Page 1

A ny wa y yo u s l i c e i t , t h e new Far m Fresh Pizza Parlor at the Magic House dishes up meaty farm lessons..................2

The nation’s river system and its economic impact took center stage at conferences in Peoria and Memphis.............4-5

Next generation science students may soon find their c l a s s e s d ove t a i l i n g p e r f e c t l y with ag education..................10

A service of


Shutdown: Economic setbacks, debt limit fiasco? Illinois Farm Bureau mission: Improve the economic well-being of agriculture and enrich the quality of farm family life.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Periodicals: Time Valued

Informa Economics Chief Executive Officer Bruce Scherr offers a “relatively upbeat” prognosis for 2014 — global economic expansion coupled with domestic indicators that show the U.S. is recovering nicely from the “institutional failures related to subprime lending” and stands to power world momentum. In Scherr’s view, only one thing could truly screw it all up — “absolute idiocy” in Washington. Last week, as the federal government effectively shut down amid congressional budget gridlock, Scherr told shippers and producers at the Waterways Symposium in Memphis that lawmakers likely would soon “get the government back in operation.” However, he warned an extended shutdown could “wipe out” fourth-quarter gains in U.S. gross domestic product. Informa colleague Jim Wiesemeyer cited estimates each week’s delay in a congressional solution could result in a 0.15 percent chip into gross domestic product (GDP), for a 0.7 percent reduction within a month. Wiesemeyer acknowledged those losses “can come back

Two sections Volume 41, No. 40

later on,” but Scherr warned forthcoming debt ceiling debate is “a whole other matter.” Failure to raise the U.S. debt limit by a Treasury-proscribed Oct. 17 deadline — threatening the U.S.’ global credit rating and possible government default — would “undermine the entire economy,” Scherr stated. “If this (stalemate) extends into the debt ceiling debate, it’s a problem,” he told FarmWeek. “We’re the biggest economy in the world; we’re poised for significant economic growth. We can bring the whole world forward if our politicians don’t foul it up. “We have a housing sector that’s expanding; we have a manufacturing sector that’s expanding. We’re migrating toward 6.5 percent unemployment by the end of next year. We’re positioned, and we could be even better if we had a political environment that supported it.” For details regarding shutdown impacts, see page 3.

Political positioning President Obama told Republican leaders Wednesday he would negotiate with them

regarding key spending issues only after they agreed to reopen the government and approve a strings-free increase


in the debt limit by mid-October. See Shutdown, page 3

A rider propels a jet ski across the Illinois River near Peoria last week. River transportation of all types, its importance to agriculture and other industries, and environmental impacts were explored at the biennial Governor’s Conference on the Illinois River System in Peoria. National river issues were the focus of a Waterways Symposium in Memphis, Tenn. Read river news on pages 4-5. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

New twist in proposed Ameren transmission line An effort by electric utility Ameren to build a new transmission line across Illinois farmland took another turn last week. The Illinois Commerce Commission granted Ameren’s petition to rehear the route segments the ICC did not approve between Pawnee to Pana, and Pana to Mount Zion up to the Macon County border. The ICC now has 150 days to rehear the cases of farmers, other landowners and


Illinois Farm Bureau, stressed that farmers and landowners along routes of the line that will be reheard need to seek legal counsel if they don’t already have counsel representing them. “No one needs to sign an easement at this point, and certainly shouldn’t sign one without negotiating the terms,” said Harmon. “We’re advising all landowners to seek counsel. In some cases, landowners are going together in groups in order to negotiate easements with the company.”

Ameren on the proposed electric transmission line that could span 380 miles. The commission also agreed to reconsider route segments from Meredosia in Morgan County across the state to Kansas in Edgar County. Several farmers and other landowners in that area don’t want the line crossing their land. The ICC also directed its staff to identify a route between Pawnee and Mount Zion via Kincaid. Laura Harmon, senior counsel with the

Mississippi mayors united behind river/drought agenda Memphis Mayor A. C. Wharton remembers a day when mayors insisted that “they don’t do rivers.” Now, Wharton and fellow municipal leaders from the Gulf to the Mississippi River’s origins in the Upper Midwest have agreed to “put aside these things that might divide us and say, ‘This is one river’” that feeds municipal economies. Wharton, co-chair of the Mis-

sissippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) and keynoter at the Waterways Symposium in Memphis, urged Water Resources and A.C. Wharton Reform Development Act (WRDA) passage as a key economic stimulus.

FarmWeek on the web:

He deemed the Mississippi “much more than a river,” citing Memphis’ Beale Street Landing as a prime engine for his city’s tourism effort. Wharton argued the rivers are “critical to our economy, both locally and nationally.” Common-ground municipal issues include the need for a “defined, designated, continuous funding source” for dredging of commercial ports — an

objective of Senate WRDA/House Water Resources and Reform Development Act provisions — and a national “drought policy” that helps communities sustain river operations during tough periods. “The reason we came together was out of just plain common sense,” Wharton See Mayors, page 4

Illinois Farm Bureau on the web: ®

Quick Takes


FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, Octobere 7, 2013

YOUTH FARM SAFETY CURRICULUM — Thanks to a $600,000 USDA grant to Pennsylvania State University, new safety training will be developed for 2 million youth working in ag production. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the grant to develop a national training curriculum that lessens agricultural hazards for young workers. The training will align with Career Cluster Standards (CCS) of the National Council for Agricultural Education. The project will establish a national steering committee to engage the Department of Education, Department of Labor, FFA, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Ag Safety and Health Council of America, National Council for Ag Education and other relevant partners. The committee will work to identify curriculum and testing gaps, certification needs and industryrecognized credentials.

NEW BROCHURE FEATURES SOY FEED – A University of Illinois brochure features new nutritional information on soy products and their value to pigs. The brochure contains detailed nutritional information on eight soy products, including full-fat soybeans and conventional dehulled soybean meal, as well as fermented and enzyme-treated soybean meal. The data in the brochure provides companies, swine producers, nutritionists and industry stakeholders with relevant information that will assist them in formulating soybean meal and other soy products into pig diets. The brochure can be downloaded at {}. It is also available through the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) at {}. Funding for the publication was provided by the ISA and the Illinois soybean checkoff.

MONSANTO ACQUIRES CLIMATE CORP — Monsanto Co. last week signed an agreement to purchase The Climate Corporation for approximately $930 million. The acquisition will combine Climate Corp’s expertise in ag analytics and risk management with Monsanto’s research and development capabilities. It also will provide farmers access to more information about the many factors that affect their crops, including individualized weather statistics. Data science is believed to represent agriculture’s next major breakthrough area and will expand growth opportunities for Monsanto’s business and Integrated Farming Systems platform.

(ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 41 No. 40 October 7, 2013 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. © 2013 Illinois Agricultural Association

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

Pizza promotes ag at Magic House

A young pizza chef serves up a tasty pie during the grand opening last week of the Farm Fresh Pizza Parlor at the Magic House in St. Louis. The exhibit shows farm-produced pizza ingredients, such as wheat crust, pork pepperoni and dairy cheese. (Photos by Cyndi Cook)

Using a steaming pepperoni pizza topped with a generous handful of cheese and green peppers might seem like an odd way to promote agriculture. But a group of Illinois and Missouri Farm Bureau members knows it makes sense any way you slice it. Southwestern Illinois Farm Bureau leaders took a cue from the Illinois Farm Families (IFF) program to expand ways to educate consumers about agriculture right in their own backyard. Members of the Gateway Information Advertising Committee ran with the idea of partnering with Magic House in St. Louis. Armed with $25,000 in donations, the group unveiled the Farm Fresh Pizza Parlor last week at the Magic House to rave reviews. “Through IFF, we let people know who we are as producers and get to know them on a oneto-one basis,” said Kirk Liefer, Randolph County Farm Bureau president. “I don’t think there’s any better way than having a place in the Magic House to showcase the talents we have as producers and how we produce food in a safe manner.” More than 100 volunteers from Farm Bureaus in nine Illinois counties and three Missouri counties helped make the grand opening a success. As soon as the ribbon was cut, the new exhibit was flooded with children ready to explore the farm-themed area. The Farm Fresh Pizza Parlor allows children to explore how different pizza ingredients originate on the farm, such as wheat for crust, milk for cheese and pork for pepperoni. “The Magic House receives 550,000 visitors every year. With the $25,000 gift, we can keep the exhibit open for 10 years, reaching 5.5 million peoBY RYAN FORD

ple,” said Beth Fitzgerald, Magic House president. “But more importantly, the exhibit will be part of our school field trip program. We’re reaching out to urban children in the St. Louis area as well as suburban schools who don’t have a connection to farming.” Donations were provided by IFB; Missouri Farm Bureau; Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Lawrence, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington, Wayne and White County Farm Bureaus in Illinois; 11 Missouri County Farm Bureaus; Illinois Corn Growers; Illinois Pork Producers and Monroe County Pork Producers. Every message in the exhibit clearly states that farming provides key pizza components by dividing the pizza into sections highlighting each ingredient. An interactive area shows visitors how pizza ingredients are tied to the farm. Free Domino’s Pizza was also provided to all the visitors in honor of the new exhibit. The most popular booth for the day was “Meet Rory the Hol-

stein” where families were able to pet, milk and get their picture taken with a Holstein cow from Elm Farms, Okawville. Members of three families — Larry Hasheider of Okawville, Liefer of Red Bud and the Lees of Truxton, Mo. — participated in a “Meet a Farmer” dialogue, roaming from table to table to tell their personal farm stories. “This is a tremendous opportunity to tell our story to consumers and educate them on where their food comes from,” said Rich Guebert, IFB vice president, who attended the event. The Gateway Information Advertising Committee was created in the late 1970s to create consumer-directed advertising and promotions. Through TV, radio, truck wraps, and now the Farm Fresh Pizza Parlor, the committee has reached millions of people around the St. Louis area educating them about real farm families.

Ryan Ford is Randolph County Farm Bureau manager.

Farm Bureau members representing 14 Illinois counties and 11 Missouri counties donated $25,000 to the Magic House in St. Louis to open a new exhibit, Farm Fresh Pizza Parlor. More than 100 Farm Bureau volunteers made last week’s grand opening successful.


