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IFB President Rich Guebert Jr. participated on a national immigration reform panel. page 4

Check out pictures and a link to video from the 5K Grow & Go fundraiser for IAITC. page 8

WRRDA up for final vote Monday, May 19, 2014

BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

Periodicals: Time Valued

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances,” U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he expects the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) to “fly through” the House and Senate this week. “That will be another success for the ag industry and the ag sectors, and the coal mining jobs that I have in my district, that I’m just ecstatic to have played a part in,” Davis said during a joint interview with RFD Radio Network® and FarmWeek. Davis, a Taylorville Republican, served on the conference committees for WRRDA and the farm bill. The WRRDA conference report was filed in the House last Thursday. Highlights include: • Increased funding for harbor maintenance. The proposal would increase 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.

Join the May 28 Illinois Wheat Association tour to get a handle on potential yields. page 10

THE NEXT GENERATION

• Change in financing for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project. The bill proposes that the Inland Waterways Trust Fund 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 report also requires the U.S. Corps of Engineers to submit annual financial 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 Davis and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, and Sens. Dick Durbin, DSpringfield, and Mark Kirk, RHighland Park. “Our economic competitiveness depends on a modern waterway transportation network that can operate efficiently even in the face of challenges like extreme weather,” Durbin said in a statement. “Our legislation will encourage the use of public-private partnerships to speed up the planning and con-

Two sections Volume 42, No. 20

Father and son farming duo Bill (right) and Brad Long (left), Franklin, service their planter after putting in this year’s crop. Bill, 57, represents the average age of a farmer, while Brad represents the next generation of farmers based on the Ag Census. More information about the Longs and census trends can be found on page 3. (Photo by Ken Kashian)

struction of water infrastructure projects.” • Mississippi River Basin study. The conference report would authorize a study to evaluate how the basin functions and how it should be managed, especially during times of severe flooding and drought, to maintain safe navigation and protect lives and property. For the first time, it also creates an environmental management pilot program for the middle Mississippi River. These measures are based on a bill Durbin authored and introduced with Rep. Bill Enyart, DBelleville, and Davis.

• Accelerates planning process and streamlines environmental reviews. WRRDA limits most Corps studies to three years and caps the federal cost of the studies at $3 million. Currently, no limit exists for either. “The Corps has had a paperwork process, a regulatory process that has averaged 15 years,” Davis said. “We are allowing changes in policy for concurrent studies to be run that would take that 15-year average down to about three years. Those policy changes have the potential to save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

Illinois House approves and holds budget bills BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

A new state budget started taking shape Thursday in the Illinois House. Despite more than eight hours of work, representatives acted upon portions of the budget, but left unsaid how to pay for schools, pensions and other state-funded expenses. Starting with education and covering most other programs and agencies, the House with Democrat support passed dozens of spending bills for a $38 billion budget. That level of spending would require current tax levels to be maintained.

However, the Senate won’t immediately consider the Houseapproved appropriation bills. Employing a little-used parliamentary procedure, House Speaker Michael Madigan, DChicago, moved to reconsider the vote, essentially holding the measures in the House, said Kevin Semlow, Illinois Farm Bureau director of state legislation. “This will allow further discussions on the budget and other related issues between the House and Senate leadership,” Semlow explained. The appropriation bills that passed reflect much of Gov. Pat

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Quinn’s proposed budget. General state aid to schools would increase by $132 million and preschool education by $25 million. Ag-related line items include $1.8 million for agriculture education that provides incentives for highachievement programs. As anticipated, supporters of raising the minimum wage took steps Friday to put the issue before Illinois voters. On a partisan vote, the House Labor and Commerce Committee approved a proposal to put an advisory referendum to raise the minimum wage on the November ballot. IFB opposes raising

the minimum wage. Discussions continue on changing the school aid formula. SB 16, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, has drawn a lot of attention. “Illinois Farm Bureau continues to look at the impacts this proposal will have on schools,” Semlow said. “This is a very complex issue, and we are looking at how our policy and this bill compare. The question remains whether this will be taken up for a final vote before adjournment.” The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31.

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


Quick Takes

FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, May 19, 2014

PER-STUDENT FUNDING BENCHMARK RAISED — The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) voted to raise its recommended per-student foundation level to reflect inflation. For fiscal year 2015, the recommended state’s per-pupil level would increase to $8,767. Currently, state law set a $6,119 perstudent foundation. However, the state has not funded schools at that level, forcing across-the-board proration of payments for the third consecutive year. Under state law, EFAB must provide education funding recommendations to the General Assembly and the governor every two years.

SECTION 179 IN QUESTION — A bill to revive $85 billion worth of tax extenders, including Section 179, failed to clear a procedural hurdle last week in the Senate. According to Politico, Republicans blocked Democratic efforts to begin to bring debate to a close by a vote of 53-40. Republicans wanted to offer amendments, in particular a vote targeting a health care medical device tax. It’s unclear what happens next.

SOYBEAN MOTOR OIL CERTIFIED — Motor oil made with a high oleic soybean oil base just took the next step toward commercialization. The oil, tested on more than 1 million miles in 100 Las Vegas taxicabs, received certification from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Biosynthetic Technologies of California created the motor oil containing 35 percent of a synthetic ester, called an estolide, made from high oleic soybean oil. API certification verifies the motor oil formulated with the biosynthetic ester passed rigorous standards required for motor oil use. The national soy checkoff funded a project with Biosynthetic Technologies to achieve API certification. The product could appear in stores within the next two years. Motor oils made with the new, high oleic soybean-based estolide do not thin out at high temperatures and provide superior engine protection. The estolide also does not evaporate at high temperatures. These characteristics offer the potential for longer oil change intervals.

WEED SCIENCE FIELD DAY SET — Farmers can compare their favorite corn and soybean herbicide programs to other commercial programs and get an early look at a few new products during the University of Illinois Weed Science Field Day June 25. Research plot tours will occur at the U of I Crop Sciences Research and Education Center located immediately south of the main campus. Coffee and refreshments will be available under the shade trees near the Seed House beginning at 8 a.m. Similar to past years, participants will carpool to the fields where they can join in a guided tour, which will conclude around noon with a catered lunch. Cost for the field tour is $10, which covers the field tour book, refreshments and lunch. Registration will be available on site the morning of the field day. For more information, call 217-333-4424.

(ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 42 No. 20 May 19, 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

EMERGING ISSUES

Most corn in the ground; rains delay soybean planting

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Farmers recovered nicely from a slow start to corn planting as a majority of the crop was in the ground as of the first of last week. Statewide, 78 percent of corn was planted as of the first of last week, well ahead of the five-year average pace (53 percent) and a vast improvement from last year when just 16 percent of the crop was in the ground as of the same date. “I’d say two-thirds to threequarters of corn is in in this area,” said Jeff Scates, a Shawneetown farmer and Illinois Corn Growers Association Board member. However, a cold front accompanied by showers delayed most corn and soybean planting activity the second half of last week. Soybean planting reached 26 percent complete as of the first of last week in Illinois, 10 points ahead of the five-year average. Scates reported 2.5 to 3 inches of rain fell in his area last

week. He estimated soybean planting was just 10 percent complete in his area. “It’s still pretty wet in this area (of southern Illinois),” he said. “There’s been quite a bit of rain in this area. The rivers are coming back up.” Alan Adams, a farmer from Sandwich, reported a similar situation in northern Illinois where nearly an inch of rain fell last week and temperatures dipped to the high 30s and low 40s. “Most corn is planted and a few beans have gone in,” said Adams, president of the Illinois Beef Association. “The cool, wet weather (last week) wasn’t good for the crops, but it was great for the pastures,” he continued. “The pastures hadn’t come on well after winter, and now, all of a sudden, (last week’s) showers really perked them up.” Pasture grazing on Adams’ farm this year was delayed for the second consecutive year from late April until early May. Pasture conditions in the

state last week were rated 58 percent good to excellent, 36 percent fair and 6 percent poor to very poor. Meanwhile, cool, wet conditions slowed development of the winter wheat crop. Just 16 percent of the wheat crop was headed last week compared to the average of 44 percent. “The cold slowed everything down,” Scates said. “Wheat is pollinating right now. It’s not too hurt from winter.” The condition of the wheat crop last week was rated 63 percent good to excellent, 29 percent fair and 8 percent poor to very poor. Weather conditions this week should be warmer and drier than last week, according to Accuweather.com. High temperatures this week could reach the 70s and low 80s in the northern half of the state and mid to high 80s in southern Illinois. There’s a chance of thunderstorms midweek, but the rest of the week could be dry.

Technology transforms trading cards, ag literacy BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Youngsters trading the latest collectible cards swap cows, hogs, corn and soybeans, not ball players or video characters. A new Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) educational tool captures kids’ interest with 12 cards sporting agricultural photos, educational information and fun facts. That’s not all. Focus any smartphone with a special free app on one of the cards and an animated pig oinks and walks. Beef cows stroll through a pasture and a milk truck rumbles down the road on other cards.

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For more information on the Ag in the Classroom program, go to FarmWeekNow.com.

Eye-catching technology opens more students’ eyes to agriculture, according to Kevin Daugherty, Illinois Farm Bureau education director. “We’re riding the technology wave. There’s a lot of technology in schools. How do we capture it?” Daugherty asked. That technology, known as augmented reality, also allows IAITC to gain more uses from its tools. A set of the trading cards, which sells for $1, may be used the old-fashioned way most likely by students in preschool through third grade. But add augmented reality, and the cards’ educational value expands to junior high and even

Kevin Daugherty, Illinois Farm Bureau education director, displays a 12card set of commodity trading cards. Developed by Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom, each card offers information and fun facts on the back. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

high school students. This week, county ag literacy coordinators will learn how the same cards play a role in a new ag trading game with a math component, Daugherty said. In addition to the trading cards, IAITC developed quizzes based on Ag Mag information, but students access the answers via QR codes and their smart-

phones. Again, Daugherty views the technology as a portal to draw students and adults into agricultural topics. “We pique people’s interest about agriculture,” he said. For information about the new trading cards or other IAITC materials, contact your county ag literacy coordinator or visit {agintheclassroom.org}.


CENSUS

Page 3 Monday, May 19, 2014 FarmWeek

Census reaction: Age is a number to ‘average’ farmers BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Farmers comprise an aging bunch, based on findings of the latest Census of Agriculture. The average age of a principal farm operator in the U.S. as of 2012 was 58.3 years old compared to 57.1 years old in 2007. This continues a 30-year uptrend. But age appears relative the way two “average” Illinois farmers see it. The ag industry continues to get more efficient and productive regardless of farmers’ age, according to Bill Long, 57, who farms near Franklin (Morgan County), and Ron Moore, 57, who farms near Roseville (Warren County). U.S. farmers last year produced a record corn crop (13.9 billion bushels) and are poised to harvest a possible record soybean crop this year, if the weather cooperates. Agriculture also remains one of the most reliable U.S. industries that regularly churns out a trade surplus. USDA recently projected the value of U.S. ag exports will exceed imports this year by about $33 billion.

“I don’t feel like the average age,” said Moore, an American Soybean Association board member who turns 58 next month. “I feel I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me.” So how do farmers keep getting better with age? Experience certainly helps, but new technology has a lot to do with it. “It seems in the computer age farmers now are able to generate as much information as we want to about production, economics and other facets of the business,” said Long, who serves on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. “This access to information we can generate to help us do our job is amazing.” Moore agreed new technology and improved farming

practices make farmers more efficient and productive. “As I sit here in my tractor with all the new technology available, the average age doesn’t have much impact on farmers,” Moore said from his mobile phone. “Technology allows us to continue to operate well into our late 60s and 70s. In fact, I have a neighbor who is 90 and he still runs a field cultivator.” The fact that farmers maintain their careers for so long (Moore has been farming 35 years, while Long entered the business in 1980), and farms continue to consolidate (the average farm size increased 4 percent from 2007 to 2012) generates an unintended consequence. Some young people find it

difficult to enter the business. The number of beginning farmers who are principal operators declined nearly 20 percent the last five years. “It’s hard for some young people to get started (in farming) with the capital investment it takes to get going,” Long said. “I don’t think some people realize how much it takes to put a crop in.” Long feels fortunate his son, Brad, 33, works on the farm. The Longs plan to begin the process of transitioning the day-to-day operations of the farm from Bill to Brad in the next few years. USDA also recently launched a series of initiatives

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Go to FarmWeekNow.com to discover other facts about Illinois agriculture from the latest Ag Census.

to help young and beginning farmers enter the industry or expand. “We need more young people to get engaged in this business,” said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “It’s important not just because (ag) is a driver of the economy, but it also makes

us food secure.” Illinois has 75,087 principal farm operators, according to the latest census, and 63,645 of them have been operating 10 years or more. The number of farmers age 35 to 54 declined in the recent five-year stretch. But the number of farmers 25 to 34 years of age increased 6.6 percent. The census also found the following: • Based on the value of sales in 2012, Illinois ranked No. 2 nationwide in corn and soybean sales (last year, it ranked No. 1 in soy production), No. 4 in hogs, No. 16 for wheat, No. 18 for cattle and No. 21 in milk sales. • Farmers rent about 60 percent of farmland in Illinois. • Nearly half of the 2.1 million farms in the U.S. require at least one family member to work off the farm. • Women are the principal operators of 14 percent of the nation’s farms. • The number of Hispanic principal operators nationally increased 21 percent from 2007 to 2012. More information about the ag census can be found online at {agcensus.usda.gov}.

Farmer finds ‘berry’ good way to diversify operation

Zeb and Sam Wyant enjoy growing a wide range of crops on their McLean County farm. Zeb produces corn and soybeans as his two key cash crops but also grows everything from asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and melons to sweet corn. But it’s berry production that could play a major role in boosting sales and other opportunities on the couple’s Cooksville farm. The Wyants this spring expanded plantings of black raspberries and also plan to grow more blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. “We’ve taken on a lot of different things, but we’re going to concentrate on what sells best,” Zeb Wyant told FarmWeek. “I’d like that to be the berry side of (the operation).” Wyant has farmed 11 years and always grows a few berries and other fruits and vegetables for family use. Now, he hopes to take specialty crop production on his farm to the next level. “My interest is to amp up production,” he said. “We plan to take it in steps and hopefully get (the berry operation) built up to where my

Sam Wyant of Cooksville checks the plastic applicator while her husband, Zeb, prepares to operate a specialized machine that places plastic over a seedbed to trap heat, reduce moisture evaporation and prevent weed growth. The Wyants expanded their farm operation this year to include 4 acres of fruits and vegetables. (Photo by Jim Fraley, Illinois Farm Bureau livestock program director)

wife will be on the farm full time (rather than working an off-farm job as well).” The Wyants certainly have plenty of help to grow the operation. Their daughters Allison, 11, Gretchen, 7, Charly, 5, and Billy Jo, 2, are quite involved on the farm, appro-

priately named Four Sisters Farm. “I’m doing this for the kids to keep them involved and to develop a better work ethic,” Wyant said. “They love everything we do out there (on the farm).” The Wyants also raise show

pigs and recently started caring for two hives of honeybees with plans to grow a honey business. They plan to market most of their produce at the wholesale level or sell directly to restaurants. “I have friends in the

restaurant business, and they’re interested in fresh produce,” Wyant said. The local food movement continues to gain momentum as more consumers buy food directly from farmers or other outlets. USDA via the 2014 farm bill tripled funding for marketing and promotion support for local food enterprises by creating the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. “Consumer demand for locally-produced food is strong and growing,” said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Farmers and ranchers are positioning their businesses to meet that demand.” USDA this month announced $48 million in loan guarantees are available through the Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, while $30 million can be obtained through competitive grants via the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program. The Wyants recently received USDA assistance for a high tunnel (an unheated greenhouse) on their farm to extend the growing season for some of their high-value crops. — Daniel Grant


