House-approved state budgets was expected to pass and be sent to Gov. Pat Quinn. That budget, which maintained current spending levels, was based on expiration

of the higher income tax rate on Jan. 1. Voters would offer input in the consolidation of local fire protection districts in legislation sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, and Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson. HB 5856 passed both chambers and moves to the governor’s desk. Under the legislation, an existing fire district would be dissolved if the measure receives a majority of votes cast in an election. The adjoin-

FarmWeek on the web: FarmWeekNow.com

ing district’s board of trustees also would need to accept the new territory before the consolidation would occur. Voters may voice their opinions on raising the state’s minimum wage and the income tax on millionaires in nonbinding referendums in November. Last week, the General Assembly passed HB 3814 to place an advisory question about raising the minimum hourly wage to $10 on the November ballot. On a partisan vote, legisla-

tors also approved HB 3816 to add an advisory question about increasing the income tax rate by an additional 3 percent on individuals with incomes greater than $1 million. The

See Lawmakers, page 5

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


Quick Takes

LEADER SPOTLIGHT

FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, June 2, 2014

VETERAN FARMERS LAUNCH LABEL — Shoppers may support veterans or active military personnel through purchases of foods and farm products with a Homegrown By Heroes label. Recently, the Farmer Veteran Coalition launched a new product logo campaign nationwide. The Farmer Veteran Coalition, founded in 2008, works to help veterans transition into agricultural careers. Veterans of any era may apply for Homegrown by Heroes certification. Eligible farmers and ranchers must have served honorably or be actively serving in any branch of the U.S. military and own at least 50 percent and/or operate the farm business. For an application, visit {hgbh.org}. For information, email HBH@farmvetco.org. BIODIESEL SETS RECORD — The U.S. biodiesel industry produced a record 1.36 billion gallons last year by processing 5.5 billion pounds of soybean oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s up 37 percent from 2012. Research commissioned by the Minnesota, Nebraska and North and South Dakota soy checkoffs showed the biodiesel industry’s demand for U.S. soybean oil increased soybean value by 74 cents per bushel between 2006 and 2012. “U.S. soybean farmers have been very supportive of biodiesel for more than 20 years,” said Rob Hanks, United Soybean Board director and Minnesota farmer. “It’s really gratifying to see those farmers reaping the benefits of that support.” RETIREMENT SAVINGS SHORTFALL — Are you saving for retirement? The latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index showed 25 percent of Americans across all age groups admit they are not saving for retirement — at all. The biggest offenders? Respondents age 18 to 29. Perhaps they can learn from the 38 percent of those 40 and older who say they regret decisions they’ve made with their retirement savings, namely not starting to save early enough. This may explain why Americans believe a secure retirement is not a viable option. Nearly half (46 percent) say it’s not possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement. This is two points higher than last year and the highest percentage since March 2011. “My advice to those who haven’t begun saving, and to those who have, is save early and save often. Making retirement a priority is an important step in achieving long-term financial security and avoiding what appears to be the coming retirement crisis,” said Troy Frerichs, COUNTRY wealth management director. AGRONOMY DAY SCHEDULED — Mark Aug. 25 on your calendar. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences will host International Agronomy Day at the U of I South Farms in Urbana. Crop scientists will share the latest in agronomy, weed science, crop production, pest management, agricultural economics and more. To register, visit {internationalagronomyday.org}.

(ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 42 No. 22 June 2, 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 (canderson@ilfb.org) Legislative Affairs Editor Kay Shipman (kayship@ilfb.org) Agricultural Affairs Editor Deana Stroisch (dstroisch@ilfb.org) Senior Commodities Editor Daniel Grant (dgrant@ilfb.org) Editorial Assistant Margie Fraley (mfraley@ilfb.org) Business Production Manager Bob Standard (bstandard@ilfb.org) Advertising Sales Manager Richard Verdery (rverdery@ilfb.org) Classified sales coordinator Nan Fannin (nfannin@ilfb.org) 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

A family tradition

The Moore family serves in various leadership roles in Jersey County, including the county Farm Bureau. Ron Moore, pictured left, Tom Moore, center, and Hugh W. Moore Jr., right, make up Hugh W. Moore Jr. & Sons. Together, they farm 2,000 acres and have 150 cows. (Photo by Cyndi Cook)

Generations of Moores involved in Farm Bureau

BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Hugh W. Moore Jr. started driving a tractor when he turned 8 years old. At 80, he still farms near Jerseyville with his two sons, Tom and Ron. Together, the Moore family farms more than 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. They also have 150 cows. And there’s no stopping him. “People ask, why I don’t quit,” Hugh Moore Jr. said. “I say: ‘Wouldn’t want to. I enjoy getting out there. I enjoy showing off my cows. I’ll go as long as I can go. If I quit, I’d probably die.’” Moore currently serves as vice president of the Jersey County Farm Bureau. He and his wife, June, have been married 57 years. His father, Hugh Moore Sr., was an original charter member of the county Farm Bureau. He served on the board from 1958-63, including two years as vice president. Hugh Jr.’s mother served on the women’s committee. His son, Tom, also served on the county Farm Bureau board as the Young Leaders representative from 1987-94. In addition, the family has been actively involved in the agricultural community — from volunteering at fairs to serving on various boards. Hugh Jr. and his father

started their registered Shorthorn beef herd in December 1951. Their partnership was named Hugh W. Moore & Son until Hugh Sr. retired in 1974. Sons, Tom and Ron, joined the partnership in 1978. Tom had just finished high school. Ron was still a junior in high school. The name changed to Hugh W. Moore Jr. & Sons. Farming, they say, is all they’ve ever known — all they ever wanted to do.

‘People used to say, I don’t know if you can make it with two sons or not.’

— Hugh Moore Jr. Jersey County Farm Bureau vice president

Tom and Ron, now in their 50s, grew up showing Shorthorns in 4-H and at local county fairs. In 1975, they began showing at the Illinois State Fair. They continue to show cattle at the local, state and national levels. Their daughters and grandchildren also show Shorthorns. Ron served as a director of the American Shorthorn

Association and currently serves as vice president of the Illinois Shorthorn Association and secretary of TriCounty FS. Tom is president of Jersey County Grain Co. Hugh Jr. says people questioned why he would want to farm with family. “People used to say, ‘I don’t know if you can make it with two sons or not,’” he said. How did they make it work? He made sure he “didn’t make hired men out of them.” The sons make decisions — and mistakes — just like anyone else, Hugh Jr. said. That’s a lesson Hugh Jr. learned by working with his father. “I’d have to say that grandpa and him talked everything over before they ever made a decision — and usually grandma was involved,” said Ron Moore. The family also keeps in mind what Hugh Sr. always told them: “We all need to get along.” Hugh Jr. says he’s seen a lot of change in his life. And change, he said, is a requirement — not an option. “You have to change,” he said. “You can’t stay like you were 50, 60 years ago.”

Are you part of a multi-generation of Farm Bureau leaders? FarmWeek wants to tell your story. Please email CAnderson@ ilfb.org or call 309-557-3156.


