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Thursday, September 26, 2013

2 2 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bureau County Journal •

On the Cover

The photo on the cover of the Bureau County Republican’s Fall Farm Edition was taken by Becky Kramer.

Farmer Norm Von Holten checks on his hogs in his rural Sheffield hog barns. Von Holten, president of the Bureau County Pork Producers, sends about 7,500 pigs to market each year. The hog industry, just like all of agriculture, has evolved and changed during his 34 years as a farmer, Von Holten said. BCR photo/Donna Barker

Where’s the ... pork? Just ask Sheffield farmers Norm and Sue Von Holten By Donna Barker

SHEFFIELD — There are challenges which come with raising hogs, but they are challenges which he’s ready to hit head on, according to rural Sheffield farmer Norm Von Holten.

Though the hog industry has changed a lot during his 34 years of farming, including in the areas of regulations, capital investments and technology, Von Holten said the goal remains the same: To produce healthy animals and see the reward of getting them to market.

After studying agricultural production in college, Von Holten started his farming career in 1979 on the same place where he and his wife, Sue, still live, about 10 miles northwest of Sheffield. In those early years, Von Holten raised 150 sows, from farrow to finish, and marketed about 2,500 hogs a year. At one time, he raised as many

as 300 sows at a time and sent 6,000 hogs to market a year. The hog industry was hit hard when hog prices fell in 1998 to about 8 or 10 cents or so a pound. It was devastating for farmers, he said. Making some adjustments, Von Holten quit the sows in 2000 and starting buying the little “weanling” pigs and finished them to market. He

continues to raise weanling pigs, which weigh about 10-12 pounds when he gets them, and also raises feeder pigs, which weigh about 50 pounds when he gets them. The pigs go to market when they weigh about 260280 pounds. Today, he finishes 2,500 pigs to market, three times a year. Another change came a couple years ago when

Von Holten went to custom feeding pigs. He no longer owns the pigs but gets a monthly salary for his labor and use of his facilities. That’s a common thing for hog farmers to do nowadays; custom feeding takes the market risk out of the equation for the farmer and provides a steady income, he said.

See Pork Page 3

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3 Bureau County Journal •

Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Fall Farm Edition • 3

Facts about Illinois Pork Producers Association • The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is an agricultural trade association representing more than 2,900 pork producers throughout Illinois. • IPPA has served pork producers for more than 50 years. • IPPA is comprised of county pork producer organizations in more than 20 counties throughout the state. • IPPA is an affiliate of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board. 

• IPPA, while representing pork producers and the Illinois pork industry, contributes more than $1.7 billion and more than 7,800 jobs to the state’s economy. • IPPA’s mission is to provide producers with services that enhance profitability and consumer preference for pork. • IPPA is governed by a 21 member board of directors who are all pork producers with the exception of the Allied Industry Representative. Pork producers serve on a variety of committees that plan IPPA activities throughout the year. • IPPA provides services and programs through checkoff and non-checkoff programs. Pork producers pay 40 cents per $100 value into the national pork checkoff program for each pig marketed. For example a pork producer marketing a 250 lb. hog at $40/cwt. would pay about 40 cents per pig into the checkoff program. The pork checkoff funds activities such as: pork promotion, education to consumers, teachers, and producers, youth programs, and research on pork related issues. • Non-checkoff programs are funded by membership dues and proceeds from the Pork Patio at the Illinois State Fair and from the IL Pork Expo, held at the Peoria Civic Center during the end of January each year. Non-checkoff programs focus on state and national legislative issues.

Pork From Page 2 Hog farming has evolved like all other areas of agriculture, Von Holten said. In his earlier days, farmers started with a small acreage with a few pigs or cattle, some acres for crops. Nowadays, everyone is more specialized. There are farmers who just raise hogs or just cattle, or who only grow grain, he said. Also, Von Holten raising hogs has become a big capital investment industry. It takes a lot of capital investment in buildings and facilities to be able to get the efficiencies that a farmer needs to be competitive in the business. Profit margins are much tighter nowadays, so the farmer has to rely on higher volume. That’s the capital nature of the business, he added. Continuing, Von Holten said when someone makes those capital investments, they cannot afford to vary their production nearly as much, based on market signals, like they could in the past. Before when market prices went down, the farmer could decide to get rid of some hogs, but with millions of dollars invested and with payments which have to be made, the farmer has “to go forward full throttle.” That’s the only way to make it, to be producing all the time, yearround, he said. Another change in