POLICY

FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, May 19, 2014

Vilsack: Immigration reform ‘long overdue’ BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called on Congress last week to pass comprehensive immigration reform, saying inaction costs Illinois residents money and jobs. “It is long overdue for this country to have a workable immigration system that ensures farmers … who are relying on noncitizens for farm work, a predictable and stable workforce,” Vilsack said in a conference call with reporters. “With comprehensive immigration reform, Illinois agriculture can continue to expand and grow.” If immigration reform was in place, Vilsack said, Illinois residents would

have an additional $100 million in real personal income and nearly 1,800 new jobs, many in agriculture. Immigration reform also would help farmers maximize production, expand exports and reduce the national deficit. He called it “good policy” and “good politics.” “For the life of me, given the fact that 78 percent of Illinois supports comprehensive immigration reform, I’m not quite sure why we haven’t gotten this done yet,” he said in a followup interview with RFD Radio Network®. Vilsack participated in a conference call with Rich Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau president, and Mark Erd-

man, a Chenoa dairy farmer. The event was one of several last week, during which President Barack Obama, or members of his administration, pushed for passage of immigration reform. Guebert said IFB supports immigration reform that “protects our borders, increases visas for highly skilled employees and addresses the shortand long-term needs of agriculture.” He described immigration reform as an economic issue. Inaction, he said, could increase the cost of fruits and vegetables. “Either we import our workers, or import our food,” Guebert said. “It’s simple.”

Erdman also called on Congress to help. Erdman, who farms with his father and two nephews, said immigration reform would help the family find additional labor to milk cows. “We’re trying to grow, but we need more help,” he said. Vilsack said the administration wants to create a “pathway for legitimacy … in which they recognize wrongdoing, pay a fine or penalty, pay back taxes, learn the language, play by the rules and require them to get to the back of the line in order to work their way over the course of years to a citizenship,” he told RFD Radio Network. “This is not amnesty.”

Davis: Proposed rule a ‘slap in the face’ to Supreme Court

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis called the proposed rule defining waters of the U.S a “slap in the face to the United States Supreme Court.” “The Obama administration is trying to regulate the waterways of America through the rulemaking process,” Davis said during an RFD Radio Network/FarmWeek interBY DEANA STROISCH

view last week. “We’re continuing to fight for a common sense approach. This is something that can lead to overreach from EPA, in my opinion.” Davis, a Taylorville Republican, joined more than 200 members of Congress who signed a letter recently urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army

Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed rule. Illinois Farm Bureau, with the help of its members, urged legislators to sign the letter from Reps. Chris Collins, RNew York, and Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon. The legislators say the rule “aggressively expands federal authority” under the Clean Water Act “while bypassing Congress and creat-

ing unnecessary ambiguity.” Other members of Illinois’ delegation who signed the letter included: Bill Enyart, DBelleville; Randy Hultgren, RWinfield; Adam Kinzinger, RManteno; Peter Roskam, RWheaton; Aaron Schock, RPeoria; and John Shimkus, RCollinsville. Adam Nielsen, IFB director of national legislation and policy development, said Congress sent a strong message to EPA and the Corps. “Not only is EPA willing to take on the Supreme Court, if they move forward, they are willing to ignore a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives on this issue,” said Nielsen. “We will continue to work with all Illinois members of Congress to drive home the impact this rule would have on agriculture.” The proposed 370-page rule states that under the Clean

Water Act: • Most seasonal and raindependent streams are regulated. • Wetlands near rivers and streams are regulated. • Other types of waters may be regulated, if a case-specific analysis shows that 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.  Opponents, including IFB and American Farm Bureau Federation, say the proposal expands federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. EPA says the rule merely clarifies which wetlands and streams are “waters of the U.S.” IFB recently requested EPA extend the 90-day comment period, which began April 22, by an additional 90 days.

Local transportation bill unveiled

Illinois communities could gain broader access to federal transportation funds through legislation being introduced this week in the U.S. House. U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Dina Titus, DNev., want local communities to receive federal funds for innovative projects. “Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure is key to turning our economy around and creating good paying jobs. Local municipalities, planning commissions and transit agencies must be a part of that process,” said Davis. Currently, a vast majority of federal highway funds are given to states to spend at their discretion. The Innovation in Surface Transportation Act would create an in-state grant program allowing a percentage of those funds to be competitively bid by eligible local entities. For fiscal year 2014, the amount set aside for Illinois in-state grants under the proposed law would total more than $218 million. Eligible entities would include local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, private providers of public transportation, nonprofit transportation organizations and port authorities. Each state would be required to initiate the in-state competitive grant program within 30 days of the beginning of a fiscal year and create a selection panel consisting of no fewer than 11 individuals representing state and local governments as well as chambers of commerce, metropolitan planning groups and public interest organizations.


AROUND ILLINOIS

Page 5 Monday, May 19, 2014 FarmWeek

Be aware of carbon-nitrogen penalty with cover crops

Q. What is the carbonnitrogen penalty, meaning how many units of carbon to how many units of nitrogen? How do I account for that? Dave Bishop, PrairieErth Farm: Soil microbes can tie up soil nitrogen (N) as they digest

the newly killed cover crop. Although that N will be returned through the process of mineralization, it can create

Illinois Rural Heritage Museum fundraiser June 7 BY DEANA STROISCH FarmWeek

The Peterson Farm Bros., whose YouTube videos made them instant Internet celebrities, will perform next month during the Illinois Rural Heritage Museum’s annual fundraiser. The brothers from Kansas — Greg, Nathan and Kendal Peterson — film video parodies of popular songs to explain the life of a Midwest farmer. Parodies include “Chore,� a twist on the song, “Roar,� and “A Fresh Breath of Farm Air,� a parody of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.�  Combined, the videos have been viewed more than 30 million times. “The young kids are watching their YouTube videos and they’re learning that farmers feed the world,� said Mary Greer, the museum’s general manager. “The groceries don’t come from the grocery store. A farmer actually produces them. They’re catching a lot of attention. We’re so fortunate to have them here.� The brothers’ performance will be part of the museum’s 6th annual tractor drive and banquet, scheduled for June 7 at the Illinois Harvest LLC, 5355 Goldeneye Road, Pinckneyville.

Call 618-357-8908 by May 28 to register or email irhmuseum@gmail.com. The tractor drive begins at 1:30 p.m. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. The tractor drive consists of a 23-mile drive with a couple of stops. “It’s just an afternoon of relaxing,� Greer said. “And it’s a fundraiser. You pay $50 to enter your tractor and that includes your banquet meal and entertainment by the Peterson Farm Bros.� The meal and entertainment costs $25. Money raised will help pay operating expenses for the museum, which opened full time in 2012. Through interactive exhibits and videos, visitors can see how rural life has changed since 1850. The museum is owned by the Foundation for Pinckneyville and operated by Charlie and Mary Greer, who volunteer their time. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. If you are driving through and want to visit during a day it is not technically not open, Greer said to call 618571-1854.

