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Farm

  • Diagnosing wheat viruses

    Wheat leaves displaying symptoms of virus infection, such as purple and yellow leaf tips or mosaic symptoms, have been observed in fields across the state, according to University of Illinois plant pathologist Carl Bradley.

  • Cash rent survey results are in

    For the second consecutive year, Macon County topped the state's list of cash rent rates in 2011.
    The average cash rent rate in Macon County is $260 per acre. Following closely behind were Sangamon County, with $252 per acre, and Logan County, with $246 per acre.
    Fayette County had an average cash rent rate of $128. Other surrounding counties were: Bond County, $124; Montgomery County, $212; Christian County, $237; Shelby County, $194; Effingham County, $126; and Marion County, $119.

  • Corn planting progress now nearing 80 percent

    Last week, most of the state experienced cooler temperatures and below-normal rainfall compared to previous weeks.
    Temperatures averaged 54.1 degrees, which was 2.2 degrees below normal.
    Statewide precipitation averaged 0.46 inches, which is 0.40 inches below normal. The rainfall was heavier during the weekend, enabling a good amount of fieldwork to be completed during the week. Days suitable for fieldwork increased to 4.8 days, compared to 3.9 the previous week.

  • FFA members compete in ag mechanic contests
  • Farm Briefs

    May 31 reporting deadline for crops
    May 31 is the final deadline to report fall-seeded crops, according to the Fayette County Farm Service Agency.
    Annual reports are required for producers receiving benefits on DEC, ACRE, Federal Crop Insurance, CRP rental payments, commodity loans, NAP and SURE payments.
    Timely and accurate acreage reports are necessary to maintain planting history on a farm and to ensure program benefits are not jeopardized.
    Late-file reporting after May 31 costs a minimum of $46.

  • Farm Briefs

    Warm, dry weather patterns persist
    The warm and dry weather continued throughout the state last week.
    Statewide, temperatures averaged 57.7 degrees, 10.9 degrees above normal.
    Total precipitation averaged 0.29 inches, 0.64 inches below normal.
    As a result of the weather patterns, soil temperatures are warm enough for planting, and the majority of farmers have completed their pre-planting fieldwork. Most are waiting on the “go date” for their area to arrive, but many have at least some corn in the ground.

  • Ready To Go

    Though not many area farmers have begun planting, plenty are out in the fields doing tillage work or applying anhydrous ammonia.

    In this picture, a farmer is silhouetted against the late afternoon sun as he prepares a field northwest of Vandalia on Tuesday. Illinois farmers are planning to plant slightly fewer acres of corn and slightly more acres of soybeans. Nationwide, farmers will plant the highest number of acres of corn in the past 75 years.

  • Biomass crop assistance program signup is open

    The application period for the next round of Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas will be open until April 23.
     “BCAP provides incentives to farmers and forest landowners to grow non-food crops to be processed into biofuels – a critical element of our national energy strategy to address high fuel prices and reduce reliance on foreign oil,” said Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

  • USDA expects 75-year high in corn acres planted in nation this spring

    Driven by favorable prices, U.S. farmers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn in 2012, up 4 percent from 2011, according to the Prospective Plantings report released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
    If realized, this will be the largest corn acreage in the United States since 1937, when producers planted 97.2 acres of corn.

  • Corn acres up, soybeans down

    Illinois farmers intend to plant 12.5 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2012, down 100,000 acres from 2011. Many farmers noted that corn on corn acres have not yielded as well as many had hoped for the past few years, leading to increased rotations of other crops.
    Planting got under way the middle of March in some locations around Illinois, and is progressing at an above-average pace this year.