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[MAY 6, 2003]
URBANA -- Market attention
will focus on conditions for new crop corn and the uncertainty
surrounding old crop soybeans in reviewing USDA reports due next
week, said a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist.
inventories are the smallest in five years, stocks are more than
adequate to meet needs until the new crop is harvested, particularly
if the early planting season leads to an early harvest," said Darrel
Good. "The focus, then, is primarily on weather and yield prospects
for the 2003 crop. The market will evaluate potential crop size in
context of the potential consumption of corn in the 2003-04
"The story for
soybeans is different. While the market will clearly be interested
in the USDA's projections for the 2003-04 marketing year, there is
still considerable uncertainty surrounding the old crop situation."
Good's comments came
as he discussed the May 12 USDA projections of potential supply,
consumption and average price during the 2003-04 marketing year.
Based on March corn
planting intentions of 79.022 million acres, about 72 million acres
should be harvested for grain in 2003. Using a trend yield value
near 140 bushels per acre, the 2003 crop might be near 10 billion
"A crop of that size
would be about one billion bushels larger than the 2002 harvest,"
said Good. "The USDA May projection may deviate some from 10 billion
bushels, but a large crop projection is generally expected. What the
market really wants to see is the USDA's projection of consumption
during the 2003-04 marketing year."
Good said the
projection of domestic use should be larger than that for the
current year, based on increased ethanol production and a likely
modest expansion in livestock numbers during the last half of the
2003-04 marketing year.
however, may be in the USDA's projection of marketing year exports,"
he said. "The early season projection was too optimistic at 2.1
billion bushels last year but was fairly close in the previous two
years. This year's projection will, among other things, reveal USDA
thinking about Chinese corn exports during the upcoming year.
"A projection for a
rebound from the year's anemic level of U.S. exports is expected in
next week's report. Even a 10-billion-bushel crop projection may
result in only a modest increase in projected stock levels by the
end of the 2003-04 marketing year."
December 2003 corn
futures are currently trading only about 9 cents above the contract
low established in March 2003. The trading range for the contract to
date is only 38Ĺ cents. History suggests that the range will be
expanded by at least 20 cents and more likely by 35 cents. Large
crop prospects would likely result in new lows for that contract,
while the high to date of only $2.69 still leaves the door open for
a new high.
top of second column in this article]
"The continuation of
large exports of U.S. soybeans and prospects for very small
year-ending stocks have pushed cash soybean prices to the highest
level since the summer of 1998," Good noted. "In its April report,
the USDA projected U.S. soybean exports for the current year at 995
million bushels, or 1.05 billion if the larger-than-normal
projection of residual use is included in the export projection.
"Exports of 1.05
billion bushels would be 58 million less than exported last year.
Through May 1 -- with only 17 weeks left in the marketing year --
cumulative export shipments were reported at 923 million bushels, 29
million more than on the same date last year."
With year-ending U.S.
soybean stocks currently projected at only 145 million bushels,
supplies may not be adequate to meet the current export demand.
Prices may have to go higher to slow the pace of exports, buyers may
have to quickly switch to South American supplies, or U.S. users may
import some soybeans or soybean products before the new harvest is
available. The magnitude of U.S. exports and export sales of
soybeans over the next few weeks will have important price
implications and may continue to overshadow new crop prospects for
now, Good observed.
the prospective size of the 2003 U.S. soybean crop will have a
significant influence on price," he said. "Based on March planting
intentions of 73.182 million acres, harvested acreage of U.S.
soybeans should be near 72.1 million acres in 2003. A trend yield
near 40 bushels per acre then projects to a crop of about 2.884
billion bushels, 154 million larger than the 2002 crop.
"A crop of that size,
however, might result in only a very modest build-up in U.S.
inventories by the end of the 2003-04 marketing year if world
soybean demand remains robust."
November 2003 soybean
futures have reached new life-of-contract highs, trading to $5.65 on
May 5. There is some concern that large areas of heavy rainfall this
past weekend may delay soybean planting.
"However, history would suggest that it
is premature for much concern about the 2003 crop," said Good. "Late
summer weather appears to be much more important in determining
soybean yields than is spring weather. Still, the trading range to
date for November 2003 futures is only $1.12. New highs for that
contract are still expected."
of Illinois news release]
Currently Logan County has
about 80 percent of the corn planted and about 3 percent of the
soybeans. As is always the case, producers canít just plant it and
forget it. Scouting for early season pest problems and stand counts
is something that just has to be done.
Black cutworms are one of the most
feared early season insects. Usually the cutworms donít affect a
large percentage of acreage, but they can be devastating on the ones
they do affect. Remember that black cutworms donít overwinter here.
They are blown into our area as moths that lay eggs.
Based on moth captures in certain
locations, it looks like the projected date of first cutting should
occur after May 15 in the Logan County area. Cut plants are
basically counted as stand loss in replant decisions. Treatment is
usually warranted when at least 3 percent of the plants have been
cut and you can find the cutworms present. Rescue treatments are
available for black cutworms and usually work well. Recommended
rescue treatments are one of the labeled pyrethroids or Lorsban
Sometimes cutworms will just clip
leaves off corn plants. This may be due to the size of the larvae,
the species of cutworms and the size of the corn. The first sign of
cutworms being present is pinhole feeding on leaves.
