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can make farmers stewards of the land again For years, “sustainable” has been the buzzword in conversations about agriculture. If farmers and ranchers could slow or stop further damage to land and water, the thinking went, that was good enough. I thought that way too, until I started writing my new book, “One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture.” I grew up on a cattle ranch in western South Dakota and once worked as an agricultural journalist. For me, agriculture is more than a topic — it is who I am. When I began working on my book, I thought I would be writing about sustainability as a response to the environmental damage caused by conventional agriculture — farming that is industrial and heavily reliant on oil and agrochemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers. But through research and interviews with farmers and ranchers around the United States, I discovered that sustainability’s “give back what you take” approach, which usually just maintains or marginally improves resources already degraded by generations of conventional agriculture, does not adequately address the biggest long-term challenge farmers face: climate change. But there is an alternative. A method called regenerative agriculture promises to create new resources, restoring them to preindustrial levels or better. This is good for farmers as well as the environment, since it lets them reduce their use of agrochemicals while making their land more productive.
What holds conventional farmers back Modern American food production remains predominantly conventional. Growing up in a rural community of farmers and ranchers, I saw firsthand
The Conversation Stephanie anderSon, Florida atlantic UniverSity why. As food markets globalized in the early 1900s, farmers began specializing in select commodity crops and animals to increase profits. But specialization made farms less resilient: If a key crop failed or prices tumbled, they had no other income source. Most farmers stopped growing their own food, which made them dependent on agribusiness retailers. Under these conditions small farms consolidated into large ones as families went bankrupt — a trend that continues today. At the same time, agribusiness companies began marketing new machines and agrochemicals. Farmers embraced these tools, seeking to stay in business, specialize further and increase production. In the 1970s, the government’s position became “Get big or get out” under Earl Butz, who served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1971 to 1976. In the years since, critics like the nonprofit Food and Water Watch have raised concerns that corporate representatives have dictated land grant university research by obtaining leadership positions, funding agribusiness-friendly studies, and silencing scientists whose results conflict with industrial principles. These companies have also shaped government policies in their favor, as economist Robert Albritton describes in his book
Oregon State University
Systems of strip intercropping — which include corn, soybeans and other crops — have been advocated by researchers at Oregon State University as part of the solution to improved farming systems for much of the Midwest. “Let Them Eat Junk.” These actions encouraged the growth of large industrialized farms that rely on genetically modified seeds, agrochemicals and fossil fuel. Several generations into this system, many conventional farmers feel trapped. They lack the knowledge required to farm without inputs, their farms are big and highly specialized, and most are carrying operating loans and other debts. In contrast, regenerative agriculture releases farmers from dependence on agribusiness products. For example, instead of purchasing synthetic fertilizers for soil fertility, producers rely on diverse crop rotations, no-till planting and management of livestock grazing impacts. Agribusiness dogma says that regenerative agriculture cannot feed the world and or ensure a healthy bottom line for farmers, even as conventional farmers are going bankrupt. I have heard this view from people I grew up with in South Dakota and interviewed as a farm
journalist. “Everybody seems to want smaller local producers,” Ryan Roth, a farmer from Belle Glade, Florida told me. “But they can’t keep up. It’s unfortunate. I think it’s not the best development for agriculture operations to get bigger, but it is what we’re dealing with.”
The climate threat
Climate change is making it increasingly hard for farmers to keep thinking this way. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that without rapid action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over roughly the next decade, warming will trigger devastating impacts such as wildfires, droughts, floods and food shortages. For farmers, large-scale climate change will cause decreased crop yields and quality, heat stress for livestock, disease and pest outbreaks, desertification on rangelands, changes in water availability and soil erosion.
As I explain in my book, regenerative agriculture is an effective response to climate change because producers do not use agrochemicals — many of which are derived from fossil fuels — and greatly reduce their reliance on oil. The experiences of farmers who have adopted regenerative agriculture show that it restores soil carbon, literally locking carbon up underground, while also reversing desertification, recharging water systems, increasing biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And it produces nutrient-rich food and promises to enliven rural communities and reduce corporate control of the food system.