Page 3 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek

Government shutdown leaves ag markets in limbo BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

The stock market edged higher then trading got choppy

last week in light of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. Some traders reportedly are

Shutting down: What’s affected, what’s not • Food availability is not affected by the federal government shutdown. USDA’s meat and poultry inspectors will continue working, although they’ll have to wait to get paid. • The Food and Drug Administration continues to oversee high-risk recalls and investigations, but routine inspection activities have been suspended. • Prolonged shutdown of the government will impact ag markets as USDA statistical reports have been suspended. USDA also may be forced to delay the release of its monthly crop estimates scheduled to be released Friday. • Farm Service Agency offices are closed. • Farmers will not be able to receive any loans for programs for which they have applied. • Farm program payments for crops planted in 2013 cannot be delivered. • Rural development programs are on hold, and no added loans/grants, including rural housing loans or guarantees, will be issued. Projects already financed and under construction will be delayed.

nervous the battle over health care could spill over into issues with the debt limit and ultimately could slow economic growth.

• Enrollment in conservation programs including the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program and Healthy Forests Reserve Program has halted. No future financial or technical assistance will be available through NRCS staff, but USDA would continue to honor existing contracts. • The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration will continue inspections funded by user fees. • Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the federal school lunch program continues, but funding has stopped for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children program, which provides grants to states for food aid, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income women and children. • Rural mail delivery continues, as the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency. • Loan-making for all commodities has been suspended. Loan repayment and loan servicing for all disbursed commodity loans will continue. Beginning in mid-October, 2013 crop loans, and if applicable, loan deficiency payments will receive 5.1 percent reductions. 2013 crop loan rates are not affected.

Consumer confidence IFB focus

Editor’s note: Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity and president of CMA Consulting, has spent years building relationships with people from farm to fork. The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in the U.S. food system. IlliCharlie Arnot nois Farm Bureau has the same priorities and is a member of CFI. In an interview with the RFD Radio Network® , Arnot discussed challenges and opportunities in the food production system. RFD: What is the Center for Food Integrity and what do you do? Arnot: The Center for Food Integrity is a notfor-profit organization dedicated to building trust in today’s food system. We have more than 150 members and partners ranging from retailers and restaurant companies to farm organizations (including IFB) and input suppliers across the food system. It’s made up of folks who have an interest in better understanding consumer attitudes and perceptions and also understanding how we can do a better job of helping the public become more comfortable and trusting of what we do in today’s food system.

RFD: There’s a lot of misinformation about food. How do we correct that? Arnot: We’ve seen an increase in the amount of misinformation. As people communicate online it becomes that much more of a challenge to connect in ways that are meaningful to them. We try to identify ways to help people understand that, yes, the system has changed. Farms are larger than they used to be and they use different technology than in the past. But our commitment to do what’s right and produce safe food, protect the environment, care for animals and contribute to our communities has never been stronger. So, being able to combine these messages and engage people in a way that gives them an opportunity to ask questions provides the foundation for building long-term trust. RFD: What are some of the concerns and

misconceptions out there these days? Arnot: Clearly, we see concerns about biotechnology, food safety and animal care. One of the things we discovered in this year’s research is how we talk about what we talk about makes an enormous difference. We’ve also identified social outreach factors — things that really drive the public crazy. Whether it’s when people are intentionally misleading, or intentionally put profit ahead of public interest, there are a certain number of factors that cause the public to be very irritated and demand additional legislation or regulation.

RFD: What should farmers do to connect with consumers and ease their concerns? Arnot: The public wants to know we take their interests seriously. You understand as farmers the need to protect the environment, care for animals and produce safe food is critically important. You’re willing to be transparent and open about what you’re doing on your farm. Being willing to be engaged and participate in the public conversation about food today clearly is going to be in all of our best interest. We encourage people to get engaged in whatever way is comfortable for them. Understand people aren’t attacking you, they simply don’t know. RFD: CFI is hosting the Food Integrity Summit Oct. 15-16 in Rosemont. What is it and who should attend? Arnot: We welcome anybody interested in learning more about ethics, values and trust in food and what we do to build trust in today’s food system. Mark Lynas, who originally was opposed to biotechnology in the United Kingdom, has done a complete 180. He will talk about the fact that biotech is critical for us to produce more food using fewer resources. We also have brand new consumer research we will share about transparency. We spent quite a bit of time last year working on models to better define transparency. Then we measured that with more than 2,000 consumers. So, we’ll be able to provide a road map to better define what transparency means for consumers. More information about the Food Integrity Summit is available online at {}.

Meanwhile, a prolonged shutdown of the government could have a big impact on the ag markets as USDA statistical reports have been suspended. “A prolonged shutdown of the federal government could result in interruptions or gaps in reporting key agricultural pricing information from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service,” the CME Group noted in a letter to customers. If that occurs, settlement prices for certain CME dairy and livestock contracts, which are cash settled based on USDA data, may require the exchange to modify the current settlement procedures for milk, cheese, butter, lean hogs, live cattle and feeder cattle futures and options. USDA also may be forced to delay the release of its monthly crop estimates, which are scheduled to be released this Friday. Ag exports also could be affected as USDA’s funding for export promotion activities such as the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development activi-


ties were suspended. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which receives some funding from USDA, will continue to operate all its offices for at least the next three months, according to Thomas Sleight, USGC president. “Our operations will continue overseas,” Sleight said. “Our biggest problem right now is cash flow.” Members in some states have accelerated payments to USGC. The council also is drawing on reserves to operate around the world. Fortunately, the government shutdown, which is the first since 1995-96, shouldn’t affect food availability. Inspections of meat and poultry are considered essential services and will continue through USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service. Grain inspection and weighing services provided by USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service also will continue, uninterrupted, as these staff positions are financed by industry-user fees.

Continued from page 1 Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said the Senate would agree to House-passed spending levels, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted Obama “will not negotiate.” Scherr recognizes the importance of deficit reduction, but maintained the debate should be “focused on a strategy,” rather than steeped in “generalized nonsense.” Wiesemeyer stressed “this (shutdown) is different from the 1995-96 shutdown.” U.S. GDP growth then was running at about twice the current rate. While the ‘90s shutdown occurred among discord over specific tax/spending issues, he argued the current lockdown is based on “some ideology.” That’s disturbing to former Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who helped found the Democrats’ moderate “blue dog” movement. Lincoln told FarmWeek the shutdown would cost the U.S. economy $10 billion per week, and related concerns about the U.S. becoming “a country that’s tethered to extremists.” Lost opportunity costs The budget furor has frustrated hopes for near-term progress in moving several key legislative pieces, including a House-Senate farm bill compromise. Auburn producer and newly retired National Corn Growers Association Corn Board Chairman Garry Niemeyer sees Congress achieving “virtually nothing” as farmers face mounting uncertainty. Niemeyer emphasized “government agencies like USDA don’t write checks while they’re shut down,” noting farm direct payments and conservation payments are “locked down until something moves forward.” As U.S. growers struggle to export 700 million of corn this year, “this government shutdown sure doesn’t help us move our products efficiently overseas,” Niemeyer said. Beyond the economic ramifications, Nature Conservancy Waterways Specialist Gretchen Benjamin fears extended federal paralysis will compromise efforts “to get practices on the ground” that help ensure “conservation alongside production.” If lawmakers can’t move beyond budget squabbling toward a farm bill solution, “all the work we’ve done to date at least would be minimized and maybe eliminated,” she told FarmWeek. “Political theater might be exciting for some, but I would rather see people accomplish running this country and doing it in a more efficient manner,” Niemeyer admonished. “It’s time (lawmakers) pick up the pace and got back to doing the job they were elected to do.”


FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, October 7, 2013

WRRDA passage possible shutdown ‘silver lining’? BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

While storm clouds continue to gather over the federal government shutdown and congressional budget showdown, Informa Economics analyst Jim Wiesemeyer sees a potential, if belated, “silver lining” for river interests. Although House farm bill debate has bogged down in partisan furor over nutrition programs and regional “wrangling and backbiting” over commodity program structure, Wiesemeyer believes cross-sector, broadbased support for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) offers an opportunity for legislative solidarity and post-shutdown facesaving. By late October and, ideally, resolution of budget/debt limit issues, lawmakers will “have to

settle key differences quickly” to recoup public support,” he argued. That could mean House approval and final passage of WRRDA by Christmas, the economist predicted at last week’s Waterways Symposium. “When the Republicans find a way to dig out of their hole, WRRDA, to me, is the silver lining,” he said. “Congress is going to desperately need a success story. That’s where that bill comes in. (WRRDA) is going to get done this calendar year, but first we have to get through the government shutdown.” Wiesemeyer nonetheless warned some industry compromise may be needed to ensure future navigational authorizations and funding. Commercial river interests thus may be forced to “try another approach in years ahead,” he advised.

Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln chats with barge, shipping and related interests following a speech at the 10th Waterways Symposium in Memphis. Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat who lost her re-election in 2010, emphasized the economic benefits of Water Resources Development Act/Water Resources Reform Development Act passage and decried current congressional political polarization. (Photo by Martin Ross)

Bipartisan Illinois lawmakers shepherded provisions for new public-private river partnership opportunities which could provide added project resources into the House plan. But Wiesemeyer sees an uphill battle for a proposed barge fuel tax hike aimed at replenishing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the key source of private funds needed to leverage federal lock appropriations. “All the major players” in the shipping/barge sector support a tax increase, but he sees resistance among major Republicans who’ve previously pledged to fight any tax hike and are “worried about getting primaried in their next election.” Even Grover Nordquist, the libertarian Republican founder of the anti-tax pledge, has signed off on a voluntary barge “fee” increase. Wiesemeyer nonetheless called the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s decision to leave the tax hike issue up to the House Ways and Means Committee a cover-yourbutt strategy. Ingram Barge Co. Senior Vice President Dan Mecklenborg acknowledged political obstacles in the way of adding the crucial “revenue component” to the bill. He prefers committee members handle the tax hike “in a more prompt fashion,” as a freestanding measure rather than as part of a comprehensive tax package. “What we’ve got right now doesn’t actually provide additional funding for the locks and dams we so desperately need to have,”

Measure may help improve ‘gray’ and green river infrastructure

Current congressional water resource proposals would help expedite — and coordinate — improvements in both commercially crucial “gray infrastructure” and protections for adjacent “green infrastructure,” according to the Nature Conservancy’s Gretchen Benjamin. Benjamin, the environmental group’s associate director of water infrastructure, notes language particularly in the Senate Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) plan that strives to “optimize” dams that both facilitate We have an audio interview with navigation and Nature Conservancy’s Gretchen “provide some Benjamin at elements for the ecosystem at the same time.” “We’re interested in making sure that the basic uses of our water resources infrastructure are maintained — commercial navigation, flood risk management, all the things most of our infrastructure was built for,” she told FarmWeek at last week’s Waterways Symposium in Memphis, Tenn. “But can we add elements that also would improve the (waterways) environment out there? We’ve seen a lot of demonstrations lately where this has happened in the past without affecting those basic needs of commercial navigation and flood risk management. We’re not trying to supersede what’s going on out there — we’re just trying to add to it.” Benjamin sees essential reforms in WRDA and

the House’s Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) providing a more effective framework for localized ecosystem measures. She maintained “the folks who are on the ground on a regional basis know what’s needed in an area,” and stressed the value first of focusing on integrated watershed-based improvements and then “add on what’s important from a national aspect.” WRDA also attempts to clamp down on statutory timelines for federal environmental studies that can delay projects and thus increase long-term costs. Benjamin notes that under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), environmental interests face “the same sort of dilemmas as folks who are building an infrastructure project.” “Sometimes, the process can be very long and delayed,” Benjamin said. “It’s important to make sure we still maintain the original intent of NEPA, but we do it in a way that makes sense, so that the projects — whether they’re infrastructure or ecosystem restoration projects — go forward in the most expeditious manner possible.” By promoting timely development of a “really smart blend” of gray and green infrastructure,” Congress can make the river system more responsive to wildlife, communities and landowners. For example, flood plain ecosystem improvements in addition to channel control structures can help store floodwaters and then “slowly filter them back out into the surface waters.” — Martin Ross

Mecklenborg told FarmWeek. “We’re putting as much encouragement before members of Congress as we possibly can. We think, certainly, the House

has done great work to position things. We hope the current economic problems do not derail what otherwise is going be a very positive set of developments.”

Wireless waterways vision for improved navigation U.S. rivers connect farmers and foreign markets, consumers with goods and energy, landowners and communities with environmentalists and fishermen. But in terms of 21st Century communications, the rivers remain disconnected. That’s where federal waterways legislation may come in. Pittsburgh port officials and regional partners want to wirelessly link interests along a 100-mile river corridor. Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) provisions promote the kind of technical upgrades and public-private partnerships that could help forge a nationwide network. Port of Pittsburgh Commission Executive Director Jim McCarville decries “the lack of good telecommunications services” on the nation’s waterways. Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. river system lacks reliable Internet connectivity, McCarville told FarmWeek at the 10th Waterways Symposium in Memphis, Tenn. The Pittsburgh Wireless Waterways project thus has deployed a broadband communications network and an Internet-based maritime situational awareness portal (MSAP) for shippers and others on the rivers that traverse the region. Initial goals of the public/private partnership include improving vessel loading efficiencies and coordinating scheduling of intermodal pick-ups and deliveries. McCarville cites “a lot of inefficiency in the system,” and maintains the new network should pinpoint shipment locations and ensure costly crews or trucks are on-hand only when they are needed. But he envisions a variety of other benefits accruing from Wireless Waterways, from smoother barge locking and river safety to environmental data collection for regulators, universities, and community water and sewer agencies. Expanded Internet access could help barges broadcast river conditions and delays or even enable barge-bound workers to earn a degree during downtime, McCarville suggested. “What we’re proposing to build, throughout the nation, is a telecommunications network that incorporates wireless along the waterway,” he said. “When we started this thing about 10 years ago, we were told, ‘We don’t want that technology; we don’t want our people looking at the Internet.’ Now, (shipping interests) are telling us they can’t retain anybody unless they have this kind of connectivity.” Enter WRDA. Bipartisan lawmakers have joined to support authorization of pilot private-public partnerships benefiting waterways users as well as provisions to improve forecasting capabilities aimed at helping shippers contend with challenges such as last winter’s low water conditions. McCarville sees the possibility of installing network-related remote sensing gear at locks and dams. Wireless Waterways already encompasses nine locks. “We’ve had initial correspondence with the Corps of Engineers,” he related. “They realize the simplicity this could offer in bringing lots of data together, being able to analyze it quickly and making better decisions much quicker.” — Martin Ross


Continued from page 1 told FarmWeek. “We mayors don’t walk around talking about philosophers — we’re pragmatists. We’re not like Washington or the states, where we can engage in a lot of philosophical talk. We have to get it done. “The rivers run through our towns; they don’t run through Washington. So we said, ‘Look, we have to get hands-on if we want to do what’s best for the river.’ A river is like a chain — either it is together, or it is not.” Memphis has been forced to “go from pillar-to-post wondering how we’re going to get our ports dredged,” he reported. At the same time, while the lower Mississippi River does not depend on navigational locks, he cited the importance of policies that spur maintenance and improvement of locks on the river’s “northern stem.” The MRCTI, comprised of nearly half the 124 municipal mayors along the Mississippi, seeks a solid national drought policy. Memphis experienced a 100-year drought in 2010 and a 100year flood in 2011. Wharton noted the city has been forced to “ad hoc it,” relying year-to-year on federal whims and municipal resources rather than reliable assistance. “Thank God the Corps of Engineers did cooperate with us and that we came out well in Memphis, but that may not be the case the next time,” he said. — Martin Ross


Page 5 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek

Angel: ‘It might be a while before we recover’ from drought

Fishermen check for Asian carp in Lake Calumet. State and federal partners have kept the invasive species out of Lake Michigan and are reducing its numbers in the Illinois River. (FarmWeek file photo)

Asian carp taking beating, but not on the ropes yet BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Illinois’ successful fight against Asian carp is keeping the invasive species out of Lake Michigan and reducing numbers downstream, a state official reported last week. “We’re learning a lot more, applying the right science and finding what works and doesn’t work,” Kevin Irons, nuisance aquatic species program manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), told FarmWeek. The state’s progress can be marked by shifting the three-year focus downstream from Lake Michigan to just below the electric barrier near the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Irons noted aquatic experts must travel south of Chicago before they can even detect the carp and hundreds of miles downstream before small ones can be found. The state’s shipping and fishing industries are threatened unless efforts successfully stop the We have a video interview with carp from reaching Lake MichiKevin Irons about Asian carp at gan. Asian carp have voracious appetites and compete with native species for food. The fish also jolt out of water when frightened by the sound of motors. Some fishermen have been injured by leaping fish. IDNR and its federal and state partners have removed 2 million pounds of Asian carp, primarily bighead carp and silver carp, from the upper Illinois River, according to Irons. Another 3 million pounds of the fish were taken from the lower Illinois River, he added. Researchers are experimenting with new methods to catch and remove even more fish. Last August, aquatic experts with the U.S. Geological Survey used food attractants to draw Asian carp into an area where nets were used to prevent them from escaping back into the main river channel. Commercial fishermen then harvested the carp. Scientists also are experimenting with new types of barriers, Irons said. High levels of carbon dioxide will “knock out” fish, while low levels will deter them. Researchers are studying low levels of carbon dioxide as a potential barrier. In the interim, federal and states’ agencies continue to plan to reduce Asian carp population. “There is a national plan that would take care of the Missouri, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, but that is unfunded,” Irons said.

Illinois is suffering its second drought in two years and may not recover until the state gets into “a mode where we get more rain,” State Climatologist Jim Angel told FarmWeek. Angel reported on forecasting and monitoring challenges during the 2012 drought during last week’s Governor’s Conference on the Illinois River System in Peoria. “This is an all-new drought we’re dealing with. This is a late-season, fast-moving Jim Angel drought,” said Angel, with the Illinois State Water Survey. The latest drought monitor report labels 15 percent of Illinois in severe drought. The impacted area stretches from the Quad Cities southeast toward near Decatur. Angel dismissed speculation the current drought might be a carryover from 2012. The 2013 wet spring allowed the state to fully recover soil moisture, streamflow, lake levels and groundwater levels, he noted.

Unfortunately, low river levels have returned after recovering earlier in the year, according to Angel. Much of Minnesota and Iowa and parts of Illinois and Missouri have drought conditions, which reduced flow into the upper Mississippi River. “All of that has combined to bring us right back (to river levels) where we were a year ago,” Angel said. This year will be one for the record books. The first six months were the wettest on record while the last three months have been the driest, according to Angel. Lack of rain combined with a late-season heat wave combined to impact crops and result in the current drought. Traditionally, the next couple of months offer a moisture recovery period in Illinois because temperatures cool, and soil moisture and stream flow have a chance to recover after crops are harvested. “But we’re not in any kind of wet weather pattern at this point,” Angel added. Until that happens, the 2013 drought recovery will have to wait. — Kay Shipman

Nitrate study ‘didn’t find what we expected’

analyst, discussed the river’s This spring not only prorole in state agriculture and duced record rain but also global trade. Wendell Shauunexpected results from a man of the U.S. Grains Councentral Illinois water quality cil and former IFB director project. “The surprising thing is we talked about the river’s impordidn’t find what we expected,” tance to global food supplies. Roseboom focused on Don Roseboom, formerly with the Illinois State Geological Survey, said at last week’s Governor’s Conference on the Illinois ‘We should have River. Roseboom, a Colmore (water and orado State University nutrient) samples researcher, reported on a project monitoring nonduring floods — and point source pollution all kinds of floods — within a Bloomington area so you know what is watershed. Agricultural issues were happening.’ a main component of the Illinois River Conference. Illinois Farm Bureau was — Don Roseboom one of the conference Colorado State University sponsors and promoted farmer efforts to improve stream nutrient levels within a water quality and be good small agricultural watershed nutrient stewards with an along Kickapoo Creek. He exhibit hall display. and his colleagues happened During a global economy near stream gauges during an session moderated by Illinois April downpour, and RoseFarm Bureau’s Lauren boom joked he would think Lurkins, Mike Doherty, IFB twice before wading again into senior economist and policy

such fast-flowing, rapidly rising water. He theorized amount of water runoff was so large “you know that was not from tiles” and had to be from surface runoff. “The nitrate load increased as the percentage of surface water increased in the flood,” Roseboom said. “The higher surface water runoff, the more the nitrate in (streamflow). That was not expected.” Some experts point to field drainage tiles as a major source of nitrate runoff. However, Roseboom reported his measurements and observations point to other nutrient sources during storms. “We should have more (water and nutrient) samples during floods — and all kinds of floods — so you know what is happening,” the scientist said. “Watersheds that produce spring floods, when you look and see nitrate flows increasing and nitrate levels increasing, that’s not tile (runoff).” — Kay Shipman

Time for woolly bear caterpillars the folklore forecasters of winter Woolly bear caterpillars, often seen crossing roads this time of year, have been used as folklore forecasters, according to Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Woolly bear caterpillars are the larval stage of the Isabella moth. They are about 2 inches long, covered with stiff bristles and are black with a broad band

of reddish-brown bristles around the middle. They feed on mostly wild herbaceous plants, such as lambsquarter. According to superstition, the amount of black on the woolly bear’s bristle coating forecasts the severity of the coming winter, Ferree said. “It is the relative proportions of the black and reddish-brown

portions of the caterpillar that are supposed to predict the winter,” she said. “The longer the black segments on the ends of the caterpillar, the harsher the coming winter.” One problem associated with forecasting the winter using these insects is that the tiger moth has similar caterpillars as its larval stage, Ferree explained.

