• Jarod Maske earns State FFA Degree

    During the 86th annual FFA State Convention in Springfield on June 12, Jarod D. L. Maske of Ramsey took the stage to receive the State FFA Degree.

  • Soil moisture levels are beginning to fall

    Soil moisture levels are falling from the highs seen last week due to storms across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.
    Rains last week caused increases in soil moisture levels across the state. On June 11, statewide levels at 2 inches averaged 0.36 water fraction by volume, the field capacity of most of the soils monitored.

  • Soybean planting ahead of five-year average

    National Agriculture Statistics Service
    Scattered rainfall continued throughout the state last week as temperatures fell to an average of 66.1 degrees, 5.4 degrees below normal.
    Operators continued to spray herbicides and cut hay as weather permitted.
    Statewide precipitation averaged 1.27 inches, 0.30 inches above normal. There were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 15.
    Soybeans planted reached 94 percent, ahead of the five-year average of 89 percent.

  • New study on ethanol production

    A new study finds that increased corn yields and more efficient use of corn ethanol co-products will greatly decrease land needed for ethanol production, flying in the face of conventional anti-ethanol criticisms.
    The research indicates crop land attributable to ethanol production will drop from the current 25 percent to as little as 11 percent of U.S. corn acres.

  • Agrichemical container collection dates released

    The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to save their empty agrichemical containers.
    The department announced last week it has arranged to recycle them.   
    Beginning in late July, sites throughout the state will collect the containers and recycle them into small plastic chips that will be used to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other useful products.

  • Census shows 2.1 million farms in U.S.

    There are now 3.2 million farmers operating 2.1 million farms on 914.5 million acres of farmland across the United States, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    The agriculture census presents more than 6 million pieces of information, which provide a detailed look at the U.S. farm sector at the national, state and county levels.

  • Crops Getting Moisture

    Rains earlier this week built up soil moisture for this year's corn crop.

  • USDA set to survey farmers about '14 crops

    During the next several weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major mid-year surveys – the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey. The agency will survey 4,000 producers in Illinois to determine crop production and supply levels in 2014.

  • Water Resources Act

    Illinois agriculture groups and officials applauded the passage last week of legislation that would authorize major renovations of the locks and dams on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers.
    The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate both approval the Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA). The house voted on the bill on May 20, passing it by a 412-4 margin. The Senate then approved the bill on May 22 by a vote of 91-7.

  • Corn planting 95 percent done, soybeans 64 percent

    Warm temperatures allowed soybean planting to reach 64 percent complete, 28 percentage points above the previous week.
    Other activities included spraying chemicals and cutting hay.
    There were scattered storms throughout the state, including some hail in the Northwest. But overall, conditions were warm and humid. Statewide precipitation averaged 0.19 inches, 0.74 inches below normal.
    Temperatures averaged 67.1 degrees, 1.7 degrees above normal. There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork.