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Ag g roups are girding up for the next battle over potential control over every drop of U.S. water................................3

Locate your snow shovels and stock up on hot cocoa. Climatologists foresee a cold, wet Midwest winter........................8

Three county Far m Bureaus captured national C o u n t y A c t i v i t i e s o f E xc e l lence awards..........................10

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Illinois Farm Bureau mission: Improve the economic well-being of agriculture and enrich the quality of farm family life.

House clears long-awaited water reform/projects bill

Illinois major contributor Monday, October 28, 2013

BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

In a post-shutdown show of bipartisan accord, the House cleared a Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) package aimed at helping bring the nation’s waterways into the 21st century. In the wake of Illinois Farm Bureau’s member push for WRRDA passage, IFB President Philip Nelson hailed last Wednesday’s

Toohey told FarmWeek. Currently, Toohey noted, a project takes an average 35 to 40 years from start to completion, in part due to a general lag in federal appropriations for river projects. With support from Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, and Mark Kirk, R-Highland Park, Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, spearheaded WRRDA provisions authorizing

Illinois Farm Bureau mobilized members last week to contact their congressional representatives in support of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

Periodicals: Time Valued

417-3 vote as the product largely of “months of hard work and continued conversations with our representatives.” Both the House measure and its Senate counterpart create a process for prioritizing navigational capital investment projects and attempt to streamline and reform the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project delivery process to help ensure “on-time and on-budget performance,” national Waterways Council Inc. President Michael

pilot public-private partnerships that would further leverage available federal dollars. Toohey hopes House-Senate conferees can help move a bill to the president’s desk by Christmas. He credited “grassroots activism” and Midwest lawmakers with raising the Upper Mississippi’s profile in the debate. “That convinced legislators to get involved on our side and for some of them to sponsor legislation to move the agenda forward,” Toohey said. House and Senate proposals “aren’t too far apart on the major issues,” he said. However, he cited some “significant differences” over a few key provisions: • “Federalization” and funding. The Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF), a repository for barge fuel tax revenues, was designed to provide costshare for major navigation projects. River users and lawmakers have questioned IWTF use in funding dams adjacent to locks. House and Senate provisions propose increasing the federal percentage of funding for dams — a measure that would increase available trust fund revenues for lock projects.

Driving the debate is the longdelayed Olmsted Lock and Dam project on the Ohio River, which has incurred major cost overruns and by current projections isn’t expected to be complete until 2024. According to Toohey, Olmsted continues to absorb the lion’s share of IWTF money “that would otherwise flow to other authorized projects.” The Senate has proposed fully federalizing the entire remaining Olmsted costs, on the grounds of what Toohey deemed “the experimental nature of the construction technique and the fact that it hasn’t worked.” That would free an estimated $165 million per year for other projects, he said. The House supports merely a 75 percent federal share of remaining Olmsted costs, freeing roughly $89 million per year in trust fund revenues. Toohey agrees that’s a “significant number,” but notes an $8 billion existing project “backlog” and delays in Upper Mississippi/Illinois new lock funding. “We need to find a balance where we can get Olmsted built and up-and-running,” IFB Vice President Rich Guebert Jr. said. “Maybe one way to do that is to find private/public partnerships to get the job done as we move on to other projects.” • Rehab redefined? Lawmakers propose raising the threshold for federally defined “major rehabilitation” projects. When projected lock maintenance costs hit $14 million, they kick into the waterways trust fund. Rather than requiring river users to fund 50 percent of maintenance costs, Toohey argues those costs should remain within the Corps’ operations/maintenance budget. The Senate proposes boosting the current maintenance project See Water, page 2

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Two sections Volume 41, No. 43

University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy, right, looks over the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit agenda with Bob Hauser, dean of the U of I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Kennedy challenged universities, industry and government to capitalize on the state’s assets and develop a strategic agriculture plan. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Kennedy challenges Illinois to cultivate statewide ag plan BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Illinois possesses the keys to assume global leadership in food and agriculture in Chris Kennedy’s view. The chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees shared his vision with state ag leaders last week. In a high-energy presentation FarmWeekNow.com at the Illinois Food and Agricul- Watch our video of speakers ture Summit, Kennedy stressed during last week’s Food and the benefits of industry, govern- A g S u m m i t i n C h i c a g o a t ment and academia collaboration FarmWeekNow.com. on a statewide agriculture plan. “Illinois should be the reference point for thought leaders around the world,” he said. The Vision for Illinois Agriculture hosted the summit at the U of I Chicago Forum. Kennedy illustrated his points with a flurry of hundreds of images, including FarmWeek articles. He drew comparisons to Boston’s economic rebirth through the collaboration of leaders in government, academia and the private sector. “Agriculture can’t be seen in isolation. It touches every part of our economy,” Kennedy said. Kennedy emphasized the unique role research universities, such as the U of I, play. Researchers produce new knowledge, which leads to new products, which leads to new jobs, he noted. He highlighted the technology and other scientific advances created at the U of I. Universities also provide the foundation for “sound sciencebased government policy,” Kennedy noted. Kennedy encouraged agriculture to help consumers better understand modern agriculture technology. “Educate the public about the truth of technology used in agriculture,” he said. “People don’t like what they don’t understand and they don’t understand technology of big agriculture.” In summary, Kennedy offered his wish list to develop a statewide strategic plan with broad goals. Bring stakeholders together and encourage not-for-profit organizations to fund that effort. Involve government and have the state’s best consulting firms provide services at no cost. The state’s universities need to add their creative talent. “There is no place in the world with assets better than ours — let’s put them together,” he concluded. Illinois Farm Bureau on the web: www.ilfb.org ®


Quick Takes

GOVERNMENT

FarmWeek Page 2 Monday, October 28, 2013

USDA RESUMES CRP, DIRECT PAYMENTS — Illinois farmers can soon expect to receive Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments and direct payments. The federal shutdown delayed these payments. Illinois producers will receive payments on almost 89,000 CRP contracts covering almost 1 million acres. In exchange for a yearly rental payment provided by USDA on contracts ranging from 10 to 15 years, farmers and ranchers enrolled in CRP agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant grasses or trees that will improve water quality, and waterfowl and wildlife habitat. Payments for 2013 Direct and Counter-cyclical Payments (DCP) and Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) programs are being made to more than 158,000 Illinois farms enrolled in the Farm Service Agency (FSA) program. As of Oct. 1, FSA does not have legislative authority to approve or process applications for CRP, DCP and ACRE. The 2008 farm bill authority for the programs was extended only through Sept. 30. USDOT NUMBER UPDATE — Carriers holding an active U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number are required to contact USDOT every two years to update that information. Now, an enforcement policy change “puts some teeth in that requirement,” according to Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government. Each carrier is assigned a month to make an update based on its assigned USDOT number, Rund said. The number’s last digit corresponds to the month in which the update must be made. The next-to-the-last digit determines the year —- whether even or odd. “If you’ve not made an update within the past 24 months, forget that schedule and do an update immediately,” Rund warned. “Then get back on your assigned schedule and stay with it thereafter. Fines for noncompliance can be substantial.” Updates are required whether any of your USDOT registration information has changed or not, he stressed. Updates may be made on the USDOT website or by fax, using form MCS-150. The website is {fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/forms/r-l/mcs-150-instructions-and-form.pdf}. SCHOOLS OFFER LOCAL FOODS — According to USDA’s first Farm to School Census, schools participating in farm to school activities purchased and served more than $350 million in local food during the 2011-12 school year. And more than half of the participating schools plan to purchase even more local foods in the future. Forty-three percent of public school districts across the country participate in the USDA Farm to School program. Another 13 percent of school districts surveyed committed to launching a farm to school program in the near future. Interest in local products spans the school meal tray, with fruits, vegetables and milk topping the list of local products currently offered in schools. Census respondents indicated an interest in local plant-based proteins, grains and flour, and meat and poultry in the future. USDA’s Farm to School Program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which authorized USDA to assist eligible entities through grants and technical assistance to improve access to local foods in schools. Census results can be accessed online at {fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/census/}.

(ISSN0197-6680) Vol. 41 No. 43 October 28, 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 (canderson@ilfb.org) Legislative Affairs Editor Kay Shipman (kayship@ilfb.org) Agricultural Affairs Editor Martin Ross (mross@ilfb.org) Senior Commodities Editor Daniel Grant (dgrant@ilfb.org) Editorial Assistant Margie Fraley (mfraley@ilfb.org) Business Production Manager Bob Standard (bstandard@ilfb.org) Advertising Sales Manager Richard Verdery (rverdery@ilfb.org) Classified sales coordinator Nan Fannin (nfannin@ilfb.org) Director of News and Communications Michael L. Orso Advertising Sales Representatives Hurst and Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 6011, Vernon Hills, IL 60061 1-800-397-8908 (advertising inquiries only) Gary White - Northern Illinois Doug McDaniel - Southern Illinois Editorial phone number: 309-557-2239 Classified advertising: 309-557-3155 Display advertising: 1-800-676-2353

Alton’s mayor cites ‘atrocious’ navigation system, river needs

A grain barge tow moves through the Alton/Godfrey area. River commerce and tourism are key drivers for many southern Illinois communities. (Photo courtesy of the RiverBend Growth Association)

BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Alton Mayor Brant Walker proudly wears the mantle of “river city mayor,” citing the Mississippi’s contribution to “commerce and great tourism” and rhapsodizing about Alton’s riverfront amphitheater and its claim to “one of the highestranked marinas on the entire Mississippi River.” Walker’s enthusiasm wanes when it comes to his area’s aging navigational infrastructure. As a participant in the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), Walker acknowledges the potential impact of Panama Canal expansion for area farmers and Alton-area river users such as ConAgra. But while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “does the absolute best it can with the resources it gets,” Walker argues “Washington, D.C. doesn’t give us any appropriations to get anything done on the (Mississippi’s) northern stem.” Congress in 2007 approved construction of seven new 1,200-foot locks north of Alton, but Congress has yet to approve funding. The former 600-foot Alton-area Lock 26 was demolished in 1990 to make way for the 1,200-foot main Melvin Price Lock, but Walker told FarmWeek that overall, “our lock and dam system is atrocious.” “We operate this river just like it was 75 years ago, which is not great for moving freight,” he said. “You talk to some of these barge operators. They come to a lock, have to break (barge tows) down, get them through the lock,

reassemble and go to the next lock. “We need Washington to start looking at the Mississippi River just like it does the infrastructure on our highways and our bridges, and invest in our river. We’re not getting the investment we deserve right now.” National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony hailed House passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), arguing it “will create jobs in our cities.” Walker supports “anything that would make us more competitive,” suggesting upstream lock improvements would help Alton “come into line with the way the rest of the world operates.” He applauds area Rep. William Enyart, DBelleville, who championed WRRDA proposals to improve river forecasting capabilities, for being “proactive when it comes to floods and droughts.” Alton suffered serious flood damage in 1973 and 1993, and in June, flooding closed area highways and Alton’s Argosy Casino. MRCTI seeks a national “drought policy” and improved flood management options. “We get a flood and we react to it,” Walker admits. “We call out public works, the sewer department, we start pumping, we put out sandbags. But we don’t do anything to maybe alleviate flooding. “We’re talking about putting up some decorative (river) walls. That would help us alleviate flood issues so we can be more proactive because we don’t have a national policy that deals with flooding or drought.”

WRRDA amendment aimed at corralling carp Bipartisan lawmakers joined to support a Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) amendment aimed at giving an aggressive aquatic adversary the hook. U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, helped spearhead WRRDA addition of a plan to establish an improved multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River systems. The proposal would bolster resources for technical assistance, coordination and “best practices” in reducing carp numbers and limiting its northern movement, and support for cooperating state and local agencies. Concerns about the fierce, competitive fish spreading into the Great Lakes have pitted Illinois lawmakers against interests particularly in Michigan who have proposed closing commercially important Chicago-area locks. “There is a major issue with invasive species as they continue to move up the rivers of America,” Waterways Council Inc. President Michael

Water

Continued from page 1 threshold to $20 million. The House failed to address the issue. Toohey hopes conferees also might consider an industry-backed increase in barge fuel taxes included in neither House nor Senate bills. That would provide an estimated $40 million in added annual trust fund revenue to leverage a total $80 million private/federal

Toohey told FarmWeek. “They’re voracious, and they cause harm both to the environment and to individuals out recreational boating because they’re so aggressive. “Even closing a lock can be defeated by a bad actor scooping up fish and moving them around the lock. We need a better solution. We need a comprehensive approach to solve the problem with all the resource agencies working together.” Lipinski worked with chief sponsors Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn., and Rep. Betty McCollum, DMinn., to include the carp measure in the water projects bill. Kelly warned colleagues a carp infestation could “potentially destroy a $7 billion commercial fishing industry in the Great Lakes and would have a devastating effect on commercial and recreational boaters and sportsmen. Toohey senses “an urgent need to address an urgent problem.” He was optimistic about funding for the expanded federal/state/local initiative despite federal budget constraints. — Martin Ross

project funding match, he estimated. However, House-Senate leaders relegated the measure to Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees. With the current focus on tax reform, the committees have deferred that request. Barring conference action, Toohey anticipates lawmakers moving on it within the next year. “We’d really like to see the dollars follow the passage of WRRDA,” IFB’s Guebert stressed.