No single model
How farmers put this strategy into practice differs depending on their location, goals and community needs. Regenerative agriculture is a one-size-fits-none model of farming that allows for flexibility and close tailoring to individual environments. At Great Plains Buffalo in South Dakota, for example, rancher Phil Jerde is reversing desertification on the grassland. Phil moves buffalo across the land in a way that mimics their historic movement over the Great Plains, rotating them frequently through small pastures so they stay bunched together and impact the land evenly via their trampling and waste distribution. The land has adequate time to rest and regrow between rotations. After transitioning his conventional ranch to a regenerative one over 10 years, Phil saw bare ground revert back to prairie grassland. Water infiltration into the ground increased, his herd’s health improved, wildlife and insect populations recovered and native grasses reappeared.
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On Brown’s Ranch in North Dakota, farmer Gabe Brown also converted his conventional operation to a regenerative one in a decade. He used a combination of cover crops, multicropping (growing two or more crops on a piece of land in a single season), intercropping (growing two or more crops together), an intensive rotational grazing system called mob grazing, and no-till farming to restore soil organic matter levels to just over 6 percent — roughly the level most native prairie soils contained before settlers plowed them up. Restoring organic matter sequesters carbon in the soil, helping to slow climate change. Conventional farmers often worry about losing the illusion of control that agrochemicals, monocultures and genetically modified seeds provide. I asked Gabe how he overcame these fears. He replied that one of the most important lessons was learning to embrace the environment instead of fighting it. “Regenerative agriculture can be done anywhere because the principles are the same,” he said. “I always hear, ‘We don’t get the moisture or this or that.’ The principles are the same everywhere. There’s nature everywhere. You’re just mimicking nature is all you’re doing.”
Researchers with Project Drawdown, a nonprofit that spotlights substantive responses to climate change, estimate that land devoted to regenerative agriculture worldwide will increase from 108 million acres currently to 1 billion acres by 2050. More resources are appearing to help farmers make the transition, such as investment groups, university programs and farmer-to-farmer training networks. Organic food sales continue to rise, suggesting that consumers want responsibly grown food. Even big food companies like General Mills are embracing regenerative agriculture. The question now is whether more of America’s farmers and ranchers will do the same. THIS ARTICLE is republished fromThe ConversationunderaCreativeCommonslicense and is distributed by the Associated Press.
Some farmers will have a harder time borrowing money this year Bankers say depressed prices why they’re asking for more collateral
said they had increased collateral requirements. Bankers in Minnesota and Iowa said that while 2018 was a year of struggle for many farmers — with low prices driven lower by a trade war with China — the year-end financial picture ADAM BELZ is better than expected. Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (TNS) “We’ll know more in two or three months when we get Bankers in some parts of through the renewal process. the Midwest are tightening the Right now it’s certainly better screws on farmers in the new than we expected,” said Jeff year. Plagge, president and CEO of Fifty-two percent of bankers Northwest Financial Corp., a in a 10-state area said they’ve bank based in boosted collatSpirit Lake, eral requireIowa, 15 miles ments for farm south of Jackloans, accordson, Minn. ing to the Rural The second Mainstreet Inhalf of Presdex, a survey of ident Donald business condiTrump’s aid tions conducted package to by Creighton farmers, which University in gives soybean Omaha. farmers a total Weak farm of $1.65 per income — drivbushel for their en by depressed harvest, also corn, soybean, helped. beef, pork and JOE MAHON Plagge said milk prices — FederalReserveBankof the 52-percent was the reason figure“sounds bankers are Minneapolis really high,” asking farmers and he said to put up more farmers have land or machinbeen more proactive this year ery as collateral. The survey than they were in the farm covers Minnesota, North Dakocrisis of the 1980s. They’re ta, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, selling more crops ahead on Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, the futures market and taking Colorado and Wyoming. action to sell land or machinThat level of banks seeking ery without being forced to by more collateral would be yet antheir banker. other sign of economic trouble Ken Oraskovich, a vice presiin the rural Midwest. dent at First National Bank “The basic reason you would of Bagley, 30 miles west of increase collateral requireBemidji, said the majority of ments is that you’re worried his clientele — cattle and grain that the borrower may not be farmers — are struggling to able to repay the loan,” said make their payments. But he Joe Mahon, an analyst at the added he expects corn and Federal Reserve Bank of Minbeef prices to rise in 2019, and neapolis. he’s working with farmers. The 52 percent figure may be “I’ve never had to sell too high for Minnesota, howevanybody out in all my years er. The latest survey from the of banking and I don’t plan to Minneapolis Fed, from October, now,” he said.“We aren’t pushshowed about a fifth of bankers
Bankers in 10 states surveyed
The survey covers Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Wyoming.