A study that has just been completed by
Eileen Kladivko from Purdue University deals with earthworm
populations in different tillage systems. Why the interest in
earthworm populations? Earthworms are normally considered an
important part of a highly productive soil. They also improve both
soil structure and tilth. Their tunnels provide for channels that
can improve water and airflow movement. And the manure of earthworms
[to top of second column in
The study dealt with different
earthworm densities in silty clay loam fields near Purdue that had
been under different tillage practices for at least 10 years.
Continuous corn that was plowed had a density of 10 earthworms per
square meter, continuous no-till corn had 20, continuous soybeans in
a plow system had 60, continuous no-till soybeans had 140, bluegrass
and clover sod had 400, dairy pasture with manure had 340, and dairy
pasture with heavy manure had 1,300.
Comments were also made about the
effects of pesticides on earthworm populations: "Most herbicides
used in the Midwest are harmless or only slightly toxic to
earthworms." "Some corn rootworm insecticides are toxic to worms,
but narrower bands reduce their effects. In general, the
organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides are harmless to
moderately toxic, while carbamates are highly toxic."
scouting workshop series
The Logan County crop scouting series
has been scheduled to begin on May 21 at the Blair Hoerbert Farm at
2506 100th Ave., San Jose. The workshop will be from 9 to 11 a.m.
Approximately half the time will be devoted to classroom activities
and the other half to hands-on scouting.
Other sessions are scheduled for June
11, June 25, July 9, July 23 and Aug. 6 at other locations.
To get your
name on the list or get the complete schedule,
send us your name, address,
phone and e-mail address. (Logan County Extension, 980 N. Postville
Drive, Lincoln, IL 62656; e-mail
CCA credits have been applied
for at each session.
Rep. Hartke appointed as
Effingham County farmer and legislator to take post April 28
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod
Blagojevich has announced the appointment of longtime state
Rep. Charles "Chuck" A. Hartke as director of the
Illinois Department of
Though the position requires
confirmation by the state Senate, Hartke will begin serving as
acting director on Monday, April 28.
"Chuck Hartke has been a farmer for
most of his life and -- even more important -- for the last 18 years
he's been an advocate in state government for people whose
livelihood depends on agriculture," said Blagojevich. "At this time
of unprecedented budget pressure, Chuck's experience will be
critical to my administration as we look for new ways to improve and
promote Illinois' vast agriculture industry."
Hartke, 58, has served in the Illinois
House since 1985 and has held a seat on the House Agriculture
Committee just as long. Much of his legislative work has focused on
helping Illinois' agriculture community. He sponsored legislation to
improve standards for "mega hog farms," to invest in value-added
products, to promote ethanol use, and to provide technical and
financial assistance to independent farmers. He also is a member of
both the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Farmers Union.
[to top of second column in
Hartke grew up on a farm in Teutopolis
in southern Illinois. After a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in
Vietnam, he and his wife, Kathy, bought a farm a mile from the one
on which he was raised. His son, Chris, now manages the 800-acre
operation. Before his election to the Illinois House, Hartke was
involved in Effingham County government and served on the county
board from 1971 to 1974.
"Chuck Hartke knows the challenges our
farmers face," Blagojevich said. "He'll do an outstanding job of
making sure the state's agriculture policies and programs do what
they are intended to do."
earn $113,200 in his new post.
Government News Network
Innovative multi-technology course
on plant diseases offered off campus
URBANA -- For more than 20
years, plant pathologist Wayne Pedersen has taught several courses
in the off-campus graduate program at the University of Illinois.
This involved extensive traveling and time away from campus.
Last fall, Pedersen decided a change
was in order. He developed "Diseases of Field Crops" into the first
online graduate course in the Department of Crop Sciences.
"Since a great deal of the class
involves the use of high-quality color slides, putting the entire
course on the Web would not have worked for students with telephone
connections; the transfer rate would be just too slow," Pedersen
said. "Instead, I developed a CD that contains all of the lectures
as well as class notes, old exams and quizzes, and additional
He prepared PowerPoint presentations
for each disease or group of diseases and then added audio for each
slide used in the class.
"Individual presentations are from 15
to 25 minutes long," Pedersen said. "That way a student can listen
to the audio, take notes or replay the audio before going on to the
next slide. At the end of every presentation, students are provided
with several websites that provide additional information."
He notes that the students could listen
to the lectures any time, rather than being tied down to a regular
"Last fall nine students signed up for
the course," he said. "Students were responsible for three to four
lectures each week, and then a threaded discussion was held for
three hours each Thursday night."
Pedersen used a product called WebBoard
for the threaded discussion sessions. The format is similar to
having several chat rooms, but a permanent record is kept until the
end of the semester.