GOVERNMENT

Page 3 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

Lawmakers gear up for latest water fight with EPA Stormwater decision counterbalance to recent rulings? BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Don Parrish doesn’t necessarily dispute the fundamental thesis that ultimately, “every drop of water is important.” But that doesn’t make it federal law, the American Farm Bureau Federation policy specialist stressed. Ag groups and lawmakers are girding up for the next battle for clarification of and, potentially, control over “the waters of the United States.” In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, RTexas, and Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, chair of the committee’s Environment Subcommittee, raised concerns over draft rules that would significantly expand EPA’s regulatory authority under the federal Clean Water Act. Under the rule, EPA’s scope could be reinterpreted to include “even the most isolated wetlands, streams and ditches,” the legislators warned. The proposal, soon out for public comment, reflects a new EPA-authorized review that notes environmental links between “non-navigable” waters currently exempt from Clean Water Act regulations and regulated rivers. The new rule reportedly would treat ditches or similar channels as U.S. waters unless they originate or terminate in an upland area, Parrish said. “It’s that crazy,” he told FarmWeek. “If you think about it, if a drop of rain falls from the sky, that droplet — whether it falls into water, onto the

land, on your car — it could ultimately wind up in the ocean. Everything that drop comes into contact with is going to influence the quality of that drop by the time it gets to the ocean. “We’re not arguing here that doesn’t happen. What we’re arguing is, what did Congress authorize EPA to regulate? It didn’t intend for EPA to regulate every drop of water.” Smith and Stewart criticized EPA for pushing a rule with “vast economic implications” before the independent Science Advisory Board that conducted the water “connectivity” review had an opportunity to review the rule’s underlying science. While EPA may have documented connections between ditches and regulated waters, it must “quantify what makes those connections significant” before dramatically reinterpreting its scope, Parrish maintained. House farm bill conferee Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, echoes concerns about EPA’s regulatory reach. Davis sponsored House farm bill language that would require USDA/farmer input on rules that affect production agriculture. In a FarmWeek interview, Davis stressed the need to “continue our fight for common sense regulatory relief.” Parrish anticipates resistance to Davis’ measure from Senate Ag Chairman Deb Stabenow, D-Mich. “If we don’t get it here, we probably won’t get it anywhere,” Parrish advised. “Is it a silver bullet? Probably not. Does it provide for some level of accountability? Sure it does.”

Trans-Pacific Partnership challenges diverse, multilateral

With the federal shutdown over amid a temJapan has been devaluing its currency, and some porary Capitol Hill budget agreement, U.S. nego- in the U.S. are calling foul — that that’s currency tiators can actively return to the Trans-Pacific manipulation. There’s been a lot of discussion on Partnership (TPP) bargaining table. the Hill about trying to negotiate something But American Farm Bureau Federation trade about currency in the TPP. Trade agreements specialist David Salmonsen warns Congress may usually don’t deal with that sort of thing.” still attempt to play a role in complex internaFurther, Japan is reluctant to relinquish protional trade talks. tections for major “sensitive products” including The U.S. is involved in TPP negotiations with rice, wheat, beef, pork and dairy. The U.S. sells Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, nearly $14 billion in ag goods to Japan, but Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet- Japanese import tariffs limit growth in U.S. marnam. ket share. Salmonsen notes “a lot of back-and-forth on Carter suggests a successful TPP agreement auto issues” between the U.S., could lure Korea to future particiwhich is pushing greater access pation. While it also is not ‘There’s certainly involved in TPP talks, Salmonsen to the Japanese market, and Japan, which seeks reduction of a p u s h t o g e t called China “the real elephant in U.S. tariffs on its automotive room,” though he predicted (TPP talks) done, the exports. “it’ll be a while” before it’s but there are sev- involved in any regional agreeWhile University of California-Davis economist Colin Carter eral outstanding ment given the issues related to — featured at AFBF’s October state-owned enterprises tied to its issues.’ outlook conference — sees TPP communist economy. talks focusing largely on countryGovernment-owned or supof-origin rules, intellectual propported enterprises also are an — David Salmonsen issue with Vietnam. Meanwhile, erty and other “21st century AFBF trade specialist TPP dairy interests have chalissues,” Salmonsen reported auto lenged the competitive practices negotiations focus on “the usual of New Zealand dairy export giant Fonterra and trade discussion about tariffs.” Canada’s government-supported supply manageSalmonsen nonetheless noted the political ment system. dynamics of the issue: House Ways and Means While U.S. negotiators were sidelined by the Committee ranking Democrat, Sander Levin of government shutdown, the European Union and Michigan, represents Detroit. Ways and Means Canada signed a bilateral agreement providing oversees trade issues, and thus “auto issues are Canadian access for European cheeses and Eurobig in this negotiation,” he said. pean access for Canadian meat. “There’s certainly a push to get (TPP talks) The reforms necessary for either Japan or done, but there are several outstanding issues,” Canada to expand import access spur concerns Salmonsen told FarmWeek. “Politically, one that’s related to the auto issue — or at least that’s about issues such as their finding new ways to bolster support for domestic producers, being pushed by our auto people — is currency. Salmonsen advised. — Martin Ross “As part of its effort to revive its economy,

In a year where farmers seemingly have taken a beating at the bench, livestock producers posted a key victory last week with a court ruling in favor of a West Virginia poultry farmer who challenged federal regulators. In a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a West Virginia U.S. district court ruled ordinary stormwater from Lois Alt’s farmyard is exempt from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. Alt sued EPA in June 2012 after it threatened her with $37,500 in fines each time stormwater came into contact with dust, feathers or manure outside her poultry houses as a result of “normal farm operations.” EPA threatened separate fines of $37,500 per day if Alt failed to apply for a NPDES permit for stormwater discharges. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and West Virginia Farm Bureau served as co-plaintiffs in the case. AFBF President Bob Stallman argued the court’s ruling “will benefit thousands of livestock and poultry farmers who run their operations responsibly.” Illinois Pork Producers Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk deemed the decision “a huge deal for us.” The ruling came in the wake of recent court decisions that appear to strengthen EPA authority in water regulation (see accompanying story). Court rejection of AFBF’s suit against nutrient management requirements for the Chesapeake Bay watershed “definitely has emboldened” EPA, while a Louisiana district court ruling ordering EPA to consider numeric nutrient criteria for the Mississippi River Basin “maybe not so much,” AFBF policy specialist Don Parrish told FarmWeek. “Ultimately, what it’s going to come down to is that if EPA makes the political decision that (numeric nutrient criteria) are necessary, then 31 states are going to have to get busy, or EPA will develop a one-size-fits-all plan for everybody,” Parrish advised. “I think, ultimately, that’s what it wants.” In Alt’s case, EPA unsuccessfully defended its initial “compliance order” by arguing the federal Clean Water Act’s ag stormwater discharge exemption does not apply to “concentrated animal feeding operations,” except in areas where crops are grown. In April, the federal court rejected EPA’s purported effort to avoid defending its position by simply withdrawing its order against Alt. District Judge John Preston Bailey concluded last week that water washed by a “precipitation event” from the Alt farm toward an EPA-regulated “navigable water” does not constitute a “point source discharge” and thus is exempt from NPDES permit requirements. — Martin Ross

Illinois NRCS releases EQIP dates

Nov. 15 will be the first of four “cut-off ” or submission deadline dates for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), according to Ivan Dozier, state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “This will be the first sign-up opportunity for fiscal year 2014,” Dozier said. He encouraged farmers to submit their paperwork early. EQIP is a voluntary program that provides farmers financial and technical assistance through contracts. The contracts provide financial assistance to address specific soil, water and related natural resource issues on privately owned agricultural land and nonindustrial forestland. NRCS accepts EQIP applications on a continuous basis; however, Illinois NRCS established four application cut-off dates for fiscal year 2014. They are: Nov. 15, Jan. 17, March 21 and May 16. Illinois farmers who submit a signed application at NRCS field offices by the deadline will be evaluated for funding consideration. Interested farmers should visit their local NRCS office prior to the signup dates and submit an application. For more information or to apply, contact the local NRCS office or go online to {nrcs.usda.gov}.


FOOD AG SUMMIT

FarmWeek Page 4 Monday, October 28, 2013

Vision for Illinois Ag continues work

Chicago Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, right, discusses urban issues with Greg Koeppen, Lake County Farm Bureau manager, following Koch’s luncheon remarks to the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Leaders representing many sectors of the state agriculture industry have developed a statewide strategy known as the Vision for Illinois Agriculture. The strategy has three major goals: for Illinois to rank among the nation’s top three states in both food manufacturing and in crop and animal production, and to lead the nation in bio-based products, technology and services. In 2008, planning was initiated through the combined efforts of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Chicago, Illinois should be food innovation leaders BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Chicago and Illinois should strive to be a global center for food innovation, building upon historical strengths and industry assets, Chicago’s deputy mayor told agriculture industry leaders last week. “This is an opportunity we should seize,” said Steven Koch, during the Illinois Food and Agriculture Sum-

mit in the University of Illinois Chicago Forum. Koch oversees Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s economic council. Koch acknowledged his mindset changed from his first reaction of “Chicago has got enough to focus on” and “food and agriculture are doing fine.” The food industry has a long history and important role in Chicago’s

Common goals unite sectors for state food and ag strategy

Chicago officials and food industry leaders who spoke at last week’s Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit favored strategic planning to make Chicago and Illinois a national, even global, epicenter in the food industry. “How do we best work together – not if we work together,” Jeff Malehorn, president and chief executive officer of World Chicago Business (WBC), told the Vision for Illinois Agriculture meeting at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum. Malehorn noted WBC and Vision for Illinois Agriculture share several goals in their respective strategies. He mentioned those to develop a diverse workforce and to support entrepreneurship. “What’s good for Chicago is what’s good for the suburbs ... is what’s good for the state,” Malehorn said. “I look at this as one team to make Chicago and the state be a leader in food and agriculture.” Marc Schulman, president of Eli’s Cheesecake Co.,

emphasized the educational benefits that flow from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. The Vision for Illinois Agriculture supports providing Illinois students with a world-class education. “Education is a very important part of what we do at the CME group,” added David Lehman, the group’s managing director of commodity research and product development. “Education is a big part of what we need to invest in.” Audience members chuckled after Lehman described agriculture as “sexy.” Demand is growing for college graduates interested in ag-related careers, and agribusiness firms face more competition for those grads, he explained. Chicago Deputy Mayor Steve Koch encouraged summit attendees and all sectors of the ag and food industries to coalesce on a strategic food industry plan for Chicago and Illinois. “This is an interesting, aspirational goal,” Koch told FarmWeek. — Kay Shipman

and the state’s economies, Koch noted. The city and state should draw on that legacy and “lead a revolution in food production,” he said. Koch encouraged the use of research and development to spur innovation and attract innovative food companies to move to Illinois. He encouraged the integration of food science into Illinois science, technology,

engineering and math education. A key component will be cooperation among government, academia and private industry on critical issues, Koch noted. “Government can play a key role, but you people need to buy in ... This will not be driven by government,” he said. “We have the assets to make it reality. We need a concentrated plan,” Koch said.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson, left, and Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider discuss issues raised during the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit. Nelson gave opening remarks and Flider provided concluding comments at the daylong event in the University of Illinois Chicago’s Forum. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Ag Scholarship Digest

Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) — GFAI will award scholarships to full-time college students seeking a career in the grain handling or grain storage industries. The application deadline is Nov. 18. College sophomores and juniors may apply for a $3,500 industry immersion scholarship that includes a two-day leadership seminar and

eight days of work experience at a grain elevator. University juniors and seniors may apply for a $2,000 scholarship. Community college sophomores may apply for a $1,000 scholarship. For details go online to {gfai.org}. Questions may be directed to Jodie Brooks of GFAI at jbrooks@gfai.org.


STATE

Page 5 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

IFB raises proposed rule concerns with JCAR

FarmWeek Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) recently raised concerns about proposed changes to floodway construction rules in a letter to the state Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), according to Bill Bodine, IFB associate director of state legislation. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has proposed amendments to state BY KAY SHIPMAN

rules for construction in floodways of rivers, lakes and streams. An existing permit exemption for many agricultural practices, such as installation of field tiles and drainage ditch maintenance, would remain. However, IDNR has proposed creation of a new $500 fee for written confirmation that a project is exempt and no permit is required, IFB wrote to JCAR.

Illinois Farm Bureau is objecting to new proposed state fees for construction of some ag practices in floodways.

IFB opposes the new fee. “Agricultural conservation practices may be constructed in floodways, often without the requirement of a permit. These practices are designed to preserve soil and natural

resources, and protect water quality,” IFB wrote. IFB also is concerned a $500 review fee will be combined with a $1,000 permit fee for minimally obstructive construction projects that may

include some ag conservation practices and culverts. A $1,500 fee for minimally obstructive construction projects could mean a 25 percent or more increase in the cost of such practices, according to IFB. IFB asked JCAR to eliminate the proposed review fee component and for the minimally obstructive construction permit fee to be lowered to a more reasonable amount.

