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New farm lease forms available

[NOV. 1, 2001]   Revised crop share and cash rent forms reflecting changes in law as well as current farming and management practices are now available through University of Illinois Extension.

The new forms can be downloaded from Extension’s "farmdoc" website: http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu. After arriving at the home page, go to the Law and Taxation Section of the home page and scroll down to "Acquiring Farmland." There, click on "Lease Forms (Cash and Crop Share)." You will have the option of working online or downloading the forms.

[Click here to go directly to the forms page.]

There are two formats available, an Adobe Acrobat version and a Microsoft Word version, so be careful which column you click in. The Acrobat version allows you to fill in the form and print it, while the Word version allows for saving typed alterations to the lease.


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For people who want to get paper copies of the lease forms, those are available from the Extension office. There are also diskettes available for purchase with both crop share and cash lease forms on them. This allows landlords and tenants to print multiple sets, save changes and make minor changes from farm to farm.

Paper copy price remains at $1 for a set, and the diskettes are $5.

Please feel free to contact the Extension office at 732-8289 for further information.

[John Fulton]

Harvest update

[OCT. 22, 2001]  Harvest is winding down in the Logan County area. We can’t say it is rapidly winding down, due to the weather not being very cooperative. Estimates for harvest completed would be 95 percent for corn and 93 percent on soybeans. Yields have been better for later maturing crops, due to the timing of pollination and seed set and available moisture at critical times.

There continue to be some wide swings in reported yields. Corn yields have ranged from around 90 bushels to over 200, with most recently harvested corn in the 160- to 180-bushel range. For soybeans, many of the fields being recently harvested are in the 50- to 65-bushel range.

It seems like no matter how early we start harvest, Mother Nature doesn’t allow us to finish much before the last part of October or the first of November.


Leasing in central Illinois

One of the topics that is always talked about, but less often addressed, is farm leasing. Most of the talk centers on what cash rents are and modifications to the traditional 50-50 crop share lease. In the interest of focusing thoughts on leasing, following are some points from a recent newsletter put out by Dale Lattz from the University of Illinois.

Central Illinois grain farms have about 14 percent of the land in the operation owned by the operator; 65 percent of the land is rented on a crop share basis; and 21 percent is rented on a cash lease basis. Cash rented ground has increased about 1 percent a year for the last five years at the expense of ground rented on shares.

Many landlords and tenants are currently reviewing their lease situations. There are advantages and disadvantages to any leasing arrangement. From the landlord’s perspective, there can be significant impacts on how income is treated for self-employment tax and how ground values are calculated for estate tax (if something happens to you). Before making any changes, you should contact your tax planner or attorney.


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The other thing that is considered at this time of year is the amount of cash rent to charge. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a "fair" lease, but we should strive to have an equitable lease. There is also no such thing as an "average" cash rent. The range of cash rents in the county has over a $100-per-acre spread. Each rental arrangement should be negotiated between parties to fit their particular situation.

One of the benchmarks to use in determining if cash rents should be increasing or decreasing is equivalent cash rents. This is the payment a landowner would have received under a traditional crop share arrangement. The 10-year average for northern and central Illinois on high productivity soils is $138.04. This includes $33.03 in landowner expenses, which would mainly be real estate taxes.

The other main point to consider in establishing cash rental arrangements is the government program payments. These payments are shared according to risk. In a traditional 50-50 crop share arrangement, this would be 50 percent to the landowner and 50 percent to the tenant. In a cash rent situation, the tenant would get 100 percent of all payments. With a new farm bill being debated, the future levels of payments are uncertain.

If you want to check out the entire newsletter for yourself, visit the site at http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/

Good luck in establishing your rental arrangements.

[John Fulton]

Rep. Wright visits Hartem ag program

[OCT. 16, 2001]  Rep. Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, recently paid a visit to the Hartsburg-Emden Agriculture Department. FFA members Natalie Coers and Kent Leesman, along with agriculture teacher Betsy Pech, took time to explain the agriculture education program, not only at Hartsburg-Emden but statewide as well.

The students informed Rep. Wright that Illinois agriculture education has a line item in the Illinois State Board of Education budget, which assists in funding high school agriculture programs. This money also is used to develop new curriculums, as well as developing agriculture literacy kits for elementary students.

Kent and Natalie gave Rep. Wright a tour of the agriculture facilities, and he was able to see equipment, agri-science kits and other supplemental supplies that the Hartsburg-Emden agriculture program has purchased with the money appropriated by the Illinois Legislature.

[Natalie Coers and Kent Leesman explain to Rep. Jonathan Wright the purpose of the agri-science kits dealing with genetics, math in agriculture and the many uses of dairy products.]

Nominations needed for FSA election

[OCT. 9, 2001]  Logan County Farm Service Agency is currently searching for individuals representative of the county farmers to serve as nominees for the county committee election, which this year is in the district made up of Orvil, Prairie Creek, Broadwell, West Lincoln, Corwin and Sheridan townships, according to FSA County Executive Director Mark Fricke.