DAIRY

Page 3 Monday, June 2, 2014 FarmWeek

Koester family takes pride in dairy’s productivity BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Count the Koester family of Dakota as big believers in the idea that if you take care of your dairy cows, they’ll take care of you. The Koesters, Stephenson County Farm Bureau members, emphasize maintaining and improving cow comfort, nutrition and genetics for their registered Holstein herd. In return, Dan and Amber Koester, along with their sons Lance, Kyle and Brent, consistently have one of the most productive herds in Illinois. The Koester Dairy last year produced an average of 33,620 pounds of milk per cow, which was the highest average in the state, according to Dairy Lab Services. Four other dairies in the state — Hunter Haven Farms, Lueking Dairy Farm, Blair Farms and Kasbergen Dairy — averaged between 29,000 and 29,416 pounds of milk per cow to round out the top five Illinois milk producers in 2013, according to Dairy Lab Service’s annual report. “It looks good, but there’s certainly a lot of other great herds,” Dan Koester said of being a state leader in milk productivity. Koester noted numerous dairies north of the border in Wisconsin also consistently produce in excess of 30,000 pounds of milk per cow. So what are the keys to producing that much milk in the Prairie State? Statewide, annual milk production averages 19,371 pounds per cow com-

pared to the nationwide average of 21,822 pounds. “We stress cow comfort, take good care of the cows and watch nutrition really close,” Koester said. “And, of course, genetics. We’re pretty aggressive about improving genetics.” A nutritionist helps the Koesters improve dry matter intake and productivity of their herd. The Koesters have about 330 dairy cows and milk about 290 of them three times per day. They also have a similar number of heifers. “We have a lot of animals to feed,” Koester said. The Koesters have one hired hand, but do most of the work within the family. The Koesters’ daughters, Alissa and Bria, and Lance’s wife, Cynthia, also help milk cows and do farm chores. Koester Dairy features modern facilities that include large stalls, rubber matting and fans to improve cow comfort. “We try to stay on top of things and stress cow comfort,” Koester said. “My three sons are real active partners on the farm and each has his own specialties. They’re hard workers and have the same aggressive attitude I have.” Koester’s late father, LaVerne, and mother Clarice Koester started the family dairy in 1956. And the Koesters have maintained a tradition of top-notch milk production ever since. The operation, like most other dairies in the state, got off to a great start this year as

Above: Koester Dairy in Dakota ranks No. 1 in average milk production per cow in Illinois at 33,620 pounds. From left, Kyle, Brent and Lance join their fat h e r, D a n , i n t h e o p e r a t i o n started in 1956. Left, Kyle Koester pushes feed closer to hungr y cows. The Stephenson County Farm Bureau family stresses nutrition and cow comfort. They work with a nutritionist to improve their herd’s dr y matter intake and productivity. (Photos by Ken Kashian)

milk prices raced to record highs near $23 per hundredweight. Many Illinois dairies also generate quality premiums of $1 to $1.50 per hundredweight, according to Mike

Hutjens, University of Illinois dairy specialist emeritus. “It’s great to be a dairyman right now,” Koester said. “Milk prices are at record levels and cull cow prices are high (due in

part to record beef prices).” The dairy industry and various dairy products will be featured around the state in this and coming weeks as part of June Dairy Month.

could soften from $22.58 in May to $20.57 this month and $19.23 by the fourth quarter. Looking ahead, the U.S. could face more competition from the European Union. Dairy quotas in the EU expire in 2015 and it appears many farmers there plan to boost milk production once that happens, Hutjens noted.

Dairy economics in coming months also hinge on crop production, feed availability and feed prices. “There are a lot of wild cards out there,” Hutjens said. “Right now (crop and feed production) looks good. We’re getting timely rains.” The recent run up in milk

prices didn’t have much of an impact on dairy herd numbers statewide, though. There are close to 1,000 dairy farms with a total of nearly 100,000 cows in Illinois, according to the 2012 Ag Census. Illinois in 2012 ranked 21st nationwide in milk sales. — Daniel Grant

Milk producers enter June Dairy Month in sound shape June Dairy Month came An active export market into existence nearly eight drove much of the recent decades ago as a way to proincreases in milk prices. mote milk consumption durThe value of U.S. dairy ing spring flush. exports in March topped $700 This year, however, produc- million for the first time, ers might not be as concerned according to the U.S. Dairy about ramping up consumpExport Council. Exports to tion near term. Dairy China that month nearexports in recent ly tripled. months raced to new Record beef prices highs and pushed U.S. also bolstered returns dairy prices to record on dairy farms in levels. recent months. The average price of “Cull cows have Class III milk in April become a significant set a new record at source of added $24.31 per hundredincome,” the dairy speMike Hutjens weight. cialist said. “Milk prices have been Hutjens believes milk extremely good — the highdemand and prices will remain est I’ve seen in my 43 years strong this year. But prices (working in the industry),” possibly peaked this spring. said Mike Hutjens, Universi“We could be looking at a ty of Illinois dairy specialist 10 percent drop in milk prices emeritus. “A lot of farmers based on everything we see,” are catching up on equity Hutjens said. they lost from 2009 to Futures prices last week 2012.” suggested Class III milk prices


NATURAL RESOURCES

FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, June 2, 2014

USDA rolls out new conservation partnership program BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Conservation efforts will expand to include larger-scale projects as well as private industry, local governments and nonprofit groups, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week. As part of the new farm bill, USDA offers the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that incorporates some older conservation proTom Vilsack grams and some current ones. “What is key are the results,� Vilsack

said during a news teleconference. Those results will be measurable and involve accountability, he noted. A portion of funding, 35 percent, is earmarked for eight designated critical conservation areas. The Mississippi River Basin critical area involves much of Illinois, while a “sliver� of the state is part of the Great Lakes critical area, Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier said during a Ivan Dozier joint interview with FarmWeek and RFD Radio NetworkŽ. The eight critical areas will share

$1.2 billion over five years with $400 million available the first year. Conservationists must move quickly to submit preliminary project proposals by July 14. Dozier said Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff discussed potential proposals with partners last week. In Illinois, NRCS has received interest from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, universities and foundation groups, he noted. Of total funds available nationwide, individual states will divide 25 percent for state-level projects, while regional or multi-state projects will vie for the remaining 40 percent. Illinois’ priorities will include water quality, soil health and soil ero-

sion, according to Dozier. He expects USDA to announce the preliminary proposals that made the first cut on July 28 and be resubmitted for consideration with a final funding announcement expected this fall. Vilsack mentioned municipal water operations as potential project partners. Dozier pointed out Springfield’s City Light and Power works with farmers and others on a Lake Springfield watershed project. Details of the new program cover 46 pages at {grants.gov} under Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Dozier summarized the new conservation opportunities as “broader scope, flexible and a long-term guarantee.�

Cover crops are doable on continuous cornfields Q. Can I plant cover crops on fields in continuous corn? Dave Bishop, PrairieErth Farm: Yes, you’ll probably have to fly on your cover crop seed for best results. It depends on your location, the harvest date, etc. Knowing how long the cover crop you select needs to grow to achieve a reasonable benefit helps manage the risk. Pete Fandel, Illinois Central College: Yes, many producers are utilizing cover crops in continuous corn situations. When using cover crops, management plays a key role in the

success of cover crops within an operation. Many area producers are utilizing annual rye within a continuous corn scenario and getting excellent results. Russ Higgins, University of Illinois Extension Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center: We are applying cover crop seed to the soil surface (emulating aerial seed application) at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center and are having more success in establishing

cover crop stands in corn than in soybeans. We have quickly learned that timely rains are critical when surface seeding. Not much we can do about the weather, but we can have more realistic expectations. Dean Oswald, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices: Yes, I believe a cover crop plan can be developed for any type of cropping system. Mike Plumer, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices: Many farmers use continuous cover crops with continuous corn. The

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addition of cover crops will help develop more nitrogen and soil activity that will increase the speed of cornstalk breakdown. Several farmers I have worked with have done continuous corn and cover crops for more than 12 years with significant increases in soil organic matter and crop yield increases.