IEPA’s Bonnett: ‘Illinois has a really good story to tell’ The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) recognizes the work farmers have done and continue doing to protect the environment, the agency’s new director assured the Illinois Farm Bureau Board last week in Bloomington. “We’re doing a lot of work together. You’re doing a lot of work ... Illinois has a really good story to tell,” Lisa Bonnett said. Appointed IEPA director in March, Bonnett has been a driving force behind the state’s Clean Water Initiative that helps local governments update drinking water and wastewater treatment plants. Illinois must move forward with a state strategy to reduce excess nutrients in rivers, lakes and streams — and have that in place by June, she stressed. Bonnett described the strategy as a “framework.” Initiatives, such as the central

Illinois Indian Creek Watershed project, allow farmers, IEPA and others involved to learn what conservation practices work and whether they will

work throughout the state or in certain parts, Bonnett continued. Illinois must take action to prevent federal mandates, such as those occurring in the Chesapeake Bay, from being forced on the state, she said. “We can’t let it happen here. We are doing good work here. Farmers are stepping up ... we

shouldn’t let it happen here,” Bonnett said. “We don’t want USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) telling us what to do in Illinois ... We must put a (nutrient reduction) strategy in place,” she continued. Such a strategy must be done first to provide opportunity for the state to move forward with its own solutions, Bonnett said. The director acknowledged a wealth of ag-related projects and initiatives are improving water and air quality, and conserving soil across the state. She highlighted several examples and provided data of the positive environmental impact each had made. “One thing Illinois is missing out is cataloguing and quantifying the work we’re already doing,” she noted. — Kay Shipman

University of Illinois Extension will offer several Livestock Manager Certification workshops. Farmers are encouraged to pre-register to ensure a seat for the session that fits their schedule. Advance registration also is encouraged to allow participants to receive a manual in advance, which is important for those planning to take a written Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) test to get their manure management certification. The state Livestock Management Facilities Act (LMFA) requires farmers with operations designed for more than 300 animal units to have manure management certification and to renew that certification every three years. Farmers with more than 300 animal units must attend an approved training session or pass a written IDOA test. Farmers with more than 1,000 animal units must attend an approved training session and pass a test. U of I Extension also offers a free series of five quizzes on

the Internet. Passing all five quizzes will meet the state requirement of attending a certified livestock workshop. An email address is required for this option. The quizzes do not take the place of the IDOA exam for farmers with more than 1,000 animal units. To register for the online quiz series, contact the U of I’s Laura Pepple at 217-244-0083. The training manual is the national Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship (LPES) Curriculum. Participants do not need a new manual if they have a 2003 or newer one. All workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. and will take 3 1/2 hours with the IDOA exam being administered afterward. The first workshop will be Dec. 16 in the McLean County Farm Bureau building, Bloomington. The January workshops, dates, and locations are: Jan. 14, Effingham County Extension office, Effingham; Jan. 15, Clinton County Extension office, Breese; and Jan. 16, Knox

County Extension office, Galesburg. The February workshop dates and locations are: Feb. 18, DeKalb County Farm Bureau building, Sycamore; and Feb. 19, Stephenson County Farm Bureau building, Freeport. The final workshop will be March 5 in the IDOA building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield. To register for a workshop, visit {livestocktraining.com}. To buy a training manual or CD with a credit card, call the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Science marketing and distribution division at 800-345-6087. The registration fee is $30 for the first person from an operation and $20 for each additional participant from an operation. The manual and CD prices, including shipping, are $62.50 for a manual and $32.50 for a CD. For more information, contact Pepple, U of I Extension livestock specialist, at 217-2440083 or e-mail lpepple2@illinois.edu.

‘We are doing good work here.’ — Lisa Bonnett Illinois Environmental Protection Agency director

Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson accepts a state proclamation from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett following her presentation to the IFB Board last week in Bloomington. Bonnett presented the proclamation on behalf of Gov. Pat Quinn in honor of Nelson’s service to Illinois and agriculture during his tenure as IFB president. She also presented Nelson with a service award from IEPA. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

Farmers may register for certified livestock training Anhydrous safety training is online

Farmers and their employees may test their anhydrous ammonia knowledge with a free online safety video program. The video is available on the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) website at {learning.ifca.com}. The voluntary project was funded by a grant from the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), which receives money from a 75-cent assessment per ton of fertilizer sold. In addition to viewing the video, individuals will receive a practice quiz after each of the five training modules and a final test. After successfully completing the training, each participant will be emailed a completion certificate. “A lot of the information they will already know, and the assessment is to just reinforce what they learned,” said IFCA’s Kevin Runkle. IFCA worked on the project with Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). IFB’s audio-visual staff captured the safety video footage near Shirley using Evergreen FS equipment. “It’s a refresher (course). We’re looking to raise awareness of safe handling” through the online training, said IDOA’s Jerry Kirbach. Runkle estimated the training program would take about an hour to complete. It involves answering about 20 questions. Individuals are able to stop the program and return without having to start at the beginning, he noted. Those taking the training program are asked to submit their names and email addresses so they can receive certificates. —Kay Shipman


FarmWeek Page 6 Monday, October 28, 2013

CROPWATCHERS Bernie Walsh, Durand, Winnebago County: Corn harvest was well under way last week, as we had several days of misty, light rain that made it impossible to finish the soybeans. With the weather over the weekend, it looks like everyone will have a chance to finally wrap up the beans. Corn yields continue to impress everyone. The longer-season corn varieties are staying wet, with some corn still in the upper 20s. Have a safe week.

Brian Schaumburg, Chenoa, McLean County: This scary growing season seemed full of “tricks,” but farmers are collecting mostly “treats” as October comes to a close. Area crops are more than 90 percent harvested and rain has hampered soybean harvest. Machinery cleanup, tillage and planning for next year make up the day’s work. Corn, $4.26; Jan., $4.40; fall ’14, $4.54; soybeans, $12.83; Jan., $12.86; fall ’14, $11.36; wheat, $6.44.

Jimmy Ayers, New City, Sangamon County: Not much rain last week. Beans are probably 75 to 90 percent complete. Corn harvest is maybe at the low end of that range — 65 to 80 percent. Some of the replant that we put in late has gotten down in the mid-20s for moisture. We’ve been easing into that a little bit. The beans have a surprising yield for the way the plants look. A little bit of anhydrous has been put on. Be careful and get plenty of rest. Make sure you are sharp as you can be.

Leroy Getz, Savanna, Carroll County: We pushed hard on Monday to finish corn harvest before the snow. Freezing temperatures have now killed most all vegetation. One local vegetable grower still had fresh sweet corn on Oct. 21. Combines were back in the fields on Wednesday, but there are still many acres of corn untouched.

Steve Ayers, Champaign, Champaign County: A couple Alberta Clippers blew through this week bringing greetings from Canada in the form of November temperatures and showers. Hard freeze on Thursday night, but temperatures will warm up on the weekend into next week. USDA has our crop reporting district at 58 percent corn harvested and 71 percent soybeans harvested. Two accidents near Pesotum Monday morning (Oct. 21) involved a semi and school bus, and a semi and auto. Luckily, minor injuries from both accidents so, let’s be careful out there!

David Schaal, St. Peter, Fayette County: Harvest continues around the area, but some farmers are finished. By the time this article is read, we should be finished. Corn piles at the local elevators continue to grow. Corn yields are still running a little above average for most producers in this part of the county. Have a good week.

Ryan Frieders, Waterman, DeKalb County: It has been another dreary week on the farm. Snow flurries have been in the air reminding us that winter is near. Soybean harvest has stalled out until sunshine returns. Corn harvest is progressing slowly. Corn moisture continues to slowly fall. We had a couple of hard freezes that have killed all the crops completely, including replant soybeans. Ken Reinhardt, Seaton, Mercer County: Frosty morning, 24 degrees. There are some beans to be cut, but most are down to corn. My wife, the Certified Public Accountant, who is running the combine, says we will be 71 percent done after today.

Ron Moore, Roseville, Warren County: We only received a few tenths of rain last week. It snowed in the Quad Cities Tuesday afternoon. The grass was white, but it did not last very long. I hope that is not a sneak preview of what is to come. We will be finished with soybean harvest this week if the weather holds. Corn is another story. It looks like another two to three weeks before we finish. Yields are still holding up and moisture is now in the teens. There will be some anyhydrous fertilizer applied this week. The temperatures have dropped, and it is time to get the fertilizer on for next year’s crop. Please take time to enjoy your harvest and remember we are providing food for everyone to enjoy. Jacob Streitmatter, Princeville, Peoria County: Harvest slowed down for a couple days due to rain showers that came through the area. A lot of soybeans have been harvested, but there are a lot still out there. Corn harvest is back in full swing with the rainy weather preventing soybean harvest.

Wilfred Dittmer, Quincy, Adams County: Combines are still rolling and cornfields are disappearing despite a couple of tenths of rain last Saturday (Oct. 19) and again on Wednesday for 0.4 of an inch total for the week. I would probably guess corn harvest at around 80 or 85 percent complete and soybeans a little less at 60 or 65 percent. Yields I have heard are running from good to surprising. Some fall tillage has begun as well as other field work. Have a safe week! Carrie Winkelmann, Tallula, Menard County: Harvest has been progressing at a fairly steady rate in our area with farmers switching back and forth between beans and corn to keep things moving. Most beans (except those occasional green patches) will be out by this weekend, and corn is coming out at a rapid rate. Some rye we seeded for a cover crop is greening up nicely. Dry fertilizer is going on here and there. Some have started anhydrous application. Yields have been respectable. Beans better than I expected with the lack of rain late in the season, and corn about what I thought with the troublesome planting this spring. Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, Macon County: It has been a good week as far as harvest. We are approaching 80 percent complete on both corn and beans. Isolated areas of poor drainage or lighter soils took some top off of the yield late in the season, but for the most part, farmers are fairly pleased with yields. I have seen a lot of tillage being done, and fertilizer and lime applied. Lime seems to be in a fairly tight situation coming from the quarry. I did see someone putting on anhydrous. Being late in the season, there will be a lot of catch-up to get done before the weather breaks.

Mark Kerber, Chatsworth, Livingston County: Rain and snow slowed up harvest for a couple of days. It was nice to go to the elevator for coffee and hear all of the harvesting stories. Sunshine over the weekend should help those who have soybeans left. Corn combining is coming along fine, but slower in the high-yielding areas as it takes time to haul, dry, transfer and work with bins and dryers. Markets are still in a harvest mode, as we are hoping storage will pay off for some higher prices.

Todd Easton, Charleston, Coles County: Another big harvest week passed, clearing out much of the countryside and opening up the view for many. The last of the beans are going slowly. Corn harvest is making better progress and not hampered as much by the small showers and overcast conditions that were present much of the week. Preparations for the next crop in the form of dry fertilizer and tillage are well under way. I’m sure ammonia tanks will be out soon. With those especially, remember to stay safe.

Ron Haase, Gilman, Iroquois County: Harvest was slowed by 0.6 of an inch of rain Tuesday. We are speeding up the pace of harvesting as the chances for our corn to dry down more in the field diminish and the risk for harvest losses increase the longer it stands in the field. The percent of the crops harvested varies greatly in the local area. The areas with drier crops are almost completely done, while other areas have had to wait longer for the corn to dry down to a suitable level. The local closing bids for Oct. 24 were nearby corn, $4.17; fall 2014 corn, $4.46; nearby soybeans, $12.94; fall 2014 soybeans, $11.47.

Doug Uphoff, Shelbyville, Shelby County: After a two-week absence I’m back and a lot has happened since then. On the corn side of things, I have heard yields from 70 bushels an acre up to 250. Not much rain though. We have tried to work some ground, and it is hard as hard gets. For now, we are concentrating on getting the beans and corn out. Soybeans are harvested for the most part. We do have some double-crop beans left, but hopefully they will be out by the time you read this. Remember low prices are the cure for low prices. Here’s to hoping exports go up and our government gets a farm bill hashed out. Some wheat has been planted, but I haven’t seen any up around home yet.