“Unfortunately, there are nearly hundreds of tiger moth species, and each has a different color variation. Plus the caterpillars shed their skins, or molt, six times before reaching adult size and their colors change with each molt,” she added. So why do the woolly bears cross the road? “No one really knows why,

but they cross roads and paths on warm days in late fall,” Ferree said. “Some people even believe that this can predict the weather. If they are going south, it is going to be a harsh winter. If they are headed north, it will be a mild winter. If you are driving east and west, I don’t know what that means,” she said.

FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, October 7, 2013

CROPWATCHERS Bernie Walsh, Durand, Winnebago County: Soybean harvest was full steam ahead until Friday morning when it started raining. It was a welcome rain, as it was getting very dusty behind every combine. There has been lots of cover crops and winter wheat seeded, so the rain will help those crops also. The soybean yields are still coming in a little better than average if you were lucky enough to catch an August rain. We have not harvested any corn, but I keep hearing some very good yield reports. Have a safe week.

Tim Green, Wyoming, Stark County: We received approximately 1.5 to 2 inches of rain late last week. We needed that for fire prevention since it was getting scary dry. The rain slowed harvest for a while, but that’s probably OK. Moisture on the corn seemed to be staying on the higher side — 27, 28, 29, 30, 30+. A few beans were cut this past week. Yields have been all over the board. Corn yields have been pretty good and people are pleasantly surprised. Be safe.

Pete Tekampe, Grayslake, Lake County: We got 0.4 of an inch of rain Friday (Sept. 27) and Monday (Sept. 30). Some combines started beans and more went out Tuesday and Wednesday. Beans started at 13 percent and were down to 10 percent on Wednesday. Yields are in the lowerto mid-40s. The low spots still have some green beans in them. I started three fields and haven’t finished one because of the green beans. I haven’t heard of any corn being done yet. Slow down and be careful.

Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: A foggy, wet week slowed soybean harvest. It didn’t help corn harvest early in the morning either. We received some rain, so chiseling the soil should work a little better. We need a dry October to continue with this harvest. Moisture levels are coming down on corn to more tolerable levels. There are a few hybrids that have poor stalks, so farmers are combining them first. Markets have been drifting lower. The spring prices for federal crop insurance are higher than the fall price; therefore, we are getting into the revenue side of collecting, even with an average crop.

Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: September rain totaled 2.4 inches. Rain on Oct. 3-4 was 0.8 of an inch. Our non-functional government may be shut down, but life here on the farm continues. The cows must be milked, livestock fed, crops harvested and bales made. Many beans were cut with 50-bushel average yields. Corn yields are still coming out excellent, but less than 5 percent has been harvested. Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: Harvest started slowly in our area. Some soybeans are mature and others are not quite ready. Bean yields have been good so far. Some corn has also been harvested. Moisture content is still high on corn — near 30 percent. Hopefully, Indian summer will come, and we will still have some good drying days. Larry Hummel, Dixon, Lee County: The start of the week was as nice as you could hope. A lot of soybeans came out of the field with yields ranging from 30 to 60 bushels per acre. Moisture was decent ranging from 10 to 12 percent. Most of the corn that has been harvested so far has been prematurely dead plants on lighter ground. Stalk strength on that corn is a huge issue. Most yields I have heard are running between 130 and 190 bushels, depending on soil types. The best yields should come later, as the corn on better soils dries down. We were a half day away from finishing soybeans when we got rained out Wednesday. I guess maybe I should be wearing steel-toed boots. Last Saturday (Sept. 28), I dropped a piece of plywood on my little toe and broke it. Note to self — think safety. Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: Pretty nice harvest week; spotty rains Thursday caused some delays. Most everyone has been pleasantly surprised with better than expected yields for both corn and beans. Average yields will suffer from large areas drowned out earlier this spring. Biggest concerns are storms with strong winds passing through over the weekend. Ron Moore, Roseville, Warren County: We only received a trace of rain last week. Corn harvest is in full swing. Moisture is still higher than most people would like, but it is time to combine corn. Yields are better than expected since we did not have much rain since late July. Some varieties are yielding at the five-year average of 200 bushels per acre. Not many beans harvested yet. If we miss the rain forecast for the weekend, we will start Monday. Jacob Streitmatter, Princeville, Peoria County: Harvest is under way around here, but the majority of corn is still in the 20s for moisture. The soybeans planted in May have been cut, but the Juneplanted soybeans, which are the majority, are getting close to being ready. The rain showers will delay harvest a little.

Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: After a small shower the night of Saturday (Sept. 28), harvesting of corn and soybean fields continued through Thursday when rain brought harvest to a halt. Our farms received a range of 0.7 to 1.0 inch of rain. We have harvested 10 percent of our crop at this point. Corn moisture has ranged from 16 percent up to 35 percent as I pass through the field. The scale tickets from the elevator have showed a range of 18.3 percent to 27.1 percent moisture. Soybean harvest has also been slowed up by the high humidity and the foggy mornings we had last week. The local closing bids for October 3 were nearby corn, $4.15; fall 2014 corn, $4.45; nearby soybeans, $12.70; fall 2014 soybeans, $11.43. Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: The area harvest is about one-third complete and several are finishing up corn. Corn yields are still in the 160 to 210 range with areas west of here increasing to 190 to 230. It appears that any extra effort to maintain plant health was rewarded. Water hemp will be a big problem to control next season. Farmers will have to revisit some old chemistries and tactics to combat the weed. Corn, $4.25; Jan., $4.39; fall ’14, $4.52; soybeans, $12.60; Jan., $12.64; fall ’14, $11.31; wheat, $6.61. Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: Combines are rolling with the harvest-o-meter pegged at 16 percent corn harvested and 14 percent soybeans cut. Thursday morning yielded 0.22 of an inch shower, but harvest continued after lunch. Temperatures will tumble Sunday. Highs will be back to 77 by midweek, so another great week for harvest. Let’s be careful out there! Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: And the clouds came up, did their rumble, but no measurable rain in the gauge. We did get 0.5 of an inch Sunday (Sept. 29), which helped fill some of the cracks so combines won’t fall in. Otherwise, most machines are running in corn. Very few soybean fields are ready, but corn yields have been respectable for no more rain than we got. Have a good week and be careful. Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: We received much needed rain Thursday evening. Corn and soybean harvest is less than 20 percent complete. People are very pleased with yields. The biggest problem has been corn moisture not drying down. Some that we picked Sept. 3 at high moisture, around 35 percent, is now down around 24 percent; 11 points in 30 days is not a very fast dry down. Soybeans are really just starting to mature. There will be quite a few beans cut this week. Reports of yields have been very good.

Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: We received 0.65 of an inch of rain Thursday night, which will slow harvest down for us to an even slower pace than it already was. The wet, foggy mornings last week kept us from getting many beans harvested since we switched over from corn Monday (Sept. 30). A large amount of the early-planted corn in the county is harvested, but there is still a lot left to be completed. Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: Harvest is still off to a slow start, and spotty rain showers all week compounded the situation. Dry corn has yet to be seen at the elevators, but yields of 160 to 220 have been good enough to cover some drying charges. Soybean harvest has really been stop and go this week and may continue to be like that for a while. Yields are the good news for that crop, also running into the 50s and 60s and rumors of fields going over 70 bushels per acre. Jimmy Ayers, New City, Sangamon County: We received 0.3 of an inch at our place last week. A lot of corn and beans were taken out. Corn is still running higher in moisture. Ours is still high 20s. Beans are still yellow and a lot of them changed drastically last week. Guys say they are pleased with yields and maybe a little better than some expected. You might want to keep a leaf blower in the combine with you. Try to keep things cleaned off and provide a little safety from fires. It doesn’t take long to walk around in the evening to clean off your combine. It may provide for a better day. Doug Uphoff, Shelbyville, Shelby County: As I stand on a bin transferring dry corn, it amazes me of the beauty of God’s creation. We still haven’t picked any corn under 19 percent. Hopefully, we will soon be able to cut soybeans, but humid conditions have prevented that, as well as keeping corn from drying down in the field. With the government shutdown, we haven’t had any reports. I wonder if that’s a bad thing. I would report that government leaders could definitely not farm for a living. David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: It has been a cloudy, damp week for the most part. Not real good soybean cutting weather. Several producers have been shelling corn. Moisture levels are in the 20 to 22.5 percent range. Yields are still staying pretty good. There are a lot of soybeans in the area that are mature and ready to see a combine, so everyone is hoping to get rid of the sprinkles and clouds, so soybean harvest can continue. Jeff Guilander, Jerseyville, Jersey County: Fall has arrived, which means corn may take even longer to dry down. I have heard some fields dried down to the high teens, but most have stalled out in the low 20s. Yields continue to be good. Some early beans have been cut with yields better than the train wreck some expected, but most are planning on finding out for themselves next week. Rick Corners, Centralia, Jefferson County: Last Wednesday evening, a cloud moved in, and we had 0.9 of an inch of rain in a few minutes. Then Thursday morning, we had another 0.2 of an inch. We don’t need any more rain this month. With all the showers and foggy days, corn shelling is about the only thing going on. Yields on the hills are excellent, but yields drop off one-third to a half in the low spots where the best corn usually is. If the sun ever shines for a day, a lot of beans are ready to grab. Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: Harvest is progressing slowly. Rain showers every few days have interrupted harvest this past week. Corn yields continue to be good. I’ve not cut any beans, but people I have talked to said yields are good for their early-planted beans. Wheat sowing will probably start as soon as the ground conditions let us.

Page 7 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek

CROPWATCHERS Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: Showers moved thru the area over the weekend of Sept. 28-29, leaving various amounts of rain from 0.1 to 0.6 of an inch. Harvest has begun with the early-planted corn and beans. Most people are waiting for their crops to mature. Good yields are reported except where there was severe water damage that occurred the last of June and the first part of July when excessive rains fell. Randy Anderson, Galatia, Saline County Harvest is picking up pace. Most corn is in the low 20s to some high teens. Yields are still holding their own. I cut some beans that were a little better than expected, but getting the right weather to cut has been a problem. Very heavy dews in the morning and some light sprinkles some mornings. Looking to start sowing wheat Monday. Lime spreading and fall fertilizer has been going on as the crops come off.

Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: We received about a 0.5 of an inch of rain in the area Sept. 28, but missed out on the showers predicted for midweek. Besides the spotty shower pattern, we had great weather for harvest with temps in the upper 80s. Corn and soybean harvest has finally become the priority of most farmers in the area, as many of the fields reached a grain moisture level farmers could handle. Corn yields have been ranging from 140- to 200-plus bushels an acre on nonirrigated fields. Corn moisture ranges between 20 to 24 percent. Soybean harvest is still in its early stages. Some wheat has been planted behind recently harvested soybean fields. Local grain bids are corn, $4.11; soybeans, $12.82; wheat $6.63. Have a safe harvest.