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

The University of Illinois Extension and area farmers offer diverse topics and tours each month for the Southern Illinois Summer Twilight Series. Participants will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Monday in June, July, August and September. Meetings are free, but preregistration is required. The series offers diverse types of farming and marketing practices used by southern Illinois farmers, who will be available to answer questions and provide hands-on learning experiences. Farming topics will include high tunnel raspberry and tomato production, mushroom cultivation, apple and peach production, sweet corn production, freshwater prawns and intensive vegetable production. Marketing discussions will cover using farmers’ markets, roadside stands and farm dinners. Grover and Dicky Webb will host the first meeting June 16 on the Tanglefoot Ranch near Simpson. Preregister by June 12. The Webbs’ farm began as a beef cow operation and later diversified into row crop, hog, freshwater prawn and sheep production. In the last couple of years,

they expanded into high tunnel tomato and raspberry production and cultivated mushroom beds. Jeff Kindhart, U of I research specialist, will discuss current research with high tunnels and mushrooms at the university’s Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, Simpson. To reach Tanglefoot Ranch, travel Interstate 57 south, then take Interstate 24 east to exit 16 for Vienna and Golconda exit. Take state Route 146 east eight miles to Grantsburg. After traveling through Grantsburg, turn left onto Flatwoods Road and drive 1.6 miles, then turn right. If traveling on state Route 145 near Dixon Springs, turn onto state Route 146 west and travel four miles. Then turn right onto Flatwoods Road and drive 1.6 miles, then turn right. Upcoming series dates and locations include: July 21, Donnie and Shirley Ahrens, The Corn Crib, Shawneetown; Aug. 18, Clifton Howell, Bison Bluff Farms, Cobden; and Sept. 15, Sara Lipe, Lipe Orchards, Carbondale. Register online by visiting {web.extension.illinois.edu/ ghhpsw/} or by contacting Bronwyn Aly, U of I Extension educator, 618-382-2662 or baly@illinois.edu.

Southern Illinois summer twilight tours announced


GOVERNMENT

Page 5 Monday, June 2, 2014 FarmWeek

Colombia FTA a benefit to U.S. BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

The United States free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia — now two years old — increased U.S. exports for farmers and manufacturers and supports thousands of jobs, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (OUSTR). U.S. exports to Colombia totaled $18.6 billion last year, an increase of nearly 30 percent from 2011. Agricultural exports alone totaled $1.51 billion, an increase of more than 34 percent since 2011. The Colombia FTA went into effect May 15, 2012, and was the focus of the 2011 Illinois Farm Bureau Market Study Tour. “Without a doubt, IFB’s active participation in the Colombia FTA via USDA trade advisory committees, AFBF and IFB market study

tours to Colombia in 2011, and the engagement of our farmer members with consumers and legislators helped build support for this FTA,” said Tamara Nelsen, IFB senior director of commodiTamara Nelsen ties “The 2011 Colombia tour and its impact is a perfect example of why our organization developed the market study tour program nearly 15 years ago.” OUSTR recently touted the benefits of the Colombia FTA. Among them: • Exports to Colombia supported more than an estimated 80,000 jobs for American workers in 2013.  • Exports of soybeans and soybean products increased 69

New insurance policy planned for fruits and vegetables USDA recently announced plans to launch a pilot program next year to provide crop insurance for fruit and vegetable crops. The policy, called WholeFarm Revenue Protection, will provide various coverage options for specialty crop, organic and diversified crop producers. Farmers could insure all crops on their farm at once, rather than insuring each commodity individually. “Providing farmers the option to insure their whole farm at once gives farmers more flexibility, promotes crop diversity, and helps support the production of healthy fruits and vegetables,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“More flexibility also empowers farmers and ranchers to make a broader range of decisions with their land, helping them succeed and strengthening our agriculture economy.” The 2014 farm bill requires the new policy, which will be available as a pilot program in 2015. The new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy combines Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and AGR-Lite along with several improvements to target diversified farms and farms selling two to five commodities, including specialty crops to wholesale markets. Risk Management Agency officials plan to announce additional information on the program this summer.

percent to $308 million, and dairy product exports jumped 214 percent to $26.7 million.  • Pork exports increased 205 percent to $88.1 million, and beef and beef products exports increased 133 percent to $9.1 million.  Fresh grape exports increased more than 50 percent to $10.4 million, and tree nut exports increased 359 percent to $12.4 million. Rice exports grew from $3.1 to $74.2 million. Meanwhile, negotiations continue on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A series of meetings last month in Washington, D.C., brought the topic of trade negotiations back into the spotlight. Nelsen attended the meetings, some of which were sponsored by the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council, on behalf of IFB. “A clear message came out of the meetings: We are going to have more trade, not less and that more trade is needed to keep food, goods, cars, etc. moving where they are needed,” Nelsen said. “Improving the U.S. infrastructure system will be essential to making sure we stay competitive in agriculture and other industries.”

Illinois fresh campaign starts An Illinois-grown marketing campaign aims to sway consumers’ taste buds via television advertising, billboards and social media notices. Illinois: Where Fresh Is involves more than 300 participating locations, including grocery stores, farmers’ markets and farm stands. Each location displays a banner with the logo near its Illinois-grown fruits and vegetables section. Back for a second year of the campaign, several of last year’s participants saw up to

Lawmakers

a 50 percent increase in sales. This year’s program includes a challenge for consumers to spend $10 of their existing grocery purchases on Illinoisgrown produce. If every Illinois household participates, the Illinois Department of Agriculture estimates $47 million dollars a month would be invested in local economies. To view commercials and a map of participating locations, visit {illinoiswherefreshis.com}.

Continued from page 1 advisory question states each school district would receive additional funding based on its student enrollment. Both bills now head to Gov. Pat Quinn, and he has indicated he will sign them. Illinois Farm Bureau opposes raising the minimum wage, but has no position on the millionaire tax. During the spring session, proponents failed to gain enough support to raise the minimum wage outright and returned with a proposal to put the matter before voters in an advisory referendum.

Farm Service Agency

County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee election — Nominations of farmers and ranchers as candidates for the local County Committee election may be made from June 15 through Aug. 1. FSA encourages all eligible farmers to nominate themselves or another eligible farmer to run for office. Nomination forms (FSA669A’s) are available: • By visiting {fsa.usda.gov/ elections}. Scroll down to the links under “Election Materials” and click on “2014 Nomination Form;” • By picking up FSA-669A at the local FSA office; or • By calling the local office

and requesting FSA-669A be mailed to you. Preventing fraud — FSA supports the Risk Management Agency (RMA) in preventing fraud, waste and abuse of the Federal Crop Insurance Program. FSA has and will continue to assist RMA and insurance providers by monitoring crop conditions throughout the growing season. FSA will continue to refer all suspected cases of fraud, waste and abuse directly to RMA. Farmers can report suspected cases to the FSA office, RMA or the Office of the Inspector General.

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FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, June 2, 2014 Bernie Walsh, Durand, Winnebago County: Planting for the 2014 crop is wrapping up here. We got some considerable rain last week with 2 to 3 inches on most of our fields, which delayed spraying for a few days. Some hay was mowed, some was baled before the rain and some of it got wet. As usual, for this time of the year, the rain has been spotty. There were some spots that only received .5 of an inch of rain and are still looking for more rain. Pete Tekampe, Grayslake, Lake County: We had two rain events that amounted to .3 of an inch Monday (May 26) and .6 of an inch Tuesday. Corn is mostly done, but there is some replant to be done in the low spots. Beans are about 75 percent planted. Earlyplanted corn looks good now. Early beans are just starting to pop. Winter wheat is very spotty and oats look great. Alfalfa is growing and I saw some cut Thursday. Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: Scattered rain Monday through Wednesday totaled .5 of an inch and 3.2 inches for the month of May. Corn planting is virtually complete and most of the soybeans should have been in the ground over the weekend. The warm days and nights, accompanied by high humidity, have plants emerging and growing rapidly. We have 350 growing degree units so far this month. Some hay has been chopped and a few people have baled. Quality and quantity has been good with no insect problems. Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: Soybean planting is almost finished. Depending on where fields are located, they either remained dry or received 1 inch of rain. Sidedressing corn with nitrogen began on early-planted corn. We are working on getting our sprayer ready to go. The first cutting of hay is also being done. The fields finally look more green than brown as you drive by.