the hog industry is how today’s hogs are raised primarily in hog barns, rather than in the field with small hog huts. Raising hogs in barns gives the farmer the opportunity to have a year-round supply of hogs. The hogs are contained in the barns, but they are protected from the fluctuations of the weather. The farmer can also regulate temperature and ventilation in the barns. Also, he doesn’t call his barns confinement buildings because that has a negative connotation. There is a misconception that hog barns, or confinement facilities, are not a good way to raise hogs, but that misconception needs to be corrected, he said. “Yes, hogs are not treat-

BCR photo/Donna Barker

Raising hogs in barns has taken away the frustration of dealing with the weather, according to Bureau County farmer Norm Von Holten. Using hog barns, farmers can regulate the temperature and ventilation for the animals. Farming is all about being a good steward of the land and taking care of your animals, Von Holten said. ed as pets, but they are treated in a humane environment,” Von Holten said. “Farming is all about doing the right thing, being a good steward of

the land, and taking good care of your animals.” Another change in the hog industry has been

See Pork Page 4

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4 4 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bureau County Journal •


Illinois Pork Industry facts

From Page 3 the development and use of artificial insemination, which is virtually all that’s being done nowadays. The best boars are kept in boar studs and their semen used on a lot of sows. Because the best of the best boars can be used, the hogs which go to market are all good animals, Von Holten said. Animals used to be evaluated at the hog plant on a carcass merit criteria, with the leaner hog getting a better pay and the fatter ones being discounted somewhat. Today, the hogs are all the same good quality and are sorted based on weight, rather than carcass merit, he said.

Where does Illinois rank in pork production in the United States?
 Fourth. In 2011, Illinois produced 1.9 billion pounds of pork, fourth in the United States behind Iowa, 
North Carolina and Minnesota.

 How many pigs are in Illinois?
 4.6 million head. Of that 4.6 million head, 490,000 head are breeding hogs (sows and boars), and 4.11 million are market hogs (numbers according to the December 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Hogs and Pigs Report). 

What’s the No. 1 county in Illinois in pork production?
 Clinton County. With more than 230,000 head of hogs.

 How many hog farms are there in Illinois? 2,900. Keep in mind that USDA considers anyone that raises one or more pigs to be a hog farm. Pork producers on average are

getting larger and more specialized (may only raise feeder pigs or may only raise market hogs) to remain competitive in the ever-changing pork industry. How much does the pork industry contribute to our state’s economy?
 $1.8 billion. The pork industry is a vital part of our local and state economies contributing more than $1.8 billion annually to the state’s economy in addition to generating more than $170 million in taxes. 

 How many jobs are related to the pork industry in Illinois?
 10,533. The pork industry includes not only pork production, but also input suppliers such as feed and equipment, transportation, and processing.

 How many bushels of corn do market hogs consume in a year?
 155 million bushels of corn or the equivalent of more than 911,000 acres of corn. Pork production is one of the largest con-

sumers of grain. In 2010, Illinois marketed 10.3 million head of hogs. These market hogs consumed approximately 155 million bushels of corn, which based on the statewide trend yield data of 170 bushels/acre bushels/acre amounts to 911,76 acres of corn consumed by market hogs in Illinois! 

 How many bushels of soybeans do market hogs consume in a year?
 32 million bushels. In 2010 Illinois marketed 10.3 million head of hogs X 150 pounds of SBM 
per hog = 1,545,000 pounds of SBM divided by 48 pounds of meal per bushel = 32,187,500 bushels. Pork
 production is a significant demand factor for the corn and soybean markets and benefits crop 
producers through increased prices.

 Sources: Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service – 2012 Annual Summary; USDA Hogs & Pigs Report; “The Economic Impact of Illinois’s Livestock Industry” - June 2011 report.

See Pork Page 5

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5 Bureau County Journal •

Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Fall Farm Edition • 5


Norm Von Holten poses by his hog barn facility in rural Sheffield. He describes raising hogs as a big capital investment.