The Logan County FSA administers federal agricultural production, farm loan, conservation and emergency programs annually in Logan County. A locally elected committee of farmers and landowners that serve staggered, three-year terms oversees operation of the county office.

"It is critical to FSA’s future that we ensure that all farmers have an equal opportunity to be a candidate to serve as a member on our county committees," said Fricke. "Employees in the county office will be taking an active role in contacting producers and farm groups, along with leaders of minority, female and under-represented groups, to ensure that they fully understand the role of the county committee."

Individuals of legal voting age with an interest in farmland as an owner, operator, tenant or sharecropper or those who are eligible to participate in any FSA program are eligible to vote in the election and are eligible to serve on the committee if nominated and elected. Spouses are also eligible to vote and serve on the committee if nominated and elected.


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"The locally elected committees shoulder primary responsibility for making national farm programs fit the needs and situations faced by local farmers," Fricke said. "They bring local expertise and knowledge to USDA’s daily delivery of programs and services."

Fricke reminded farmers that for a nomination petition to be valid, it must be limited to one nominee, must include written certification that the nominee is willing to serve if elected and must be signed by one eligible voter in the area holding the election this year. Eligible voters may circulate or sign nomination petitions for as many candidates as they choose.

The deadline to return valid nomination petitions to the local FSA office is Oct. 29.

Minority and female farmers are encouraged to take part in this important nomination process. For more information, contact the local FSA office or USDA service centers.

[News release]

Nuisance insect pests

[OCT. 6, 2001]  With fall definitely in the air, many of nature’s own are trying to find shelter for the winter. This group would include crickets, ants, spiders, ladybugs and elm leaf beetles. They are really seeking warmth, and they don’t care if they are on a rock in the sun or in your basement. Once in the home, you must decide whether to use pesticides, the vacuum cleaner or tolerate them.

You can save yourself a great deal of worry over the welfare of children and pets by choosing a non-chemical course of action (the vacuum or tolerance). Another option that keeps pesticides out of the house is to spray a barrier of diazinon on the outside foundation of the house.

Foundation sprays can be reduced to following a five-step program to have good success. Some of the insects and their relatives that can be controlled or reduced would include ants, centipedes, cockroaches, spiders and earwigs. In addition to trying for warmth, some of these are just naturally hanging around in flower beds and lawns outside the house.


Step one is to purchase an emulsifiable concentrate of diazinon (liquid form). Dilute with water to make a .5 percent solution for a foundation spray. The average home requires about three gallons of spray solution, so you will need about eight ounces of 25 percent diazinon concentrate in three gallons of water to get the correct percentage.

Step two is to spray the foundation of the house just to the point of runoff. Spray all the way around the house. Also make sure to spray around the base of door openings.


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Step three is to also spray a 10- to 12-inch band of the solution on the adjacent soil. A wider band may give better protection but also has the extra insecticide involved. A wider band may be helpful if there is a flower bed or shrubbery providing for more insects close to the house.

Step four is to spray behind concrete steps and other structures that join up with the foundation. If you can’t spray behind them, spray over and around them.

Step five is to spray cracks and crevices in the foundation and in concrete slabs (such as driveways) that join the foundation.

The idea is to crate a continuous barrier that insects, spiders, millipedes and other pests have to crawl through to get into your house. Even if they do get in, they won’t last long. Once insects are in the home, you shouldn’t use anything other than aerosol products that are labeled for use in the home. Many of the products just kill things that they come in contact with. A few do have a lasting residual. Remember that the more residual pesticides have, the more chances for accidentally causing poisoning problems.

Any time that you are dealing with pesticides, you should read the label. The label is a legal document that should tell what it controls, how to mix, how to apply, safety precautions and other important information.

Good luck to you as we enter fall and try to keep those nuisance pests out of your home.

[John Fulton]

4-H prepares for centennial in 2002

[OCT. 3, 2001]  The 4-H centennial celebration will be in 2002. It’s not very often that we get to celebrate 100 years, so there will be several special events throughout the year. One of the main goals of the committee at this time is to identify past 4-H members living in the Logan County area.

If you are a past 4-H member living in Logan County, please contact the Extension office for a past member involvement form, so that we may build a record of former members living in the area. The Centennial Committee is considering several activities in the coming year that would involve these former 4-H’ers.

Please contact us by e-mail at logan_co@mail.aces.uiuc.edu, by paper mail at 980 N. Postville Drive, Lincoln, IL 62656 or by phone at (217) 732-8289. If you are one of the past 4-H members from Logan County who lives away from the area, we would also like to hear from you!

[John Fulton]

Honors & Awards

Logan County 4-H Achievement Night

[NOV. 5, 2001]  Logan County had its annual 4-H Achievement Night on Nov. 1 at the Lincoln Park District Rec Center. Approximately 150 4-H members, leaders and families came to congratulate the award recipients.

The top award winners in the major award categories include the following:

1.  The "I Dare You" award is presented to 4-H’ers who have demonstrated qualities of leadership, excellence in character and effective future leadership. This year’s winners were Hans Bishop of Atlanta and Annie Davison of New Holland.