Dean Shields, Murphysboro, Jackson County: We had a few showers, but not enough to keep us out of the fields. Harvest is in full swing. Yields seem to be pretty good and everyone is happy. Some of the milo is turning out pretty good, too. Hope everyone has a safe harvest. Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: Harvest is progressing, although it seems like it is going a lot slower than we would like. We had 0.4 of an inch of rain Sunday (Sept. 29) and Monday morning (Sept. 30). We got in the cornfield Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday before a shower came in Wednesday afternoon and kept us out of the field until Thursday afternoon. We are fortunate that our rains have not been large amounts. We have been able to get back in. Corn yields at our place have varied from below average to very good. Please remember to take time and be careful as we are in this busy season.

Animal welfare practices focus of Illinois farm tour Reports received Friday morning. Expanded crop and weather information available at

One German farmer and three ag professionals last week got a first-hand look at the inner-workings of a modern U.S. hog farm during a McLean County tour. Pat Bane, a hog far mer from Arrowsmith and member of the Illinois Far m Bureau and Illinois Pork Producers Association, hosted the tour as part of the M c C l oy Fe l l ow s h i p, a n exchange program for American and German ag professionals. Bane visited Germany, via the McCloy Fellowship program, in 2002 and more recently participated in the IFB European Union Animal Care Study Tour in June. “It’s a rare opportunity to get a first-hand look at ag in another country,” Bane said of the McCloy Fellowship program operated in the U.S. by the American Far m Bureau Federation. “And we just had a first-hand look at some of the rules and regulations there (during the EU study tour).” T he EU implemented a

herd. He also demonstrated how he regulates the temperature in his hog barns to improve the comfort level his animals. “In our opinion (gestation stalls) are good for the animals,” Bane told his German visitors. “(The hogs) don’t have to compete with other animals for food, water and space.” Antibiotics are given to h o g s t o p r e ve n t a n d t r e a t s i ck n e s s a n d d i s e a s e, s a i d Bane, who noted withdrawal times are enforced to ensure no antibiotic residue winds up in pork. A report released last m o n t h by t h e C e n t e r s f o r

Disease Control and Prevention concluded the overuse of antibiotics at hospitals, not livestock barns, is the key culprit for the spread of antimicrobial resistance in the U.S. “We’re proud of what we d o,” B a n e s a i d . “ We c a r e about our animals. We have a moral responsibility to treat them right.” Astrid Rewerts, an ag professional from Berlin and a member of the German Farm Federation, said European far mers face a lot of pressure from nong over nment organizations and activist g roups. T hey also deal with similar issues, such as animal disease and high feed prices. “It’s good to know American farmers face similar problems we’re facing,” Rewerts said. “We can get ideas (on the McCloy prog ram tour) of how American farmers cope.” The German visitors also learned more about biotechnology during a tour of Monsanto near St. Louis and about ag markets during a tour of the Chicago Board of Trade.

Harvest activity continued in spurts last week as corn clung to moisture and soybean maturity remained highly variable. Farmers last week received anywhere from a half inch of rain in parts of northern and southern Illinois to 1 to 2 inches of rain in a band that moved through central Illinois last Thursday and Friday. “We had some pockets of heavy rain (with 1.8 inches near Bloomington-Normal),” said Ed Shimon, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Lincoln.

“It provided some relief i n a r e a s o f d r o u g h t ,” h e continued. “But it really was j ust a l i ttl e Ba n d -A i d . We need a repeat of these types of rains (multiple times to actually break the drought).” About 90 percent of the state as of the middle of last week was classified as abnormally dry to a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. There was a chance of spotty showers over the weekend along with the possibility of some severe weather. “There could be wind

damag e and hail,” Shimon noted. Te m p e r a t u r e s a l s o a r e expected to dip early in the week before war ming back up to the 70s. “The weather system (this) week could bring the first cold air of the season, especially in the northwest Corn Belt,” Bryce Anderson, DTN ag meteorologist, told t h e R F D R a d i o N e t wo r k . “When you get that type of temperature contrast, it could fuel a fairly brisk wind patter n, which could be a problem.” Far mers in Illinois as of


ban on the use of gestation stalls in the hog industry the first of this year. The EU also heavily regulates the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry. Bane told the visiting German farm professionals that he uses stalls to protect his

Follow Ill. farmer Steve Sheaffer’s tour of Germany as a McCloy fellow at

Pat Bane, right, a hog farmer from Arrowsmith (McLean County) discusses hog production and animal welfare on his farm with visiting German visitors, left to right, Ralf Benecke, Magdalena Zelder, Astrid Rewerts and Ariane Amstutz. The farm tour was arranged through the McCloy Fellowship, an exchange program between American and German agriculturists. (Photo by Ken Kashian)

the first of last week harvested just 13 percent of the corn crop, compared to the average of 34 percent. Ten percent of beans were harvested, compared to the average of 15 percent. “Har vest is under way around here, but the majority of corn is still in the 20s f o r m o i s t u r e,” s a i d Ja c o b Streitmatter, a Far mWeek C r o p wa t ch e r f r o m Pe o r i a County. Meanwhile, soybean maturity is all over the board due in part to highly variable planting dates and weather extremes during the growing

Spotty rains slow harvest, provide brief drought relief

season, according to Steve H o s s e l t o n , I l l i n o i s Fa r m Bureau District 14 director from Clay County. “We have some first-crop beans that don’t look any further along than some double-crops,” he said. Pe t e Te k a m p e, a C r o p watcher from Lake County, reported soybean moisture on his farm last week dropped from 13 to 10 percent. “ I s t a r t e d ( h a r ve s t i n g ) three fields and haven’t finished one because of the green beans,” Tekampe said. — Daniel Grant


FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, October 7, 2013

‘Can I eat that casserole?’

County FB managers field off-the-wall questions with style, grace BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Encyclopedia. Google. Farm Bureau ... or at least that’s how it seems some days. County Farm Bureau managers handle questions on everything from property tax calculations to fruit fundraiser deadlines to “What’s making these droppings?â€? Interested? Read on about bewildering questions that leave managers shaking their heads. • A phone rings at the Carroll County Farm Bureau office. “Does Farm Bureau have a spay and neuter program?â€? a caller asks. “Well, guess it depends on who you are and how we feel,â€? quips Farm Bureau Manager Chas Welch. They both laugh. “Everybody’s used to me having an odd sense of humor,â€? Welch admits. • Farm Bureau managers are known locally for being in the know, but Jill Frueh still wonders why the Bureau County Farm Bureau office got a call “asking if we knew who their neighbors were.â€? “We really don’t,â€? Frueh said. She politely directed the caller to try the county court-

house. But she considered recommending, “Why don’t you head on over and introduce yourself ?� A neighborhood suggestion worthy of Mister Rogers.

Illustration by Sharon Dodd

• Farms and food are synonymous so local Farm Bureau managers must be experts in all things food, right? “We got one last week ask-

ing if they should go ahead and cook the chicken that they accidently forgot and left out all night,â€? said Douglas County Farm Bureau manager Kara Kinney. She, of course, turned to the food safety experts. “I gave them Extension’s phone number,â€? she added. “My favorite call was the guy wanting to know if he should eat the casserole he microwaved and left the fork in,â€? Welch said. “Well, I guess if it didn’t kill your microwave and doesn’t taste funny, go ahead and eat it,â€? she advised with the self-confidence of an “America’s Test Kitchenâ€? expert. • Then, there are those full-moon-caller days. “I had these calls one night after 4:30,â€? said Rock Island County Farm Bureau Manager DeAnne Bloomberg. “One: Is this Farm and Fleet? Two: Can you get a jump for my car?â€? • Some callers seek scientific information. A Pekin woman asked Tazewell County Farm Bureau Manager Doug Godke for bird identification help. “Some bird, maybe a hawk, is in my backyard attacking all

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the birds,� the woman reported. Godke asked, “Could it be an owl?� But the caller seemed certain it was a type of hawk. “So, I called the past Extension adviser and asked him. He said sparrow hawks will go after birds at a bird feeder,� Godke said. The Extension adviser added sparrow hawks will also prey on small dogs. The woman had told Godke she sometimes put her little poodles in the yard. Godke jumped into action: “I called her back, ‘Whatever you do,

don’t let the poodles out!’ â€? • Then there was this question — “What’s making these droppings?â€? “A guy called and said something’s making droppings on the back porch and I can’t see it,â€? Godke said. Godke, of course, didn’t know the culprit. Two weeks later with a flashlight shedding light on the issue, the caller reported to Godke the mystery had been solved. It was a bat. Real life supplied the answer.

Cast members of “Send the Light� rehearse in Illinois State University’s Westhoff Theatre. The production explores the impact of rural electrification on Midwest farm families. (Photo courtesy Illinois State University)

ISU is bringing impact of rural electricity to life

Electricity dangled opportunities before Midwestern farm families in the mid-1930s. Those dreams and the controversy that swirled around the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) will be illuminated by Illinois State University’s (ISU) School of Theatre. The school will present, “Send the Light,� Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 22-26 in ISU’s Westhoff Theatre, Normal. The production is co-sponsored by Corn Belt Energy Cooperative. “Electrification really was a gateway for opportunity in rural areas,� Michael Vetere III, ISU professor and co-director, told FarmWeek. ISU alums Don Shandrow and Phil Shaw wrote the show, which includes hymns and songs of the period. Shandrow had interviewed farmers about that time and based some of the characters, mainly farm families, on the stories he heard. “The play is about change and the struggle,� explained Connie de Veer, ISU professor and co-director. “It cost $5 to join the REA in ’37 and ’38. That was a lot of money. Farm

families were losing young people to the big city.� Some of the stories tell the realities of farm life before electric power. “Farms were particularly dangerous for women because of the gasoline (used for power),� de Veer noted. To engage audience members, educational displays with images and artifacts of that period will be located in the Westhoff lobby. Immediately inside the theater, a display will compare the differences between rural and urban areas. The play is suitable for adults and students; however, fourth graders and older would most appreciate the history, according to Vetere. All performances start at 7:30 p.m., except for a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 19. For information or tickets, call the ISU School of Theatre ticket office at 309-438-2535 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from noon to 5 p.m. Friday. Tickets and information also are available online at {}. — Kay Shipman