ing guys for any more collateral by any means.” Ernie Goss, the Creighton economist who has published the Rural Mainstreet Index for 12 years, said bankers in
‘Thebasicreason youwouldincrease collateralrequirements isthatyou’reworried thattheborrower maynotbeableto repay the loan.’
the more southern states he surveys are perhaps more likely to be boosting collateral requirements than those in the northern states. But he also said he’s not surprised by the overall results, and senses bankers are more cheery than the farmers with whom they’re doing business. “I’m doing some work with farmers in Nebraska and Iowa, and they all say the bankers are too optimistic,” Goss said. “Farmers are always real negative. They’re like economists. They see the glass half-empty.”
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Corn ethanol production has minimal effect on cropland use, study shows University of Illinois Extension Ethanol production has increased sharply in the United States in the past 10 years, leading to concerns about the expansion of demand for corn resulting in conversion of non-cropland to crop production and the environmental effects of this. However, a new study co-authored by a University of Illinois researcher shows the overall effects of ethanol production on land-use have been minimal. The research, published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, looks at the effects of ethanol production capacity and crop prices on land use in the U. S. from 2007 to 2014. The increase in corn ethanol production has led to concerns it would raise the price of corn and the demand for cropland; thus making it worthwhile to bring land that was not previously cultivated (such as grasslands) into production, says Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at U of I. “Studies have simulated the crop price effects of producing 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and shown that they could lead to large expansion in crop acres,” Khanna says.“We now have actual data on land-use change that has occurred since the ethanol expansion began in 2007 and can test whether the predictions of these models have held up. Interestingly, the raw data shows that although corn ethanol production more than doubled between 2007 and 2014, total cropland acres in 2014 were very similar to those in 2007 and the crop price index was lower in 2014 than in 2007.” Khanna and her co-authors, including Yijia Li, a graduate student at U of I and Ruiqing Miao from Auburn University, analyzed cropland data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service to explain the extent to which changes in cropland acres could be causally attributed to changes in crop prices and proximity to ethanol plants. “Establishment of an ethanol plant in a county can increase corn acres and total cropland acres by reducing grain trans-
portation costs and increasing the net revenue from corn production, creating an incentive to plant more corn,” Khanna says. “Additionally, higher crop prices that accompany the expansion in ethanol production can also create incentives for increasing crop acres even in locations that do not have an ethanol plant in their vicinity.” Khanna adds in examining the causes of changes in cropland acres that have taken place it is important to consider both of these effects. Previous studies have looked at one of the other, but not simultaneously at both. “Corn ethanol capacity went up from about 6 to 14 billion gallons between 2007 and 2014 and the number of plants doubled, from about 100 to about 200, so it’s a pretty dramatic increase,” Khanna says. There was also a sharp upturn in corn prices between 2008 and 2012, but by 2014 the prices were almost down to 2007 levels again. Khanna and her co-authors found that while crop prices had
a greater effect than plant proximity, overall changes in land use were minimal over the seven years included in the study. And while the higher corn prices did lead to an 8.5 percent increase in corn production, most of that increase came from conversion of other crops rather than non-cropland. Total cropland increased by 2 percent between 2008 and 2012, so in the aggregate it was relatively small, Khanna says. “In fact, by 2014 a lot of the land which did convert into crops actually went back into non-crop, so the change in cropland, if you look at 2008 to 2014, was only by half a percent. We find that land use does respond to prices, but not by a lot.” Studies using satellite images of cropland to compare acres in 2008 and 2012 have suggested that there was a significant and irreversible increase in those acres, all attributed to corn ethanol. But a careful analysis of the data all the way to 2014 shows that the overall impact of corn
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ethanol production on increasing total crop acreage was very negligible. Moreover, the impact of crop price varied over time; it was a bit higher up to 2012 but then reverted almost back to previous levels in 2007-2008 by 2014
as crop prices dropped, Khanna concludes.“Our study shows that changes in land use should not be considered irreversible; as prices dropped after 2012, land reverted back to non-crop uses close to levels in 2007 and 2008.