Ryan Frieders and future C r o p Wa t c h e r, E l e a n o r, 8 months Larry Hummel, Dixon, Lee County: I still get nervous every year planting soybeans since we started no-tilling in corn stubble back in the early 90s. It is amazing how the bean plant is able to push and wiggle its way through all that fodder. A good rain this week would help the last beans planted do just that. Corn emergence was good to fair. We have two fields that were planted May 6-7 that wanted to leaf out underground. There was no crust, so I’m not sure what caused it. Same variety planted the next two days had a little, but not nearly as much. Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: Very spotty rains fell early in the week. A tenth to 1 inch was received, then later week rains mostly missed the county. There are a few soybeans going in for the first or second time. Corn post-emergence spraying and sidedressing of nitrogen is happening. The first cutting of hay is being made. Ron Moore, Roseville, Warren County: We did not receive any rain last week. Some areas to the north and west of here got up to 1 inch. The pastures are not looking very good right now. The streams are starting to look like late August instead of the first part of June. We have not mowed hay yet. It is now just ready to mow. I may have to mow so it will rain. The corn and beans look much better than the pastures. Sidedressing nitrogen and post spraying are the two most common activities right now. Jacob Streitmatter, Princeville, Peoria County: Scattered showers across the area last week totaled only trace amounts. Rain is needed bad. Some nitrogen burn is showing up in some corn. Beans are close to being complete.

Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: Spotty storms throughout the week with .5 of an inch at the house, but none on other parts of the farm. Corn is at V6. Quite a bit of sidedressing went on last week as well as spraying in corn and soybeans. Beans are putting out their first trifoliate with some of the later-planted beans just emerging. Tim Green, Wyoming, Stark County: It was a very nice week with very, very spotty showers. The biggest rain I heard of was 2.2 inches. A lot of .2 of an inch amounts. Stark County Farm Bureau put up a growth post south of Wyoming by a cornfield and marked the different heights on it from about 1 foot to about 8 to 10 feet. Everyone in the community is talking about it and watching it. The corn is 6 inches tall. Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: Last week was dry enough to get most of the soybeans planted unless you were under one of those rain cells that dropped a lot of rain in a short amount of time. There was also a lot of spotting in the ponds and sidehills in the cornfields that were drowned out earlier. Never seen so many small planters come out of the shed to do this task. The next job will be sidedressing nitrogen and getting the mowers out. Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: On Wednesday afternoon, we received a range of .43 to .75 of an inch of rain. We had just finished planting our soybean crop. We converted the planter back to plant corn to replant about 20 acres of corn, but now have to wait for the soil to dry. Field activities included tearing up and replanting whole or partial fields, planting fields for the first time, sidedressing nitrogen and applying herbicides. The range in corn development is anywhere from emergence up to the V5 growth stage. The earliest-planted soybean fields have reached the V3 growth stage. We enjoyed providing another farm visit for a Brazilian tour group yesterday — our second group this month. Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: Crops are planted and about to enter their rapid growth stage. GDU’s are near average and most corn is V3-V6. Soybeans are VE-V2. Widely scattered rain fell with varied amounts from trace to 1.5 inches. Spraying corn and sidedressing is still ongoing. Corn, $4.60, $4.40 new; soybeans, $15.14, $12.09 new; wheat, $5.92. Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: Thursday about 4 p.m., a storm followed the path from the week earlier along Illinois 10 east through Piatt County and skirted south of Champaign and on eastward. No hail or high winds, but torrential rains up to 3 or more inches. We ended up with .5 of an inch, which was just about right. In areas of previous toad stranglers, some beans have been replanted. In our crop reporting district: 97 percent corn planted, 89 percent emerged; 61 percent soybeans planted, 36 percent emerged. Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: We used to think if we were done planting by Memorial Day, we were on schedule, but this year it came about a week earlier. I think most planters are parked for the season. We were lucky and got .4 of an inch of rain Wednesday. Yes, another “different year.” Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: Showers popped up several days. They were very spotty with places getting more than 3 inches. Other places remained completely dry. It was definitely time to do a little bit of recharging the subsoil. I had a little more than 4 inches in May and April, so moisture seems to be at an adequate level. There has been a lot of sidedressing going on. Larger corn is knee-high. Soybean planting is virtually complete with earlier-planted beans at the 3 to 4 inch level, but the last-planted beans are just now emerging. Overall, stands on corn and beans look very good and weed control is good. A lot of spraying of corn and a few starting to spray soybeans, which makes up most of the field activity. Off to a good start.

Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: It was a very busy week out in the fields across the county. Planters worked down to the last few fields and should be done for this year in the next few days. Replanting has occurred in some areas caused by spots in the field that did not emerge after the cold, wet period a couple of weeks ago. Sprayers and sidedress applicators are moving rapidly, putting between-the-row work in cornfields well over half done. Some corn is working into the V3 stage. Soybean fields are also greening up in the warmer weather and, along with the corn, could benefit from some precipitation in the near future. Spotty rains hit the area Thursday. Hay balers have also been out working on a very healthy first cutting. Jimmy Ayers, New City, Sangamon County: Rain was variable across the county with anywhere from nothing to 1.5 inches. The corn is at the V5 to V6 stage. We have a few fields that are about to shade the rows. Most of it has taken on a pretty dark green color now that nitrogen has been applied. The corn is about 80 percent sprayed. Not too many beans have been sprayed yet, as they had a struggle getting up. Quite a bit of hay was put up this week. David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: We have experienced three rains since last report with all of them adding up to a total of .3 of an inch. A lot of beans were put in the ground in the last eight or nine days. Beans planted on Memorial Day weekend or before are emerging. Several producers throughout the county are finishing up, while others have a day or two left. Along with bean planting, some corn is being sidedressed. Spraying is also occurring around the area. Wheat is starting to change color and continues to look pretty good. Jeff Guilander, Jerseyville, Jersey County: It was like living in a greenhouse last week. We had 85 degree highs, 60 degree lows and rains every day that can be counted by the inch or by the drop depending on where you were standing. Corn is really taking off and sprayers and sidedress bars are running nonstop. Soybeans are still a little slow out of the gate, but another week of this and they will be tall enough to forget their weaknesses. Things are looking up. Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: Fieldwork resumed Friday (May 23) after being out of the field for two weeks. A lot of corn and beans were planted and a lot of corn was replanted. There are still corn and beans to go into the ground. We had warm, dry weather last week until widely scattered showers moved through the area Thursday evening, halting fieldwork where the showers hit. A lot of fungicide has been applied to wheat. Wheat looks very good. Harvest will be later than normal. Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: Farmers pushed to complete soybean planting. The weather has been favorable for fieldwork with isolated rain showers passing through the area causing few delays. Rainfall amounts varied from none to almost 1 inch depending where the cloud passed. First-crop soybean planting should be done by the time this report is read. The corn crop is looking good so far with heights from 3 inches to kneehigh. The wheat is doing well with the grain head fully extended. I’ve noticed a slight color change to the fields, reminding me that wheat harvest is about two to three weeks away. Strawberry harvest is under way, and many of the local farms are advertising fresh picked strawberries.


Page 7 Monday, June 2, 2014 FarmWeek Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: Planting is winding down. We had a very productive week for planting and spraying. Wheat still looks good. Have heard a few reports of ar mywor ms. Not going to guess when harvest will start.

Dean Shields, Murphysboro, Jackson County: We had to work between rain showers last week. We are down to a few hundred acres of soybeans to plant and some sidedressing of corn. Corn and beans planted before the 6 inches of rain are still struggling along. Wheat is fully headed out and planes are applying fungicide. The wheat crop looks good, but not great. Take your time and stay safe this planting season.

Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: Tuesday afternoon we had another downpour with 1.4 inches of rain in a very short period of time. It was very localized. We managed to finish planting corn Monday (May 26) and started planting soybeans. Of course, soybean planting and sidedressing corn came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday with the rain. We managed to find a field dry enough to go back to sidedressing Wednesday, but on Thursday afternoon we received another .7 of an inch. I don’t know when we will get back into the fields.