6th Annual

a temporary deficiency. Timing is key here. Kill the cover crop before it gets too big. Six inches is a good height for cereal rye, which releases N fairly quickly. Allowing rye to lignify (or get to round stem) can tie up N for an extended period of time when the growing crop needs it. Having the means to sidedress increases the comfort level with this issue. Pete Fandel, Illinois Central College: Every plant you grow will have residue — dead plant material — left over after the plant dies. The plant material left needs to decay to release all of its stored nutrients back into the soil. In order for soil microbes to break down carbon, they need nitrogen as a food source. If there is not enough nitrogen in the plant itself to break down the carbon, the microbes will get the nitrogen from the soil. If there is not enough nitrogen in the soil to satisfy the microbes and the following cash crop, the microbes will “steal� the nitrogen from the soil. It will not be available to the following cash crop until the carbon is broken down, potentially causing a nitrogen deficiency in the cash crop and reducing yields. To avoid this problem,

make sure you know the carbon-nitrogen ratio of the cover crop you are using at whatever growth stage the cover crop was terminated so that you know if a problem potentially exits. If it does, you may add some supplemental or additional nitrogen to ensure there will not be an issue. As a general rule, the more mature a plant gets, the higher the carbon-nitrogen ratio will be, and the higher chance of a nitrogen problem. Dean Oswald, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices: The downside of nitrogen-scavenging crops may be the length of time that they hold it. Crops with a higher carbon-nitrogen ratio will hold onto or tie up nitrogen for a longer period of time before giving it back. Radish (carbon-nitrogen ratio) is 19:1; winter cereal rye (vegetative), 14:1; winter cereal rye (boot/later), 40:1; annual ryegrass (vegetative), 15:1; and annual ryegrass (mature), 35:1. How to account for that? Mature cereals or annual ryegrass may hold onto nitrogen for two or three subsequent crops. Consider termination in a vegetative stage of growth for quicker nitrogen return. Earlier termination may also leave

more soil moisture available for the following crop. Mike Plumer, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices: Really there is no penalty, it is a matter of managing for high carbon crops and residue. Cereal rye tends to remove nitrogen from the soil, but if terminated in the early vegetative stage, it can actually supply some nitrogen. Remember that young corn seedlings need nitrogen as soon as they emerge. Therefore, make sure some nitrogen is there at the soil surface so they can get to it easily. How to account for that? The carbon-nitrogen ratio is determined by species and stage of growth. Both are manageable.  With high-carbon crops like grasses, make sure there are 50-plus pounds per acre available at planting or use pop-up or starter fertilizer to ensure a rapidly growing corn seedling. To view previous questions and answers, visit {farmweek now.com/customPage.aspx?p= 544}.

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.

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FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, May 19, 2014 Bernie Walsh, Durand, Winnebago County: Planting progress has been slowed somewhat by rain that began on Mother’s Day. We have had between 1.5 and 2 inches, depending on which field you’re in. The earliest planted corn is now emerging and pushing out its first true leaf. Some warm weather would really help. Corn planting is nearly 80 percent complete, and soybean planting is well under way. Pete Tekampe, Grayslake, Lake County: A cool, wet week in Lake County. Started Sunday night with 1.6 of an inch in 20 minutes. On Thursday, we got another .6 of an inch for the day. Temperatures are mostly in the 40s and 50s for the week with lows in the mid 30s. Corn is about 40 percent planted with some just starting to spike. Corn looks very yellow. I don’t think any beans are planted yet. Oats and hay look good, but the wheat is very spotty. I don’t think I’m going to save any of mine. Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: I received 1 inch of rain Monday during the storm that produced several funnel clouds. Rain is falling again here Thursday evening. We finished our corn planting May 9. Most all the corn in the county was planted before Monday evening’s rain. Soybean planting has begun. The corn that was planted earlier is emerging with good stands. Rye is starting to head, oats look good and alfalfa is 16 to 18 inches tall. Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: It’s Friday, May 16, and it’s snowing outside. A lot of corn has emerged. We finished planting corn May 11, but have not been in the field since. It has been raining and the temperatures turned colder in our area. There are a few soybeans planted in the area. Again, we wait for the weather to improve. Larry Hummel, Dixon, Lee County: Planters have been sitting still since Monday afternoon’s rain shower. I’m going to estimate that 85 to 90 percent of the corn is in the ground. And around 40 percent of the soybeans. Temperatures in the 80’s before the rain warmed the soil enough to get the early planted corn up and out of the ground. Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: Cold and wet sums up the week. The predicted low for Saturday morning is 37 degrees. Rainfall ranged from 1.5 to 3 inches for the period. Some have finished soybeans, but many have not started. Most soybean seed is treated nowadays, but with these conditions it will be a real test to get these beans up. Ron Moore, Roseville, Warren County: We received 1.6 inches of rain May 12. We had just finished a field of beans. The rain was very welcome since the hot and dry winds had left little moisture in the topsoil. Most of the corn is now up and populations look fair to excellent. The early planted corn had a few thousand plants not emerge, but the last we planted all came up. The first beans we planted are now up and look very good. We did move all of my cattle out to pastures last Wednesday. The grass is very lush right now with the recent rains. Jacob Streitmatter, Princeville, Peoria County: Wet weather across the area stopped planting. A half inch total. Most corn is planted and a lot of progress on beans. Cold weather isn’t good on anything.

Tim Green, Wyoming, Stark County: Pretty much no fieldwork done around here this week. Rain totals anywhere from a little bit more than an inch to the north to just a little under an inch in the middle to southern part of the county. We could take a little bit more. We have virtually no subsoil moisture.

Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: The early corn is up and looks good, but the second planting is laying in saturated soils with very cold temperatures. Our area received more than 4 inches of rain so far with ponding, erosion and waterlogged soil — not what we need for the planting season. Most of the corn is planted with a few soybeans in the ground. This might be one of those years we plant until July. I’m sure some replanted corn and soybeans will take place. Markets are crashing some. It’s hard to get corn to that $5 mark, let alone $6. Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: There has been no activity in the fields this week, and the fields remain saturated or close to it. It will be a while before we can enter the fields again. Our fields received a range of 4.2 to 4.85 inches of rain over the last seven days. Now, we need to wait for it to dry out to assess how many of the planted corn and soybean acres will need to be replanted and to plant the other acres of corn and soybean that remain. The range in corn development is anywhere from still in the bag up to the V2 growth stage. Soybean emergence over the past week has been uneven in the fields due to areas of standing water. The local closing prices for May 15 were $4.55 for nearby corn, $4.47 for new-crop corn, $14.87 for nearby soybeans, and $11.87 for new-crop soybeans. Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: Widespread rain with amounts varying from 1.5 to 4 inches fell last week. Another cold snap slowed crop development, although soybeans planted by May 7 have emerged. Corn will need sprayed and sidedressed as soon as drier soils allow activity. GDU’s are near average. Crop conditions are rated excellent. Corn $4.72, fall $4.60; soybeans $14.96, fall $11.86; wheat $6.39. Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: Our eastern crop reporting district has 83 percent corn planted, 54 percent emerged and 41 percent soybeans planted. Fieldwork came to a screeching halt as rain moved into the area Sunday. We finished beans last Saturday. For the week, we totaled 1.6 inches, which is just about right with no ponding as it came over several days. The new concern is for the 30some degree prediction for Friday and Saturday night. Soil temperatures May 9 were 66 degrees and are now 58. We may have scattered frost, but no freeze so corn and soybeans should be fine as temperatures recover to 70 on Sunday. Let’s be careful out there! Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: Planters and most other equipment have mostly been parked since our last report as we received .4 of an inch of rain May 10, and another 1.5 inches May 12. It certainly helped get the corn up and going, but now the thermometer is headed down. Is it ever going to warm up? Soybean planting has just gotten off to a good start. Have a safe week. Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: Been a cool, wet week. Had rain on at least three different days totalling anywhere between 2.5 to 3 inches. A little water standing in the ponds, but we were at a pretty dry level, so the majority of this has soaked right in with very little runoff. At this point, all the corn that’s up is looking pretty good even considering the cooler temperatures. Soybeans planted early the week before are bouncing right out of the ground with warmer conditions, but later planted beans have been slow to appear with the cooler temperatures. Farmers at this point are approaching 80 percent planted. Most farmers just need one or two more days to wrap things up. Overall crop prospects look good, and farmers still feel that we are ahead of the game.

Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: Corn is at V3 here and seemingly doing well despite this cold weather. The rain has been a boon as we are pretty dry. We received 1.2 inches of rain this week with most of that being in the last two days. We got some spraying done early in the week, but haven’t put any beans in the ground in a week. Those beans in the ground have been slow emerging, and they really need some warmer weather. Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: The rains that started during the writing of the last report still have not gone away, making it a full week that we have been out of the fields. In that week, the rain gauge caught almost 3.5 inches of rain, making this the longest slowdown of spring work. Virtually all of the corn planting has been completed and about half of the soybeans made it into the ground. All of the corn and most of the planted soybeans made it out of the ground with good stands, but by Thursday morning enough rain had fell to fill up some of the low lying areas and drown out small areas of crops. Some unseasonably cool weather that accompanied the later rains is also putting the young crops under moderate stress. Hopefully, by next report the weather clears up and we are back in the fields. Jimmy Ayers, New City, Sangamon County: This past week we received 1.9 inches of rain. A lot of beans were planted. Our best corn made it out of the ground. To reach optimum corn yield, we need to make sure we are doing the right thing to place our seeds in the right place. Planter adjustments, air pressure belts and chains are many times the biggest problem. A lot of times it is driver error. Just look around and see if you can help enhance your crop by finding a better seed space on your planter. Doug Uphoff, Shelbyville, Shelby County: Before the rain came, we were able to get half our beans planted. We received around 2 inches of rain, while the southern part of the county received up to 5 inches. Corn stands here are awesome, and the beans we planted are popping up also. Now they are calling for 35- to 40-degree weather. What the heck? I’m sure it will warm up soon, and we will be back in the field before we know it. David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: In the past week, there has been very little to no fieldwork done. Since last report, it has rained 1.75 inches and the temperatures have taken a plunge. Damp, cool temperatures are going to slow corn emergence and growth. Not too many soybeans have been planted in the immediate area. Wheat is heading out and looking good to excellent. Producers are considering getting fungicide applied to the crop in the near future. Hoping for a little warmer temperatures and drier weather. Forecast is favorable. Have a good week. Jeff Guilander, Jerseyville, Jersey County: Last week everyone was concerned about emergence, cutworms and planting. The 3-plus inches of rain we got in the last week seems to have calmed the tide. As usual, corn looks a lot better when looking down the row. The first beans are just coming through, and everyone seems ready to get back to work next week when hopefully there will be more to report. Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: We received up to 1.5 inches of rain over several days starting Monday evening through Thursday, forcing tractors to remain parked in the shed. Cooler temps also prevailed this week with highs in the upper 50s. Most farmers are done planting corn. Emergence of newly planted corn has been good due to the warm soil. A few fields of soybeans have been planted. I observed one field that had bean plants a couple inches tall. First-cutting alfalfa hay was made just prior to the rainy weather and new growth of these fields appears to be good. Wheat fields have fully headed and are being scouted for army and cutworms as well as wheat diseases. Local grain bids are corn $4.87, soybeans $14.87 and wheat $6.68.


Page 7 Monday, May 19, 2014 FarmWeek Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: No planting has taken place since May 8. Rainfall totaled 3 to 4 inches or more. Rivers are bank full and in some places they are out of their banks. Wheat does not like cool, wet May weather. It causes a lot of diseases. May 10 was the only day suitable for applying fungicides and insecticides to wheat. Insurance companies are beginning to receive requests for replanting of corn. Temperatures in the middle of the coming week are expected to be in the 80s, and hopefully, drier weather will prevail. Rick Corners, Centralia, Jefferson County: Well, the furnace is running again. What a nutty spring. And one thing those stations said this morning there is a chance of frost tonight. Oh no! That little 1inch tall corn wouldn’t like that at all. Nothing done this week field-wise as we’ve had 3.5 inches of rain since my last report. The wheat is heading and flowering.

Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: Rainfall amounts of 2.5 inches or more stopped all field activities. Ditches, creeks and rivers are all going up. Hopefully, they will not stay up for long and we will be able to see how much replanting there is to do. The wheat crop still looks good. Hopefully, the water won’t affect it too adversely. Most of my wheat has headed out. I put fungicide on what was ready. I hope most of it was on long enough before the rains came.

Randy Anderson, Galatia, Saline County: As another week has come and gone so does planting opportunity. I have had more than 3 inches in the last 10 days. But to the east of me, there was some fieldwork in the first part of last week. Lot of producers you talk to are getting pretty nervous. What really makes you feel good is the grain market going in the tank. Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: Wet, wet, wet. That pretty much describes the last week here in Pulaski County. We’ve had more than 5 inches of rain since last Thursday night. Needless to say there’s been no field activity. Some of the storms have been pretty heavy downpours. When it dries out, we will know more, but I’m sure there will be some replanting and of course, we will try and get some more corn in the ground yet here in May. Please take time and be careful.

Senators renew opposition EPA extends comment period on pesticide rule BY DEANA STROISCH rule. IFB requested a 180-day extension. to fuel mandate proposal “Although we would have preferred the full FarmWeek BY CHRIS ANDERSON FarmWeek

Jobs, improved air quality and the nation’s foreign oil independence remain at stake if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decides in June to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A group of U.S. senators last week ramped up opposition to EPA’s proposal to lower the renewable fuel mandate from 14.4 billion gallons to 13 billion gallons. The advanced fuel mandate, including biodiesel and E85 fuel, would drop from 3.75 billion gallons to 2.2 billion gallons. “The EPA’s November preliminary rule is going to be disastrous, creating uncertainty for the future of this industry,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D - I l l . “ We want to make sure biofuels Dick Durbin are included in the future when it comes to America’s energy. We need more certainty of growth in this industry that is going to keep creating good paying jobs and serve the needs of America’s energy future.” Durbin added Illinois boasts five biofuel processing facilities employing 5,000 people. The homegrown fuel doubles as an environmentally clean product, he said. “When there is uncertainty about the future of biofuels,

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

there’s uncertainty about these jobs. And I care about that like every other senator who’s gathered here today,” Durbin noted. D e m o c r a t S e n s. H e i d i Heitkamp of North Dakota, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, and Joe Donnelley of Indiana joined Durbin. Agricultural groups, including Illinois Farm Bureau, also oppose the proposal. Klobuchar said biofuels play an important role in providing a diversified energ y supply. She noted biofuels comprise 10 percent of the nation’s fuel supply. “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture estimates the proposed rule would mean 1,500 lost jobs and $600 million in lost economic activity just in my state,” said Klobuchar. Cantwell said the biofuels industry produced 25 million gallons in 2005 when RFS was created. The industry now produces 1.7 billion gallons. “Hats off to the industry,” Cantwell said. “We want to make sure this product continues to grow.” Cantwell and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, fur ther want to extend the biodiesel tax incentive. They sponsored S2021, which would extend the tax through 2017 and give the tax credit to biodiesel producers instead of blenders. The biodiesel tax incentive of $1 per gallon, which also covers renewable diesel and r e n e wa b l e av i a t i o n f u e l s, expired Dec. 31.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow 60 more days to comment on proposed stricter rules for handling and applying pesticides. The agency announced last week it will accept comments on proposed changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard until Aug. 18.  “The opportunity to revise the rule may not come again for some time, so we are committed to getting it right,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s office of chemical safety and pollution prevention, said in statement. Growers, states and far m org anizations, including Illinois Farm Bureau, asked the agency to allow more time to comment on the proposed

extension we requested, we are glad to have additional time to educate our members on the extensive changes to the rules,” said Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of natural and environmental r e s o u r c e s. “ T h o s e e x t e n s ive ch a n g e s include  enhanced training obligations, record keeping, permitting ‘authorized representatives’ access to such records, changes to the family farm exemption, and increased obligations regarding personal protective equipment and other items.” The proposed changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard — the first in two decades — are intended to better protect ag workers and their families from pesticide exposure, according to EPA.

