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Farm

  • Growmark ends strong financial year

    GROWMARK officials this week reported unaudited, estimated results for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.
    Senior Vice President of Finance Jeff Solberg announced sales of $6 billion for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. GROWMARK net income is estimated to be $81 million.

  • Farmland values increase

    Farmland values in Illinois recovered from a mild hiccup in 2009, and so far this year have returned to an upward trend that began after the 1980s farm crisis, according to a recent article in FarmWeek.
    The annual land values and cash rent report, released in August by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, showed Illinois' farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, increased by $120 per acre from 2009 to 2010. Land now averages $4,650 per acre.

  • Survey shows acreage increases for '11 crops

    Thanks to an improving price outlook, U.S. growers appear ready to increase plantings of corn, soybeans and wheat for harvest in 2011, according to Farm Futures’ first survey of new crop acreage intentions for the coming year.
    Survey results were released this week.
    The survey found that corn acres could increase almost 2 percent in 2011, to 89.5 million acres, compared with 87.9 million  acres sown this spring. That would be the second biggest crop put in since the end of World War II.

  • 'Farmer image' campaign

    New  consumer research by a coalition of farm organizations confirms that Illinois consumers care about who produces their food, but are misinformed about the family farmers who really grow and raise the majority of food produced in Illinois.
    Extensive research from April to July showed the Illinois farmer is still held in substantial esteem by the public. But research also showed consumers have reduced trust in modern farming techniques and profound doubts about how their food is produced.    

  • Farm Bureau identifies key ag issues

    The resolutions committee of the Illinois Farm Bureau met July 7-8 in Bloomington to consider a number of policy proposals that had been submitted by county farm bureaus.
    Serving on the resolutions is Ken Cripe, president of the Fayette County Farm Bureau.
    Among the issues being considered are those relating to labor, agriculture education, renewable fuels and utilities. All of the committee's actions will be forwarded to county farm bureaus for their input and consideration.

  • Crop yield estimates

    The 2010 Illinois corn crop is expected to yield 180 bushels per acre, up 6 bushels from last year’s yield and equal to the record yield set in 2004.
    Production of corn for grain would be 2.23 billion bushels, up 9 percent from 2009. Favorable conditions led to very early planting dates, followed by generally good growing weather with mostly adequate rainfall, although temperatures were excessive.

  • Farm Briefs

    County crop survey will be held Aug. 31

    Fayette County Farm Bureau will host its annual crop survey on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

    On that day, teams composed of farmers, bankers, agribusiness workers and the media will be dispatched throughout the county to check on the progress of area corn and soybean crops.

    This year, the survey will begin with a breakfast at the Vandalia Country Club at 8:30 a.m. The survey itself will last   two to three hours.

  • Hay testing needed due to wet spring

    Due to the wet weather this spring, farmers enrolled in the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) are being asked to have their hay crops tested.
    "There is a lot of 2010 hay that has suffered quality loss," said Scherrie V. Giamanco, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agnecy executive director.
    She said tests must be conducted for each cutting.
    FSA requires farmers who are enrolled in the SURE program to maintain written, verifiable evidence indicating both the quality loss and the production quantity loss.

  • IFB invites 4-Hers to showman event

    The 11th annual master showmanship contest, sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau, will be held next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Junior Livestock Barn at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
    The master showmanship contest recognizes 4-H members who have excelled at showing animals in their county fairs.
    They are judged on their handling of each of three species of animals: beef, sheep and swine.
    Then they are quizzed by judges on their knowledge of animal husbandry and livestock production.

  • CRP signup open through Aug. 27

    The Fayette County Farm Service Agency will conduct a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup through Aug. 27.
    Producers with cropland not currently enrolled in CRP, or producers with CRP contracts expiring on Sept. 30, 2010, may submit offers.
    Land must have been planted, or considered planted four out of six crop years from 2002-2007.
    CRP contracts may be 10 or 15 years in length. Producers must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to Aug. 27, 2010. Recorded deeds will be required to prove ownership.