Randy Anderson, Galatia, Saline County: Finished corn planting middle of last week and now on to beans, but that was difficult with spotty, pop-up showers at the end of the week. Corn planting is 95 percent plus and beans around 60 to 65 percent planted. Wheat looks good. My crop scout said very little problems are showing up, and he also said the fungicide has really paid off. Harvest looks to be about a week to 10 days later than normal this year. Some hay cutting has taken place, but hard to get up with the scattered showers.

Take time to review 2,4-D burndown labels With the pace of fieldwork really accelerating, this is a good time to focus closely on 2,4-D label restrictions. One wrong decision made during a “fast and furious” planting season could result in considerable crop injury. Regardless of the formulation, 2,4-D is a n e xc e l l e n t Barry Nash burndown herbicide for both corn and soybean systems. We consider it to be one of the best allaround burndown herbicide tank-mix partners available. However, many may be surprised to find out that the product can be very injurious to corn and soybeans if not used properly. 2,4-D corn precautions Applications of 2,4-D near planting time can injure corn. Injury is more likely to occur under cooler soil temperatures. Our experience suggests nighttime temperatures below 55 degrees with above average soil moisture provide the most susceptibility to injury. BY BARRY NASH

While coarse-textured soils with low organic matter are the most susce ptible to 2,4-D injury, it can ultimately occur with any soil type under cool and wet emergence conditions. 2,4-D ester and amine formulations are labeled for burndown, pre-plant and pre-emergence applications to corn. However, we strongly encourage the use of the ester formulation, since the amine formulation has much more residual activity on weeds and corn. Be sure to carefully check the label of the 2,4-D product. L a b e l s c a n va r y g r e a t l y i n regard to specific recommendations for timing of application. Labels for some products recommend application from seven to 14 days before planting, while others allow application up to three to five days after planting but before the corn has emerged. Other product labels actually specify application “any time after planting.” Corn symptoms from 2,4-D injur y include a corkscrew appearance to mesocotyls, hyperextension of mesocotyl (resulting in rootless corn/floppy corn syndrome), leafing out underground and “buggy whipping” at V1 to V2 stage.

Directory of Illinois growers available online

Looking for a farmers’ market or orchard in your area? Go online. Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Specialty Growers Association launched Prairie Bounty of Illinois, an interactive directory of direct-from-the-farm sellers, farmers’ markets and agritourism businesses. The website can be found at {www.specialtygrowers.org/prairiebounty.html}. The website provides information about more than 900 Illinois growers of fruits, vegetables and herbs. The site is searchable by city, county and zip code. “As consumers become more involved in how their food is produced, they often become more interested in supporting local farms by purchasing locally grown food,” said Diane Handley, IFB’s affiliate association manager. “This directory helps consumers do just that — support local farmers and buy farm-fresh produce and products at farms and farmers’ markets across the state.” Growers interested in adding their names and business to the directory can contact Handley at 309-557-3662 or dhandley@ilfb.org, or go to the Illinois Specialty Growers website {www.specialtygrowers.org} for instructions on how to register.

Soybean precautions Growers are shifting from corn to soybean planting. In the haste to g et the crops planted, some growers will opt f o r a b u r n d ow n h e r b i c i d e application instead of an extra tillage pass. Soybean applications are

Reports received Friday morning. Expanded crop and weather information available at FarmWeekNow.com.

absolutely limited to the ester for mulation and the 2,4-D must be applied at least seven days prior to planting. Do not use the amine for mulation. This formulation has a higher water solubility that can result in direct contact of the herbicide with the seed. Most ester for mulations require, or should require, a seven-day pre-plant interval at the 1 pint per acre rate (.5 lb. ai) and 30-day pre-plant interval at the 2 pints per acre rate (1 lb. ai). Refer to individual

2,4-D ester product labels since some have recently reduced the pre-plant interval at the 2-pint rate from 30 days to 15 days. Soybean 2,4-D injury symptoms include stem or petiole twisting or curling, opening of cotyledons underground and “leaf strapping” at about the V1 to V2 growth stage. Barry Nash serves as GROWMARK’S weed science technical manager. His email addr ess is bnash@growmark.com.

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PRODUCTION

FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, June 2, 2014

Corn planting complete; majority of soybeans in the ground BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Farmers worked around pop-up showers, including some heavy downpours, last week to wrap up corn planting in most areas. Corn planting in the state the first of last week was 95 percent

complete, well ahead of the fiveyear average pace of 88 percent. Farmers also jumped ahead on soybean planting with 64 percent of that crop in the ground the first of last week compared to the average of 50 percent. “The majority of planting is done,” said Dan Koester, a

Stephenson County farmer. “It was a late spring, but there were plenty of opportunities to get it done.” Eighty-one percent of the corn crop and nearly one-third (32 percent) of beans emerged as of the first of last week. The emergence rate was 21 percent of

Streak of cold months ends; forecast wet and warm

The weather last month finally shifted toward a spring/summer pattern conducive to crop development. The average temperature in Illinois during May totaled 63.2 degrees, .7 of a degree above average, according to Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey. The warm up broke a string of six consecutive months (November 2013 through April) that featured below-average temperatures in the state. “(May) was the first time since October 2013 we had above average temperatures,” Angel said. “We’re seeing more warm days. (The pattern) is more persistent. Precipitation-wise, we were a little on the dry side.” Precipitation across the state last month averaged 3.3 inches, .7 of an inch below average. Rainfall was very uneven, though. Some parts of the state, particularly western Illinois, remain dry, while northeast Illinois received above-average rainfall last month. “There’s definitely some dry areas, especially

the western part of the state between the Quad Cities and Quincy and points eastward,” said Angel, who noted much of that area last month was 2 to 3 inches below normal for precipitation. Fortunately, the 6- to 10-day and 8- to 14-day forecasts as of Friday called for increased chances of above-average temperatures and above-average precipitation in Illinois. Some portions of the state last month also encountered severe weather. There were spotty reports of light frost damage in the middle of May followed by a severe storm that produced wind and hail damage along with field ponding in eastern Illinois. “Fortunately, it was very localized and didn’t last long,” Angel said of the severe storm that produced tennis ball sized hail near Tuscola. COUNTRY Financial as of last week received 359 auto and property damage claims in Douglas County, 136 in Champaign County and 15 in Edgar County totaling $2.8 million in losses. — Daniel Grant

the average pace for both crops. Many farmers last week worked on the remainder of soybean planting or waited for flooded areas in fields to recede in order to replant. “I’ve got 100 acres of beans to go and 25 acres of corn to replant,” said Pete Tekampe, a FarmWeek CropWatcher from Lake County, late last week. “But I can’t yet because there’s still water standing in the low ground.” Isolated showers completely missed some parts of the state last week, while other areas were drenched with as much as 3 to 4 inches of precipitation. Some of the showers delayed hay mowing and dampened other fields that were previously cut, according to Bernie Walsh, a Winnebago

County CropWatcher. “As usual for this time of year, the rain has been spotty,” Walsh said. Koester also noted a disparity of rainfall totals in his area. “We still could use some rain, but just a few miles from us they got 3 to 4 inches (last week),” Koester said. Topsoil moisture in the state last week was rated 13 percent short or very short, 76 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of subsoil moisture last week was rated short or very short. The driest areas of the state last week were in the west, northeast and west southwest. The portion of topsoil moisture rated short or very short in those areas was 41 percent, 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

IBA summer conference June 18-20

The Illinois Beef Association (IBA) will host its annual summer conference June 18-20 in the Quad Cities. The event will feature a trade show, IBA’s annual meeting, a tour of Lock and Dam 15 and informative sessions on topics ranging from economic trends, farm succession and environmental regulations to a legislative update. The conference will be held at the Isle of Capri Hotel and Casino, 1800 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf, Iowa. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 800-843-4753. Mention the conference code “IBA 2014” to receive a special rate. Registration for the event ends Friday. For more information, to register or to view the schedule, visit IBA’s website {illinoisbeef.com}.