The landscape is changing. We have the roadmap.

AFBF releases new farm bill videos

Still trying to decide how the new farm bill affects you? Check out a new series of videos by the American Farm Bureau Federation at {goo.gl/ujjnny}. The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity title, including a description of the decisions related to program participation that farmers and landowners will need to make. Other videos provide in-depth information on the Price Loss Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option, the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program and the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

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EVENTS

FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, May 19, 2014

GOING AND GROWING

The show will go on at World Pork Expo BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Above: Runners of all ages move across the course of the IAA Foundation’s fourth annual 5K Grow and Go May 10 in Bloomington. More than 390 participants and volunteers joined the event to raise money for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. The foundation is on track to raise more than $15,000 from the event. Right: Faith Fleming, 7, Bloomington, works with Jackie Jones, Illinois Farm Bureau education manager, on one of several learning activities provided for young participants. To view a video of the event, visit {http://bcove.me/ma2vi07f}. (Photos by Ken Kashian and Cyndi Cook)

The outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) poses a risk to hog shows and exhibitions across the country this summer. The virus, deadly to baby pigs but not a human health risk or food safety issue, killed more than 7 million pigs in 30 states in the past year. PEDV can be spread via water droplets, infected manure or feed, so producers must be extremely cautious when comingling animals at exhibitions and sales. Fortunately, risks of the virus at hog shows can be greatly minimized with the use of proper biosecurity measures, according to Howard Hill, a pork producer and veterinarian from Cambridge, Iowa, who also serves as president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). NPPC next month (June 4-6) will host the annual World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. The popular junior pig exhibition events will proceed as planned at the expo, Hill noted. “There will be a heightened level of biosecurity,” Hill told FarmWeek. “We will have places (on the show grounds) where people can disinfect (clothes, animals and equipment) before they leave.” Hill also emphasized that producers should not wear boots and clothes that have been on their farms to the expo, and vice versa. If producers and exhibitors at the show follow biosecurity rules, there should be “very little risk” of a PEDV outbreak on the premises, Hill noted. “And it appears people are recognizing that,” he continued. “Our preregistration (for the hog exhibitions) are equal or above last year. We expect a big show.” That certainly will be the case if entries in the hog show exceed last year. The 2013 World Pork Expo featured a record turnout of 1,600 pigs exhibited by 678 juniors from 26 states. This year, the number of trade show exhibitors also is expected to climb to 375. A detailed list of swine show biosecurity recommendations can be found at the National Pork Board’s website {pork.org}. The rate of PEDV cases reported nationwide each week appears to be declining, Hill noted. However, it’s difficult to tell which positive samples are new cases and which originate from farms that already have the virus, he said. USDA recently unveiled plans to make PEDV a reportable disease, but the pork industry as of last week continued to await final details of that plan.

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FROM THE COUNTIES

Page 9 Monday, May 19, 2014 FarmWeek

Communication, precautions key to avoid drift BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Managing spray drift requires effort and precautions, but reduces costly mistakes. Pesticide drift remains one of the most common complaints received by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). Last year, 80 of 117 pesticide misuse complaints were related to agriculture. Of the total complaints, IDOA closed 72 cases after determin-

ing no misuse occurred. Technology helps applicators by putting critical information at their fingertips, according to Warren Goetsch, bureau chief of IDOA’s environmental programs. “Look at the Driftwatch website to see if (pesticide) sensitive crops are around them,” Goetsch advised individuals preparing to apply pesticides. Driftwatch, an interactive state website at {il.driftwatch.

org}, offers locations and contact information for pesticidesensitive crops and beehives. Any visitor may use the Driftwatch map to search for information at no charge. Goetsch recommended farmers and other licensed applicators inform beekeepers before applying products so they can restrict the bees’ crop access. If pesticide-sensitive crops grow nearby, “try to be selective when you make applications. Use the right boom height, the right nozzle, the right weather conditions,” Goetsch advised applicators. “Try to apply some common sense to a difficult situation,” he added. Illinois-based best management practices to avoid spray

L

Wayne County Farm Bureau member David White of Cisne cuts the sides of a slow moving vehicle emblem improperly installed on a cattle fence. Farm Bureau volunteers modified 24 signs after receiving homeowner permission. (Photo by Doug Anderson)

Farm Bureau alters misused SMVs

Wayne County Farm Bureau members recently modified 24 slow moving vehicle (SMV) signs being used as driveway and fence markers. “It’s important that we maintain the integrity of the SMV symbol,” said Doug Anderson, Wayne County Farm Bureau

manager. “That symbol is used to get the attention of vehicle drivers when following farm implements on the road.” The Illinois Vehicle Code requires certain vehicles display the SMV when operated on public roads. Despite the name

of the sign, this requirement is contingent upon the type of vehicle, not the actual speed of the vehicle. Affected vehicles include implements of husbandry, animal-drawn vehicles, special mobile equipment and neighborhood vehicles. Any use of the SMV emblem other than for those specific vehicle types is prohibited. Violators can be fined up to $75. Farm Bureau volunteers, after getting permission from homeowners, cut the sides of the SMV emblems and added highly reflective tape. The modified sign is rectangular rather than the standard triangular design of the SMV.

Tuesday: • “FarmWeek: the Early Word” • Eric Schmidt, EJS Weather • Linda Olson, Illinois Farm Bureau: Field Mom tour recap • Chris Streit, DuPont: planting conditions • Doug Yoder, IFB: Marketers to Washington Wednesday: • Illinois Department of Agriculture representative • Jim Bower, Bower Trading • Luke Cole, Channel Seed: crop emergence Thursday: • Illinois Corn Growers Asso-

ciation representative • Colleen Callahan, Illinois Director of USDA Rural Development: made in rural America • Rich Guebert Jr., IFB president Friday: • Harry Cooney, GROWMARK • Monica Nyman, St. Louis Dairy Council: milk — the real deal • Lisa Misevicz, Food and Drug Administration: health fraud To find a radio station near you that carries the RFD Radio Network®, go to FarmWeekNow.com, click on “Radio,” then click on “Affiliates.”

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

drift are available online at {farmweeknow.com/mdfm/Far eek3/author/29/reducing.pdf}. The information includes suggestions on how specialty growers can help reduce drift impact. Bureau County Farm Bureau office at 815-875-6468 by June 6 to register. ERMILION — Farm Bureau will host a bus trip to a Chicago Cubs/St. Louis Cardinals game at 3:05 p.m. July 26. The trip is open to members and nonmembers at varying prices. Call the Farm

V

“The bottom line is an agriculture producer has as much right to use properly registered pesticides as the neighbor does not to have those compounds on his property,” Goetsch said. Bureau office at 442-8713 for reservations and 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.