['I Dare You' and Key award winners]

2.  The 4-H Key Award is the highest award given. The qualifications are to be 16 years of age, have a minimum of three years of 4-H membership, submit a 4-H story and meet nine other requirements as verified by their leaders. Mary Healy of Middletown won this year.

3.  Some 4-H’ers are chosen each year in special award categories. A book is presented to a 4-H’er with outstanding work, quantity, quality, years, citizenship, leadership, participation, skill acquisition and growth. The books are given in three age categories: 8-11 years of age, 12-14 and 15-19. A Blue Award is given to a 4-H’er deserving of repeat recognition in a category. Winners are listed by topics and age groups. 


[Award winners, ages 8-11]


8-11 years old — Book: Jenna Opperman, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Andrew Fulton, Lincoln

15-19 — Book: Emily Bakken, Lincoln. Blue Awards: Jackie Bakken, Lincoln; Hans Bishop, Atlanta

Animal science

8-11 — Book: Shelden Tibbs, Middletown. Blue Awards: Kelly Cross, Hartsburg; Allicent Pech, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Andrew Fulton

15-19 — Book: Abby Sasse, Beason. Blue Awards: Jackie Bakken, Lincoln; John Davison, Beason; Candice McKown, Atlanta

Community involvement and global awareness

8-11 — Book: Zack Huffer, Lincoln

15-19 — Blue Award: Mark Cochran, Mount Pulaski

Environment-natural resources

8-11 — Book: Ben Buse, Beason. Blue Award: Zack Huffer, Lincoln

15-19 — Book: Kyle Janssen, Middletown. Blue Award: Zac Tibbs, Middletown


Food, nutrition and health

8-11 — Book Award: Jenna Opperman, Lincoln. Blue Award: Kelly Gosda, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Chris Ackerman, Lincoln

15-19 — Book: Amanda Davison, Beason. Blue Award: Jackie Bakken, Lincoln

Home and family

8-11 — Book: Allicent Pech, Lincoln. Blue Award: Nichole Benz, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Katelyn Beavers, Broadwell

15-19 — Book: Amanda Davison, Beason. Blue Award: Jackie Bakken, Lincoln


[Award winners, ages 12-14]


12-14 — Book: Andrew Fulton, Lincoln

15-19 — Book: Kyle Janssen, Middletown

Mechanics and technology

8-11 — Book: Zack Huffer, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Andrew Fulton, Lincoln

15-19 — Book: Hans Bishop, Atlanta. Blue Awards: Hans Bishop, Atlanta; John Davison, Beason


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Personal development

8-11 — Book: Jenna Opperman, Lincoln

12-14 — Book: Andrew Fulton, Lincoln. Blue Award: Audra Ballinger, Atlanta

15-19 — Book: Amanda Davison, Beason. Blue Award: Jackie Bakken, Lincoln; Leila Ballinger, Atlanta; John Davison, Beason

Plant and soil science

8-11 — Book: Kim Turner, Atlanta

12-14 — Book: Scott Ubbenga, Hartsburg

15-19 — Book: Mary Healy, Middletown. Blue Awards: Hans Bishop, Atlanta; John Davison, Beason; Zac Tibbs, Middletown


[Award winners, ages 15-19]

Club awards

Club community involvement and global awareness — Middletown 4-H’ers

Club food, nutrition and wellness — The Pioneers

Club standards of excellence — Atlanta Town & Country, Beason Ag, Chester 4-H, Clover Kids, Cloverdale 4-H, Hartem Achievers, Middletown 4-H’ers, Millennium Clovers, The Pioneers

Club of the year — Chester 4-H

Top food awards

Junior foods winner — Jenna Opperman, Lincoln

Senior foods winner — Emily Bakken, Lincoln

Leaders recognized

Twenty adult volunteers were recognized and honored at the Logan County 4-H Achievement Night. By categories, the honors are as follows:

Leader of the year — Mary Jo Janssen, Middletown


First year leaders — Beth Allen, Pawnee; Carlene Carter, Lincoln; Ed Carter, Lincoln; Christie Cross, Hartsburg; Kristen Helton, Middletown; Sharon Jones, Lincoln; Dana Oltmanns, Lincoln; Debra Wagner, Emden

Fifth year leaders — Stanley Anderson, Elkhart; Cindy Gleason, Hartsburg; Cindy Leesman, Atlanta; Mark Leesman, Atlanta; Betsy Pech, Lincoln

10th year leaders — Barbara Duckworth, Emden; Ann Olson, Elkhart; Brenda Osborn, Hartsburg; Joyce Westen, Hartsburg; Lisa Wrage, Emden

15th year leader — Rita Scanavino

20th year leader — Tammy Buse

25th year leaders — Georgia Green, Atlanta; Mary Jo Janssen, Middletown



For a complete listing of the 4-H awards presented on Nov. 1 or for information on the Logan County 4-H program, please contact the Logan County 4-H office at 980 N. Postville Drive, Lincoln, IL 62656 or call (217) 732-8289.

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