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Farm

  • Lambing Time

    It's the time of year for lambs to be born, and there are plenty of them on the Lynn Wollerman farm northwest of Vandalia.

    Wollerman's son, Austin, said that they have more than 115 lambs from the 85 Hampshire ewes that have lambed so far.

  • Conservation loans available

    Funds are now available from the Illinois Farm Service Agency for guaranteed conservation loans.  
    Those loans allow farmers to implement conservation practices on their land that will help protect natural resources.  
    “Guaranteed Conservation Loans are a useful alternative to help operators implement any Natural Resources Conservation Service-approved conservation practice, including waste management systems, conservation structures or water conservation measures,” said Scherrie V. Giamanco, FSA state executive director.  

  • Teaching the next generation

    After receiving statewide recognition last year for her volunteer work on behalf of the Fayette County Farm Bureau, Martha Cripe of Bluff City was recently honored by the national organization.

  • Hurricane Isaac brings much-needed moisture

    The remnants of Hurricane Isaac brought significant precipitation to the state last week.
    Statewide rainfall averaged 3.18 inches, pushing topsoil moisture levels to 19 percent very short, 28 percent short, 51 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
    This is the largest percentage of cropland in the adequate and surplus topsoil moisture categories since the middle of May.
    Temperatures averaged 76.1 degrees, 3.2 above normal.

  • Food Pantry assists 165 households

    More than 165 households, representing 193 children under 18 years of age and 404 adults, received food materials last Thursday during the Central Illinois Mobile Food Pantry distribution in St. Elmo.
    To date, more than 1,000 adults and 600 children have been helped through the food bank this year.

  • 'All hands on deck' approach to government drought aid

    President  Barack Obama has called the U.S. government’s approach to drought assistance an “all-hands-on-deck effort,” and he has directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies to find additional ways to help those impacted by drought.
    To date, the USDA has taken a wide variety of administrative action – including streamlining the disaster designation process, which has allowed the agency to more quickly authorize emergency aid for producers. In Illinois, 102 counties have been declared primary disaster areas for drought.

  • Promoting 'Ag in Classroom'

    The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture recently recognized the volunteering efforts of Martha Cripe of the Fayette County Farm Bureau.

  • Temperatures moderating, but rainfall still very short

    Temperatures moderated somewhat compared to previous weeks, while the rainfall total once again fell below average. Statewide temperatures averaged 72.8 degrees, 0.9 degrees below normal.
    Precipitation totaled 0.28 inches, 0.63 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture was unchanged from last week, with 72 percent very short, 23 percent short and 5 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 80 percent very short, 17 percent short and 3 percent adequate.

  • Crop Survey: Corn 41, Beans 21

    The Fayette County Farm Bureau Marketing Committee held its annual crop survey, with six teams of 26 surveyors collecting samples throughout the county.

    The survey showed estimated yields of 41.65 bushels per acre for cor and 21.49 acres for soybeans. Samples ranged from 0-170 bushels for corn and 2-51 bushels for soybeans. In the first photo, Nate Prater shows his team members a soybean sample north of Vandalia. In the second photo, from right, Prater, Paul Ruholl, Tim Brauer and Tim Schaal examine corn samples. Schaal is the marketing committee chairman.

  • Weathering the Drought

    Billowing dust plumes follow farmers’ trucks as they drive the parched gravel roads near Vandalia. And the crops lining those roads clearly illustrate the toll taken by the worst drought in decades.