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Farm

  • Wanted: Teachers for ag programs

    Illinois has more than 76,000 farms that cover more than 28 million acres of land. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s total land area is dedicated to farming.
    Because of that, and the role agriculture plays in the state’s economy, ag education plays a vital role in rural communities across the state.
    But education leaders say that there’s a severe shortage of ag teachers in Illinois.
    There are nearly 320 agriculture programs in high schools across Illinois, helping drive students to careers in ag-related business and science.

  • Precipitation above normal, temps down for past week

    Corn silking jumped to 62 percent last week, well ahead of the five-year average of 48 percent.
    Temperatures remained in the 70s, and precipitation was slightly above average for the state.
    Activities included spraying fungicide and insecticide.
    There were 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 13.
    Statewide precipitation averaged 1.37 inches, which was 0.61 inches above normal.
    The average temperature was 73.9 degrees, about 2.5 degrees below normal.

  • Beating the Heat
  • Sign-up now underway for SURE program

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced that signup is underway for 2012 cr-op losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program.
    The program, established by the 2008 Farm Bill, provides for one final period of eligibility for producers suffering crop losses caused by natural disasters occurring through Sept. 30, 2011, for crops intended for 2012 harvest.

  • FSA county nominations now accepted

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that nominations for local Farm Service Agency county committees are now being accepted.
    “County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Vilsack said.
    “I hope that every eligible farmer and rancher will participate in this year’s county committee elections.
    “Through the county committees, farmers and ranchers have a voice; their opinions and ideas get to be heard on federal farm programs.

  • Jarod Maske earns State FFA Degree

    During the 86th annual FFA State Convention in Springfield on June 12, Jarod D. L. Maske of Ramsey took the stage to receive the State FFA Degree.

  • Soil moisture levels are beginning to fall

    Soil moisture levels are falling from the highs seen last week due to storms across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.
    Rains last week caused increases in soil moisture levels across the state. On June 11, statewide levels at 2 inches averaged 0.36 water fraction by volume, the field capacity of most of the soils monitored.

  • Soybean planting ahead of five-year average

    National Agriculture Statistics Service
    Scattered rainfall continued throughout the state last week as temperatures fell to an average of 66.1 degrees, 5.4 degrees below normal.
    Operators continued to spray herbicides and cut hay as weather permitted.
    Statewide precipitation averaged 1.27 inches, 0.30 inches above normal. There were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 15.
    Soybeans planted reached 94 percent, ahead of the five-year average of 89 percent.

  • New study on ethanol production

    A new study finds that increased corn yields and more efficient use of corn ethanol co-products will greatly decrease land needed for ethanol production, flying in the face of conventional anti-ethanol criticisms.
    The research indicates crop land attributable to ethanol production will drop from the current 25 percent to as little as 11 percent of U.S. corn acres.

  • Agrichemical container collection dates released

    The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to save their empty agrichemical containers.
    The department announced last week it has arranged to recycle them.   
    Beginning in late July, sites throughout the state will collect the containers and recycle them into small plastic chips that will be used to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other useful products.