From Page 4 Of course, technology has also changed the way records are kept and bookkeeping is done. It’s wonderful to go back and be able to access records so much easier than looking up old written records, he said. When asked about the challenges facing hog farmers today, Von Holten said there are many state and federal regulations which have to be followed, including those detailed in the Livestock Management Facilities

Fun facts on Illinois pork production • Illinois ranks fourth in pork production in the United States behind Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota. In 2011, Illinois produced 1.9 billion Bureau County Republican pounds of pork. Fall Farmare Tab—September 2013in Illinois. With that, 490,000 are • There 4.6 million head26, of hogs breeding 4.11 xmillion Size: 1/8hogs, Pageand (2 col 6”) are market hogs. • Clinton County is No. 1 in the state in pork production with more than Black & White 230,000 head of hogs. Questions: Denise @ 944-1673 or denise.ward • There are 2.900 hog farms in the state. The USDA considers anyone that raises one or more pigs to be a hog farm. • The pork industry contributes $1.8 billion to the state’s economy. It also generates more than $170 million in taxes. • There are 10,533 jobs related to the pork industry in Illinois. The pork industry not only includes pork production, but also input suppliers such as feed and equipment, transportation and processing. • Hogs consume 155 million bushels of corn in a year. That’s the equivalent of more than 911,000 acres of corn. Hogs consume 32 million bushels of soybeans in a year. Source: Illinois Pork Producers Association.

See Pork Page 6

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6 6 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013


From Page 5 that went into effect about 10 years ago in Illinois. But the biggest challenge facing the hog farmer is the ongoing struggle with margins, he said. Concerning hog prices, Von Holten said the price for a hog used to be $40 per 100 pounds of weight when he first started farming. That price went up to $60 per 100 pounds in the 1990s. This past summer, the

price was in the $70s per 100 pounds. This fall, the price is still at $70 per 100 pounds. But people have to remember that the cost to raise those hogs has definitely increased during the years, Von Holten said. When asked about the number of hog farmers today, Von Holten said there are definitely fewer producers, but there are more hogs than there have ever been before. The United States processes more than 400,000 hogs each day.

Bureau County Journal •

Rural Sheffield farmer Norm Von Holten says technology has greatly improved the efficiency of bookkeeping and record keeping for his hog operation. Von Holten works out of a home office and has been farming for 34 years. That decrease in the number of hog farmers can be seen in the membership of the Bureau County Pork Producers, of which Von Holten serves as president. In those early years, the Pork Producers’ annual meeting was held in the Wyanet High School gymnasium, and the place was packed with members and guests. The con-

solidation of farms has dramatically reduced the membership numbers. However, the Bureau County Pork Producers continues to be involved in its community in a variety of ways, Von Holten said. Each year, the Pork Producers are front and center during the Homestead Festival weekend, which actually began in conjunction with

the Pork Producers. This year, the Pork Producers grilled 3,500 pork chops and 1,800 pork burgers. The Pork Producers also provide hams and monetary donations to local food pantries each year and also participates in the annual Ag Day at the Bureau County Fairgrounds for fourth grade students from around the county.

Looking back on his 34 years as a hog farmer, Von Holten said it’s been a good life. “I’ve liked the challenge of producing healthy animals and getting them to market and I’ve also liked the independence which farming gives me. It’s a lifestyle I wouldn’t change,” the hog farmer said. Comment on this story at


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Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Fall Farm Edition • 7

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

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Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 25 minutes; Marinating time: 24 hours; 
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 12 ounces fajita marinade, (1.5 cups) Cooking directions Place tenderloins in large self-sealing bag; pour marinade over. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Heat oven to 450°. Remove tenderloins from marinade (discard remaining marinade), pat dry and place in shallow roasting pan. Roast tenderloins for 20-25 minutes, until internal temperature (measured with a meat thermometer) is 145°. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes, slice enough to serve. (One tenderloin serves 3 to 4.) 
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 1/4 cup onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
 1/2 jalapeno chili, minced 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 4 10-inch flour tortillas
 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, or jack cheese, grated Cooking Directions In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork with onion and garlic until browned; drain off any drippings and remove to large bowl. Stir cumin, oregano, jalapeno and cilantro into pork mixture. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and heat over mediumhigh heat. Place one tortilla in skillet; top with

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8 8 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bureau County Journal •