Jeff Guilander, Jerseyville, Jersey County: The quest for dry corn continues as most of us keep working around the edges, giving time to a lot of the fuller season corn. Soybeans have a similar problem with the later beans taking their time getting ripe. Overall, corn harvest crossed the halfway point and beans are down to fuller season varieties. We really need some 75 degree weather, but that does not look promising. Dan Meinhart, Montrose, Jasper County: Friday morning, we awoke to the coldest temperature of the fall season — the mid 20s. Harvest is rolling along. The late-planted beans are not mature enough to harvest. The late-planted corn is still carrying quite a bit of moisture. Wheat sowing continues. Light showers were in the area slowing harvest a bit. A warmer trend is expected with chances of showers. Dave Hankammer, Millstadt, St. Clair County: Many of the corn and soybean fields disappeared from the landscape last week since we had good weather for harvest. There are still fields of late-planted soybeans and milo to be harvested. With recent temperatures dipping to the mid-20s, it will speed up dry down of the remaining crops. Newly seeded wheat fields have good emergence and seem to be doing well on the small amount of precipitation we had. A few farmers have started to do some conservation improvements. Local grain bids are corn, $ 4.16; soybeans, $13.10; wheat, $6.85. Have a safe week. Rick Corners, Centralia, Jefferson County: And the beat goes on. The beat of the combines chuggin’ through the fields that is. Still acres and acres of everything left in the field. Lots of single-crop beans, corn, and of course, all of the double-crop beans. Think ole Jack put them out of their misery Thursday night. Only the racehorse flatterers are done, or nearly done. Kevin Raber, Browns, Wabash County: Good harvest weather last week. We had our first frost and freeze, so our growing season has come to an end. This is what needed to happen. I don’t think the late replant or double-crop beans would have ever gotten ready. I finished sowing wheat last week. Very little wheat has emerged, but with good weather, hopefully there will be strong emergence. Early bean harvest is almost complete. With a few more clear days, there won’t be many crops left, except the late replants and double-crop beans. Randy Anderson, Galatia, Saline County: Very hectic week of shelling corn in the morning then switcing back to cut beans in the afternoon. Felt like a yo-yo. Some light sprinkles on a few days led to our first frost Wednesday. The one thing that really bugs me is how folks in cars and trucks have one thing on their mind. It’s to get from point A to point B as fast as they can without caring who they run over to get there! Ken Taake, Ullin, Pulaski County: It was a good week for harvest, but as always, it seems like progress isn’t going as fast as you would like. Everyone is running as hard as they can. Yields continue to be good for both corn and beans. I’ve seen some wheat planted and some has even emerged. Please take time to be careful as we are in this busy season and the hours get long.


PRODUCTION

Page 7 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

Majority of harvest, wheat planting complete in Illinois

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Rain events and cold weather, which slowed the crop drying process, delayed harvest last week. Still, farmers were able to harvest the majority of corn and soybeans. The majority of wheat planting is also complete. The National Agricultural Statistics Service Illinois field office the first of last week reported 68 percent of beans and 51 percent of the corn crop are in the bin statewide. The pace of corn harvest was 10 percent behind the five-year average, while soybean harvest was 1 percent above average. “In our area we’re a good 60 to 70 percent done with

harvest,” Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi and president of the National Corn Growers Association, told

ing season in many areas. Freezing temperatures and rainfall, mixed with snow flurries, slowed the crop drying

‘Corn piles at the elevators continue to grow.’ — David Schaal Fayette County Cropwatcher

FarmWeek on Friday. “We’re down to a lot of double-crop beans that are just getting ready and a few of the longer season bean varieties (planted late due to flooding) aren’t ready.” A hard freeze blanketed a large portion of the state last week, which ended the grow-

process. “Corn moisture continues to slowly fall,” said Ryan Frieders, a FarmWeek Cropwatcher from DeKalb County. “We had a couple hard freezes that killed all the crops completely, including any replant soybeans.” The weather forecast as of

Friday called for more rain chances this week, which could delay harvest for some farmers. Other farmers wrapped up harvest last week. Yield reports continue to be impressive at many locations. “Corn piles at the elevators continue to grow,” said David Schaal, a Cropwatcher from Fayette County, who planned to finish harvest during the weekend. Barbre reported record yields on some of his fields. He believes the large crop will help the U.S. regain market share in the world corn market. “We’re pretty lucky,” he said. “We didn’t lose demand (due to last year’s droughtinduced short crop). We lost market share. I think we’ll

regain some of that (with this year’s large crop).” There is concern about planting wheat in a timely manner due to the late harvest, but Barbre believes most growers will get all their wheat in the ground. Weather the next few weeks will be critical to help establish good wheat stands prior to winter. “We’re harvesting corn a little wet so we can finish wheat planting,” Barbre said. “I think a lot of wheat went in the ground around here.” Wheat planting the first of last week was 68 percent complete statewide compared to the average of 59 percent. About one-quarter of the crop (24 percent) had emerged, which was just two points behind average.

Price indicators suggest mixed claims prospects A t c u r r e n t p r i c e l e ve l s, i n d iv i d u a l c r o p i n s u r a n c e claims prospects “depend on yields,” Illinois Farm Bureau Risk Management/Marketing Director Doug Yoder suggested last week. As of Oct. 18, the corn fall average was $4.41 per bushel versus a $5.65 average last spring. The fall soybean averag e was $12.82, versus a spring average of $12.87. Revenue Protection (RP) and Group Risk Income PlanH a r ve s t Re ve nu e p o l i c i e s base the price component of

respective individual or county revenue losses on the higher of spring or “harvest” averages — ostensibly the former, unless prices rally by Oct. 31. The spring price will apply automatically for producers who opted out of their RP policy’s harvest price election. With spring and October price averages so close, Yoder sees a “lower potential” for soybean payouts this season. “You really have to have a substantial drop in yield to overcome your policy deductible and to generate a payment over and above that,” he told FarmWeek. “If you

look at the corn price — $4.41 as of (Oct. 21) — it’s about 78 percent of the spring price. It has dropped quite a little bit. “Apples to apples, assuming the final price is 78 percent of the spring price, that means an 80 percent policy would pay even if your yield tracked with your actual production history. An 85 percent

policy would pay if yields came in at your average. If yields came in above average, then that, of course, would reduce the likelihood of a payment.” Based on the current price trend, below-average yields would be necessary to trigger loss payments under 75 percent or below coverage levels, he said.

Brandon and Sarah Hastings, who farm in Champaign County, are passionate about precision planting. So they were eager to try out Monsanto’s new FieldScripts ® program this season as part of a pilot program. The FieldScripts program integrates seed science, agronomy, data analysis and precision agriculture to provide farmers with hybrid matches and variable rate planting prescriptions to improve yield potential. Monsanto plans to launch FieldScripts, which is the first offering in its Integrated Farm Systems research platfor m, next year in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota. “We looked into putting more seed and fertilizer in areas of the field that can take more inputs and backing off in other areas,” Sarah Hastings said last week, during a meeting with the Illinois Far m

Bureau board in Bloomington. Hastings said she was pleased with the results of the FieldScripts program in one cornfield, which averaged 214 bushels per acre, but disappointed with two other fields that were affected by green snap from a midsummer windstorm. Hastings said they typically plant corn at a rate of about 34,000 to 36,000 seeds per acre. But the program recommendation was to vary the rate between 28,000 and 38,000, depending on the soil type, drainage and other agronomic factors. She also noted that she had no reservations this year about handing over field data, such as soil tests and yield maps, to Monsanto for the program. But, upon further review, she expressed some concerns about sharing such data long term. IFB currently is meeting

with agribusiness leaders to see where the emerging field of data use is headed in the future. “We’ve been engaged in discussions and dialogue about d a t a ,” s a i d I F B P r e s i d e n t P h i l i p N e l s o n . “A l o t o f change in technology is forthcoming.” Coordinating field data to i m p r ove t h e e f f i c i e n c y o f seeding and input rates obviously could benefit farmers. But some are concerned about privacy and cost issues associated with data generated on farms. “Who controls the data and at what price is a big question we’re trying to get our arms around to protect producers,” Nelson said. Hastings said she likely would be willing to pay $3 to $5 per acre for the agronomic recommendations provided by Monsanto in the pilot program. — Daniel Grant

The Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale, which accepts older bulls and yearling bulls with birthdates from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2013, will be Feb. 20 in the Illinois State Fairgrounds Livestock Center, Springfield. Nomination deadlines and fees are $75 if received before Nov. 16, $100 from Nov. 16 to Dec. 1 or $125 from Dec. 2-15. New policy was adopted regarding the sale eligibility of bulls with a recessive trait or bulls with ancestors having recessive traits. “All bulls must satisfy the same testing requirements of last year; however, all new recessive genetic defects will be based on the breed’s registry rules,” said Travis Meteer, IPT Bull Sale manager. The new policy reflects the likelihood that additional recessive genes will be identified in the near future and the belief that each respective breed registry is best suited to evaluate how to handle the discovery of new recessive traits within its breed. “Recessive traits are present in every population. They are not new, but the technology to identify them is. Cattle breeders will continue to have more information to make accurate breeding decisions as technology keeps advancing. The IPT Bull Sale will continue to provide top genetics and the most selection information available,” Meteer said. Over the last 43 years, more than 4,300 bulls have been purchased at the sale for a total of $7.3 million. A current copy of the rules and regulations and a nomination form for the 2014 sale are online at {IPTBullSale.com}.

BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Illinois Farm Bureau Risk Management/Market Education Specialist Doug Yoder is helping orient COUNTRY Financial representatives on new and emerging crop insurance issues.

Re g i o n a l l y, y i e l d - b a s e d p a y m e n t p o t e n t i a l wo u l d appear to be higher across southern Illinois. Yoder cited reports of average to aboveaverage corn yields, but noted “some hits on beans” across the southern tier. At the same time, the fall bean price may not have dipped far enough below the spring guarantee to trigger payments on a 20 perc e n t ( d e d u c t i b l e l e ve l ) o r smaller loss. “I’ve heard good stories from the northern tier, but it’s still too early to tell,” Yoder related. “They’ve got quite a ways to go.”

Data management program results mixed Policy changes for IPT Bull Sale


PRODUCTION

FarmWeek Page 8 Monday, October 28, 2013

Winter weather pattern could be cold, active in Midwest BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

It might be a good idea to break out the winter gear and stock up on hot cocoa mix. The shot of cold air and wet weather that moved into Illinois the middle of last

week could be a preview of what’s in store this winter, according to Drew Lerner, president and senior ag meteorologist of World Weather, Inc. “We’ll transition the next few weeks into (a pattern of)

more cold air,” Lerner said last week at the Doane Ag Outlook Conference in St. Louis. “I think we’ll see a fairly strong heating and fuel season in the Great Lakes region, out east and in the Midwest at times.” Lerner believes the ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere, which has kept Illinois warm and dry in recent months, soon will give way to a trough, which will allow colder air to swoop down from the northwest and Canada. “It won’t be terribly cold in November, but I do foresee a cooler-than-normal bias for the winter,” the meteorologist predicted. “When you start contrasting air masses a lot, there’ll be more precipitation chances. The second half of winter and early spring there could be a lot of snow around.” Lerner, who studies the weather in 18-year cycles, believes the overall pattern in 2014 could resemble that of 2013. He predicted precipitation

chances will increase in the winter and into spring, possibly creating another wet spring and planting delays before the pattern dries out next summer. “We haven’t really exited the 2012 drought,” Lerner said. “What will it lead into next year? There’s support for another wet spring and a drier bias in the summer (of 2014).” A cold and active winter won’t surprise some farmers and others who believe in the folklore of woolly bear caterpillars. Some farmers reportedly have seen some of the critters in recent weeks with a large amount of black and reddish-brown portions, which

some believe predicts a harsh winter. Near term, however, Lerner said it is important for areas that have been drier than normal to receive rainfall to help establish winter wheat stands before the crop goes dormant. If Lerner’s forecast for cooler temperatures and increased chances of rain in the weeks ahead is realized, it also could delay the final phase of corn and soybean harvest. “A cooler bias in the heart of the Midwest will make it more difficult to dry crops out (after precipitation events),” he added. “So, as we go deeper into autumn, we’ll go slower with harvest.”

Analysts: Big crops expected to take edge off markets

The old axiom “big crops get bigger” could be realized this season. Marty Foreman, feed grains economist with Doane Advisory Services, last week predicted the yield estimate for corn will be raised in coming weeks as surprisingly good harvest numbers continue to roll in from farmers. USDA, which pegged the national corn yield average at 155.3 bushels per acre in September, will update its crop estimates next month after canceling the October crop report due to the government shutdown. “Our estimate is 157 bushels per acre, but I think it may go up to 159 or 160 bushels per acre,” Foreman said last week at the Doane Agriculture Outlook Conference in St. Louis. “The ear count is a record high (28,400 per acre). That’s a big driver (of the yield bump).” Soybean yields are expected to average in the low 40s. If realized, U.S. production could total 3.1 billion to 3.2 billion bushels of beans and 13.6 billion to 13.8 billion bushels of corn. Total production could be even greater, but analysts expect USDA will reduce harvested acres by 1 to 2 million acres due to the wet spring, which caused prevented plantings. “That’s a pretty big change from what we were experiencing last year at this time when we had a shortage of corn and prices were at a record high,” Foreman said. “Even though we’re still debating the size of the crops, the fact is we’re transitioning from a shortage to a surplus.” Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri, predicted crop prices the next five years will average around $4 to $5 per bushel for corn and $10 to $12 for beans. “With normal yields, prices will come down and cause lower receipts,” Westhoff said. “Crop insurance will continue to be important.” Doane economists Bill Nelson and Dan Manternach predicted soybean and wheat plantings and total production of the two crops will increase in coming years. Prices subsequently are expected to soften by $1 to $2 per bushel. “I see ending stocks (of wheat) climbing the next few years, which favors lower prices,” Manternach said. “(Near-term), corn prices have dropped so much that wheat has lost competitiveness as a feed to corn.” The good news about larger crop supplies and lower prices is the situation is expected to rebuild export and feed demand. Foreman predicted U.S. corn exports will climb to about 1.3 billion bushels in the coming year, after sinking to a 30-year low (below 800 million bushels) in 2012-13. Nelson predicted soybean exports the next couple years will increase from about 1.4 billion to 1.6 billion bushels. “Chinese imports remain the primary engine for world soy demand,” Nelson said. Ethanol demand, however, is expected to flatten out. “(The ethanol market) will continue to be a major share of corn demand,” Westhoff added. “But it no longer will be increasing year to year in a major way.” — Daniel Grant


LIVESTOCK

Page 9 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

Profit returns to livestock industry; herds could grow

BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek

Many livestock farmers who stayed in business through the 2012 drought and record feed prices were forced to reduce their herds. That action, which has since led to tight meat supplies coupled with lower grain prices, could save their bacon in the long run. Marty Foreman and Dan Vaught, livestock economists with Doane Advisory Services, last week predicted strong prices for hogs and cattle and profitable margins for producers.