NCGA yield contest open for entries

Got most of your corn planted? Consider entering a field or two in the National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest. Until June 16, fees will be reduced to $75.  In addition to moving to a solely online entry method, contest rules have been revised. For example, NCGA will allow the use of lasers to measure row lengths beginning this year. If the field has any type of curve or slope, a laser may not be used to measure it for contest purposes. For entries with yields of 289.9 bushels per acre or less, one or two NCGA-approved supervisors will complete the initial harvest check. No recheck will be required. For yields of 290 bushels per acre or higher, one or two NCGA-approved supervisors will complete the

initial harvest check, but a recheck is required. This recheck must be conducted by two NCGA-approved supervisors. Entries with yields of 350 bushels per acre or higher must notify the NCGA office at {ncyc@ncga.com} or phone 636-733-9004 before and after the recheck. Contest rules now require the supervisor(s) involved in all yield checks, whether initial or a recheck, to initial all weigh tickets submitted as part of the harvest forms for contest entries. To enter, visit {ncga.com/forfarmers/national-corn-yield-con test}. Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through August 1. All harvest forms will be due by November 21. Contest winners will be announced December 19.

FFA textbook drive at state convention

FFA members across Illinois will collect and donate textbooks for Liberian students and schools during the Illinois FFA Convention June 10-12 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield. This summer, the Illinois FFA Association will partner with a number of educational, nonprofit, government and private businesses to ship donated books to Liberia, whose economic base is 70 percent agriculture. Schools report severe shortages, such as only three or four books for a school with 200 students. The FFA seeks agricultural, science, math, reading and recent history books published in the last five years. Donated books should be packed in sturdy boxes that could be lifted and carried. Books will be collected June 10-11 at the Convention Center.


FROM THE COUNTIES

Page 9 Monday, June 2, 2014 FarmWeek

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DAMS — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a livestock development informational meeting at 6 p.m. June 16 at Sprout’s Inn, Quincy. Call 222-7305 for reservations. • Young Farmers will host a night at the Quincy Stadium at 6:30 p.m. June 19 to see a Gems baseball game. Must be a farming member under the age of 35 to attend. Free tickets are available at the Farm Bureau office. OOK — Farm Bureau will sponsor a bee apiary visit at 1 p.m. June 10 at Lyman Woods in Downers Grove. Marge Trocki, naturalist, will conduct the tour. Call the Farm Bureau office at 708-354-3276 or email membershipdebbie@ cookcfb.org for reservations by Friday. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a produce tour at 10 a.m. June 25 at Testa Produce in Chicago. The tour will include the “green” facility and “green” roof. Call 708-3543276 or email membershipdebbie @cookcfb.org to register by June 20. • Farm Bureau will provide

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children’s activities at the Wagner Farm Dairy Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 14 at the historic Wagner Farm, Glenview. OUGLAS — Farm Bureau will host a manager farewell/welcome party for outgoing Kara Kinney and incoming Tyler Harvey from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Farm Bureau office. For more information, email member ship@douglascrb.com. • The Foundation will host a glow-in-the-dark golf outing at 6 p.m. June 27 at Iron Horse Golf Course. Cost is $60. All proceeds will benefit Foundation scholarships. Email mem bership@douglascfb.com for reservations by June 20. • The Women’s Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Doug Yoder, Illinois Farm Bureau, will speak on basis. Email the Farm Bureau office at kkinney@douglascfb.com to register by Tuesday. NOX — Young Farmers will host a rib cookoff from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 29 at Railroad Days in Gales-

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SAFETY MESSAGES SHARED

Brown County Fire Chief Brian Gallaher talks with first graders about using grain rescue tubes. The stop represented one of many during Brown County Farm Bureau’s Farm Safety Day. About 424 prekindergarten through fourth graders from public and private schools attended. Other safety subjects included front end loaders, power takeoffs, lawn mowers, string trimmers, four wheelers and animal safety. An Illinois Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial grant helped make the event possible. (Photo by Kathy Knight, Brown County Farm Bureau manager)

Tuesday:

• “FarmWeek: The Early Word” • Bryce Anderson, DTN • Kevin Concannon, USDA: farmers’ markets and the SNAP program • Stone Seed agronomist • Toni Dunker, Advanced Trading: livestock update Wednesday: • Warren Goetsch, Illinois Department of Agriculture: spray drift precautions • Dan Kelly, farm tour host; Devon Flammang, Field Mom from IAA: planting tour

• Jason Webster, Beck’s Hybrids Central Illinois Practical Farm Research director: replanting information Thursday: • Illinois Beef Association • Sen. Mike Frerichs, DChampaign: Illinois State Treasurer candidate Friday: • Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse • Total Livestock Services: World Pork Expo • Mike Doherty, IFB senior economist

To find a radio station near you that carries the RFD Radio Network, go to FarmWeekNow. com, click on “Radio,” then click on “Affiliates.”

burg. Cost is $75. Call 3422036 to register by June 20. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a kids farm safety camp at 8:30 a.m. June 21 at the Knox County Fair grounds for children ages 3 to 13. Call the Farm Bureau office at 342-2036 to register by June 13. ASALLE — Farm Bureau’s 100th anniversary celebration will be at 11 a.m. June 21 at the Farm Bureau building. Contact the Farm Bureau office at 4330371 if you have LaSalle County Farm Bureau agricultural history memorabilia. Deadline to drop off items is June 13. EE — Lee and Bureau Farm Bureaus will host a golf outing to benefit Agriculture in the Classroom beginning at 9 a.m. June 20 at Timber Creek Golf Course in Dixon. Cost is $200 for basic registration, $225 for super registration and $250 for premium registration. Call the Bureau County Farm Bureau office at 875-6468 by Friday to register. ACON — The Foundation will host a golf outing at 8 a.m. Aug. 4 at Moweaqua Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. Registration

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deadline is July 25. Call the Farm Bureau office at 8772436 for more information. ERCER — The Marketing Committee will co-sponsor a market outlook seminar at noon June 24 at the Aledo VFW Hall. Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension, will speak. Cost is $10. Call the Farm Bureau office at 582-5116 or visit {mercercfb.org} to register by June 13. • The Marketing Committee will host a market outlook seminar at 7:30 p.m. June 12 at the Farm Bureau building. Dan Zwicker, Consolidated Grain and Barge, will speak. Call the Farm Bureau office at 582-5116 for more information. ULASKI-ALEXANDER — Farm Bureau will host a defensive driving course for drivers age 55 and older from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Farm Bureau office. Bob Farr, AARP, will conduct the class. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers. Call the Farm Bureau office at 7459429 to register by Wednesday. ICHLAND — Agriculture in the Classroom will sponsor a National Dairy

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Month themed ag in the library summer session at 2 p.m. June 13 at the Olney Public Library for first- to fifth-grade children. Call the Farm Bureau office at 393-4116 to register by June 11. ARREN-HENDERSON — The Foundation will sponsor a tractor drive at 8 a.m. Saturday leaving from the Russell Stewart farm. Cost is $25. Proceeds will benefit Agriculture in the Classroom and scholarship programs. Call the Farm Bureau office at 734-9401 for reservations by Thursday. For more information, call Russell Stewart at 255-4846. • Farm Bureau’s annual meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 19 at St. Patrick’s Community Center. Rachel Hawk of Seaton will speak about her trip to South Africa with the Illinois FFA. Cost is $8. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit Agriculture in the Classroom and scholarship programs. Call the Farm Bureau office at 734-9401 to register by June 10.

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“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.

