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Farm

  • Centennial Farm

    A farm in rural St. Elmo that has been owned by members of the same family for nearly 125 years was recently recognized as a centennial farm by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

    Most recently owned by Dolores and the late Virgil Voelker, the farm is located in Avena Township, just south of Interstate 70 near the county line.

  • GROWMARK sponsoring essay contest

     The theme for the 2011 GROWMARK essay contest is: “The Importance of Agriculture in Everyday Life.” The contest is open to all high school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
    This is the 18th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues impacting agriculture and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

  • ACRE payments to producers started

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started issuing an estimated $420 million in 2009 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) payments to producers enrolled in the program for wheat, corn, barley, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, soybeans and upland cotton.

  • Price of farmland stays strong in downturn

    Unlike many other assets whose values have tanked this past year, farmland prices have not fallen during the recent troubled economic times.
    A recent University of Illinois report examined this phenomenon. The report is an installment of Farm Economics Facts and Opinions, and is posted on the University of Illinois farmdoc website.

  • CAP program offers relief for farmers

    The Fayette County Farm Service Agency announced this week that producers can begin to sign up for the United States Department of Agriculture's Crop Assistance Program.
    CAP provides disaster aid to producers in specified counties whose soybeans, rice, upland cotton or sweet potato production was adversely affected by excessive moisture and related conditions in 2009.
    The signup window ends on Dec. 9, 2010.

  • Vandalia FFA attends convention

    Brenden Cripe, Aubrey Edwards, Jacob Rau, Madison White and chapter adviser Todd Ehlers recently attended the 83rd annual National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
    More than 55,000 FFA members from across the United States attended the four-day event.  
    During the convention sessions at the Conseco Fieldhouse,  the group listened to speakers such as motivational speaker Josh Shipp, U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, National FFA Adviser Dr. Larry Case and retiring addresses from the national FFA officers.

  • Farm Briefs

    Dry conditions hurt pastures and wheat

    Statewide temperatures and precipitation were near normal last week, with the northern half of the state experiencing slightly cooler temperatures and greater rainfall totals.

    Most soils across the state continue to be in need of additional moisture due to the high winds last week that rapidly dried up any rain that was received.

    The acres of corn that remain to be harvested experienced some lodging after the high winds.

  • Favorable weather aids harvest progress

     Last week was yet another warm and dry period for all of the state. Harvest progression has slowed slightly, as much of what is left is in isolated pockets throughout the state.
    Most areas of the state are very close to being done with corn harvest, and are wrapping up the harvest of the late-planted soybeans as well.

  • Harvest winding down

    As of Oct. 1, the corn for grain yield in Illinois was expected to drop 14 bushels from the Sept. 1 forecast to 160 bushels per acre. Production would be 1.98 billion bushels, 3 percent less than last year’s crop.
    As of Oct. 3, 74 percent of the crop was harvested, which compares to 5 percent last year at this time and a five-year average of 31 percent. This year’s harvest progress is just 1 percentage point behind the record level of 75 percent in 1991, and advanced throughout the month of September right at that pace.

  • EPA approval of E15 meets mixed reviews

    The approval last week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a higher  ethanol fuel blend was met with mixed reviews in agriculture circles.
    EPA’s endorsement of the 15- percent ethanol blend encouraged  producers, who have waited years for the current 10 percent blend to be raised.