Page 9 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek

Ag-based products offer performance-based sustainability

renewably sourced, but on Challenge Award for develop- DuPont also is fostering new top of that, you get some biobased product partnerment of the cornstarch fergreat performance advantages ships in China and other mentation process used in The 5 a.m. alarm sounds. and attributes which, ultiAsian markets. producing Sorona. The You hop out of bed, pad mately, at the end of the day, Lee sees Sorona as a startSorona production process across the carpet to the closare what are going to win ing point for DuPont Indusoffers a 30 percent reduction et, pull out your favorite runtrial Biosciences in generating over consumers.” in energy use ning gear and In the case of Sorona“a large and profitable and a 63 persuit up. based carpeting, that means cent reduction pipeline of innovation to As you move durability, built-in stain resistthrough the ‘Yes, it’s biobased and it’s renewably in carbon diox- come.” Sorona was one of ance, greater resiliency and the first products certified ide emissions bland beige sourced, but on top of that, you get compared to “good feel underfoot,” she under USDA’s BioPreferred kitchen, you some great performance advantages.’ said. certification-labeling prosynthetic matedecide to attack DuPont also is pitching gram, which after some rials such as that paint job Sorona’s dual performance recent federal funding chalnylon. you’ve been putand sustainability in the DuPont has lenges, “is back,” she said. ting off since — Kathryn Lee DuPont Industrial Biosciences apparel sector. Beyond “a “Sorona is just one exampartnered with fall. You realize very noticeable softness and ple of sustainable solutions Mohawk to the driveway drape” and a “shape memousing biotechnology, using produce could use a little ry” that allows garments to renewable feedstocks, and Sorona-based freshening-up, carpeting mar- biobased materials and build- shed wrinkles out of the suittoo. case, Lee noted the fiber feaketed in North ing blocks to meet the needs Now, how tures moisture-wicking beneof a growing global populaabout doing it all just a bit market share (see accompany- America under the Smartfits for workout and outerTrend brand and now offered, tion,” Lee told FarmWeek. more sustainably? Save a bar- ing story). wear. “Yes, it’s biobased and it’s in Europe, as AMAIZE. rel or so of oil. Put a bushel Kathryn Lee, global marketor two of corn or soybeans to ing manager for DuPont work. Improve the world’s Industrial Biosciences’ Sorona environmental footprint at line of corn-based polymers, your own doorstep. fibers and textiles, deems the With homeowners tuning commercialization of Soronasimultaneously into the do-it- based carpeting “one of our yourself trend and a greener great success stories.” face in preparation for refinishing. In fact, DavThe time may be right for green household lifestyle, a growing selection DuPont won a 2003 Presienport noted another company has developed a products, but in Jason Davenport’s view, “timof biobased products are dential Green Chemistry ing” may be an even greater appeal of biobased biobased concrete stain that allows do-it-yourselfers to sustainably finish the job, “and it’s products for many busy consumers. working fantastically.” Franmar Chemical Inc., located outside Conventional petroleum products sometimes Bloomington, is developing a growing global work more rapidly in smaller areas, he admits, market for its soy-based cleaning, degreasing, and paint, asphalt, auto molding and undercoat- but because of the special qualities of soy solvents, their use requires less hands-on attention ing removal products. and thus allows for improved consumer time Davenport, Franmar’s market director, told management. FarmWeek “we’re even seeing more of our “It may take longer to strip something with competing distributors picking up soy and cornthe soy product than with methylene chloride or based products.” Nearly 90 percent of Bloomington-based Franmar Chemisome other ‘hot’ (petroleum-based) solvent that Franmar, which started as a supplier of soy cal Inc.’s sales are in the U.S. (see accompanying story), but its cleaning materials for the screen printing indus- evaporates quickly,” Davenport said. “But I can customer base now extends to Australia, Canada, China and try, has enjoyed robust market growth in gel sol- apply it all over the floor, go to a movie or Germany. shop, let it do its thing, come back and take it vents for paint removal from floors, walls and “We’re seeing quite a bit of interest and growth in people off.” furniture, according to Davenport, “with no looking for friendly, biobased replacement products,” Franmar Consumers currently can’t find Franmar’s smells or hazards.” Soy-based “mastic” removal Market Director Jason Davenport relates. products in the “big box” home improvement products replace mechanical grinding and United Soybean Board Vice Chairman Jim Call reports the petroleum alternatives for cleaning residual car- outlets. Owner Frank Sliney subscribes to supU.S. “has definitely been in the lead” in production and marporting smaller chains such as True Value and pet adhesive prior to renovation. keting of soy-based industrial products, from spray foam insuAce Hardware and independent “mom-andWhile those products can be used safely lation to many of the panels on John Deere combines. indoors, the company’s VeraSafe concrete etch- pop” stores. “Frank believes in helping the little High-oleic soybeans were developed to provide food and guy,” Davenport said. — Martin Ross er effectively “sands” driveways and other surcooking oils with a healthier profile and improved stability, but Call cites hopes to apply the high-temperature-tolerant trait in engine oils, hydraulic fluids and related products. He meanwhile notes a growing global market for ag-based Get your limited edition products and materials in Europe and other developed counprint by Illinois Farm Bureau tries. Call anticipates capturing market share in emerging photographer Ken Kashian. regions adopting “more of a focus on sustainability and safer products and nonpetroleum-based products.” A limited number of prints are In Call’s view, the biobased boom should help U.S. growers still available through the IAA double international sustainable demand. U.S.-style production Foundation Country Store. further reduces the environmental footprint of biobased products — a guiding principal behind the industry’s U.S. Soybean t4JHOFEBOEOVNCFSFE Sustainability Assurance Protocol, which identifies regulations, t.BUUFEUPöUBOYGSBNF processes and practices the sector uses to satisfy international W. D Diggin Rd., Jo Daviess County customers. tQFSQSJOU QMVTTIJQQJOH

“U.S. soybean farmers probably think it’s a negative that we t"MMQSPDFFETHPUPUIF have to prove that we’re sustainable, but actually, it’s a posiIAA Foundation tive,” Call told FarmWeek. “We’ve been growing beans a lot longer than our competition in Argentina and Brazil. Standing Proud “A lot of our farmers are doing things that are already susParklands Bluebells tainable — they just don’t realize it. Like cutting down on Makes “Bishop Hill Blooms” tillage, cutting down on chemical use, cutting down on fertilizA Great er use. All those things farmers have been doing for years. Our Allll pr A proceeds oceeds benefit benefit the IAA IAA FFoundation. oundat oundation. Gift! competition has to prove that they’re sustainable. We already Prints an be be viewed viewed online at Prints ccan www.iaafoundation.or n.orrg or ordered ordered by by calling calling (309) 557-2230. know we’re sustainable.” — Martin Ross BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

emerging. In fact, sustainability is a growing global watchword, and companies like DuPont and Bloomingtonbased Franmar Chemical Inc. are building international

Global sustainable demand extends soy product market reach

Soy-based products better fit for busy consumer schedules?

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FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, October 7, 2013

Ag a natural fit with new science education standards BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Farmers will appreciate the hands-on, problem-solving approach in new proposed science standards for the nation’s elementary, junior high and high school students. Two weeks ago, the Illinois State Board of Education began discussions on adoption of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). One of the teachers who helped write those standards, Chris Embry Mohr, a former high school agriculture teacher, sees a connection between NGSS and agriculture. Mohr, a science teacher at McLean County’s Olympia High School, was one of 41 people nationwide who served on the NGSS writing team. “Getting kids to do science is more important than getting kids to memorize facts when

they will be able to look them (facts) up when they need to know them,” Mohr told FarmWeek. Released in April, NGSS set minimum science knowledge standards for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Mohr noted the standards focus on scientific and engineering practices, core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Students might develop a model, for example, to explain the relationship of a scientific principle to life science and then apply that to other facets of science. In Mohr’s illustration, students might study the structure of a human skeleton and muscles and compare that to the “skeleton and muscles” of a combine. Other students studying the structure and function of animal genomes might apply that information

Olympia High School advanced biology students listen as science teacher Chris Embry Mohr explains how to grow food in the least amount of space. Students at the Stanford school in McLean County research food growth limiting factors, such as light. (Photos by Cyndi Cook)

to corn genetics. “The (NGSS) practices fit well with agriculture,” Mohr said. “Developing a model to analyze data and designing a structure to solve a problem; that’s agriculture. That’s what we do.”

She favors using hands-on applications to teach science. “Being an ag person and a former ag teacher, this is awesome,” Mohr said. “These new standards are all about using information to solve problems. “Instead of making kids memorize facts we need to help them analyze issues and be critical thinkers. What is important? What is accurate? Is this information supported or just someone’s opinion?” she continued. Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom and agriculture fit naturally with NGSS, according to Mohr. However, the underlying scientific principles need to be connected to ag-related lessons to help students and

teachers understand the science connections, she added. NGSS outlines scientific knowledge students should master at each grade level, but the standards “do not tell me what I have to teach in the classroom,” Mohr emphasized. The NGSS authors prioritized the knowledge they considered most important during lengthy discussions, she said. Half of the group was teachers, while the rest were scientists from academia and industry. The discussions prioritized essential scientific informationbased “current research and education,” Mohr added. For information go to {}.

Blake Enos, an advanced biology student at Olympia High School, plants tomato seeds. He is researching three varieties to see which one will produce the largest amount of tomatoes in a floating raft hydroponics system.

Page 11 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek

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FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, October 7, 2013

Wheat stocks decline; fall seedings could slip


Illinois wheat growers harvested a tremendous crop this season as the average yield — 67 bushels per acre — tied the state record set in 2006. But winter wheat acres planted this fall could decline despite the recent success due to the late harvest of corn and soybeans and less attractive wheat prices. “I think we’ll see a decline of soft red winter seedings this fall in the Midwest,” said Brian Basting, market analyst with Advance Trading. “I think we’ll see an impact of the late fall harvest and (the possibility of fewer wheat acres) also is linked to less attractive prices.” USDA last month projected the average price of wheat this year compared to last year could decline 77 cents per bushel to an average of $7 per bushel. USDA last week projected quarterly stocks of

wheat totaled 1.85 billion bushels, which was slightly below the average trade

director from Clay County and member of the Illinois Wheat Association board,

‘I don’t see either corn or soybeans coming out as early as we’d like to get wheat planted this year.’ — Emerson Nafziger U o f I crop systems specialist

guess of 1.945 billion bushels. The average wheat yield nationwide was pegged at a record 47.1 bushels per acre. Steve Hosselton, Illinois Farm Bureau District 14

said he likely won’t plant wheat this year. “The later this (corn and soybean) harvest gets the less likely it is for wheat (at some locations),” Hosselton said. “I don’t think

The outlook for crop prices got a little more bearish last week. USDA, prior to the partial government shutdown, increased its estimates of old-crop stocks for corn and soybeans.

