• Dry conditions continue

    Dry conditions continued throughout the state last week. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, precipitation averaged 0.28 inches, 0.51 inches below normal for the week ending Aug. 3.
    Average temperature was 69.3 degrees, 4.9 degrees below normal.
    Corn in the dough stage was rated at 55 percent, compared to the five-year average of 47 percent. Corn condition was rated at 81 percent good to excellent.

  • Record yields possible again, experts say

    Farmers are gearing up for a record corn and soybean harvest this fall, if the weather holds for the rest of the growing season, according to results of the latest Farm Futures survey.
    Corn production could hit 14.331 billion bushels this fall – nearly 3 percent more than the  record-setting harvest in 2013. Average yields of 171.06 bushels per acre appear possible nationwide, also a record after a summer marked by cool temperatures.

  • Forage Expo

    Fayette County dairy farmer Tony Snow recently hosted the semiannual Illinois Forage Expo on his farm northeast of Mulberry Grove.

  • Wilberton Mutual Supports 4-H

    The board of directors of Wilberton Mutual Insurance Co. of St. Peter recently approved a $1,000 donation to the Fayette County Livestock Committee.

    "Wilberton Mutual  is committed to supporting 4-H and the youth it serves," said Charles Kruenegel, board president. In the above photo, Kathy Bray, secretary-treasurer of Wilberton Mutual, left, presents a check to Joan Schaal, Fayette County 4-H Livestock Committee member.

  • Illinois Forage Expo is this Thursday in M.G.

    The 2014 Illinois Forage Expo will be held this Thursday on the Tony Snow farm near Mulberry Grove. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m.
    Snow's operation is a forage-based, intensive grazing dairy, which includes a 70-feet by 260-feet hoop shed compost barn, using cornstalks for bedding.

  • Wanted: Teachers for ag programs

    Illinois has more than 76,000 farms that cover more than 28 million acres of land. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s total land area is dedicated to farming.
    Because of that, and the role agriculture plays in the state’s economy, ag education plays a vital role in rural communities across the state.
    But education leaders say that there’s a severe shortage of ag teachers in Illinois.
    There are nearly 320 agriculture programs in high schools across Illinois, helping drive students to careers in ag-related business and science.

  • Precipitation above normal, temps down for past week

    Corn silking jumped to 62 percent last week, well ahead of the five-year average of 48 percent.
    Temperatures remained in the 70s, and precipitation was slightly above average for the state.
    Activities included spraying fungicide and insecticide.
    There were 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending July 13.
    Statewide precipitation averaged 1.37 inches, which was 0.61 inches above normal.
    The average temperature was 73.9 degrees, about 2.5 degrees below normal.

  • Beating the Heat
  • Sign-up now underway for SURE program

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced that signup is underway for 2012 cr-op losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program.
    The program, established by the 2008 Farm Bill, provides for one final period of eligibility for producers suffering crop losses caused by natural disasters occurring through Sept. 30, 2011, for crops intended for 2012 harvest.

  • FSA county nominations now accepted

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that nominations for local Farm Service Agency county committees are now being accepted.
    “County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Vilsack said.
    “I hope that every eligible farmer and rancher will participate in this year’s county committee elections.
    “Through the county committees, farmers and ranchers have a voice; their opinions and ideas get to be heard on federal farm programs.