“It’s a fairly bullish outlook for cattle,” Foreman said. “We’re projecting modest profits feeding cattle now through the second quarter next year.” Cattle prices could average $125 per hundredweight this year before jumping to an average above $130 in 2014, according to Foreman. Cattle prices are expected to climb due to extremely tight supplies. The U.S. cattle herd is the smallest since 1952 and the September cattle on feed report showed an 11 percent drop of placements into feedlots. “Feedlot placements have

dropped off,” Foreman said. “That suggests (supplies) could get a lot tighter from now into the first part of next year.” The drop in cattle numbers

benefited hog producers, who are expected to expand production to fill the void in the protein market. Pork producers also benefit from a strong export market, which Vaught believes will grow in the

months ahead as China boosts purchases of U.S. pork. “(Hog) returns turned positive this spring and I expect they’ll remain positive through next summer,” Vaught said. The total inventory of hogs and pigs as of Sept. 1 totaled 68.36 million head, up three-tenths of a percent from a year ago. The number of pigs saved per litter last quarter also reached a record 10.33 despite a spring outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. “The (hog) industry is set

to expand going forward,” Vaught said. “Even if farmers don’t increase the breeding herd, we almost automatically increase the herd 1 to 2 percent (annually due to efficiency gains).” The likely expansion of the dairy herd, though, could affect milk returns by next year, Vaught said. “Milk production is up 2.6 percent, and it’s not just because of improved weather,” he said. “I think the dairy cow herd is up.” Vaught predicted milk prices next year could slip to $15 to $17 per hundredweight.

tific viewpoint,” said Fraley. “It was flawed, biased and failed to include true experts in the field of agriculture.” Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA) members, including IFB and several county Farm Bureaus, also took the updated analysis to task. “Food safety in this country is the best it’s ever been, and part of that is because of modern animal husbandry practices and food safety technologies. We no longer recognize trichinosis from undercooked pork as a human

health risk. We no longer see children dying from tuberculosis and brucellosis from drinking milk,” said Dr. Richard Raymond, former undersecretary of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. The AAA issued a report at {bit.ly/GTUp8M}, noting farmers are working with the FDA to implement federal guidelines meant to phase out antibiotic use for growth promotion in food animals. The AAA report further noted that human illness from

E. coli in all foods is declining. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the illness rate dropped to less than 1 case in 100,000 people in 2010. IFB created an animal care team four years ago to foster good animal care practices. The group coordinates activities regarding the issue. IFB organized an animal care study to the European Union earlier this year. The Pew Commission analysis can be viewed at {pcifap.org}.

FarmWeekNow.com

Go to FarmWeekNow.com to listen to Dan Grant’s interview with livestock analyst Dan Vaught.

Livestock industry analysis update refuted BY CHRIS ANDERSON FarmWeek

A new analysis of a 2008 farm animal production report drew sharp criticism from agriculture industry representatives, including Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB). The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production released a study five years ago detailing problems with the “industrial food animal production model.” It also outlined recommendations to remedy the problems, such as banning nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in food animal production. Last week, commission members introduced an updated analysis, noting Congress has acted “regressively” in policymaking on industrial food animal system issues.

“There has been an appalling lack of progress. The failure to act by the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the lack of action or concern by the Congress, and continued intransigence of the animal agriculture industry have made all of our problems worse,” said Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, director of Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Jim Fraley, IFB livestock program director, said the recommendations in the original Pew report were unrealistic. They also did not give modern agriculture credit for advancements in animal care, environmental protections or efficiencies gained from decades of superior management. “The Pew report can’t be taken seriously from any scien-

Farm. Family. Food.™

SOUTH AMERICA IS TAKING OUR PLACE. Scary thought, isn’t it? The good news is we can do something about it every time we choose a soybean variety to put into the ground. If we start getting closer to 35 percent protein and 19 percent oil, our beans would be a lot more attractive to domestic livestock producers and foreign markets— and we’d help stop the loss of export share to Brazil and other foreign competitors. It’s time to talk with your seed dealer or Certified Crop Adviser about protein and oil. Then visit VIPsoybeans.org to validate your seed selection and ilsoy.org for more information.


AG INDUSTRY

FarmWeek Page 10 Monday, October 28, 2013

Three counties win FB excellence awards

What do a miniature farm, a congressional staff adventure and a summer agricultural camp have in common? They’re all national award-winning county Farm Bureau programs. Members from Cook, Marshall-Putnam and Randolph counties are among 24 County Activities of Excellence (CAE) Program winners chosen from 123 national entries. This is the second straight year for Illinois Farm Bureau to have three CAE winners. The CAE program acknowledges and shares successful county Farm Bureau programs and activities focusing on education and ag promotion, member services, public relations and information, leadership development and policy implementation. Winners will display programs at the IFB annual meeting in Chicago Dec. 7-10. They will reprise their role in January at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Passport to the Farm Camp Nearly a year in the making, Cook County’s four-day summer camp conducted at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science attracted 40 children ages 7 to 11. The pro-

Congressional staf f members from four states spent three days touring agribusinesses and farms as par t of Randolph County Farm Bureau’s AgMazing 500. (Photo by Ryan Ford, Randolph County Farm Bureau manager)

gram proved so popular that a waiting list formed. Participants rotated among several stations learning about corn, soybeans, livestock, hydroponics, soil, bees and ag careers. At the end of each day, campers completed a passport with stamps representing topic areas. They also drew pictures and wrote about what they learned. The program provided a unique way to connect Farm Bureau and ag literacy with parents, grandparents and caregivers who daily dropped off and picked up their children. “Jacob liked the animals, and seeing the fish and how they fertilize plants.

He can’t stop talking about what he learned all week,” one parent wrote in her evaluation. ImAGination Acres The annual county fair provided the perfect venue for Marshall-Putnam members to host a miniature farm. More than 1,200 people visited ImAGination Acres, a 2,000square-foot interactive exhibit. Farm Bureau members built a rocking horse from a 33-gallon drum, a puppet stage, an 8foot ear of corn and a veterinary exam table. Young attendees dressed in embroidered aprons and lab coats to fully embrace roles as pretend pizza

makers and veterinarians examining stuffed animals. Activity stations boasted names with an ag twist – pAGano’s Pizzeria, wAGon of corn, Dr. SpAGer’s Veterinary Clinic and CabbAGe the Caterpillar (a crawl-through activity). Young visitors made corn syrup bubbles and rain sticks containing rice, corn and soybeans. Agmazing 500 Traveling 187 miles to six locations with the help of 42 volunteers in three days translated into an “agmazing” adventure for 15 Congressional staff from four states hosted by Ran-

dolph County members. Legislative staff learned firsthand about grain handling and fertilizer facilities, beverage manufacturing, farming and Mississippi River transportation issues. Participants formed five teams of bipartisan members to daily compete in Amazing Race-style games, providing them an opportunity to build lasting friendships. Randolph County members believe the event helped them build stronger relationships with legislative staff members and empowered staffers to be a voice for agriculture in Congress.

Agribusiness sector next under federal microscope? BY MARTIN ROSS FarmWeek

Amid growing sophistication within the global marketplace, it’s no longer quite business as usual for U.S. companies. And on the global stage, corporate bad actors tend to draw federal scrutiny to an entire sector, according to Ted Kang, a partner in the Government and Internal Investigations Group of the international law firm Alston and Bird. Kang, a former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor, sees an evolving, potentially daunting new legal environment for U.S. agribusiness, particularly in view of DOJ’s “more significant rampup” of federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement. Since 2007, DOJ and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have intensified their focus on corporate activities under the 1977 statute, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials to secure or retain business. Heightened investigation and prosecution have impacted Fortune 500 companies and individuals to the tune of hundreds of millions in fines and individual sentences of up to 15 years, Kang told FarmWeek. FCPA investigations have historically moved from “industry to industry to industry,” he advised. Over the past few years, industries within the cross-hairs of government FCPA enforcement have included the oil and gas sector, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and, of late, the financial services industry. Kang cautions that recent developments suggest that the agribusiness industry may also be a focus for FCPA enforcement as well as foreign anti-corruption laws. In November 2012, Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. disclosed it was negotiating with the DOJ and SEC to resolve FCPA allegations relating to feed and grain exports. In August 2013, the company disclosed in SEC filings that it had set aside $54 million in reserves to pay for any penalties associated with resolving the FCPA investigation. “Any company doing business overseas, interacting with foreign officials, actively using third parties who are transacting business overseas and interacting with foreign officials needs to be on high alert about potential FCPA issues,” Kang advised. “Prosecutors and government regulators will follow the evidence, follow the facts, and in large-scale white collar investigations, wrongdoing occurring at one company in an industry is usually not unique.” For example, if a company’s third-party vendor is found to have paid off or offered payoffs to customs or other foreign officials, federal investigators may eye other companies that use the same vendor, Kang said. At the same time, U.S. and competing foreign companies face increased ethics scrutiny internationally. Britain’s Bribery Act is “even broader in scope” than the FCPA, punishing commercial as well as government bribery and not recognizing many of the defenses available under the FCPA, Kang noted. Corruption laws pose a challenge for companies attempting to operate in good faith amid varying international “cultural norms and standards,” he said. Kang stressed “custom is not a defense” under the FCPA. “In many Asian countries, routine gifts have been customary in business dealings,” he related. “I think that’s now changing. Nevertheless, U.S. companies are facing a variety of cultural barriers and challenges.”


EDUCATION

Page 11 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

IAITC distributes more than $500,000 to county coalitions BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek

Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) will be able to reach more students and teachers thanks to increased funding to county ag literacy coalitions. Recently, the coalitions

received grants totaling $534,000 for the 2013-14 school year, a 7 percent increase compared to last year. “Our donors recognize and appreciate the work of the county coalitions. That’s why we can continue to give these grants because of the great

Fresh from the rooftop to U of I students’ plates

programs offered at the local level,” said Susan Moore, IAA Foundation director. The IAA Foundation is the Illinois Farm Bureau’s charitable foundation, which raises money for IAITC. Not only did the total grants increase, but so did the

Extension educators from several states look over Hendrick House’s rooftop garden crops in August. Dormgrown herbs and vegetables are adding flavor and a local touch to residents’ meals. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

The term “garden fresh” holds special meaning for University of Illinois students living in Hendrick House. Garden-fresh herbs were harvested from the rooftop garden of the privately owned residence hall, while gardenfresh vegetables grew in the house’s half-acre plot at the sustainable student farm in Urbana. Hendrick House also contracts with several local farmers to supply fresh produce, cream, yogurt and eggs, said chef Alisa DeMarco, who serves as a liaison between the residence hall and farmers. “There’s been at least two or three local choices on the salad bar every day,” DeMarco told FarmWeek. DeMarco also is head chef at Prairie Fruit Farms, Champaign. She estimated the rooftop garden supplied 12 to 15 pounds of fresh herbs each week along with some hot peppers, cherry tomatoes and radishes. New this year, the half-acre plot produced tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, chard, kale, spinach and salad greens. DeMarco described the harvest as “a good amount.” She estimated more than 1,000 pounds of tomatoes were harvested. The plot was harvested twice a week throughout

August and September. That harvest was shared with the residents of 27 sororities and fraternities, Presby Hall and Armory Hall, whose chefs buy ingredients from Hendrick House. DeMarco estimated 10 chefs received at least a case of fresh produce every week. The effort to add more locally grown food to students’ menus continues to increase. In April 2012, DeMarco and Sue Dawson, Hendrick House food service director, met with farmers during a Meet the Buyer event hosted by the Champaign County Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Farm Bureau. In the last year, Hendrick House has increased its purchases of locally grown food by 10 percent, according to DeMarco. “It’s great to see an institution like this make such an effort to have better produce and support the (farming) community,” the chef said. “It was a big investment to start the garden. “Hendrick House is always looking to keep expanding its (farmer) repertoire and continue to move forward with local purchases,” DeMarco said. Interested farmers may email her at alisa@hendrickhouse.com. — Kay Shipman

number of county ag literacy coalitions. Four new county coalitions were started in Winnebago-Boone, Menard, Logan and Monroe counties. County literacy coalitions will cover 100 percent of urban population centers in Illinois, according to Moore. “This grant will help us expand the programs we’ve already being doing,” said Brenda Seboldt, Monroe County Farm Bureau manager. “Our goal is to expand the program and reach more students in the two counties,” said Ann Cain, WinnebagoBoone Farm Bureau manager. With the funding, Winnebago-Boone will hire a literacy coordinator and expand its educational resources. “The strength of our AITC program is at the county level. County coordinators and volunteers provide immediate access to teachers and students,” said Kevin Daugherty, IAITC education director. In 2012-13, IAITC reached 508,121 students with a mes-

sage about agriculture and food production. In addition, 31,299 teachers and 1,308 college education majors learned how to incorporate agriculture into their existing curriculum while meeting state learning standards. Through fundraising efforts, the IAA Foundation supports IAITC and also provides funding for Ag Mags, teacher grants, Summer Ag Institutes and other resources. Contributing partner organizations of the IAITC program include IFB, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education, University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Midwest Dairy Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The annual donors also include many agribusiness partners and others who support agriculture literacy.