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Applying the right products to the right place is essential to each crop acre. That’’ss why growers turn to FS for custom application. Our applicators stay focused on what’’ss ahead by applying accurate inputs at just the right time in the crop life cycle. Our custom applicators maximize each acre and ensure your fields are ready for what’’ss next.

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PROFITABILITY

FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, June 2, 2014

Wheat harvest delays expected Corn, soybean exports hit new high

Many farmers in southern Illinois expect a bountiful wheat harvest this summer. Participants of the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour, hosted by the Illinois Wheat Association, last week projected an average yield of 64.7 bushels per acre. Farmers, however, won’t know the accuracy of that estimate until they’re behind the wheel of their combines. And that activity likely will be delayed this season. Wheat tour participants believe development of the wheat crop as of last week lagged about one to two weeks behind the normal pace. The crop in southern Illinois last week was just completing the flowering stage. The majority of the wheat crop (81 percent) headed as of the first of last week, four points behind the five-year average. “Things are definitely behind last year,” said Mark Miller, general manager of Mennel Milling Co. in Mount Olive. “I thought the (cold, wet) spring actually was good for it (the wheat crop), though. It didn’t start growing too fast.” Miller estimated wheat harvest this season could start around July 1 as opposed to mid to late June, a more typical start time in southern Illinois. James Harper, commercial manager for ADM in Mount Vernon, Ind., who led one portion of the wheat tour, agreed BY DANIEL GRANT

Jack Rundquist, left, a farmer from Butler (Montgomery County) and former Illinois ag director, analyzes wheat head samples with his grandson, John Rundquist, in a Macoupin County field during the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour hosted by the Illinois Wheat Association. The elder Rundquist has grown wheat every year since he started farming in 1948. Development of the crop last week was about one to two weeks behind. (Photo by Daniel Grant)

more wheat growers may start harvest in July as opposed to June this year. “I think we’ll be a little behind with harvest, by maybe seven to 10 days,” Harper said. Illinois farmers this summer could harvest less wheat than last year, but more than two years ago. Farmers last fall seeded 740,000 acres of wheat in Illinois, down 15 percent from the previous year, but up from 660,000 acres seeded for the 2012 crop.

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-$72.49 $45.45 40 lbs. (cash) $95.00-$118.00 $110.37 Receipts

This Week 49,025 *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Last Week 66,141

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) Carcass Live

(Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week Change $108.13 $108.89 -$0.76 $80.02 $80.58 -$0.56

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

Steers Heifers

This week $ 143.95 $142.97

Prev. week $143.94 $144.00

the May crop report. This has had a posiU.S. exports of both corn and soybeans have tive effect on price as the July futures conbeen a pleasant surprise to grain traders during tract has rallied from near $4.35 at the beginning of 2014 to near $5.20 by the end the current 2013-14 marketing year. Corn of April. exports are now forecast by USDA to be 1.9 Estimates of soybean exports have also billion bushels. This would be the highest total steadily increased as the marketing year has since the 2009-10 crop years and is a huge progressed. USDA has raised its export increase from last year’s meager total of projection in every monthly report just 731 million bushels. since last September with the May proSoybean exports for 2013-14 are jection 230 million bushels higher than currently forecast at a record 1.6 bilthe September number. lion bushels, eclipsing the previous Soybean ending stocks have not high of 1.5 billion bushels in 2010-11. changed much since September, In fact, we have exported so many soydecreasing by just 20 million bushels to beans this year that it has become nec130 million bushels — a level most feel essary to import a record amount of represents pipeline supplies at year’s beans. Hugh Whalen end. With so many soybeans being Corn exports have steadily increased shipped out of the U.S., domestic supplies have as USDA has issued its monthly reports since shrunk to the point that USDA projects 90 millast September when it projected the total at lion bushels of soybean imports will be neces1.225 billion bushels. Since that time, the estisary to achieve supplies of 130 million bushels mate has grown by a whopping 675 million as of August 31. bushels as the world replenishes supplies Like corn, increasing exports of soybeans depleted by the 2012 drought. have pushed prices higher. The July soybean Last year’s record U.S. corn harvest has contract has rallied from near $12.50 in early pushed corn prices well below the level of the last couple of years and importers have January to near $15 by the end of April. Strong worldwide demand for U.S. corn and been aggressive buyers of supplies at “barsoybeans has been an important market factor gain” prices. As the export estimates have this year! increased, ending stocks of corn for the 2013-14 marketing year have decreased. Hugh Whalen serves as a senior commodity risk Corn ending stocks were projected to be consultant for MID-CO Commodities Inc. His email 1.855 billion bushels in September. That address is hwhalen@mid-co.com. number shrank to 1.146 billion bushels in BY HUGH WHALEN

Change $.01 -$1.03

Fuel isn’t the only thing driving your success.

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 $191.43 $189.35 $2.08

Lamb prices Negotiated, wooled and shorn, 107-169 lbs. for 137-170 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 148.30); 170-195 lbs. for 130-140 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 138.23)

Export inspections (Million bushels) Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 5/22/2014 3.3 18.7 45.7 5/15/2014 6.5 21.8 41.9 Last year 3.5 21.2 12.4 Season total 1541.7 1129.2 1286.6 Previous season total 1259.9 987.5 528.7 USDA projected total 1600 1185 1900 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

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PROFITABILITY

Page 11 Monday, June 2, 2014 FarmWeek

CASH STRATEGIST

Planting mix debated during June

As we acknowledged last week, planting has gone much better this spring than the industry anticipated at the outset. But until the June 30 USDA acreage report is released, there should be a debate about the final mix of acreage because of the delays across the northern tier of states. Consistently, the band from North Dakota through Michigan has been the wettest during the last month with cool temperatures slowing drying on those short, dry periods. Corn and/or spring wheat planting has lagged in those areas, Michigan being the most delayed. The other critical element in the equation is the final plant dates for crop insurance. For spring wheat and corn, it is May 31 in most areas. For soybeans, it’s June 10 for much of the region with June 15 for Michigan and parts of Wisconsin. We assumed some progress was made this past week, boosting progress to 75 to 80 percent in the affected areas for corn and wheat with lesser amounts for soybeans. That still leaves about 11 million acres to be planted in the region we are focusing on for spring wheat, corn and soybeans. Most of that

is in the northern Plains, and much of that is soybeans. In Minnesota, we are only looking at the west-central and northwestern crop reporting districts. The evolution of the situation is going to depend upon how producers react to the passing of the insurance dates. Normally, we have found they will plant crops five to 10 days beyond the dates with the insurance guarantees only dropping 1 percent per day. With soybeans being high priced relative to corn and spring wheat, there may be more willingness to switch to soybeans if seed is available. We believe spring wheat and corn could lose a half million acres each because of the delays. Soybean plantings could grow to 83 million acres, up 1.3 million acres from the USDA March forecast, with June weather being important. We can see prevent plant growing to 4.5 million acres from our earlier expectation of 2.5 million. Even using those assumptions, total plantings, conservation reserve acres and prevent plant numbers still total 2.3 million acres less than last year. That leaves room for the final total planting to grow, the prevent plant to grow or both. In this year of talk about larger crops, that’s not to be dismissed. Weather the next couple of weeks could shed a lot of light on the situation.

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Corn Strategy

ü2013 crop: Softening demand and good new-crop weather continue to work against the corn market. Still, we believe short-term downside risk is limited in part because of price cycles. Target a move to the middle $4.80 on July futures to resume selling. Use current weakness to lock in the basis on any hedge-to-arrive contracts. ü2014 crop: The persistent lag in planting across the northern tier of states could result in a slight acreage decline. But that is being partly offset by optimistic yield expectations. We’d still expect a weather scare sometime to bring another marketing opportunity. Refrain from making sales for now. vFundamentals: Even though corn planting is not yet complete, progress has been much better than feared earlier this spring. Along with the weather, it has instilled a perception that a big crop is realistic. That has moderated end user anxiety about the need to cover old- and new-crop needs. Until that changes, the price structure could remain weak.

