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Farm

  • Assistance available for flooding, tornadoes

    Crop and livestock farmers who have experienced damage from recent flooding or tornadoes are reminded that Farm Service Agency programs may be available to assist with their recovery.
    "Severe weather this spring is making things very difficult for many farmers," said Bruce Nelson, acting administer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. "Learning about our FSA disaster programs is an important first step in the recovery process for producers."

  • They're Baaaaaack!

    Cicadas emerged last week from their underground homes of the past 13 years and began their above-ground life cycle. The noisy insects inhabit wooded areas and the males can be heard "singing" to attract females. Their song has been described as a slow repetition of the word "pharaoh."

  • Ag In Classroom Gives Books

    Martha Cripe, right, Fayette County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom coordinator, recently presented three books to Tara Tarter, librarian at Vandalia Elementary School and Jefferson Primary School.

    The books are about soybeans and the role they play in agriculture. The three books are: "Soybeans in the Story of Agriculture," "Awesome Agriculture – Soybeans an A-Z Book" and "The Super Soybean."  

  • Break in weather allows state's farmers to make planting strides

    Temperatures were above normal with a statewide average of 66.6 degrees. The average for the time period is 61.7 degrees.
    Rains resumed toward the end of the week for an average of 1.09 inches statewide. The norm for the time period is 0.9 inches.
    The number of days suitable for fieldwork averaged 4.7. Topsoil moisture was rated 1 percent short, 58 percent adequate, and 41 percent surplus.
    With higher temperatures and dry weather for the majority of the week, planting was in full swing, even though some acres were being replanted.

  • Crop report predicts rise in wheat, hay

    Winter Wheat
    The Illinois winter wheat crop is expected to yield 61 bushels per acre, based on conditions as of May 1. That is five bushels above last year’s yield.
    If this yield is realized, total production would be 44.5 million bushels, more than two and a half times last year’s production. Farmers seeded 760,000 acres to winter wheat last fall,  and expect to harvest 730,000 acres for grain.
    This compares to 330,000 acres seeded and 295,000 acres harvested in 2010.

  • In The Fields...Again

    Larry Osborne swings around to begin another trip down the field as he plants corn in the Shafter area northwest of Vandalia on Tuesday.

    Some area farmers are getting back into the fields after last week's rains again delayed planting in the county. 

  • Wet soils impact anhydrous application

    Wet soil conditions are causing concern for anhydrous ammonia application this spring, said Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in soil fertility and plant nutrition.
    Anhydrous ammonia is the most widely used nitrogen fertilizer source in Illinois. In order for this fertilizer to be effective, good soil moisture conditions are necessary, Fernandez said.
    Ideal soil conditions are about 15-20 percent moisture. Within these moisture levels, a fine-textured soil, such as silty clay loam, feels slightly moist.

  • Planting delays prompt changes

     As the planting delay lengthens, many farmers are wondering if they should switch crops from corn to soybeans, and if they should change corn hybrids from earlier to later ones.
    “We’re ahead of the rest of the Corn Belt, but with only about 10 percent planted in April, it’s a disappointing start after the dry weather in early April,” said Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Extension agronomist.

  • Wet weather stalls planting

    For the second week in a row, cool temperatures, moist conditions and heavy rains have kept seeding and other field activities on hold across the state.
    A few areas were able to get out into the field on Sunday evening. The statewide average temperature was 1.2 degrees below normal, at 55.4 degrees.
    Average precipitation for the state was 2.34 inches. The norm for the time period is 0.9 inches. Saturated fields and flooding have been a problem at some locations, especially along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.  

  • Cicadas ready to emerge after 13-year absence

    For the past 13 years, cicada nymphs have been underground, feeding on tree and shrub roots, but according to University of Illinois entomologist James Appleby, they will be emerging very soon, and when they do, you’ll know it because you’ll hear them singing.