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container recycling available
8, 2002] The
Illinois Department of Agriculture has arranged to offer free
pesticide container recycling again this summer. Sites will begin
recycling in July and continue through August. Collection sites will
accept only No. 2 high-density polyethylene plastic agricultural
containers that are clean and dry. Participants are also responsible
for properly rinsing them and removing all caps, labels, booklets
and foil seals.
Collection sites in our immediate
area include Mason County Service Company at Easton on the afternoon of July 31
(contact Jim Kiel at 800-331-0548); Lincoln Land FS at Greenview on the morning
of Aug. 1 (contact Mark Millburg at 217-243-6561), AgLand FS at Lincoln on the
afternoon of Aug. 1 (contact Tim Bennett at 217-732-3113), and Williamsville Ag
Center at Williamsville on the morning of Aug. 2 (contact Brad Jones at
The collection program is a great
way to dispose of pesticide containers. It is a cooperative venture between the
Illinois Department of Agriculture, Growmark, the Illinois Fertilizer and
Chemical Association, Tri-Rinse, United Agri-Products, UAP Richter, the Illinois
Farm Bureau and University of Illinois Extension.
It seems like this summer we have
had an abundance of insect problems. The drier, warmer weather made us guess we
would probably have an abundance of problems. There are plenty of insects
wherever we look, whether it is around the home, in the garden or in the fields.
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[Photos provided by John Fulton]
One of the more
common insects the past three weeks or so has been the leatherwing
beetle. It is also called a soldier beetle. These beetles look like
lightning bugs without the lights. They are actually beneficial, as
they eat other insects. When the numbers are as large as this year,
they usually seek an alternate food source — pollen. These beetles
have been very noticeable around linden and basswood trees the past
Another insect that has been causing
havoc in the area is the Japanese beetle. It is beetle smaller than
a June bug but gold and green in color. It can cause severe damage
if beetle numbers are high. Control recommendations are generally to
spray with Sevin (carbaryl) insecticide. Treatments are more
effective in the morning or evening. Using diazinon insecticide
would also provide some control. The other side of the Japanese
beetle situation is that there is a grub stage, so control of the
grub in a month or so may be beneficial to your lawn and help reduce
next year’s adult population.
New farm bill payments estimated
and compared in U of I study
URBANA — Illinois producers
could receive between $12 and nearly $16 per acre more in federal
assistance under the 2002 farm bill signed into law earlier this
summer, according to a University of Illinois Extension study. The
study assumed commodity prices at 2001 price levels. In 2001,
commodity prices were below the government loan rates. If market
prices are above the loan rates, government payments will be less.
"We’ve estimated that payments under the new bill are from $12 to nearly $16 per
acre higher than under the 1996 bill," said Dale Lattz, U of I Extension farm
management specialist who prepared the study with Gary Schnitkey, also an
Extension economist. "The jump ranges from $12.13 per acre on northern Illinois
grain farms to $13.72 on central Illinois farms to $15.97 in southern Illinois."
Caution must be used when interpreting the results because payments will vary
depending on an individual farm’s program acres and yields. The study is based
on data from the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association covering
grain farms in northern, central and southern Illinois. The data includes crop
yield and acreage information from 1998 through 2001. The 2001 crop year was
used as a base to make the comparisons.
According to Lattz, there has been considerable discussion concerning the level
of government expenditures estimated under the Farm Security and Rural
Investment Act of
compared with payments under the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform
"Popular press articles have indicated as much as a 70 percent increase in
government payments under the new bill," he said.
"Generally, these comparisons have not taken in consideration the additional
marketing loss assistance payments that have been paid since 1998."
Lattz said that final regulations for the new law have not been released and the
figures in the U of I study might change. He noted that southern Illinois farms
have lower estimated payments primarily due to lower corn acre and yield program
[to top of second column in
The new law contains provisions for
direct and counter-cyclical payments. The old law contained
provisions for production flexibility contract payments.
Additionally, market loss assistance and oilseed payments have been
made since 1998. For 2001, the flexibility contract payments and
additional market loss and oilseed payments ranged in Illinois from
$25 to $45 per acre, depending upon region. Both laws contain
provisions for loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains.
"When comparing per acre differences in
payments between the 1996 and 2002 bills, one needs to remember that
the counter-cyclical payments are not guaranteed and are dependent
on commodity price levels," said Lattz. "On the other hand, market
loss assistance and oilseed payments were not guaranteed."