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USDA provides $66M to fight plant pests and diseases The U.S. Department of Agriculture is allocating $66 million to support 407 projects that will strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, and safeguard the nursery production system. Also included is $6 million for the National Clean Plant Network that will support 26 projects that focus on providing high quality propagated plant material for fruit trees, tropical trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses free of targeted plant pathogens and pests. “Our partners use these USDA funds and their own expertise to conduct critical projects that keep U.S. crops, nurseries, and forests healthy, boost the marketability of agricultural products within the country and abroad, and help us do right and feed everyone,” said Greg Ibach, Under Secretary for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Since 2009, the USDA has supported more than 2,346 projects and provided approximately $293.5 million in funding. Collectively, these projects allow the USDA and its partners to detect and respond to invasive pests and diseases. This year, funded projects include, among others: u Forest pests: $1,756,679 for various detection, methods development, or outreach to protect forests from harmful
pests in 22 states; u Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,718,083 to protect honey bees, bumble bees and other important pollinators from harmful pests; u Stone fruit and orchard commodities: $1,097,643 to support pest detection surveys in 20 states; u Phytophthora ramorum and related species: $1,107,965 in 14 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach; In addition to these allocations, USDA is reserving $3,810,245 to support rapid response during invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence, such as Asian gypsy moth, European cherry fruit fly, coconut rhinoceros beetle, exotic fruit flies, or spotted lanternfly be detected anywhere in the United States or U.S. Territories. You can view the FY 2019 Plant Protection Act, Section 7721 spending plans on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site ataphis.usda. gov/ppa-projects. Visit aphis.usda.gov/pestsdiseases/hungrypests to learn more about invasive plant pests and diseases impacting your area and how you can help. Join the discussion about invasive plant pests via the Hungry Pests Facebook and Twitter pages.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 5
Speaking of honey bees and pollinator health ...
Did you know there’s a beekeeping association in the Ottawa area? The Illinois Valley Beekeepers Association is a club for beekeepers in La Salle County. The group conducts meetings at 7 p.m. the second Friday of each month at the University of Illinois Extension Office. To learn more about the group, visit the Facebook page fb.com/ivbeekeepers.
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Clay supplements in dairy cows Study says they can improve immune response to aflatoxin challenge University of Illinois Extension In the fight against aflatoxin, dairy producers often turn to sequestering agents such as clay to reduce transference of the toxin into milk. It’s an effective tactic, but a new study from the University of Illinois shows that clay has additional benefits for overall cow health. “There has been a good amount of research showing the effect of clay supplements on milk quality and performance, but we took it a step further to look at how clay can help the cow’s immune system,” explains Russell Pate, doctoral student in the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I and lead author on the study. When incorporated into the diet, clay binds to aflatoxin, preventing it from being absorbed into the cow’s bloodstream. Instead, Pate says, the bound clay-aflatoxin complex is simply excreted through the feces. In the study, Pate and his collaborators looked at the effects of aflatoxin and aluminosilicate clay supplementation in four groups of lactating Holstein cows: cows that weren’t exposed to aflatoxin and were not fed clay (control); cows that were exposed through an oral bolus and were not fed clay; cows that were exposed and fed 4 ounces of clay in the total mixed ration; and cows that were exposed and fed 8 ounces of clay. “We used two different concentrations of the product to see if adding more would have a greater effect on toxin transference to the milk,” says Phil Cardoso, assistant professor in the department and co-author on the paper. Cows fed the greater quantity of clay produced more milk with less aflatoxin M1, the form of the toxin that is excreted in milk.