Gov. Pat Quinn launches statewide cover crop demonstration project Initiative aims to improve water quality, control erosion and increase yields SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn announced the start of a three-year demonstration project by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to encourage the planting of environmentallybeneficial cover crops. The initiative’s goal is to improve water quality in Illinois lakes and streams by reducing soil erosion and nutrient run-off from farm fields. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect the state’s natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations, while boosting Illinois agriculture. “Illinois is a leading agricultural state because of its ability to adopt sustainable farming practices that protect our valuable soil and water resources without sacrificing productivity,” Quinn said. “This proj-

ect is a good example of the industry’s commitment to our environment.” “The time is right for this initiative,” Steve Chard, the Department of Agriculture’s bureau chief of Land and Water Resources, added. “New plant varieties and new production techniques have been discovered that eliminate many of the problems that farmers who planted cover crops in the 1980s and ‘90s experienced.” Cover crops are plants seeded into agricultural fields, either within or outside of the regular growing season, with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining ecosystem quality. Cover crops, typically certain grasses or legumes, can enhance biodiversity; lead to less flooding, leaching, and runoff; create wildlife habitat; attract honey bees and other beneficial insects; improve soil quality; combat weeds; and break disease cycles. Cover crops appear to have a significant competitive advantage compared to the more traditional management practices that have been

“Illinois is a leading agricultural state because of its ability to adopt sustainable farming practices that protect our valuable soil and water resources without sacrificing productivity.” Gov. Pat Quinn used to control soil erosion and nutrient run-off. “Recent studies have shown that growing cover crops during the dormant season between annual row crops can provide the same environmental benefits on more acres for significantly less cost than practices like grassed waterways and terraces can,” Chard said. Cover crops also may offer production benefits. A survey of Midwestern farmers last winter by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program revealed higher corn and bean yields in fields where cover crops had been planted. The differences were significant, too, 10 percent for corn and 12 percent for beans.

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9 Bureau County Journal •

Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Fall Farm Edition • 9

USDA 2013 food assistance programs to Membership tops 40,000 benefit more than 10.5 million worldwide WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Fiscal Year 2013 Food for Progress and McGovernDole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition allocations will benefit more than 10.5 million people worldwide. “The United States is committed to achieving global food security and supporting sustainable agricultural production,” said Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture. “In addition to providing much-needed nutritious food, USDA’s food assistance programs also foster economic growth in the recipient countries.” Under the programs, USDA purchases U.S. commodities and donates them to government agencies and private-voluntary organizations in targeted countries. Food for Progress recipients in developing countries and emerg-

ing democracies sell the commodities and use the funds to introduce and expand free enterprise in the agricultural sector. For example, a Food for Progress project in Mozambique supports dairy farmers’ efforts to improve herd management practices, and increase both the volume and quality of milk. The project also helps dairy cooperatives collect, store, process, and market milk efficiently. This project benefits 27,000 agricultural producers and 3,000 businesses. The McGovern-Dole Program focuses on low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. Participants either use or sell the donated U.S. commodities to support education, child development and food security. For example, in Kenya, more than 650,000 chil-

dren in approximately 2,000 schools have been fed with help from the program. The commodities that USDA is donating include U.S.-produced bulgur, corn, corn-soy blend, dehydrated potato flakes, lentils, pinto beans, rice, split yellow peas, sorghum, soybean meal, soybean oil, vegetable oil and wheat. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service administers both the Food for Progress and McGovernDole programs. More information can be found at: www.fas.usda. gov/food-aid.asp. USDA’s food aid programs contribute to the goals of President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. Feed the Future is part of a multilateral effort to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and suffering

from hunger by 2015. More information on Feed the Future can be found at: USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-theboard budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. For example, more than $23 million was cut from this year’s food aid allocations due to sequestration. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

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the delayed farm bill and attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol, which represents an important market for corn farmers. At the same time it fights for ethanol, with programs like American Ethanol Racing and Fuels America, NCGA involvement in other ag programs, such as the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, CommonGround and the new GMO Answers, help drive home how important feed and food issues are to its grower membership. “Our members see what we’re doing and recognize the importance of our work, while at the same time enjoying a wide array of benefits that make membership really worthwhile,” Johnson said. “Just one example: Our National Corn Yield Contest continues to grow in popularity after nearly a half century of existence. And new programs we’ve helped start and run, like the National Agricultural Genotyping Center, will help ensure we’re growing markets as well as membership interest.”