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FOOD SAFETY

FarmWeek Page 12 Monday, October 28, 2013

Field meals provide safe harvest nutrition for farmers Harvest means long hours in the field that can lead to poor nutrition practices. Farmers know they need to keep their equipment in good running order, but they sometimes neglect their bodies. With a little planning and a few organizational skills, those working in the fields can be well fed and easily refueled. Today’s farm is quite a bit different than it was a generation or two ago. In researching this article, I ran across a booklet published by Montana Extension in the 1950s suggesting that the farm wife remember to “dress the chickens” right after breakfast so she could use them in the day’s meal. We have come a long way from the days when the farm wife tended the livestock and garden, while preparing three “scratch” meals per day with a modicum of modern appliances. We are lucky that the tips in the Montana booklet are of no concern to us. We can feed our farmers during the marathon harvest by think-

BY MARY LIZ WRIGHT

ing smartly and using the resources we have. Food safety is most important, followed by good nutrition. If you are transporting the meal to the field, remember to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. This can be accomplished with insulated pan covers and coolers or several layers of newspaper. Use your slow cooker. Think ahead. Cook a roast one day, then serve the leftovers over noodles (whole wheat, of course) the next day. Make a large meatloaf, then serve sandwiches grilled with a slice of cheese. Cut up fresh vegetables and marinate them in bottled dressing for a simple salad. Although workers need carbohydrates for energy, make sure you are serving complex whole grains to avoid drowsiness (and accidents). There are no rules. Serve breakfast casserole for supper or sandwiches for breakfast. Simply make sure that your farmers are eating protein, veggies and complex

Livingston County Farm Bureau leader Jason Bunting, Cabery, grabs a quick bite in the field with daughters, Samantha, 3, and Isabella, 6. (Photo by Tasha Bunting, Grundy County Farm Bureau manager)

carbs to ensure a safe and happy harvest. We have posted several “harvest recipes” on our website {web.extension.illinois. edu/cce/news/news29789.ht ml}. Check out this one and let me know if you like it. Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake (Serves 8) • 1 pound chicken breasts or thighs (about 2 cups cooked meat) • 1/2 cup water • 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1 can (15 ounces) lowsodium black beans, rinsed and drained • 1 cup frozen corn • 1 cup salsa • 8 whole wheat tortillas • Cooking spray • 1/2 cup reduced fat (2 percent) shredded cheddar or cojack cheese 1. Remove skin and simmer chicken in a large saucepan with water and chili powder. Cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees F (about 10 minutes).

2. Remove chicken from pan. Cut or shred into small chunks and return to pan. Discard bones and cartilage. Add beans, corn and salsa to saucepan. Cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 3. Spread 1/2 cup of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in greased 9by-13 inch pan. Spread any leftover chicken mixture over the top of the enchiladas. 4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top of the enchiladas during the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve immediately. 5. Garnish with chopped lettuce, tomatoes and onion or salsa. Nutrient information per serving: 310 calories; 7 grams total fat (1.5 grams saturated fat); 40 milligrams (mg) cholesterol; 510 mg sodium; 41 grams total carbohydrates (6 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams sugar); 22 grams protein.

Mary Liz Wright serves as University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator for Clark, Crawford and Edgar counties.

AUCTION CALENDAR Tues., Oct. 29. 10 a.m. Macoupin Co. Farmland Auc. DBNB Farms, Heirs of Melvin Bristow. Mike Crabtree, Auctioneer. mikecrabtreeauctions.com Wed., Oct. 30. Online Only Unreserved Auction. bigiron.com Thurs., Oct. 31. 9 a.m. Woodford Co. Farmland Auc. Harber, WASHBURN, IL. Maloof Farm and Land. www.illinoisfarms4sale.com or john@leezeragency.com Fri., Nov. 1. 1 p.m. Douglas Co. Farmland Auc. The Andrew Roller Trust. The Loranda Group, Inc. www.loranda.com Sat., Nov. 2. 10 a.m. Huge Horse Farm Auc. STERLING, IL. Young’s Auctioneering. youngsauctions@yahoo.com Sat., Nov. 2. 9:30 a.m. Stephenson and Jo Daviess Co. Fall Con. Auc. STOCKTON, IL. Powers Auc. Service. www.powersauction.com Sat., Nov. 2. 10 a.m. Shelby Co. Land Auc. SHELBINA, MO. Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC. www.sullivanauctioneers.com Sat., Nov.2. 4 p.m. Cass Co. Land Auc. Wildlife, LLC, VIRGINIA, IL. Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC. Sat., Nov. 2. 1 p.m. Marshall Co. Land Auc. Robert Fort Cowan Trust, LACON, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com Mon., Nov. 4. 10 a.m. Moultrie Co. Real Estate Auc. Cindy Williams and Gary Jones, GAYS, IL. Stanfield Auction Co. www.stanfieldauction.com Mon., Nov. 4. 6 p.m. Schuyler Co. Land Auc. The Mills Farms, RUSHVILLE, IL. Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC. www.sullivanauctioneers.com Mon., Nov. 4. 10 a.m. Real Estate Auc. Curtis P. Sauder Farms, RUTLAND, IL. Schmidgall Auction Services, Inc. www.topauctions24-7.com/schmidgall Tues., Nov. 5. 10 a.m. Coles Co. Farmland Auc. Aikman Trust/First Mid-Illinois Bank, LOXA, IL. Stanfield Auc. Co. www.stanfieldauction.com Wed., Nov. 6. Online Only Unreserved Auction. bigiron.com Wed., Nov. 6. 10 a.m. Champaign Co. Farmland Auc. Brenda S. Ross, Trustee of the Esther Freese Trust, GIFFORD, IL. Jim Clingan Auction & Realty Co. www.jimclingan.com Wed., Nov. 6. 9 a.m. Peoria Co. Farmland. Stewart Family, PRINCEVILLE, IL. Maloof Farm and Land. www.illinoisfarms4sale.com or john@leezeragency.com Wed., Nov. 6. 10 a.m. LaSalle Co. Real Estate Auc. The Heirs of Raymond Hettel & June Hettel Rose, GRAND RIDGE, IL. Bradleys’ and Immke Auction Service. www.bradleyauctionsinc.com Thurs., Nov. 7. 7 p.m. 200 Ac. Clay Co. Land Auc. Behrmann Farms, Inc., FLORA, IL. Carson Auction Realty and Appraisal. Co. www.carsonauctionandrealty.com Thurs., Nov. 7. 10 a.m. Champaign Co. Farmland Auction. ROYAL, IL. Murray Wise Associates. www.mwallc.com Thurs., Nov. 7. 3 p.m. Champaign Co. Farmland Auction. PHILO, IL. Murray Wise Associates. www.mwallc.com Fri., Nov. 8. 1 p.m. Real Estate. Estate of Donald Ramsdell Trust, AMBOY, IL. Kevin Considine, Art Johnson and United Country Burke Realty and Auc Serv., Auctioneers.

Fri., Nov. 8. 10:30 a.m. Mercer Co. Farmland Auc. Steven E. and Mary Anita Zwicker, PREEMPTION, IL. Kilcoin Auction. www.kilcoinauction.com Fri., Nov. 8. 10:30 a.m. Bureau Co. Farmland Auc. Heirs of Joseph J. Flaherty, ARLINGTON, IL. McConville Realty. www.mcconvillerealty.com Fri., Nov. 8. 10 a.m. Henry Co. Land Auc. John W. Lowe Family Trust, GALVA, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service, LLC. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com Fri., Nov. 8. 9 a. m. Macoupin Co. Farmland and Grain Complex, CARLINVILLE, IL. Schroeder/Huber, LLC. www.schroederhuber.com Fri., Nov. 8. 9:30 a.m. Close-Out Auc. AKA Wrecking Co., ZION, IL. Powers Auction Service. www.powersauction.com Fri., Nov. 8. 10 a.m. Henry Co. Farmland Auc. Merle L. Newman Trust, CAMBRIDGE, IL. Rediger Auction Serv. and Brummel Realty, LLC. www.rickrediger.com or www.brummelrealty.com Sat., Nov. 9. 1 p.m. Land Auc. Ryan Newton and Reed Newton, MILLSTADT, IL. Anthony’s Auctions. www.anthonysauctions.com Sat., Nov. 9. Noon. Cape Girardeau Co., MO Land Auc. buyafarm.com Sat., Nov. 9. 10 a.m. Grundy Co. Farmland Auc. Fritz Farm Trust, MORRIS, IL. Richard A. Olson and Assoc., Inc. richardaolson.com Mon., Nov. 11. 10 a.m. DeKalb Co. Farmland Auc. Jodie Anderson, SOMONAUK, IL. Wegener Auctions. Go2wegenerauctions.com Tues., Nov. 12. 5:30 p.m. Lake Co., IN Farmland Auc. Trust #’s 2106, 1500, 8173, 7973, 7273, 5191, 91981, 11474 and 6870. MERRILLVILLE, IN. Schrader Auction Co. www.schraderauction.com Wed., Nov. 13. 10 a.m. McDonough Co. Land Auc. Kline Trust, MACOMB, IL. Lowderman Auction and Real Estate. www.lowderman.com Wed., Nov. 13. 10 a.m. Vermilion Co. Land Auc. Roselyn Fay Estate, ST. JOSEPH, IL. Jim Clingan Auction & Realty. www.jimclingan.com Wed., Nov. 13. Ogle Co. Farmland Auc. Soy Capital Ag Services. www.soycapitalag.com Wed., Nov. 13. 10 a.m. Knox Co. Land Auc. Sue A. McClain, Ann Norgart and Roberta Lenz, GALESBURG, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com Thurs., Nov. 14. 6 p.m. Kendall Co. Farmland. YORKVILLE, IL. Brummel Realty, LLC and Rediger Auction Service. www.brummelrealty.com or www.rickrediger.com Thurs., Nov. 14. 7 p.m. Morgan Co. Land Auc. The Farmers State Bank & Trust Co., Trustee Of The Eleanor Mahon Trust, JACKSONVILLE, IL. Middendorf Bros. www.middendorfs.com Thurs., Nov. 14. 10 a.m. Warren Co. Land Auc. Bryce B. and Nicole M. Bulman, MONMOUTH, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service, LLC. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com