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Researchers examined how clay supplements can help a cow’s immune system. The supplements have been used in the past to improve milk quality and performance. But similar results have been shown by other researchers. What was new about the study was that Pate and Cardoso, along with co-author Devan Compart, looked at the effects of aflatoxin and clay on the liver, through biopsies, and at blood metabolites. The measures provide a broader picture of overall health and immune function. “By minimizing the amount of aflatoxin getting into the cow’s bloodstream through the clay supplements, we
wondered if that would help the cow’s immune system stay stronger, in a sense. That hadn’t been tested as much,” Pate explains. For cows that were exposed to aflatoxin and not fed the clay supplement, Cardoso says liver hepatocytes were severely inflamed. But in cows fed 8 ounces of clay, inflammation decreased substantially. In addition, indicators of liver functionality and immune response, such as glutamate dehydrogenase and alanine
aminotransferase, tended to increase in the liver and the blood as clay concentration increased in the diet. The team also looked at gene expression and found a certain gene involved with protein production, known as MTOR, was negatively impacted by aflatoxin challenge. “With aflatoxin challenge, cows are producing less protein for themselves, for the milk, everything. Everything is made of protein. This is very instrumental,”
Cardoso explains. Ultimately, the researchers recommend clay supplements for aflatoxin challenge in dairy cattle. “If you add clay to the diet, you will have a decrease in aflatoxin getting to the milk and will potentially be bolstering the immune system as well,” Pate says. THEARTICLE,“Aluminosilicateclayreduces the deleterious effects of an aflatoxin challenge in lactating Holstein cows,” is published in the Journal of Dairy Science
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Soil fertility webinar to be held Feb. 28
The Times | file
The U.S. soybean yield in 2018 rose 5 percent from 2017, while corn decreased by 1 percent.
Soybean production up in 2018, USDA reports
Cooler than average summer months but a warmer spring kept the 2018 corn harvest just 1 percent below the 2017 record harvest. The nation’s soybean yield was up 5 percent from 2017, with planted area down 1 percent from record 2017 acreage, according to the Crop Production 2018 Summary released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). U.S. corn growers produced 14.4 billion bushels, down 1 percent from 2017. Corn yield in the U.S. is estimated at 176.4 bushels per acre, 0.2 bushel below the 2017 record yield of 176.6 bushels per acre. Area harvested, at 81.7 million acres, is down 1 percent from 2017. The 2018 corn objective yield data indicate the highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined 10 objective yield States (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin). Soybean production for 2018 totaled a record 4.54 billion bushels, up 3 percent from
See the full report
The full Crop Production 2018 Summary is available online at nass.usda.gov/Publications. The report contains year-end acreage, yield and production estimates for grains and hay; oilseeds; cotton, tobacco and sugar; dry beans, peas and lentils; and potatoes and miscellaneous crops. 2017. With record high yields in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, and Ohio, the average soybean yield is estimated at 51.6 bushels per acre, 2.3 bushels above 2017, but 0.3 bushel below the record yield of 2016. For 2018, all cotton production is down 12 percent from 2017, at 18.4 million 480-pound bales. The U.S. yield is estimated at 838 pounds per acre, down 67 pounds from last year’s yield. Harvested area, at 10.5 million acres, is down 5 percent from last year. Sorghum grain production in 2018 is estimated at 365
million bushels, up 1 percent from 2017. Area planted for sorghum, at 5.69 million acres, up 1 percent from the previous year. Harvested area, at 5.06 million acres, is up less than 1 percent from 2017. Grain yield is estimated at 72.1 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from last year. A record high yield was estimated in Illinois. Also released this month were the Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings and Grain Stocks reports. The Winter Wheat Seedings report is the first indicator of this year’s winter wheat acreage. Planted area for harvest in 2019 is estimated at 31.3 million acres, down 4 percent from 2018. In the Grain Stocks report, corn stocks were estimated to be down 5 percent from December 1, 2017. Soybean stocks are up 18 percent from that time. Corn stored in all positions totaled 12.0 billion bushels, while soybeans totaled 3.74 billion bushels. All wheat stocks were up 7 percent from last year. All wheat stored in all positions totaled 2.00 billion bushels.