Lattz said the new bill requires a
number of decisions by producers.
"One of these is whether or not to
update base acres," he said. "If acres are updated, producers will
also need to decide whether to update yields or not. There are two
alternatives available for updating yields. Which among these
alternatives that will result in the maximum direct and
counter-cyclical payment may also depend on the payment rate for the
counter-cyclical payments. And this rate depends on the average
marketing year price.
"The decision on which alternative to
use when updating base acres and yields may not be easy."
spreadsheet tool to help producers analyze such decisions is
available on the U of I’s farmdoc website:
manage/FarmBill/decisiontool.htm. A complete draft of the
comparison report is also available at
[U of I news release]
[JULY 3, 2002]
Historically, weather markets tend to result in corn and soybean
prices peaking in the pre-harvest period, said a University of
Illinois Extension marketing specialist.
"However, there are
some recent exceptions to that rule," Darrel Good added. "In
1993-94, the full impact of weather on production was not revealed
until January after harvest, resulting in cash prices peaking later
in the year — January for corn and May for soybeans.
"In 1995-96, a small
crop was followed by extremely strong demand, resulting in cash
prices peaking in July for both corn and soybeans."
Good’s comments came
as he reviewed recent USDA reports. The USDA’s June report on
acreage contained a larger-than-expected estimate of planted and
harvested acreage of corn for grain in the United States this year.
Planted acreage of corn is estimated at 78.947 million, nearly 3.2
million more than planted last year and only 100,000 less than
revealed in the March report of prospective plantings.
"The market had
anticipated more than a million-acre reduction from March
intentions," said Good. "Acreage is less than indicated in March in
Indiana and Ohio but exceeds intentions in Illinois, Iowa and
The USDA projects
harvested acreage of corn for grain at 72.081 million, 3.273 more
than harvested last year. Harvested acreage of feed grains (corn,
sorghum, oats and barley) is projected at 87.121 million, 3.535
million more than harvested last year. A decline in sorghum acreage
is more than offset by an expected increase in harvested acreage of
oats and barley.
"Even though planted
acreage of corn exceeded expectations, the market remains concerned
about the potential size of the 2002 harvest," Good said. "There has
been a recent tendency for the final estimate of planted acreage to
be less than the June estimate. That has been the case in each of
the past seven years and in nine of the past 10 years.
"The difference has
been as little as 24,000 acres and as much as 1.32 million in 1995.
More than acreage, however, the market is concerned about potential
yield of the 2002 crop. Late planting in the eastern Corn Belt is
being followed by above-normal temperatures and lack of
precipitation in many areas. That pattern is expected to continue in
the first half of July."
In addition to
concerns about crop size, the corn market has also received some
support from the USDA’s June report on grain stocks. That report
showed that June 1 inventories of corn totaled 3.594 billion
bushels, 330 million less than on the same day last year and about
15 million less than the average trade guess. Exports during the
third quarter of the 2001-02 marketing year were about 50 million
bushels larger than during the same quarter last year, and domestic
use was nearly 30 million larger.
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For soybeans, the
USDA’s June report revealed plantings of 72.993 million acres, 1.112
million less than planted last year and only 27,000 more than
indicated in March. The market had anticipated a much larger
increase due to the lateness of planting the corn crop in the
eastern Corn Belt.
"Soybean acreage is
larger than March intentions in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi and
Ohio, but those increases were offset by declines in Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota," said Good. "The USDA projects
harvested acreage of soybeans at 72.029 million, 971,000 less than
harvested last year.
"Like corn, there is
a tendency for the final estimate of soybean acreage to be less than
the June estimate. That has been the case in each of the previous
five years and eight of the past 10 years. Except for 2001, the
changes from June to the final acreage estimate were generally
The USDA’s June
report on grain stocks revealed June 1 soybean inventories of 684
million bushels, about 24 million less than on the same date last
year and about five million less than the average trade guess.
Exports were down nearly 70 million bushels in the third quarter of
the marketing year compared to the same period last year, but the
domestic crush was about 24 million bushels larger.
smaller-than-expected estimate of planted acreage of soybeans, along
with less-than-ideal growing conditions, creates a lot of
uncertainty about the potential size of the 2002 U.S. crop," said
Good. "The crop may be small enough to require a reduction in the
rate of use of U.S. soybeans during the 2002-03 marketing year."