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PROFITABILITY

FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, May 19, 2014

IWA Wheat Tour May 28 BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Wheat growers will get a better handle on yield potential and threats to their crop next week. The Illinois Wheat Association (IWA) hosts its annual Southern Illinois Wheat Tour May 28. “We’ll get some initial yield estimates,” said Kyle Brase, IWA president and a wheat grower from Edwardsville (Madison County). “Historically, we’ve been pretty accurate.” Last year’s wheat crop in the state yielded a record 67 bushels per acre, up from 63 bushels the previous year. But harsh winter conditions and subsequent winterkill in some locations could lower yield potential and harvested acres this year. Meanwhile, cold, wet spring conditions add some concerns about disease pressure in the months ahead. “We’ve been cool and wet, and there is some disease,” Brase said. “We’ll be looking (on the wheat tour) for head scab, depending on the advancement of the crop, and for other disease and insect pressure.” Tour participants will meet at 9 a.m. May 28 at one of four locations: Siemer Milling Co., 111 W. Main St., Teutopolis (217857-3131); Mennel Milling Co. of Illinois, 415 E. Main St., Mount Olive (217-999-2161); Wehmeyer Seed Co., 7167 Highbanks Rd., Mascoutah (618-615-9037); and Wabash Valley Services Co., 1562 Illinois 1, Carmi (812-483-2966). Participants should call in advance to make a reservation to depart on the tour from any of the previous locations. The tour will conclude with an evening report session at the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center. University of Illinois specialists will be on hand at the evening session to discuss wheat development and diseases. Tour participants who plan to attend the evening report session should contact IWA at 309-557-3619 or email cblary@ilfb.org by Friday to make a dinner reservation. Overall, the majority of the wheat crop this month was rated good to excellent, although there were reports in recent weeks of stunted growth and winterkill, particularly in northern Illinois, that prompted some farmers to destroy fields. Illinois farmers last fall seeded 740,000 acres of winter wheat, down 15 percent from 2013, but up from 660,000 acres seeded in 2012.

M A R K E T FA C T S

Propane: what to expect when you expect the worst

Spring weather seems to have finally made it to the Midwest with the mid 80’s in the forecast last week and on the horizon again in the future. This has been a long time coming following a very long winter with almost record demand for propane. Along with strong demand, we experienced record prices as inventories drew to just more than 25 million barrels. There are a few things to watch as we go through summer inventory builds — namely demand and exports. Conway inventory levels were extremely low — down to 7.2 million barrels. This is the lowest number Conway has seen since 2003. Since then, we have gained ground in U.S. inventories and are currently at 35.2 million barrels, compared to a five-year average of 40.8 million barrels. This number takes into consideration one of the biggest builds in the last 10 years of 3.7 million barrels, which occurred May 7. With the changes in exports the last few years, and petrochemical demand, it seems that 70 million barrels is a comfortable level for the U.S. by the end of the build season. So during the next 20 weeks, we need to average 1.7 million barrels each week in builds. Overall, U.S. propane demand is just over the fiveBY DAN PANNIER

year average and just under last year’s — hanging in there at a little under 1 million barrels per day. I know this seems as though there is not much to talk about in regards to demand, but as we look at the petrochemical demand we see another story. For the month of April, we sat at just more than 300,000 barrels per Dan Pannier day in petrochemical demand compared to last April when they were consuming nearly 500,000 barrels per day. If at some point the petrochemicals step back into the market and buy propane as a feedstock, this should not only make a turn

in the market, but also in the rate that inventories will build. To wrap things up, let’s look briefly at exports. We continue to almost double last year’s propane exports and I would expect that situation to continue to climb as we work our way through 2014. There are a couple of expansion projects taking place on the Gulf Coast to increase exports as we speak. One of these is supposed to be finished near the end of fourth quarter this year, doubling capacity out of this facility from 7.5 million barrels a month to 15 million barrels. While we continue to grow production in the U.S., we also continue to grow export capacity.

Dan Pannier serves as GROWMARK’s propane operations manager. His email address is dpannier@growmark.com.

Energy efficiency grants, loans available

Farmers and rural small business owners can secure USDA grants and loan guarantees to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems. USDA plans to award up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Applications will be accepted until July 7 for the renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants, while loan guarantee applications will be accepted until July 31 at the Illinois Rural Development Office in Champaign. Requests for grants may not exceed 25 percent of a project’s cost — either for stand-alone grant requests or for grants combined with loan guarantees. For more information and to submit REAP grant and loan applications, visit {grants.gov} or call Mary Warren at 217-4036218.

TRAIN LIKE A 100-BUSHEL YIELDER.

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) $38.79-$58.03 $45.65 40 lbs. (cash) $110.00-$137.00 $126.42 Receipts

This Week 62,632 *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Last Week 74,111

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) Carcass Live

(Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week Change NA NA NA NA NA NA

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

This week $ 146.55 $146.52

Prev. week $150.02 $148.00

Change $-3.47 $-1.48

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 $184.25 $182.72 $1.53

Lamb prices Negotiated, wooled and shorn, 108-169 lbs. for 137.50-175 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 146.80); 171-210 lbs. for 138-145 $/cwt. (wtd. ave. 143.48)

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Export inspections (Million bushels) Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 5/8/2014 8.8 22.9 47.2 5/1/2014 3.7 20.8 49.0 Last year 3.4 24.0 12.7 Season total 1532.0 1088.5 1198.2 Previous season total 1256.1 945.0 501.7 USDA projected total 1580 1175 1750 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

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PROFITABILITY

Page 11 Monday, May 19, 2014 FarmWeek

CASH STRATEGIST

Livestock prices — supply vs. demand

As spring heads into summer, the collision between meat supplies and meat demand remains at the forefront of the livestock markets. A couple of weeks ago, we showed you the surge that both wholesale pork and beef prices had experienced since the first of the year. Both moved to new, all-time highs — pork 19 percent over its 2011 peak and select beef 20 percent over its 2013 peak. In March, those higher wholesale prices started to push retail prices sharply higher, for beef in particular. In April, beef prices continued to move to new highs and are now being accompanied by equally strong increases in pork prices. And poultry prices started to move higher at a faster pace as well, following the lead of the red meats. March retail meat prices were 5.2 percent higher than the previous year. The April increase should be even steeper with some selected cuts of beef and pork up 16 to 17 percent from last year. It’s apparent the supply of meat has been consistently declining since the beginning of the

year, mostly due to the drop in beef and pork output. The cumulative supply this year has declined 1.6 percent with the latest weekly output down 3 percent. Beef output is driving most of the decline. This past week, it was 8 percent under last year. Pork, by contrast, was up 3 percent. Broiler output was down about 3 percent as well. The reduction in red meat and poultry supplies might be even greater if not for pork producers, in particular, feeding animals to heavier weights. Barrow and gilt weights are 5 percent more than last year and steadily increasing. Broiler weights have mostly been slightly above last year with cattle weights about the same. But it’s consumer response to higher prices that continues to be most troubling. With each passing day, we read another story about how consumers are being much more selective at the retail grocery counter. Normally, food demand tends to be inelastic relative to economic activity. But the surge in meat prices appears to have altered that “playing field” to some degree. The faster increase in prices seems to be “trumping” the decline in output. And once demand changes, it’s difficult to reverse course again. That could have negative long-term repercussions.

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Corn Strategy

ü2013 crop: The USDA report and planting progress hit corn prices last week. Export shipments remain robust, keeping cash prices from sliding as much as futures. Use price weakness to lock in the basis on any hedge-to-arrive contracts. Hold off making additional sales; another opportunity should come this summer. ü2014 crop: If anything, the lag in planting in the north could trim corn plantings. Given the new-crop demand forecast, even a minor weather scare should bring another marketing opportunity. We’d refrain from making sales for now. vFundamentals: As a whole, corn plantings have gone well this spring with many producers able to take advantage of a couple of good planting windows. But plantings across the northern tier of states are lagging significantly, and weather through month’s end still does not look good. There’s a growing chance of seeing acreage shifted to soybeans or put in prevent plant. It’s possible acreage could fall closer to 90 million.

Cents per bu.