Thurs., Nov. 14. 7 p.m. St. Clair Co. Land Auc. SPARTA, IL. buyafarm.com Thurs., Nov. 14. 10 a.m. Champaign Co. Land Auc. Craver/Davis Heirs, ST. JOSEPH, IL. Jim Clingan Auction & Realty Co. www.jimclingan.com Thurs., Nov. 14. 7 p.m. St. Clair Co. Land Auc. SPARTA, IL. buyafarm.com Fri, Nov. 15. Kankakee Co. Farmland Auc. Rosalin Geiger Farm. Soy Capital Ag Services. www.soycapitalag.com Fri., Nov. 15. 10 a.m. LaSalle Co. Farmland Auc. Durree Family, STREATOR, IL. Rediger Auction Serv. and Brummel Realty, LLC. www.rickrediger.com or www.brummelrealty.com Sat., Nov. 16. 10 a.m. Mason Co. Land Auc. Cyd. C. Twaddle and Rhea King, MASON CITY, IL. Sullivan Auctioneers, LLC. www.sullivanauctioneers.com Sat., Nov. 16. 9:30 a.m. Land Auc. TWM - Baxmeyer - SCI, BELLEVILLE, IL. Schaller Auction Service. schallerauctionservice.com or auction zip.com Sat., Nov. 16. 10 a.m. Kendall Co. Farmland Auc. Breitwieser Trust, MORRIS, IL. Richard A. Olson and Assoc., Inc. richardaolson.com Sun., Nov. 17. 1 p.m. Farmland Auc. James Nevois Trust, PRAIRIE DU ROCHER, IL. Burmester Auction Service. www.burmesterauction.com Mon., Nov. 18. 10 a.m. 40 Ac. McLean Co. Arthur Kuerth Estate, GRIDLEY, IL. Terry Wilkey Auction Service. www.terrywilkey.com Mon., Nov. 18. 10 a.m. Adams Co. Land Auc. The Lester and Imogene Smith Trust Farm, GOLDEN, IL. Sullivan Auctioneers. www.sullivanauctioneers.com Mon., Nov. 18. 10 a.m. Knox Co. Land Auc. Hickey Family Farm, ABINGDON, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service, LLC. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com Tues., Nov. 19. 10 a.m. Woodford and McLean Co. Farmland. Lois Lampe Estate, EL PASO, IL. Terry Wilkey Auction Service. www.terrywilkey.com Tues., Nov. 19. 10 a.m. Henry Co. Land Auc. Edwin L. McDonald Jr. and Andrew McDonald, ORION, IL. Hertz Real Estate Services. www.hertz.ag Tues., Nov. 19. 10 a.m. McLean Co. Farmland. Cox Family Trust, BLOOMINGTON, IL. Haycraft Auction Co., Inc. www.haycraftauctions.com or haycraft@frontier.com Wed., Nov. 20. 10 a.m. Livingston Co. Land Auc. Raymond W. Schultz, Diane Engle and Nancy Myers, PONTIAC, IL. Immke and Bradleys’ Auction Service. biddersandbuyers.com/immke Wed., Nov. 20. Henry Co. Farmland Auc. Soy Capital Ag Services. www.soycapitalag.com Wed., Nov. 20. 10 a.m. Clay Co. Farmland Auc. FLORA, IL. Murray Wise Associates, LLC. www.mwallc.com Thurs., Nov. 21. 10 a.m. Knox Co. Land Auc. Lawrence and Douglas Stickell, GALESBURG, IL. Van Adkisson Auction Service, LLC. vanadkisson.com or www.biddersandbuyers.com Thurs., Nov. 21. Logan Co. Farmland Auc. Soy Capital Ag Services. www.soycapitalag.com


FROM THE COUNTIES

Page 13 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

B

Spencer Janssen, Litchfield Farmers Grain manager, right, shared details about grain elevator operations with Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park. (Photo by Christina Nourie)

Newly adopted senator tours county

When Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, was invited to join the Adopt-A-Legislator program earlier this year, he jumped at the chance. However, he had a tough time deciding which county to choose as he was interested in learning about different parts of the state. Cullerton decided to go with Montgomery County Farm Bureau. And based on his recent trip to the county, he made a great choice. A dozen Montgomery County members greeted the senator as the day kicked off with a visit to Helgen Family Farm near Litchfield where Cullerton learned about the crop growing cycle and challenges involved in grain farming. The Helgens also run a tiling business and took Cullerton to a project, explaining how the tiling process works. The senator was then treated to a combine ride and was impressed with the

technology used in the combine. At Farmers’ Grain Elevator in Litchfield, Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville, joined the group. The group also toured nearby M & M Fertilizer where employees provided an overview of the business and explained how fertilizer is processed and applied onto farm fields. The visit concluded with lunch and discussion about the upcoming veto session, as well as key topics such as biotechnology, pensions and taxes. Cullerton particularly appreciated learning more about biotechnology in agriculture and looks forward to hearing more from farmers on that subject. Montgomery County Farm Bureau members plan to meet Cullerton at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December to continue discussions and get to know each other better.

NO. 1 PUMPKIN LESSON

Amid a backdrop of pumpkins and gourds, Moultrie and Douglas County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom volunteers recently celebrated Illinois’ No. 1 rank in pumpkin production. They helped families visiting The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur learn about pumpkin production. Visiting children reinforced what they learned by constructing a pumpkin story based on the vegetable’s life cycle. (Photo by Kara Kinney)

Tuesday: • Harvey Freese, Freese-Notis Weather: ag weather • Rich Guebert Jr., Illinois Farm Bureau vice president: harvest • Rachel Torbert, Illinois Farm Bureau media relations manager: American FFA Degree • Mike Cripe, Midwest Tractor Sales co-owner: harvest Wednesday: • Tim Schweizer, Illinois

Department of Natural Resources public liaison: Nov. 2 upland game hunting season • RFD Radio Network® team: live from the National FFA Convention, Louisville, Ky. Thursday: • Tim Maiers, Illinois Pork Producers Association • Joe Buhrmann, COUNTRY Financial security field support manager: October COUNTRY Financial Security Index • Stu Ellis, AgEngage director: Farmland Markets Conference

UREAU — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a defensive driving course for members 55 years and older who are policyholders from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 20-21 at the Black Hawk Community Education Center in Kewanee. Cost is $30. Call the Farm Bureau office at 875-6468 for reservations by Nov. 13. • Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial will cosponsor a seminar on the Affordable Care Act at 10 a.m. Nov. 12 at the Farm Bureau office. Call the Farm Bureau office at 875-6468 to register or for more information. • Farm Bureau will sponsor a tour of Colorado’s historic trains Sept. 5-13, 2014. An informational meeting will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Farm Bureau office. Call the Farm Bureau office at 875-6468 for more information. OLES — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor an American Farmland Trust’s Women Caring for the Land Program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Lumpkin Family Center, Mattoon. Diana Ropp, Bates Commodities, will speak on commodities, risk management, farm business and conservation practices. This is a free program open to women

only. Call Theresa Bullock at 815-753-6365 or email tbullock@niu.edu for reservations by Friday. DGAR — Young leaders will host a night of music from Freestyle Acoustic, freaky fun, frightening food and a costume contest at 7 p.m. Friday at Castle Finn Winery. Cost will be $10. Proceeds will benefit the Young Leaders. Call the Farm Bureau office at 465-8511 for more information. ACKSON — Sigma Alpha Sorority will host a pancake and sausage dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Newman Center in Carbondale. Proceeds will benefit the foundation for Ag 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. ACOUPIN — Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial will co-sponsor a farm estate and transfer planning seminar at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Carlinville Elk’s Lodge. Call the Farm Bureau office at 854-2571 or the COUNTRY Financial agency office at 854-2043 for reservations by Friday. ERCER — Farm Bureau will co-sponsor a fall equine series from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and

Nov. 18 in the Ag Arena at Black Hawk College in Kewanee. Nov. 11 speakers will include Ronald Rhoades, Horseman’s Council of Illinois, “Why Trail Ride” and Bob Elwell, Jubilee Saddle Shop, “Fitting a Saddle For Your Horse.” Nov. 18 speakers will include Drew Cotton, Black Hawk East equine instructor, “What the Feed Tag Really Tells You (and What It Does Not),” and Aaron Mosher, Prophetstown, “Draft Horse Basics.” Cost is free for 4-H members, FFA members and Black Hawk East students and $5 for all others. Call the Farm Bureau office to register by Nov. 5. ANGAMON — Farm Bureau Women’s Committee members will meet at 9 a.m. Nov. 5 at the Farm Bureau office for their fall luncheon. ABASH — Farm Bureau will host “Trick or Treat” from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Farm Bureau office. Children may stop in for treats, crafts and the opportunity to register for prizes.

The University of Illinois’ Illinois Forest Resource Center will host a woodland invasive species event from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 2 at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, Simpson. Participants will be trained in the identification and control of invasive shrubs. The focus will be removal of invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus), a common landscaping plant. Easy to spot with bright red fall foliage, burning bush is becoming more prevalent in southern Illinois forests. Participants should wear long sleeves, long pants and

closed-toe shoes. Tools will be provided, but participants may bring their own gloves, chainsaws or private applicator pesticide licenses. Beans and cornbread will be served. Participants are encouraged to bring a

potluck dish to share. For information or to register, contact Karla Gage, the cooperative weed management area coordinator, at 618-3036603 or Jim Kirkland with the Illinois Forest Resource Center at 618-695-3383.

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

Woodland invasive species event slated

• Kelli Bassett, DuPont Pioneer field agronomist: yield reports Friday: • Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse Communications • Mike Doherty, Illinois Farm Bureau senior economist: Nov. 4 Meet the Buyer, good agricultural practices training To find a radio station near you that carries the RFD Radio Network, go to FarmWeekNow.com, click on “Radio,” then click on “Affiliates.”

Travel with other Farmers! Legendary China 13 Days & Yangtze River Cruise

from

$1799*

Departs: March 14, April 4 & Sept. 5, 2014 Fly into Beijing and following your arrival, enjoy a day to explore on your own, then see all the highlights on a guided sightseeing tour that includes: Tiananmen Square; the Forbidden City, home to more than 20 emperors; Summer Palace and ‘Birdsnest’ Olympic Stadium. Visit a section of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu where you will take a short chair cable ride up to the wall itself, offering stunning views of the surrounding hillsides and valleys below. Next, fly to the city of Xi’an, home to the world famous Terracotta Army, then Chongqing with an included city tour, and see Giant Pandas at the zoo. Then you will board the 5-star M/V President 8 for your threenight Yangtze River Cruise in a balcony stateroom. See spectacular scenery including the Three Gorges and its 1 1/2 mile wide dam, plus three included shore excursions. Disembark and fly to the global city of Shanghai (two-nights). Enjoy a full city tour and trip to the top of the Jin Mao tower. Also includes daily breakfast, seven lunches and six dinners. *

Price per person, based on double occupancy. Plus $299 tax/service/ government fees. Add $100 for September 5 departure. Seasonal rates may apply. Airfare is extra.

For reservations & details call 7 days a week:

1-800-736-7300


PROFITABILITY

FarmWeek Page 14 Monday, October 28, 2013

USDA

Farm Service Agency

Gas, propane exports fueling U.S. jobs

The U.S. oil boom has been under way since about 2007 due in large part to hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. Although controversial, fracking has allowed the U.S. to access crude oil and natural gas that was formerly unrecoverable. This increase in domestic production has been a boon primarily for Midwest refiners who are close to the production areas. Discrepancies developed between domestic (landlocked) crude prices and imported crude prices. The U.S. had to find ways to bring this new crude to market, par- Jackie McKinnis ticularly the Gulf Coast — our largest refining area. Infrastructure projects began for both new pipelines and the reversal of pipelines that had formerly brought imported crude up from the Gulf. Railroads stepped into the gap. It has become commonplace to see crude oil railed from the Bakken region in North Dakota to refiners along the East Coast. The nation’s oil tanker fleet is also increasing and will, in time, provide more capacity in carrying crude from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the East Coast. The effort has paid off by narrowing the spread between domestic and imported crude. The implications of the oil boom have been enormous: BY JACKIE MCKINNIS

County committee elections — Watch your mailboxes for the official county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office committee election ballot starting early next month. Ballots will be mailed to all eligible voters on Nov. 4. If you don’t receive a ballot, notify your local FSA office. Completed and signed ballots must be returned to the county office by close of business Dec. 2. Increased guaranteed loan limit — FSA announced the loan limit for the Guaranteed Loan Program increased to $1.355 million on Oct. 1. The limit is adjusted annually based on data compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The lending limit is adjusted every year according to an inflation index. The maximum combined guaranteed and direct farm loan indebtedness also will increase to $1.655 million. Remember, the one-time loan origination fee charged on FSA guaranteed Farm Ownership and Operating loans is 1.5 percent of the guaranteed portion of the loan. Farmers should contact their local FSA offices with questions about farm loans. Safety with grain handling — Flowing grain in a storage bin or gravity-flow wagon is like quicksand and can kill. A person can be trapped in flowing grain in less than five seconds. Augers, power take-offs and other moving parts can grab people or clothing. Those hazards, along with pinch points and missing BY DANIEL GRANT shields, are dangerous for adults and children. FarmWeek Keep children a safe distance from operating farm The timing of fuel purchasequipment and always use extra caution when backing or es may not have much of an maneuvering farm machinery. impact on total costs for the Ensure everyone is accounted for and visibly clear foreseeable future. before machinery is engaged. Oil, gasoline and diesel fuel

• The U.S. this year will produce more crude oil than it imports. • We are exporting gasoline, propane and other natural gas liquids. • The U.S. has become the world’s leading natural gas producer. • We have become the world’s largest exporter of distillate fuels. Both gasoline and diesel domestic demand have fallen from their peak in 2005; gasoline demand more so. Exports give U.S. refiners an outlet for their excess distillate volumes at a time when global diesel consumption is on the increase. Without this export outlet for refined products, it is speculated that some U.S. refiners would be forced to close their doors, and thousands of jobs would be lost across the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1 million jobs have been added to total U.S. private sector employment since the recession of 2007; 162,000 of those jobs have been in the oil and natural gas industry (through the end of 2012). A whopping 23,700 jobs in this sector have been added in the first half of 2013. This export opportunity will likely not last when emerging economies bring on new refining capacity of their own. We need to embrace it while we can!

