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Olympia FFA/FFA Alumni chapters meet for banquet

[MAY 6, 2002]  The Olympia FFA and FFA Alumni chapters met for their annual chapter banquet on Saturday, March 16, at the Olympia High School auditorium and cafeteria in Stanford. The chapters are made of up members from parts of Woodford, Tazewell, Logan, McLean and DeWitt counties. About 100 members attended.

Scholarship and awards were presented, along with the ag plot report given by Brian Springer and the FFA Alumni report given by Todd Wibben. Wibben received an honorary Chapter Farmer degree.

Other activities included a social time and dinner, recognition of foundation sponsors and presentation of certificates of appreciation to those who have helped the chapter in various ways. Chris Embry Mohr and Heather Coert were in charge of the banquet, and Jennifer Springer gave the welcome.

Officers for the 2002-2003 year for the Olympia FFA include Lucas Deal, president; Brian Springer and Jackie Heck, vice presidents; Megan Mussleman, secretary-reporter; Dena Wibben, treasurer; and Brandon Usherwood, sentinel.

Officers for the alumni chapter include Tobb Wibben, chairperson; Jeff Springer, vice president; David Deal, secretary; Jeff Schneider, treasurer; Kyle Haning, reporter; and Melvin Springer, member at large.

[Joan Crabb]

Crops progress

[APRIL 22, 2002]  With some rain falling over the weekend, a much-needed rest is occurring for some farmers. Others are frustrated, as they waited for warmer soils and a calendar date closer to optimal planting time. Rainfall amounts varied considerably depending on whether areas received the Friday night rain or not. Friday night totals for areas Broadwell and south were at least a half-inch, while Saturday night totals were in the ballpark of an inch and a quarter.

Corn planting progress has approached the 75 percent completed level, with many producers done. Other producers havenít started yet due to other farming operations and wet, cold soil conditions. While we did have a run-up in soil temperatures, going from the upper 30s a few weeks ago to the lower 70s last week, weíll have the soil temperatures rapidly fall due to colder air temperatures and cloudy conditions. The soil temperature this morning was 46 degrees, and the office had 1.1 inches of rain.

Corn that has been planted for over a week is now up and growing. Germination appears to be quite good in early-planted fields. Most fields that have emerged corn took less than a week for the corn to get out of the ground, and some took as little as four days.

The rain was very welcome for most farmers for two reasons. First, a little rest was definitely needed. The rain gives an opportunity to do some maintenance and repair work as well. Second, the soil conditions had become very dry in the top layer, with the hot and windy conditions. In some worked ground, the soil had actually dried out to a depth of 4 inches. And of course, corn canít germinate in dry soil.



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Changing subjects, winter wheat looks spotty this year. Sure we had good stands and there have been very good growing conditions. But, a viral disease called barley yellow dwarf has come into some wheat fields with a vengeance. This disease can cause severe yield losses. It is a virus that is transmitted by an insect, and no doubt it was helped greatly by the milder winter weather we experienced.


Whatís left? The next break in the weather will see the corn planters finish rolling. Then will come soybean planting. Typically farmers will wait until the last week of April to begin planting soybeans, as they are more affected by a late frost than corn is. The soybean seed also wonít germinate as well in cooler soil, and much of our soybean seed this year probably doesnít have the quality and vigor it might have. This is due to the type of growing season we had last year.

[John Fulton, Logan County Unit,
University of Illinois Extension]

Honors & Awards

Logan County 4-H Oral Communications Contest results

[APRIL 29, 2002]  Logan County 4-H recently had its annual contest in oral communications. State fair delegates selected included Emily Bakken, Lincoln, with an illustrated speech; Amanda Davison, Beason, illustrated speech; Andrew Fulton, Lincoln, formal speech; Abrigail Sasse, Beason, original works; Kim Turner, Atlanta, illustrated speech; and Katie Turner, Atlanta, illustrated speech. Selected as a state fair alternate was Allicent Pech, Lincoln, formal speech. All were Blue Award winners. Abrigail Sasse was selected as the top oral communicator and received a plaque sponsored by Lincoln IGA.

Additional Blue Award winners were Colleen Pech, Daniel Parson, Elizabeth Carter, Rebekah Crider, Shelby Kottemann, David Fulton and Daniel Fulton, all of Lincoln, and Lucas Munson of Beason. Shelby Kottemann was also chosen to receive a Top Rating Award.

Judges for this yearís contests were Ed Jodlowski of Atlanta and Doug DeMay of Lincoln.

Oral communication is a life skill taught and practiced in 4-H. To find out more about the program, contact the Logan County Extension office, 980 N. Postville Drive in Lincoln, phone 732-8289.

[Patty Huffer, Logan County Extension
community worker]

Ag Announcements

Public service announcement from Curless Flying Service

Aerial application

[APRIL 15, 2002]  For decades farmers in central Illinois have taken advantage of the benefits of agriculture aviation. However, the events of Sept. 11 have heightened the concerns of Americans, and we at Curless Flying Service want to offer some facts that may calm your fears.

Curless Flying Service is doing everything we can to maximize security. Aerial application is highly regulated by the DOA, FAA and other departments. Aerial applicators are well-trained professionals who take very seriously their responsibility to protect the safety of their neighbors, employees, the public and the environment. The ag aviation industry has been recognized by government officials, regulatory agencies and local law enforcement for the steps it has taken to make sure spray planes do not represent a means for terrorist attacks. Our industry is legal to fly.

Please remember that our yellow and blue agricultural aircraft will be flying very low altitudes to do a very specific job. Normal operation hours are from daylight to dusk. Application of ag products is intentionally done at low rates, so observers might see the same field treated more than once.

We understand the fascination with watching these planes work but caution is appreciated. We suggest that people stay away from the area being treated to allow a safety net for both themselves and the pilot.

Anyone with questions regarding aerial agriculture is welcome to call our office. Curless Flying would like to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to enhance the productivity of area crops.

Thank you.

Curless Flying Service, Inc.

(309) 759-4826

New beef organization formed

[APRIL 8, 2002]  Beef producers from the Logan, Mason and Tazewell County areas have recently formed the Heartland Beef Alliance. The object of this new group will be to share ideas on beef production, highlight educational benefits of beef to the consumer, tour beef production facilities, learn from guest speakers and enjoy socializing among area producers. Any beef producer, whether owner of one or many beef animals, is encouraged to join.

For more information contact the following officers:  Jason Miller, president, (309) 247-3231; Troy Gehrke, vice-president, (309) 244-7826; Betsy Pech, secretary, (217) 732-4384; or Rick McKown, treasurer, (217) 648-2712.

The next meeting will be June 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Greenhaven Animal Clinic in San Jose.  

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