Soybean Strategy

ü2013 crop: Even though soybean prices hold firm, they have lost upside enthusiasm. And South American prices are still discounted to the U.S. Without a weather problem, old-crop prices don’t have much upside potential. Price old-crop bushels. ü2014 crop: The buying pace for new-crop export sales continues to lag the early buying pace the last two years. Chinese demand issues remain worrisome, too. Get new-crop sales to recommended levels now. vFundamentals: We continue to accumulate small oldcrop export sales, keeping pressure on the need for significant imports this summer. The National Oilseed Processors Association reported its members crushed 132.7 million bushels in April. Some still think the USDA forecast is still a little small. Plantings in the south are up significantly, and are well ahead this year. That could supply the old-crop market with supplies to help bridge the gap to the larger new-crop

harvest in the Midwest.

Wheat Strategy

ü2013 crop: Price any remaining old-crop bushels if July Chicago futures touch $6.95. ü2014 crop: There was a significant break in wheat futures last week. Kansas City wheat led the way lower with July futures falling 50 cents. Chicago July futures fell below the important $7 mark. A correction was necessary after U.S. wheat had built an unjustified premium over world prices. Use any moderate rallies this week to catch up on preharvest sales.

vFundamentals: Winter wheat conditions have deteriorated sharply since the crop left dormancy, but rains the last 10 days may have stabilized the Southern Plains crop. Spring wheat sowings remain delayed in North Dakota and Minnesota, the two, top-producing states. Planting progress outside of the country is off to a good start. Argentina is expected to increase wheat acres. The European Union is likely to become the top exporter and India could become a major supplier in 2014-15.


PERSPECTIVES

FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, May 19, 2014

Quinoa: Keen wha?

Focus on agriculture’s strengths

If a tree falls in the forest and it makes a sound that we don’t like, but only you heard it, do you tell everyone you know that a falling tree made a sound? Chipotle’s latest advertising campaign elicited this response from those of us in the ag community. We didn’t like it. We had reason not to like it. So, we shared every photo, status and tweet that took on those evil villains and their satirical TV show where they fed cattle oil pellets and then the cows exploded. But would all of our social media friends even know what was going on if we didn’t bring attention to it? I talked to the women in a local agribusiness office when the latest undercover video showing “animal abuse” was released. They didn’t even know it was going on. When videos like this are released, it appears to me that the only people talking are the activists and the farmers. Ryan Tracy, Illinois Farm Bureau staff member, told BRENT District 2 meeting attendees that 97 POLLARD percent of social media coverage on Chipotle was negative for their latest campaign. So is any publicity good publicity? Are we just helping them with their publicity? Chipotle is an interesting company that has always put a lot of emphasis on the authenticity (a great buzzword in the public relations industry) of its business and products. I would venture to guess I was one of the first IFB members to eat there. In college in Tucson, they had a restaurant one block from my apartment. The other students and I loved to eat there. And why not, their food is full of flavor and calories. My burrito was close to 2,000 calories. That is the reason until recently, they didn’t advertise and allowed word of mouth to drive their sales. Also, during the time I was in school, their pork entrée, “carnitas,” was not selling well. So, company executives visited farms in Iowa where the hogs were raised. At that time, they determined the modern methods of controlling the diet and the housing of these hogs was detrimental to the taste of their dishes. In a way, they were right. As farmers, we have bred our pigs and take care

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of them in such a way that they have less fat. Their carnitas didn’t taste good, but instead of asking the agricultural industry if there were fatter cuts of meat or a different way they could extract the flavors they wanted, they concluded — in my opinion incorrectly — that it was because we don’t take care of our animals. So where does that leave us now? I heard an interview with Grantland.com author Jonah Keri describing compelling research that says if you confront someone with data or information that disproves what they believe, they don’t believe it and just dig their heels in more to support what they believe. We should know this: People who are anti-vaccination or against GMOs don’t believe you when you show them the science. They will just dig in and say something like, “We were just paid by Monsanto to believe this.” If someone is eating at a restaurant because they have “Food with Integrity,” we probably aren’t going to convince them with data. But I still believe you choose where you want to eat because it tastes good. So what do we do? We can boycott Chipotle. My family already does because they don’t like how we raise our cows or farm. Should we tweet as many blog posts bashing Chipotle as we can? It makes us feel better, but in the end, will our negative articles combat Chipotle’s negative advertising? No, probably not. Should we even mention their name? I don’t plan on it after this post. What we need to do is tell the world all of the great things that we are doing, and retweet and share articles written by people like Michele Aavang, Mary Mackinson or my wife, Carrie, or any of the other people who write for the Illinois Farm Families® blog. They tell the story about how I live my life as a farmer. If I take care of my animals, they will take care of me. I am proud of that and you should be, too. No matter what one company that wants to sell another burrito says. Brent Pollard represents District 2 on the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee. Stay up with the Young Leaders by visiting {ilfb.org/get-involved/youngleaders/yl-blog}. will be accepted. A daytime telephone number is required for verification, but will not be published. Only one letter per writer will be accepted in a 60-day period. Typed letters are preferred. Send letters to: FarmWeek Letters 1701 Towanda Ave. Bloomington, Ill., 61701

At one time, I thought wonder foods were limited to Ovaltine and peanut butter. Perhaps a new candidate has appeared, one which might get the attention of some U.S. farmers. Maybe not Illinois farmers, but who knows. The new candidate is quinoa (keen wha) — a grain that has been embraced, strongly by those seeking healthy foods. Quinoa came to my attention, courtesy of WILLIAM my son, when BAILEY he alerted me to the benefits of the grain. So, it was on my mind when I visited a grocery store in Macomb. While looking for something else, I overheard store managers asking if the quinoa shipment had arrived. On that cue, I wandered over to the quinoa aisle (actually the health food aisle). I was surprised by what I saw. There were more quinoa brands and variations in the store than ketchup. All of us know of ketchup. But what do we know of quinoa? Quinoa has been consumed in South America for more than 5,000 years. It was “discovered” by health-conscious U.S. consumers about 2006. Because there is very limited quinoa production in the U.S., imported quinoa has stepped in to fill the demand from consumers. Quinoa imports went from about 6 million pounds a year in 2006 to almost 70 million pounds last year, yet prices have tripled as demand continues to increase. The sharp increase in demand began when the product moved from the health food restaurant to sitting on shelves at Whole

Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, waiting for upscale buyers. As an indication of its growing importance, the United Nations declared 2013 as the International Year of Quinoa. The market challenge, and perhaps the opportunity, lies in the fact that very little quinoa is grown in the U.S. The vast majority of quinoa is imported from Peru and Bolivia. In those countries, there are no mega-farms growing vast acreages of quinoa. The crop is predominately grown and harvested on very small farms as it has been since it first was consumed by the Incas, who called it quinoa or mother grain. The challenges to grow quinoa in the U.S. are significant. They include no interest in the crop from either major seed companies or large grain processing companies. On the positive side, the grain is currently included in one breakfast cereal, Special K Nourish, introduced by Kellogg’s last year. Although there is some research being done in the Midwest on growing quinoa, its future around here does not look good. Quinoa flourishes at altitudes of 7,000 to 9,000 feet. Since the highest elevation in the state is 1,235 feet, meeting the altitude preferences of quinoa clearly would be a challenge. But Illinois farmers are resourceful and creative. The most recent farm bill provides an excellent opportunity for quinoa to gain both broader recognition and government payments. After all, temperate japonica rice, used in sushi, made the list of government-supported commodities. Perhaps quinoa is next.

William Bailey serves as an agricultural economics professor at Western Illinois University School of Agriculture, Macomb.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Industrial hemp production supported

Editor: Every day, we hear the benefits of medical and even recreational marijuana. Legislators seem eager to get this done. Why is it that these people cannot understand industrial hemp is not a drug and should be legal? By law, its THC must be .3 of one percent of less. Yet, the DEA has it on the Schedule 1 drug list. Many jobs await this change in a new fiber crop for farmers and industry in autos, trucks, machinery, building materials and other areas. Guess it just makes too much sense. Ask your legislators and industry/organization leaders. JEFFREY GAIN Hardin


Farmweek may 19, 2014