Jackie McKinnis is GROWMARK’s senior energy analyst. Her email address is jmckinnis@growark.com.

Fuel prices projected steady to slightly lower

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) $38.18-$54.35 $46.18 40 lbs. (cash) $64.00-$79.00 $72.54 Recipts

This Week 88,607 *Eastern Corn Belt prices picked up at seller’s farm

Last Week 110,242

Eastern Corn Belt direct hogs (plant delivered) Carcass Live

(Prices $ per hundredweight) This week Prev. week Change NA $88.75 NA NA $65.68 NA

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

This week $132.00 $132.00

Prev. week $129.93 $129.91

Change $2.07 $2.09

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 $165.07 $164.81 $0.26

Lamb prices Slaughter Prices - Formula, 6,290 head at 237-270 $/cwt. for 70.90 ave. lbs.; 3,341 head at 230.53-268.50 $/cwt. for 78 ave. lbs.

Export inspections (Million bushels) Week ending Soybeans Wheat Corn 10/17/2013 59.3 20.6 32.3 10/10/2013 47.4 27.2 22.3 Last year 65.5 16.5 10.4 Season total 173.7 572.9 148.2 Previous season total 246.3 393.1 127.8 USDA projected total 1370 1100 1225 Crop marketing year began June 1 for wheat and Sept. 1 for corn and soybeans.

prices are expected to remain steady to slightly lower through next year based on recent forecasts. “I don’t expect much of a change in crude oil or gas prices between now and next year,” Paul Christopher, chief international strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors, said last week at the Doane Ag Outlook Conference in St. Louis.

FarmWeekNow.com

Listen to Paul Christopher’s comments about the winter fuel price outlook at FarmWeekNow.com.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently predicted Brent crude oil prices, which peaked at $117 per barrel in early September, will average $107 in the fourth quarter and $102 next year. U.S. oil futures, known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), were projected to average $101 per barrel in the fourth quarter and $96 in 2014. “The demand growth (for oil) is positive, but slowing,” Christopher noted. Fuel prices could moderate

next year as a result. However, U.S. gasoline prices have held steady, rather than posting a seasonal fall break, due to strong exports. U.S. gas exports have been strong due to a favorable spread between WTI and Brent oil prices that favors U.S. fuel on the world market. “We’ve been exporting an increasing amount (of gas) to the detriment of (U.S.) drivers and farmers,” Christopher said. “I think we’ll see more of that in the year ahead.” The analyst predicted U.S. gasoline prices will continue to hover in a range of $3.25 to $3.75 per gallon. Christopher also predicted exports of natural gas could increase by 2015. “I expect natural gas prices

will remain soft (near term,” Christopher said. “It could get to $4.25 to $4.50 (per million Btu) by the end of the year due to the possibility of cold weather. “The big drivers of (U.S.) exports of liquefied natural gas are Japan and Asia,” he continued. “Once (U.S. sales to those markets) gets going, you can say goodbye to the downtrend in prices. I look for higher (natural gas) prices by 2015.” U.S. ag exports next year could face a challenge, though, in the form of a stronger dollar. A stronger dollar reduces the buying power of foreign customers. “I think the dollar will be stronger next year, especially against its main competitors, the euro, yen and sterling,” Christopher added.


PROFITABILITY

Page 15 Monday, October 28, 2013 FarmWeek

CASH STRATEGIST

Corn feed demand to improve

There’s been a lot of derision focused on the apparent level of U.S. corn feeding the last few years. In all fairness, compared to historical levels, the apparent level of corn feeding hasn’t been unusually small. Mostly it’s a lack of understanding of the corn feeding number on USDA balance sheets that is the biggest obstacle many analysts confront in understanding the situation. First and foremost, it’s important to remember the corn feed number on the USDA balance sheet is “feed and residual” use. Because we have no way of accurately documenting actual feed demand, there is no way to stipulate what is feed demand and what is residual demand. You’ll note there is a strong correlation between the corn yield and the amount being fed to livestock, although the relationship did break down somewhat the last few years. Paul Westcott at the USDA developed a model to project feed grain consumption. One of the key components of this model is the corn yield departure from trend. As that fluc-

tuated, the feed grain consumption fluctuated. That suggests the residual use of corn likely accounts for the bulk of the year-to-year change of feed and residual use. In recent years, two other variables played significant roles in the changing nature of feed consumption. First, dried distillers grains (DDGS) have mostly been used as a replacement for corn in feed rations, not a replacement for protein. That accounted for about 7 pounds of corn on an animal unit basis during the last two years. Increased wheat feeding accounted for another 2 1/4 pounds of corn that weren’t fed as well. About the same time we started replacing corn with DDGS, hog and cattle producers started using growth stimulants that further increased the efficiency of feed conversions, especially at the heavier weights. As you know, one of those for cattle has now been taken off the market. As a whole, we find it interesting the amount of corn fed to an animal unit the last two years varied little from the 1983 and 1988 drought years, indicating the shift is not in feed use, but in residual use. The current forecast for this year is back at a more normal level, but it’s the residual that’s changing not the feed use.

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Corn Strategy

ü2013 crop: The decline in corn prices may have stalled, but the short-term trend continues to point lower. The next good selling opportunity may not come until well into the new calendar year. Use a rally to $4.50 on December futures to make needed sales. ü2014 crop: Recent action leaves prices positioned to drop to lower levels in the short term. Still, we think there will be an opportunity to begin pricing over $5 on December 2014 futures in early 2014. We remain reluctant to sell weakness. vFundamentals: The trade is becoming increasingly comfortable with the prospect this year’s crop could be 14 billion bushels, or something close to it. Even so, demand for corn remains relatively robust. Profitability lifted the weekly grind rate for ethanol last week. Livestock profits should stimulate feed demand. And export sales and shipments are off to a much better start than they were a year ago, even with large competitive supplies.

Cents per bu.

11/21/11

7/16/12

3/7/13

10/25/13

6/16/14

11/21/11

7/16/12

3/7/13

10/25/13

6/16/14

11/21/11

7/16/12

3/7/13

10/25/13

6/16/14

Soybean Strategy

ü2013 crop: Soybean futures stalled just under short-term resistance last week. If January futures cannot overcome $13.30 soon, the pattern still implies lower levels by year end, with a chance of seeing $12. Use strength to make catch-up sales. ü2014 crop: The higher soybean/corn price ratio is stimulating plantings in South America, and is expected to do the same in the U.S. next spring. Price the first 10 percent if November 2014 futures rebound to $11.90. vFundamentals: Good soybean yields are the bigger surprise this fall. Demand for soybeans remains good, both from the export and processing sectors. We hear producers are pricing some crop across the scale. New crop plantings are off to a relatively good start in Brazil. If world buyers become comfortable with good supplies to come from South America, buyers may become more conservative at these prices.

ûFail-safe: If January futures drop below $12.90, boost sales to 60 percent.

Wheat Strategy

ü2013 crop: Ongoing threats to the Argentine crop supported wheat futures last week. Nevertheless, the rally looks tired. Get sales to 70 percent complete. If wheat is farm stored, consider a winter delivery with a hedge-to-arrive contract based on March futures to capture some additional storage income. ü2014 crop: Last week’s rally hit the order to make a 10 percent sale when Chicago July

futures reached $7.10. Use rallies over $7 to get caught up. vFundamentals: The Argentine government announced it didn’t include all the available data when it forecast an 8.8 million metric ton (mmt) crop. Even though there were some frosty nights last week, the trade still seems to think a 10 mmt crop is probable. The new trade concern is focused on the likelihood that the Indian government could start selling a portion of its 36 mmt stocks. Last summer’s good monsoon bolsters the possibility they could have their third consecutive 90 mmt crop.


PERSPECTIVES

FarmWeek Page 16 Monday, October 28, 2013

One tree with many names, curious fruit, history It started with a phone call. A caller said, “Several years ago, a friend gave me some unusual fruit to put in my cabinet to keep away spiders. Can you tell me what it was and where I can get some more?” I am not sure how this call ended up with me, but as a public servant I DENNIS wanted to help, if I BOWMAN could. The caller could guest columnist not supply much more information, so I started guessing. “Could it have been hedge apple?” The caller said that did not sound familiar. I countered with “Osage orange?” “Yes!” was the response. Maclura pomifera is the Latin name for the Osage orange tree, which is a member of the mulberry family. It has many other regional names. In addition to Osage orange, some of the other names for this tree and its fruit are hedge apples, horse apples, bois d’arc, mock orange, bodark and bowwood. One of my colleagues even shared a name for the fruit that I had not heard before — monkey brains. The Osage orange is a native tree of the south-central U.S. In the mid-19th century, farmers across the Midwest started planting it around their fields and pastures. The tree is very disease resistant, grows fast and produces a lot of thorns. Thickly planted around fields, it forms a living “barbed wire” fence to keep livestock in or out of an area. One of the main proponents for the adoption of Osage orange was Jonathan Baldwin Turner for whom Turner Hall on the University of Illinois campus was named. In the 1830s, Turner was a young professor at Illinois College in Jacksonville. He was looking for a way to fence the open prairies of western

Photos by Cyndi Cook

Illinois where trees to create split-rail fences were scarce. His research found that Osage orange seedlings planted 12 inches apart would create a hedge row big enough and thorny enough to contain horses and cattle. Horse high, pig tight and bull strong became the colorful definition of a good fence. The first patent for real barbed wire was issued in 1867, but was not widely adopted until after Joseph F. Glidden patented a mass produced version in 1874. Even after barbed wire became widely available in the 1880s, the Osage orange was still highly valued to create rot-resistant wooden fence posts for the wire fences. The trees are still common across Illinois, but numbers have declined as farmers remove old fence rows to increase field sizes. Because Osage orange has male and female plants, not every tree produces the distinctive yellow-green hedge apples in the fall. Folk tales attribute almost mythic pest control properties to the fruit. Researchers actually have extracted chemicals from the fruit with repellant properties, but at concentrations too low to be effective. You may spot the fruit for sale at fall flea markets and festivals. I have even seen it in the produce section of an Iowa grocery store. I can’t recommend them for pest control, but if you decide to try them, remember they will rot and squirrels may tear them apart. Also, be careful handling them, the sap is known to cause irritation and itching for some people. Growing up in rural Illinois, hedge apples and Osage orange thorns were just part of the experience. Understanding how they got here creates a link to this agricultural legacy in our landscape. Dennis Bowman is a University of Illinois Extension educator in commercial agriculture crops and is based in Turner Hall, Urbana.

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Welcome back Rural Development

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Welcome home! That’s how I started an email to our nearly 100 USDA Rural Development employees in Illinois on Oct. 17, the day we returned to work following the 16-day government furlough. And then I continued: Welcome home! Your “home away from home,” that is ... Our unplanned hiatus from our work gave each of us time to realize how much of a family we really are. As our furlough days wore on, while we busied ourselves with unscheduled cleaning, sorting, reorganizing, etc., we began to recognize that we also missed our “other family!” COLLEEN CALLAHAN Here in the state office in Champaign, we missed three birthdays. There were additional missed occasions in every office, of course, and each one pointed out how much we just plain missed seeing each other! We even lost one of our retired colleagues while we were gone, but even at that, nearly a dozen “work-family” attended the celebration of life. But beyond the absence of work-family camaraderie, we missed the work we do as public servants. As I thought about what we do — and what we weren’t permitted to do, at risk of financial penalty and legal ramifications — it reminded me of a true story about my uncle’s grandson. When Brad was in first grade, his teacher asked each class member, “What does your grandfather do?” Brad’s answer was, “He helps people.” Wow! What an answer because my uncle was a federal employee. To think, just by overhearing his grandpa’s conversations, Brad discerned that’s what his grandpa did — he helped people! It’s quite a legacy. And it’s ours, too. Thank you for what you do and for being so eager to return to work. This has been a particularly unsettling period with so many uncertainties over the last two years ... budget constraints, hiring freezes and retirement incentives. Yet you persevered and continued to “help people” through your commitment to USDA Rural Development. Despite the frustrations and challenges, you helped bring much-needed, positive change to rural Illinois this year, exceeding previous year levels. In 2013, we made $22.5 million business investments, $92 million community investments and $506 million in housing investments for a total investment of $620.5 million in Illinois. I sent that note 17 days into our new fiscal year. That’s 16 days of not closing housing loans, not providing funding for rural water projects, rural electric system advancements or rural hospital improvements. USDA Rural Development is a “work-family” of public servants who live up to the expectations of President Abraham Lincoln, who created the USDA more than 150 years ago. Lincoln called USDA “the People’s Department.” USDA Rural Development is back home, and we are eager to continue assisting rural Illinois with individual and community needs. Our byline, after all, is “Committed to the future of rural communities.” We help people!

Colleen Callahan is the Illinois director for Rural Development. Illinois Rural Development has a new newsletter available. To be added to the distribution list, visit {www.rurdev.usda.gov/IL} and subscribe to Illinois RD Email Updates.


Farmweek october 28 2013