Commercial Agriculture Educators Jesse Soule, Phillip Alberti, and Talon Becker will be hosting the annual Soil Fertility Webinar sponsored by University of Illinois Extension on Feb. 28. This webinar will be hosted in the U of I Extension Offices in Knox and McDonough Counties. Presentations will be delivered via PowerPoint and web conferencing from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and lunch will be provided. “Those in attendance will hear about the latest University of Illinois research on the long-term effects of crop rotation and tillage, as well as the relationship between cover crops and soil nitrogen availability. Other presenters from the University of Wisconsin, Western Illinois University, and the Illinois SWCD will discuss nutrient loss on tiledrained land, nutrient management in organic systems, and a farmer-led program to improve soil health,” says Jesse Soule, U of I Extension educator.
u Managing Phosphorus Loss in Tile Systems, Aaron Pape, University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms, Tile Drainage Education Coordinator u Cover Crops and Soil N Availability in Corn & Soybean Systems, Lowell Gentry, University of Illinois, Principal Research Specialist in Agriculture u Long-term Crop Rotation and Tillage Effects on Soil GHG Emissions and Crop Production in Illinois, Gevan Behnke, University of Illinois, Senior Research Specialist u S.T.A.R. A Farmer-Led Program to Reduce Nutrient and Soil Losses and Improve Soil Health, Bruce Henrikson, Champaign SWCD, Special Projects Coordinator u Understanding and Extending Organic Nutrient Management Concepts, Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University, Associate Professor of Soil Science & Sustainable Agriculture Certified Crop Advisors looking to earn continuing education units may register at go. illinois.edu/KMsoilfertility.
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Free webinar series aims to enhance small farm productions University of Illinois Extension Small farms make up 88 percent of all farming operations across the U.S., according to the USDA. This winter, the University of Illinois Extension is working to help the small farm community grow with a weekly Small Farms Winter Webinar Series. These free, one-hour presentations will provide local food producers practical knowledge on leading practices in new and emerging topics that will help their operations improve profitability and sustainability. “Each year, we try to determine topics for small farms that will help them grow a new crop, expand their operation, and implement new management practices,” said Grant McCarty, Local Foods Systems and Small Farms educator for Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. “You can register online to listen to all of them or pick and choose.” Tomato production, agrofor-
At a glance
To sign up for weekly Thursday webinars, go to go.aces. illinois.edu/SmallFarmWinterWebinar. An email with a link to each week’s webinar will be sent to your email. Log in remotely to attend the live webinar from noon to 1 p.m. each Thursday, or watch the recorded video later on YouTube at bit.ly/ILLocalFoodsYouTube. estry, industrial hemp production, bee keeping and digital marketing are some of the topics covered in the 2019 series. Sessions are every Thursday noon to 1 p.m. now through April 4. To listen to the webinars, participants must sign up at go.aces. illinois.edu/SmallFarmWinterWebinar and a link will be sent to their email. On the Thursday of that webinar, participants will sign in remotely from a
home computer, tablet or smartphone using the link. You can also watch the videos once they are posted on YouTube at bit.ly/ ILLocalFoodsYouTube. For more information, contact Doug Gucker at 217-877-6042 or firstname.lastname@example.org. u Feb. 28: Maximizing your Production: Succession and Companion Planting u March 7: Health Soil Produces Healthy Vegetables u March 14: The Best Practices for Maintaining Healthy Bee Hives u March 21: Reducing Damage to Livestock and Specialty Crops from Wildlife u March 28: Agroforestry for Diversification on Small Scale Farms u April 4: ABCs of Tomato Production THE LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS AND SMALL FARMS PROGRAM is a branch of Illinois Extension. More information is available at go.illinois.edu/dmporfolloweducatorDoug Gucker on Twitter @SoilWaterDoug.
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