The quarterly stocks were pegged at 824 million bushels of corn and 141 million bushels of beans. Both stocks’ numbers were down 17 percent from a year ago. But both also were well above the average trade

systems specialist. But there’s still time for farmers to plant a significant amount of wheat in Illinois if harvest progress improves. “I’ve seen wheat go in in November,” Hosselton added. “It’s not the preferred time, but it’s not uncommon.” USDA last week also reported oat production this year totaled 66 million bushels, up 3 percent from 2012, but still the thirdsmallest crop on record. The average oat yield in Illinois was 69 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from a year ago.

guesses of 694 million bushels for corn and 127 million bushels for beans. “Both of those (stocks) numbers are bearish, more so on the corn side,” Brian Basting, market analyst with Advance Trading, said during a teleconference hosted by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. The amount of old-crop corn on hand increased due in part to competition from wheat as a feed source, according to the analyst. USDA estimated ending stocks of wheat at 1.85 billion bushels, which was below the average trade guess of 1.945 billion bushels. “We saw substantial substitution of wheat for corn,” Basting said. The increase in ending stocks of soybeans, meanwhile, was driven by a revision to last year’s production. USDA last week boosted

2012 soy production by 19 million bushels to 3.034 billion bushels. “That (production revision) as much as anything fueled the bump in (soybean) stocks,” Basting said. “It provides a tiny bit more cushion.” Corn and soybean prices last week declined in the wake of the bearish stocks report. The possibility of a binbusting harvest this fall also could keep pressure on crop prices. “It seems the early trend so far this harvest is things are better than expected in terms of yields for corn and soybeans,” Basting said. If big crops are realized and depress prices, demand will become more important. “We’ll have to see if lower prices uncover export demand,” Basting added. “It (demand) will be key moving forward.” — Daniel Grant

Rise in old-crop stocks bearish for corn, soybeans

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we’ve seen the kind of (wheat) seed sales as last year.” Illinois farmers last fall planted 875,000 acres of wheat compared to 660,000 in the fall of 2011. But, so far this fall, U.S. farmers harvested just 12 percent of corn and 11 percent of beans as of the first of last week compared to the five-year averages of 23 and 20 percent, respectively. “I don’t see either corn or soybeans coming out as early as we’d like to get wheat planted this year,” said Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois crop

Scan the QR code to visit us on the web or go to

Tuesday: • Harvey Freese, Freese-Notis Weather: ag weather • Joe Kath, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Endangered Species Project manager: Northern Harrier • Eric Mittenthal, American Meat Institute Public Affairs vice president: National Sausage Month Wednesday: • Mark Schleusener, National Agricultural Statistics Service Illinois Field Office director: harvest update and production forecast • Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government: transportation update • Kelli Bassett, DuPont Pioneer field agronomist: yield reports

Thursday: • Jarrod Hudson, Beck’s Hybrids team sales agronomist • Representative for Specialty Growers • Kevin Black, GROWMARK insect and plant disease technical manager • Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK executive director of corporate government relations: current issues Friday • Dave Owens, Farm Credit Services of Illinois president and CEO: 10-year anniversary • Ivan Dozier, Natural Resources Conservation Service, state conservationist To find a radio station near you that carries the RFD Radio Network, go to, click on “Radio,” then click on “Affiliates.”


Page 13 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek


ACKSON — Sigma Alpha Sorority will host a pancake and sausage dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Carbondale Newman Center. All proceeds will benefit Agriculture in the Classroom. Cost is $5 for advanced tickets and $7 at the door. Call the Farm Bureau office at 684-3129 for tickets or more information. ACON — Farm Bureau and 95Q will sponsor farmer lunches at 11 a.m. Thursday at ADM Grain in Niantic and Oct. 18 at Topflight Grain in Emery. ERRY — Farm Bureau will sponsor a defensive driving class from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at the Farm Bureau office. Call the Farm Bureau office for reservations by Oct. 18. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a photography contest for members. Entry deadline is Nov. 1. Call the Farm Bureau office at 357-9355 for more information. TEPHENSON — Farm Bureau will sponsor flu vaccinations from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Farm Bureau building. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Appointments are not required. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a defensive driving course from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 12-13 at the Farm Bureau office. Doug Sommer will be the instructor. Cost is $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Call the Farm Bureau office at 2323186 to register. • Farm Bureau is taking orders for Terri Lynn nuts and candies. Orders are due by Oct. 18. For more information visit {} or call the Farm Bureau


office at 232-3186. • Farm Bureau will sponsor Stroke Detection Plus health screenings from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Farm Bureau office. Members will receive a discount. Call 877-732-8258 to schedule an appointment. • Farm Bureau and Stephenson Service Company’s annual meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at Highland Community College Student Conference Center. Abe Trone will discuss the Illinois Farm Bureau European Union Animal Care Study Tour he participated in and the Freeport High School varsity choir will perform. ASHINGTON — Young Leaders will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Buretta’s in Nashville for their monthly meeting. • Prime Timers Committee members will meet for a flu shot clinic at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 21 at Little Nashville. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a photography contest for members. Entry deadline is Nov. 1. Call the Farm Bureau office at 357-9355 for more information. AYNE — Far m Bureau will sponsor a flu vaccination clinic from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Far m Bureau office. Cost is $30. Blue Cross, HealthLink, Medicare and Medicaid are accepted. Must be 18 years or older. A $5 coupon is available at {}. Call the Far m Bureau office at 8423342 to register.




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

Farm. Family. Food.™

More than 100 Illinois State University students attended the recent Illinois Farm Bureau collegiate membership kickoff at Ropp Agriculture Building in Normal. Mariah Dale-Anderson, left, IFB special service manager, helped students sign up. (Photo by Kristen Faucon, ISU Collegiate Farm Bureau founding member)


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FarmWeek Page 14 Monday, October 7, 2013

Grain allowable storage time — be aware, not scared

Harvest is upon us in many areas, and it’s nice to hear there is significantly more grain to harvest this year. Most of the reports coming in from the country are indicating “better than expected” yields. Late plantRandy Holthaus ing has harvest starting later than normal and grain moisture contents are running higher. With wet grain, it is important to know how grain temperature and moisture content dictate the “allowable storage time” of the grain or how long BY RANDY HOLTHAUS

grain can be kept before it spoils. Allowable storage time gives an estimate of how long you have to dry the grain and how long you can maintain grain quality in storage. Allowable storage time begins at harvest. Grain has only one life, and the time following harvest is part of that life. Here is an example of how to calculate allowable storage time of corn using the chart provided. Assume you harvest 26 percent moisture corn with a grain temperature of 60 degrees. Corn at that moisture and temperature levels must be dried within eight days. Now assume that after four days we’ve dried this grain down to 18 percent and cooled it to 50 degrees. How long can we safely


Farm Service Agency

FSA 2013 COUNTY COMMITTEE ELECTIONS — The election of farmers to the FSA county committees is important. It is crucial every eligible farmer participate in the elections. County committee ballots will be mailed to eligible voters on Nov. 4. County committee members are critical to FSA operations. The last day to return completed ballots is Dec. 2. 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 may report suspected cases to the FSA office, RMA or the Office of the Inspector General.

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) NA NA 40 lbs. (cash) NA NA Recipts

This Week NA *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Last Week 82,021

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) Carcass Live

(Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week Change NA $89.72 NA NA $66.39 NA

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

This week NA NA

Prev. week $124.00 NA

Change $0.00 NA

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 NA $159.37 NA

Lamb prices NA

NA prices due to federal shutdown.

Export inspections (Million bushels) Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 9/26/2013 14.3 33.0 21.9 9/19/2013 16.8 43.1 18.0 Last year 41.8 24.6 20.2 Season total 35.9 496.5 68.3 Previous season total 77.0 355.8 82.7 USDA projected total 1370 1100 1225 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

store this corn? It’s not what you think! Corn at 26 percent moisture and 60 degrees stored for four days has used half of its total storage life. Drying the corn to 18 percent and cooling it to 50 degrees does not mean you can store it for 128 more days as the chart shows. One half of the allowable storage time has already

time even more. Recommended moisture levels for safely storing corn on the farm include: • 17 percent, considered low enough if corn is to be fed to livestock during the winter. • 15 percent, recommended for corn that will be removed from storage before the start of summer. • 13 percent, recommended for corn that is to be carried into summer or stored longer than one year. Remember that safe storage is dependent on well managed aeration through the seasonal changes. Be safe out there!

been used, so the actual storage time remaining is only 64 days. NOTE: Corn storage temperatures shown on the chart are KERNEL temperatures. This chart is based on clean, good quality corn. Corn with 10 percent mechanical damage can cut the allowable storage time in half. Large amounts of fines and foreign material will shorten storage

Randy Holthaus is GROWMARK’s grain systems operation manager. His email address is

same time increased 2 percent. And it appears growth of the hog industry will continue in Illinois. Hog producers in the state intend to farrow 255,000 sows from September to November, up 4 percent from last year, and 265,000 sows from December through February 2014, which would be up 6 percent from last year, USDA reported. “I think everybody (in the pork industry) is cautiously optimistic,” Maiers said. “Overall, I’d say we’re in a good position.” Feed costs have decreased while hog prices were projected to remain strong. The CME Group Daily Livestock Report

estimated production costs next year at $78 per hundredweight/carcass, with a profit of about $18 per head. Maiers believes growth of the hog industry in Illinois also is attributable to farm expansion, the value of manure as a crop nutrient and adequate access to processing facilities and feed. “More livestock producers are looking to bring back another generation or diversify their farms,” Maiers added. “And with land costs and cash rents where they’re at, putting up hog barns and the income they produce coupled with the value of manure, compared to commercial fertilizer, looks pretty attractive right now.”

Illinois swine herd exhibits growth BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

The quarterly hogs and pigs report released last month was a shocker as USDA estimated the inventory of market hogs was up 0.3 of a percent, about 2 percent higher than trade expectations. Meanwhile, the total inventory of hogs and pigs nationwide (68.36 million head) also was up 0.3 of a percent from last year. Statewide, however, expansion in the hog industry was even greater than the national trends. But that wasn’t much of a surprise to Tim Maiers, director of industry and public relations for the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA). IPPA has been working with other commodity groups and the Illinois Farm Bureau for years through the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) to grow the livestock industry in the Land of Lincoln. Other ILDG members are the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Milk Producers Association and the Illinois Soybean Association. The inventory of all hogs and pigs (4.75 million head) and market hogs (4.25 million head) in Illinois was up 1 percent last month while the number of breeding hogs in the state (500,000) was up 2 percent from a year ago. “These kinds of things don’t happen overnight,” Maiers told FarmWeek. “When you look at the work of ILDG and the support we’ve received from other ag groups around the state, to me that work is starting to show dividends.” The June-August pig crop in Illinois totaled 2.65 million head, up 5 percent from last year. The pig crop nationwide during the

Class III milk prices inch higher

The Class III price for milk adjusted to 3.5 percent butterfat for the month of September was announced at $18.14 per hundredweight. This marks a 23-cent gain over the gains seen in the previous month. Milk prices are showing strength primarily due to a strong showing in the export market. Sales of powder overseas, coupled with a strong domestic demand for butter has helped to keep a strong floor under a market that is seeing more milk. Illinois farmers are reporting some excellent quality numbers in forages and silage put up in the past weeks. Despite the very dry and hot summer, the quality of the crop appears to be very promising.