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ST. LOUIS — The National Corn Growers Association has announced it membership now surpasses the 40,000 mark, signaling deep and continued support for the 56-year-old national agriculture association. As of July 31, membership in NCGA stands at 40,157. “We’re thrilled at what this new milestone means, and we salute the hard work of our membership recruiters, state and national staff, and all who have helped build this into such a respected and strong grassroots association,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a farmer in Floyd, Iowa. “At a time when many associations struggle to maintain strong member numbers and there are so many pressing issues on the table, our growing membership means a louder voice in our nation’s capital, standing up for corn farmers throughout our nation.” Johnson credits the rise to the importance of some seriously debated issues in Washington, especially


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10 10 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bureau County Journal •

Illinois farmland sales pace slows; prices paid are steady While the number of Illinois farms being offered for sale is down compared to a year ago, the value for what is being sold is up modestly across the board, according to the 2013 Mid-Year Land Values snapshot survey conducted by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and the University of Illinois. The survey was conducted among membership of the society with tabulation and results summarized by Gary Schnitkey, Ph.D., a professor and farm management specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois. “The society conducts a survey half way through the year to evaluate trends in farmland prices and cash rents. This information supplements the society’s larger efforts at year-end to document farmland prices and cash rents across Illinois.” “There was a tremendous push on land sales at the end of 2012 because of uncertainties concerning income tax treatment in 2013 and beyond,” said Dale Aupperle, AFM, ARA, Heartland Ag Group LTD., Forsyth, overall chairman of the society’s annual Illinois Land Values and Lease Trends proj-

ect. “This led to a great deal of farmland being sold last year that might have otherwise been available to the market in 2013. As a result, there is still a demand for farmland but not much available for sale.” Aupperle noted this dynamic has kept prices paid for land steady. “On July 1, 2013, farmland prices averaged $13,200 for excellent quality farmland, $11,200 for good land, $9,000 for average quality land, and $8,300 for fair quality farmland. This is an increase of 3 percent for excellent and good quality farmland, 2.5 percent for average quality farmland, and 1.9 percent for fair quality land,” he explained. “These prices are not at the level of increases we’ve seen in recent years, but they are still upward.” He added the survey respondents expect the volume of land to be available for the balance of the year to be about the same as during the first six months. In the following, reference is made to different qualities of farmland. In a normal year, excellent quality farmland averages over 190 bushels of corn per acre; good quality

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farmland averages between 170 and 190 bushels per acre; average quality farmland averages between 150 and 170 bushels per acre; and fair quality farmland averages below 150 bushels per acre. Schnitkey explained the primary purchasers of land are still other farmers and local investors doing 85 percent of the buying. The number of nonlocal investors has slipped, no doubt because of other investment options such as the stock market, he said. Key points of the survey: Farmland prices and volume 1. For the first half of 2013, respondents indicate land values increased by 3 percent for excellent and good quality farmland, 2.5 percent for average quality farmland and 1.9 percent for fair quality farmland. 2. On July 1, farmland prices averaged $13,200 for excellent quality farmland, $11,200 for good quality farmland, $9,000 for average quality farmland, and $8,300 for fair quality farmland. 3. Seventy percent of the respondents indicated less farmland was sold in the first half of 2013 as compared to the second half of 2012. Par-

tially explaining lower volume was a surge in farmland sales at the end of 2012 on account of uncertainties concerning income tax treatment in 2013 and beyond. Ninety-five percent of respondents indicated that there was an increase in land sales at the end of 2012. 4. Volume of sales in the last half of 2013 is expected to remain about the same as the first half of 2013. Twenty-three percent expect more volume; 43 percent expect the same volume; and 34 percent expect less volume. 5. Respondents indicates that buyers of farmland were 73 percent farmers, 12 percent local investors, 8 percent nonlocal investors, 5 percent institutions, and 2 percent other buyers. 6. Respondents indicated farmers have increased as a percentage of buyers while local investors, non-local investors, and institutional investors have declined. Farmland price expectations for the next 12 months 7. Respondents were divided in what was expected to be the price change over the next 12 months. Twenty percent expect farmland price to increase; 41 percent expect farmland price

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to remain the same; and 39 percent expect farmland price decreases. Of the 39 percent expecting decreases, 77 percent expect a price decrease from 0 to 5 percent. 8. Respondents were asked how likely a small price decline (less than 10 percent decline) is in the next 12 months: 7 percent believe a small price decline will happen; 38 percent indicate there is over a 50 percent chance of a small price decline; 53 percent indicate there is less than a 50 percent chance that it will happen; and 2 percent indicate it will not happen. 9. Respondents were asked how likely a large price decline (greater than 10 percent decline) is in the next 12 months. Most respondents believe there is a small chance of a large price decline: 6 percent indicate that there is over a 50 percent chance of a large price decline; 38 percent indicate there is between a 10 and 50 percent chance of a large price decline; 33 percent indicate a 1 to 10 percent chance of a large price decline; and 24 percent indicate a large price decline will not happen.