For wheat, the USDA’s
June report indicated that planted acreage of all classes of wheat
was about one million more than indicated in March. Most of the
increase, 877,000 acres, was in spring wheat other than durum.
Still, harvested acreage of all classes of wheat is expected to be
about one million less than harvested last year even though seedings
are up by about 470,000 acres.
"Corn and soybean prices will continue to
be influenced by weather conditions and crop conditions as reflected
in the USDA’s weekly report," said Good.
[U of I news release]
Swine odor field day set
URBANA — A field day aimed
at updating swine producers on the current situation regarding
aspects of manure management and odors from swine units will be July
10 at the Illinois State University Farm on Gregory Street in
Normal. Sponsoring the event are the Illinois Pork Producers, ISU,
the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR), and
the University of Illinois.
"The bulk of the program will focus on
the results of research being done in Illinois, some funded by the
Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Ag Grants Program
and some by C-FAR as part of its research initiative on swine odor
and waste management," said Michael Ellis, U of I professor of
animal sciences, who heads the latter project.
A number of topics will be covered at
the field day, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included on
the agenda are odor sampling and measurement, nutrient reduction and
management techniques, odor reduction technologies, waste processing
technologies, community and legal issues, producer education and
training materials, and other swine management issues.
interested in attending should contact Paul Walker, ISU Department
of Agriculture, 5020 AGR, ISU, Normal, IL 61790-5020; phone (309)
438-3881; fax (309) 438-5653; or e-mail:
[U of I news release]
Hartem FFA brings home
Hartsburg-Emden FFA members recently attended the 74th
Illinois FFA Convention. Chapter members received numerous awards
and recognitions as well as enjoying the main session.
received a blue ribbon for her agri-science fair project at the
Kent Leesman was
recognized for his outstanding achievements this past year as a top
chapter president, Star Farmer finalist, Grain Production
Proficiency winner, and National Risk Management Essay winner.
Natalie Coers was
recognized for her achievements as a top ten chapter reporter, as
well as participating in the state FFA band.
Nic Coers, Daniel
Eeten and Kent Leesman were honored to receive their state FFA
degrees at the convention.
Although individual chapter members
brought home the awards, the Hartem FFA chapter also gained
recognition. Hartem FFA won the Co-op Award, Triple Crown Heritage
Award, Century Challenge Sweepstakes Award, and was named a Gold
Emblem Chapter. The convention proved to be a show of excellence for
all of the FFA members and chapters from across the state.
[Kent Leesman and adviser Betsy Pech are
recognized for the risk management essay.]
[Hartem FFA state degree recipients]
[Hartem FFA members ready for the closing of
"Journey of a Lifetime."]
at state fair
invited to prepare gingerbread houses and Spam recipes to enter at the
Illinois State Fair in August.
Awards will be given for the most creative
entries in the Brer Rabbit® Molasses Gingerbread House Contest at
the state fair. Both beginners and gingerbread house enthusiasts are
invited to compete for cash and prizes. In 2001, judges picked
winning entries ranging from traditional to elaborate, including a
castle, a detailed tree house with garden and another resembling the
"Old Woman in a Shoe." Any theme entry is welcome that uses Brer
Rabbit molasses and is up to a foot tall, wide and deep, base not
included. Entrants must also bake and enter one dozen gingerbread
Winners are selected based on
appearance (50 percent), originality and creativity (40 percent),
and taste (10 percent). Creators are awarded $150 for first place,
$75 for second and $25 for third. People of any age may enter, with
one entry per person or group. Several people may work on one entry,
but one person represents the group.
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The Illinois State Fair will be one of
70 fairs hosting the Spam® Oven Roasted Turkey Contest. Using the
Spam turkey and up to nine other ingredients, contestants are to
create an original main dish, appetizer, casserole, stew, stir-fry,
salad sandwich or any other recipe. To focus on convenience, cooking
time may not exceed 30 minutes.
Judges select winners based on taste
appeal (40 percent), appearance (30 percent) and originality (30
percent). The three best entries win cash awards of $150, $50 and
$25, and first-place winners advance to national judging for a
$2,500 shopping spree and an all-expense-paid trip to Minneapolis.
either contest, contact the entry department at the Illinois State
Fair, 782-6661, by July 15. More details for the gingerbread contest
are on page 90, and those for the Spam contest are on page 86 of the
general premium book.