Page 15 Monday, October 7, 2013 FarmWeek


Corn Strategy

ü2013 crop: The break to a new low this past week changed the short-ter m parameters, making the market structure more negative. Use a rally over $4.50 on December futures to make needed sales. The next opportunity may not come until sometime well into the new calendar year. Futures have downside risk to $4 into year’s end; plan your sales accordingly. ü2014 crop: We continue to think initiating sales at $5.15 to $5.25 on December 2014 futures is a good move. It may not come soon with this latest break, but we are reluctant at this time to sell at current levels. vFundamentals: Yield reports continue to be very good, suggesting the national yield is every bit as big as the USDA forecast in September, if not bigger. And even if acreage is revised down, a crop near 14 billion bushels is becoming more realistic, as is an ending stock of 1.8 billion bushels. Demand is off to a better start this year, and we expect it to improve, lifting prices once the post-harvest low is achieved.

Cents per bu.

Soybean Strategy

Export sales off to good start

Export sales are off to a good start this year with wheat leading the way at a pace ahead of forecast. A part of the business is thought to have been buying to restock inventories that had been allowed to decline with last year’s higher prices. That business should begin to decline. And there’s a seasonality of business that tends to peak near the end of the calendar year.

Soybean sales have been the most impressive, outpacing even last year. Still, it’s important to note China may have already covered nearly 22 million metric tons (mmt) of the 25 to 26 mmt they are likely to buy from us this year. If South America gets off to a better start than last year, the pace of buying going forward may start to slow much sooner than last year. Corn sales the next few weeks may be no better than average with the U.S. still competing with supplies coming out of South America and the Black Sea into year’s end.

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ü2013 crop: Last week’s hard early break may have ended any near-ter m chance of seeing November futures over $13.30. Use a rally over $13 to make catch-up sales. Price another 10 percent if November futures reach $13.10. Technically, this past break hinted futures might dip to $12 when the next cycle bottoms near year’s end. ü2014 crop: The higher soybean/corn price ratio will stimulate plantings in South America, and maybe in the U.S. next spring. Price the first 10 percent if November 2014 futures rebound to $12. vF u n d a m e n t a l s : T h e good early yield reports suggest the national yield for this year’s crop may not be much, if any, worse than the USDA forecast in September. Early planting is starting in Brazil, and rains are starting to occur across northern areas, reinforcing early ideas for a large crop this spring. A weather scare could lift prices durin g

the winter, but might start from a lower level.

Wheat Strategy

ü2013 crop: Last week’s rally hit the trigger to price another 15 percent when Chicag o December futures reached $6.95. If you didn’t get the sale made, use a rally over $6.90 to complete it. If wheat is farm stored, consider a winter delivery with a hedgeto-arrive contract based on March futures to capture some additional storage income. ü2014 crop: Leave an order to make a 10 percent sale if Chicago July futures reach $7.05.

vFundamentals: Demand expectations continue to lift the wheat market. The latest talk surrounded the size of this year’s Argentine crop, and the possibility of seeing export limitations, forcing Brazil to again source some of their import needs outside of their Mercosur trading zone. Given Canada’s big crop and low protein, Brazil could source wheat from there. It’s also important to remember world wheat supplies are not tight. Our new crop planting is off to a good start with conditions much better than the last two years.


FarmWeek Page 16 Monday, October 7, 2013

Chipotle, at it again with scarecrow video

Miss Illinois County Fair Amelia Martens selects a fitting vehicle during the DuQuoin State Fair. Currently, she works in John Deere’s construction and forestry division. Below: Martens gets support from brothers, Wyatt, 14, left, and Ben, 20. (Photos courtesy of Amelia Martens)

Tiara and title bring chances to support agriculture and fairs

Three months, 26 fair queen pageants, two state fairs, a dozen other appearances and nearly 10,000 miles driven across the state, I can now say summer has unfortunately come to an end. I’ll never forget how nervous I was at the first pageant I attended. Public speaking has never scared me, but that night I wasn’t just Amelia Martens. I was Miss Illinois County Fair, speaking on behalf of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, the State Fairs and the Department of Agriculture. It was then I realized the AMELIA message I was relaying needed MARTENS to be heard by everyone. I wanted people to listen to what I was saying because they needed to realize not only how important agriculture is to our state, but I also wanted them to support their county fair and attend the State Fairs. For an agricultural communicator, being able to promote agriculture and county fairs was the coolest part of my job — two things that have had a huge impact on my life. Besides being able to do what I loved every day, I met new people constantly. From fair board members to pageant contestants, fairgoers and community members, I enjoyed making connections across the state. I spent as much as two-and-a-half weeks on the road at a time. I bonded quite a bit with the state pageant crew members, whose homes I stayed in all summer. My experience would not have been possible without them or my director, Cathy Redshaw. There’s no doubt the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs were the highlight of my summer. Throughout my reign, I had moments when I seriously said, “I can’t believe I’m the state queen.” And when I hosted the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs, I still couldn’t believe I was the hostess. Being able to visit with all of the county fair queens during the Illinois State Fair was an experience I will never forget. County Fair Day is the only other time outside of the state pageant when all of the girls are together. On that day, I could already see just how much the

queens were blossoming into young women who could speak intelligently with poise and grace. It’s really amazing what pageants can do for young women, and I look forward to seeing them all this fall in the zone meetings and at the state pageant. From sun up to sun down (and later) at the state fairs, I was all over the fairgrounds. I handed out ribbons at livestock, culinary and sewing shows, spoke at luncheons, interviewed with media, visited with fairgoers, watched harness races, took pictures with exhibitors and performers, and even ran Abe’s Amble with my sash on at the conclusion of the Illinois State Fair. I wouldn’t have made it all over the fairgrounds without my golf cart decked out in University of Illinois stickers and tinsel (If you were at the fair, I’m sure you saw my golf cart somewhere!), and my driver and chaperone, Susan Shea, who made sure I was prepared for each event. Throughout my travels this summer, one thing was always evident, no matter where I was, it always felt like family. The people at each fair shared the same drive and dedication for their fair and for agriculture. It was so nice to feel at home all over the state. A few weeks ago, I started a new chapter in my life — work. As a marketing representative for John Deere in the construction and forestry division, I can say my experience this summer prepared me for the working world more than I ever thought it would. The public speaking skills and poise I gained are invaluable, and I will continue to build on them throughout my life. With only a few more months left of my reign, I cannot thank all of you enough for reading my columns in FarmWeek, listening to my speeches at county fairs and the state fairs, and making me feel welcome no matter where I was. Each of us can promote agriculture in our own way, and I hope many of you will. Amelia Martens, Orion, is Miss Illinois County Fair 2013. She is the daughter of Henry County Farm Bureau members Patrick and Annette Martens.

Fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle is at it again, posting a new Web ad contrasting the dangers of industrial farming with the moral beacon that is Chipotle. It showcases beautiful video, haunting music, a barren landscape scarred by industrial farming and a scarecrow as the hero. In many ways, family farms in the Midwest are the industrial farms that serve as the evil foil in Chipotle’s marketing campaign. Many of today’s misguided food writers would no doubt agree. Here’s how one recently described a farm that is large but “not necessarily” evil: “Unlike many Midwestern farm operations, which grow corn and soy exclusively, here are diversity, crop rotation, cover crops and, for the most part, real food — not crops destined for junk food, animal feed or biofuel. That’s a good start.” Most farms in the Midwest hit every checkpoint on the way to evil, according to that definition. Corn, soybeans, biotech seed, pesticides, commercial fertilizer, cows and pigs eating what they produce ... and some of their corn likely goes to a biofuel plant! They’re so industrial that they are BLAKE HURST beyond redemption. On the other hand, most are family guest columnist farms, using no hired labor. The largest Midwestern farm is about 1,000 times smaller than Chipotle. If size matters, and all Chipotle videos make it clear that it must, Midwestern farms are small businesses. In the latest video, the evil industrial food firm is called Crow Foods Inc. It’s not clear what constitutes a large enough company to achieve “crow” status, but surely Chipotle’s corporate sales of $3 billion come close. Even the largest of Midwestern farms will have gross annual sales comparable to only one of Chipotle’s 1,430 locations. And any of those farms would be pretty darned happy to match Chipotle’s operating margins of 30 percent. As for the whole diversity thing, admittedly, most Midwestern farms aren’t very diverse. Although most farmers used to raise pigs and cattle, many have decided to concentrate on crop farming while other farms raise livestock. To put it in terms even a scarecrow might understand, they’ve decided to specialize in what they do really well. It’s like a restaurant concentrating on selling burritos and beans instead of offering a full menu. The owners of such a restaurant chain probably would consider it more efficient because it didn’t offer dozens of menu items. Restaurants used to offer more items, but many today have adopted what one might call an industrial model, preparing only one kind of food really well. Chipotle often posts signs letting customers know that the “proper” kind of pork or beef is temporarily unavailable. Why are these signs necessary? Conventional grocery stores never have empty meat counters. Shortages only occur when the market price won’t cover the farmers’ costs of production or the price offered by Chipotle is less than competitors are paying. The Chipotle video implies conventional farmers won’t change because they’re somehow morally deficient or suppliers force them into the wrong production practices or they just lack imagination. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Chipotle would raise the prices paid to family farmers, the meat promised to customers would become available. Pay farmers enough, and they’ll probably wear scarecrow costumes to deliver meat to Chipotle’s stores. According to Bloomberg News, in the last year, Chipotle has gone from using 100 percent “naturally” raised beef to only 85 percent. There is a very simple solution. Pay more. Instead of spending millions on ad agencies and marketing campaigns damning conventional farms, Chipotle might better spend that money increasing the prices paid to farmers. Even scarecrows respond to incentives. Only 30 percent of Chipotle revenue goes to buy food that is sold. Increase that percentage and Chipotle would be able to operate with the kind of “integrity” it urges on the rest of the food industry.

Blake Hurst is a farmer and president of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Farmweek oct 7 2013  

ag, Farm Bureau, AFBF, agriculture, farming, IFB

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