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11 Bureau County Journal •

Thursday, September 26, 2013 • Fall Farm Edition • 11

Poll shows Americans support availability of E15 Fuels America, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, released a new poll highlighting that a strong majority of Americans support E15 availability at the gas station. Additionally, it showed that nearly four in five Americans believe the oil industry’s ongoing efforts to block the availability of E15 is bad for consumers. Fuels America conducted the poll of more than 1,200 U.S. adults to gauge consumer opinions of E15 — fuel made of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. This information comes

Farmland From Page 10 10. Respondents expected the sales price of corn on the 2013 crop to average $4.92. Most respondents expect 2013 corn yields to be above the five-year average. Sixty-six percent expect above average corn yields; 18 percent expect average corn yields; and 16 percent expect below average corn yields. Factors impacting farmland prices 11. Respondents were given a list of factors impacting farmland prices and were asked to rate the probability of each factor and their impact. 12. Most likely factors of occurring are “corn prices fall to $4.50,” “subsidies on crop insurance are reduced,” “Farm Bill does not pass,” and “interest rates increased by 2 per-

on the heels of E15’s re-entrance into the American fuel market recently. Forty stations in nine states now offer the fuel, approximately 14 months after it was approved by EPA for commercial sale. E15 currently sells for between 10 and 20 cents less per gallon than regular gasoline. The results also revealed that: • 82 percent of Americans support E15 availability at their local gas stations. • 76 percent of Americans want access to even higher ethanol fuel blends, such as E20 or E30. • 79 percent of Americans

cent.” Factors least likely of happening are “inflation increases by 10 percent and “interest rates increase 5 percent.” 13. If they happen, the factors indicated of having the most positive impact on farmland prices are “U.S. economy grows 5 percent” and “inflation increases to 10 percent.” The factors estimated to have the most negative impact on farmland prices are “Corn prices fall to $3.50,” “interest rates increase 5 percent” and “Ethanol mandates are removed.” Farmland price expectations over the next five years 14. Respondents were

believe the oil industry’s efforts to block the availability of E15 are bad for consumers. “The National Corn Growers Association stands behind American drivers’ right to have choices at the pump,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “This poll clearly shows that Americans agree. Ethanol provides a renewable, domestically produced fuel choice that saves the environment and consumer dollars. Efforts to block E15 availability deprive our nation of that choice.” The data was released during a teleconference that also

divided on expected farmland price increases over the next five years. Respondents were asked what they expected changes in farmland prices to average over the next five years (a response of “10 percent” indicated farmland will increase an average of 10 percent each year over the next five years). Forty-six percent of respondents expected prices to average an increase between 1 and 5 percent the next five years; 9 percent expected farmland prices to remain the same; and 45 percent expected price decreases. 15. Respondents were asked what chances are a 1980s-style price decline

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will happen over the next five years. Most respondents indicate no or a small chance of an event of this nature: 39 percent of the respondents indicate that a 1980s-style decline will not happen; 44 percent indicate a less than 10 percent chance of 1980s-style decline of happening; and 17 percent indicate that there is between a 10 and 50 percent chance of it happening. 2013 and expected 2014 cash rents 16. Respondents expect small decreases in cash rents from 2013 and 2014. Respondents indicate that excellent quality farmland had a $388 per acre cash rent in 2013, and an expected cash rent of

coming from the non-partisan experts at PEI. The report notes it would cost slightly less than $0.01 per gallon of gasoline sold for the average retail gas station. Fuels America is a coalition of organizations committed to protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel already growing in America. Fuels America is founded on a simple core principle: Renewable fuel is good for the U.S. economy, for our nation’s energy security and for the environment. For more information, visit www.

$374 per acre in 2014. Good quality farmland had a $332 per acre average cash rent in 2013 with an expected cash rent of $318 per acre in 2014. Average quality farmland had a $318 per acre average cash rent in 2013 and expected cash rent of $278 per acre in 2014. Fair quality farmland had $224 per acre cash rent in 2013 and expected cash rent of $212 per acre for 2014. 17. Respondents expect corn prices on the 2013 corn crop to average $4.75 per bushel. 18. Most respondents expect slight decreases in production costs moving into 2014. Fifty-six percent of respondents

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expect production cost to decline slightly; 21 percent expect production costs to remain the same; and 23 percent expect increases in production costs. 19. Respondents indicate the following use of lease types: 25 percent are share rent leases, 19 percent are modified share rent leases, 35 percent are cash rent leases, 14 percent are variable cash rent lease, and 7 percent are custom farming. 20. Respondents indicated that share rent and modified share rent lease leases declined in use. Variable cash rent leases were the lease type with the largest increase, followed by cash rent.




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12 12 • Fall Farm Edition • Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bureau County Journal •

Making farm safety a priority could save a life Contrary to the popular image of fresh air and peaceful surroundings, a farm is not a hazardfree work setting. Every year, thousands of farm workers are injured and hundreds more die in farming accidents. According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation.

Health and safety hazards on farms Farm workers — including farm families and migrant workers — are exposed to hazards such as the following: • Chemicals/pesticides • Cold • Dust • Electricity • Grain bins • Hand tools • Highway traffic • Lifting • Livestock handling • Machinery/Equipment • Manure pits • Mud • Noise • Ponds • Silos • Slips/Trips/Falls • Sun/Heat • Toxic gases • Tractors • Wells

High risk factors on farms The following factors may increase risk of injury or illness

for farm workers: • Age — Injury rates are highest among children age 15 and under and adults over 65. • Equipment and machinery — Most farm accidents and fatalities involve machinery. Proper machine guarding and doing equipment maintenance according to manufacturers’ recommendations can help prevent accidents. • Protective equipment — Using protective equipment, such as seat belts on tractors, and personal protective equipment (such as safety gloves, coveralls, boots, hats, aprons, goggles, face shields) could significantly reduce farming injuries. • Medical care — Hospitals and emergency medical care are typically not readily accessible in rural areas near farms.

How you can improve farm safety You can start by increasing your awareness of farming hazards and making a conscious effort to prepare for emergency situations including fires, vehicle accidents, electrical shocks from equipment and wires, and chemical exposures. Be especially alert to hazards that may affect children and the elderly. Minimize hazards by carefully selecting the products you buy to ensure that you provide good tools and

The benefits of improved safety and health practices Better safety and health practices reduce worker fatalities, injuries, and illnesses as well as associated costs such as workers’ compensation insurance premiums, lost production, and medical expenses. A safer and more healthful workplace improves morale and productivity.

equipment. Always use seat belts when operating tractors, and establish and maintain good housekeeping practices. Here are some other steps you can take to reduce illnesses and injuries on the farm: • Read and follow instructions in equipment operator’s manuals and on product labels. • Inspect equipment routinely for problems that may cause accidents. • Discuss safety hazards and emergency procedures with your workers. • Install approved rollover protective structures, protective enclosures, or protective frames on tractors. • Make sure that guards on farm equipment are replaced after maintenance. • Review and follow instructions in material safety data

sheets (MSDSs) and on labels that come with chemical products and communicate information on these hazards to your workers.

Fact sheet for farm safety • Take precautions to prevent entrapment and suffocation caused by unstable surfaces of grain storage bins, silos, or hoppers. Never “walk the grain.” • Be aware that methane gas, carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide can form in unventilated grain silos and manure pits and can suffocate or poison workers or explode. • Take advantage of safety equipment, such as bypass starter covers, power take-off master shields and slow-moving vehicle emblems.

Additional information on safety and health For more information about farm safety, visit OSHA’s website at agriculturaloperations, the National Safety Council at htm, the Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa. gov/pesticides/safety/workers/ workers.htm and the Centers for Disease Control at www. html. In addition, OSHA has a variety of materials and tools available elsewhere on its website at

Contacting OSHA To report an emergency, file a complaint or seek OSHA advice, assistance or products, call 800-321-OSHA or contact your nearest OSHA regional or area office.

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