On a given evening, Pedersen can open
three or four chat rooms or conferences, each on a different disease
topic, and then post several questions to which students could
"Some of the discussions were very
lively, especially with the control of soybean cyst nematode, sudden
death syndrome, or seedling blights on corn or soybeans," Pedersen
said. "If a student had to miss a class, they could go back to the
website and review all of the discussion on each disease. However,
very few students ever missed a class. If they were traveling, they
could connect to the Web and participate in the class."
[to top of second column in
This format allowed Pedersen to include
students in major conferences on soybean sudden death syndrome held
in southern Illinois. The conference center let him use their
computer for the discussion session. In addition, Oval Myers,
retired breeder from Southern Illinois University, joined the
discussion on control of sudden death syndrome.
"While I was skeptical at the
beginning, I now believe this may be a better way to teach than to
formally lecture," Pedersen said. "Students come to class prepared
to discuss the topic or ask questions, rather than coming to class
to sit and listen. A great deal of the discussion time is spent on
current research, recently published studies, or information one of
the students read or heard during the past week."
Although the CD was developed for the
graduate class, several Illinois soybean growers have already tried
it and found the information valuable.
"If they want a quick update on soybean
rust, they can sit down at the computer and listen to the talk,"
Pedersen said. "If they want current information on soybean seed
treatments and where they may be the most profitable, they can just
listen to the talk on soybean seedling blights."
Pedersen is constantly revising the
contents and hopes to have several guest lectures available. Craig
Grau, plant pathologist from the University of Wisconsin, is
preparing a talk on brown stem rot, and Dean Malvick, plant
pathologist at the U of I, is preparing some lectures on alfalfa
diseases. If things go well, there should be a new CD available
is offered each fall and also is approved for 25 units of "certified
crop advisor" credit. For additional information, contact Pedersen
at email@example.com or the
of Illinois news release]
confirm water hemp
with resistance to PPO inhibitors
URBANA -- Weed scientists at
the University of Illinois have recently confirmed at least one
water hemp population, and most likely several others, in the state
with resistance to PPO inhibitors.
"The one confirmed population is
located in western Illinois," said Aaron Hager, weed scientist with
University of Illinois Extension, "But, we also received several
other anecdotal reports during the 2002 growing season of PPO
inhibitors such as Ultra Blazer, Flexstar, Cobra and Phoenix failing
to control water hemp in other parts of the state. This raises
concerns that the resistance problem in Illinois may be more
widespread than we first thought."
Hager notes, however, that it is
unlikely that every instance of PPO inhibitors failing to provide
complete control of water hemp can be attributed to resistance.
"Less than complete control of water
hemp with PPO-inhibiting herbicides is not unique to the 2002
growing season," he said. "For many years, observers have noted
water hemp control ranging from complete to less than satisfactory
with those herbicides."
He points out that the regrowth of
susceptible water hemp plants occurs most frequently when
post-emergence applications are made to plants less than five inches
in height or under adverse growing conditions, such as during
extended periods when the soil is dry.
"Late-season applications of these
herbicides also can result in poor control, when water hemp plants
are very large and nearing the reproductive stage," Hager said. "It
is important to emphasize that many instances of poor control cannot
necessarily be attributed to herbicide resistance."
[to top of second column in
Researchers from the U of I have
already conducted several field experiments to determine the
resistance characteristics of the water hemp biotype identified in
"We found that all soil-applied
herbicides, other than acetolactate synthase inhibitors, provided
excellent water hemp control 30 days after application," Hager said.
"Even soil applications of PPO-inhibitors, such as Authority, Valor
and Flexstar, provided from 86 to 99 percent water hemp control.
This corresponds with researchers in other states who have reported
good control of resistant biotypes with soil-applied PPO
At the same time, results from a
post-emergence experiment showed that control with PPO inhibitors on
the resistant biotype ranged from only 13 percent to 53 percent.
currently conducting additional laboratory and greenhouse
experiments with this water hemp biotype," Hager said. "In
particular, molecular weed scientist Patrick Tranel and his graduate
student William Patzoldt are attempting to determine the resistance
mechanism and how the trait is inherited."
of Illinois news release]
communications contest results announced
Logan County 4-H recently
had its annual oral communications contest. State fair delegates
selected included Emily Bakken, Lincoln, for illustrated speech; Abrigail Sasse, Beason, oral interpretation; Kim Turner, Atlanta,
formal speech; Katie Turner, Atlanta, illustrated speech; Kelly
Cross and Emma Cross, Hartsburg, oral interpretation team; and Meg
Griesheim, Mount Pulaski, illustrated speech. All were blue award
winners. Emily Bakken was selected as the top oral communicator and
received a plaque sponsored by Lincoln IGA.
Additional blue award winners were
Jenna Opperman, Colleen Pech, Allicent Pech, Zack Huffer, Ryan
Huffer, Rebekah Crider, Andrew Fulton, David Carter, Elizabeth
Carter, David Fulton and Daniel Fulton, all of Lincoln, and Ben Buse
and Max Buse of Beason.
Judges for this year's contests were
Randi Rich of Normal and JoEllen Maske of Mount Pulaski.
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, or call 732-8289.
[News release by Patty Huffer,
Logan County Extension community worker]