Cents per bu.

Soybean Strategy

ü2013 crop: Even though concerns about tight U.S. inventories persist, the speculative interest in owning soybeans continues to subside. More ships have arrived at U.S. ports with Brazilian soybeans/soybean meal. Price old-crop bushels. ü2014 crop: Strength in oldcrop prices is the primary feature supporting new-crop prices. Production expectations are growing slightly. New-crop export sales are still not as robust as last year. If you are comfortable with new-crop potential, sell another 10 percent, boosting your total to 60 percent priced. vFundamentals: Speculative interest continues to support the soybean complex, but we steadily see that enthusiasm deteriorating. At the same time, we see weather steadily bolstering new-crop potential from both an acreage and yield potential. The Chinese picture remains confusing at best, but import expectations continue to decline, which should bolster world stocks this summer.

Wheat Strategy

ü2013 crop: Price remaining bushels if July Chicago reaches $6.75 before new-crop harvest. ü2014 crop: Conditions for hard red winter wheat have stabilized with a wet outlook for the first half of June helping sustain potential by harvest. Wheat is due for a slight bounce after taking it on the chin during May. That said, the fundamental headwinds are strong and will likely beat back any significant rallies. Make catchup sales on a Chicago July rally to $6.75. Take advantage of the carry market if you can store wheat

until space is needed for the corn and soybean harvest. vFundamentals: Early indications are that soft red winter wheat in the Midwest looks to be in great shape. Upside price potential is beginning to rely on future trouble with the newly planted crop. Intentions for spring wheat acres could be cut if delays in the northern Plains persist. Weather in Russia and Kazakhstan has a good chance to turn hot and dry. Drought in Australia, especially in an El Nino year, is always a possibility.


PERSPECTIVES

Cheese essential to agricultural trade growth

FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, June 2, 2014

Gorgonzola, asiago, parmesan, feta — all of these are common in grocery stores and restaurants as key components of salads, pasta dishes and cheesy bread products. They are also known as geographic indicators, words that reference historical origins of the prodMelissa George ucts Kessler themselves, guest columnist though all have been produced outside of those home regions for generations. In many cases, makers of these products in other parts of the world have spent decades building their markets. But now the European Union (EU) seeks restrictions on how these common names can be used as part of a trade agreement being negotiated with the United States. If EU negotiators get their way, American producers of

these cheeses and other food products would be forced to rebrand their goods and try to communicate to consumers why foods they have traditionally enjoyed are suddenly called something different. This would have real reputational and financial costs; the U.S. Dairy Export Council estimates $4.2 billion worth of cheese would be affected. U.S. agriculture remains a trade powerhouse. The value of U.S. ag exports exceeded $140 billion each of the last two years with an overall positive trade balance that infuses billions of dollars into the Ameri-

One of the most heated battles in years is brewing in Washington. Not tax reform or unemployment benefits — it’s housing finance reform. Ever since the housing market blowup in 2008, this lingering issue has plagued Wall Street and Washington. Derek The first fix Vogler was to add liquidity and credibility back to the market. Given the gradual uptick in the economy and the moderate strength in housing, it’s fair to say this part has succeeded. However, one issue that neither the administration, Congress, nor the U.S. Treasury has dealt with was what the system should look like going forward. Some changes were made in lending standards, and banks were tasked with carrying out a more disciplined approach to home lending. But the area that was barely touched dealt with the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While a lively debate continues about who to blame for the housing meltdown, there is clearly fault to be spread around. The federal government encouraged homeownership for many who could not afford it; borrowers overstretched themselves with the belief that home prices would rise indefinitely; banks and

mortgage companies made inappropriate loans without proper underwriting and documentation; and the GSEs bought these loans and watched the value deteriorate when housing collapsed. Some believe much of the blame for everything can be placed on the GSEs. While this seems a bit far-fetched, many politicians are treating them as the ultimate scapegoat. Why wouldn’t they after receiving an unprecedented level of taxpayer support to the tune of $187.4 billion? Countless politicians have thrown this number around in an attempt to illustrate the high level of risk in the companies. Only a few brave souls have finished the conversation by pointing out that Fannie and Freddie have returned $213.1 billion to the U.S. Treasury since this capital infusion was made. Few days go by when there isn’t someone from one of the political parties pointing the finger at those “evil” GSEs that need to be disbanded. The problem is our entire housing market is tied to them in some way. Right or wrong, even after reducing the size of their total mortgage exposure, these two companies still back more than two-thirds of all mortgages written in the U.S. Over the last couple years, attempts to reform the mortgage industry failed. The newest legislation named the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of

can economy each month. According to the Office of the United States

Trade Representative, the agency that negotiates trade agreements on behalf of the U.S. government, exports generate 20 percent of farm income. Ag trade remains essential to the continued health of our national economy, and growing sales of farm products overseas will fuel the growth of rural

economies here at home. Two very important trade negotiations are under way right now — talks with the EU known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and a separate set of negotiations with other Pacific Rim countries, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Each of these agreements has the potential to vastly broaden markets for goods produced by American farmers, ranchers and food companies. But to do so, negotiators must reach agreements that truly work for farmers, a goal the cheese debate shows is more complex and delicate than it might appear on the surface. Misuse of geographical indicators is a perfect example of protectionism. It’s a trade barrier that simply must not be codified in any TTIP agreement meant to

benefit American agriculture. Luckily, lawmakers overseeing the trade talks are having none of it. More than half of the U.S. Senate wrote negotiators last month and asserted they will reject any proposal that restricts these common names for cheeses. To be beneficial to agriculture, TTIP and TPP must address potential trade barriers like geographic indicators, sanitary issues and even standards for genetically modified crops in ways that are productive and take into account the diversity of our agriculture industries and our consumers. When ag trade works, the value to U.S. producers and their customers is enormous. But if these critical issues aren’t addressed, an agreement could be just stinky cheese. Melissa George Kessler is a writer, editor and organization development consultant working in agriculture.

Housing finance reform generates mixed reviews ‘While a lively debate continues about who to blame for the housing meltd o w n , t h e r e i s c l e a r l y fa u l t t o b e spread around.’ 2014, also known as Johnson– Crapo, calls for the end of the GSEs as we know them, replaced by a new regulator and a bunch of new rules. It tries to bring in private capital with a “risk-sharing” agreement whereby taxpayers explicitly back 90 percent of the value of the securities. In theory, the first 10 percent would be covered by private capital. Interestingly, the current GSEs only carry an implicit government guarantee. So, this bill technically introduces even more direct backing by taxpayers. The problem is that unwinding these institutionalized companies would require rewriting the rules that have, for the most part, been successful over the last 75 years. The U.S. also has a unique

housing market based on a 30year mortgage. Without some form of government backing, few lenders have ever shown the desire to loan money for this length of time, especially with interest rates near historic lows. They might write some of these loans during good times, but as we saw in 2008, the market could once again quickly seize up without government involvement. The Johnson-Crapo legislation attempts to bring in private capital, but this sort of risk-sharing is untested and no one really knows if it would be appealing to lenders. Due to the controversial nature of the pending legislation, it may pass a committee vote, but likely remains destined to fail a vote in the

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entire Senate — if it even gets to the floor. Hard-core Republicans want the government out of the mortgage business, while hard-core liberals want more low income support and easier lending standards. The liberals might have actually picked up some support recently when Mel Watt, recently appointed head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, announced that his plan for Fannie and Freddie included loosening mortgage rules to prevent a slowdown in housing activity. With the varying opinions on the best course of action, housing finance reform will likely remain only a rallying cry for future elections. In reality, the best fix is probably to make some changes to the existing structure without gutting the entire system. Creating a requirement for these companies to build significant capital cushions in the event of another downturn would seem to be a good first step. Derek Vogler serves as vice president of investments for COUNTRY Financial.

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