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Farm

  • 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.

  • Farm Heritage Days
  • High temps, no rain stress crops

    Above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation persisted last week, with reports of small, fast-moving showers throughout the state.
    Statewide temperatures averaged 81.6 degrees, 6.6 degrees above normal.
    Precipitation totaled 0.31 inches across the state, 0.53 inches below normal.
    Topsoil moisture was rated  85 percent very short and 15 percent short.
    Subsoil moisture was rated 86 percent very short and 14 percent short.
    Some producers reported concerns of spider mites, and are preparing to spray for them.

  • CRP land is released for hay, grazing

     Illinois livestock producers this week received additional drought relief as USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack authorized the release of emergency haying and grazing for all Illinois counties for certain practices and acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
    The grazing can begin Aug. 2, outside the primary nesting season for wildlife. The decision was based upon the U.S. Drought Monitor.

  • Heat Wave Continues

    Parched corn plants are silhouetted against the afternoon sun in a field west of Vandalia.

    Area crops continue to deteriorate as the hot, dry conditions persist.