Thursday, April 26, 2012

Obama's War on Family Farms

President Obama and his administration are making life on the family farm harder.

Precision Farming Effects

One of the many effects (some positive, some not) of precision fertilizer placement...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Speculating corn prices on acreage, production

Prospects for a large increase in corn acreage support expectations for more abundant stocks next year, but opinions about the magnitude of the build-up vary considerably. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some acreage intended for corn will be planted to soybeans due to the shift in price relationships following the March survey.

2,4-D Resistant Corn

A new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences could answer the prayers of U.S. farmers plagued by a fierce epidemic of super-weeds. Or it could trigger a flood of dangerous chemicals that may make weeds even more resistant and damage other important U.S. crops.

Moms headed to Soybean fields

Nine Chicago-area moms will grow soybeans in their backyards and on their patios, as a hands-on experiment in producing one of Illinois' most important agricultural crops. The urban moms are being guided by Ron and Deb Moore of Roseville, Ill., who raise soybeans and corn on 1,000 acres. The experiment is part of an Illinois Farm Families initiative to open our farm doors, show consumers how we grow your food, and answer your questions about food and farming.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sustainable Student Farm at U of I

The Sustainable Student Farm at the University of Illinois is generating youth interest in farming.

Son of Warren Buffet Farms in Illinois

Buffett Son Pushes Fellow Farmers to Help Combat Hunger in Local Communities - The middle son of the Oracle of Omaha farms in Central Illinois.

Farm Land Prices Increasing

Reported by the Kansas City Star, farm land prices in the Midwest (including Illinois) rose 22 percent in 2011. From data from the Federal Reserve, this indicates that the cost of farming continues to rise and profits will be squeezed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Buffalo Grove Farm Celebrates 100 years

Adapting to a changing environment is critical to longevity in farming. This story from Buffalo Grove describes the journey of the Didier family, from dairy to retail greenhouses.

Fracking Coming to Illinois

Southern Illinois farmers could be impacted by the oil and natural gas extraction process known as "fracking." Article from WUIS.

Adding a New Generation to Farming

From WLDS: The group behind a new web site is hoping to catch the online generation’s interest in farming across West Central Illinois. The website is

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rainfall arrives across Illinois

This weekend brought rainfall across Illinois as farmers continue to report good progress with planting. Some areas in south-central portions of the state received enough rainfall to cause localized flooding and pooling in low areas. Generally, this rainfall is welcomed as dry conditions have persisted for the past month.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crop damage to early plantings

Report from McLean county of some crop damage to planted corn. A risk you take with planting really early.

What's all that green stuff? Alfalfa ahead of schedule

A short drive around the Illinois countryside will likely reveal small fields of 18" green, leafy plants. What is it? Why it is Alfalfa, and it is running ahead of schedule this year. Memorial Day, the traditional first harvest for Alfalfa, is still 6 weeks away. But with hot weather earlier, along with moderate cold nights this Spring, Alfalfa is ahead of schedule.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Illinois Corn Promotion

Corn farmers in Central Illinois have two big advocates, both located in Bloomington, IL. Each organization has its own important role. Lindsay Mitchell from the corncrops blog explains.

Illinois Farmers Increase Corn Check-Off Rate

Illinois farmers have voted overwhelmingly to increase the rate per bushel going to the corn check-off program. Money from the program is used for research, development, and marketing of Illinois corn. Read more from the Aledo Times Record.

17 percent of Illinois corn crop planted

According to NASS and reported in the The State Journal-Register, Illinois farmers have planted 17 percent of their corn crop already.

Placemats Promote Farms

The Vermillion County Farm Bureau is using advertising on local restaurant placements to dispel myths of Illinois farms. Nice!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Buffet Rule to affect on farmers?

President Obama is pushing for the so-called "Buffet Rule". If enacted, individuals making over $1m per year would pay a minimum of 30% in taxes. The effects of such a plan on farmers is unknown, although most would agree that $1m per year in profits is not the norm. The bigger issue is whether the US should have a progressive tax plan that punishes success. At what point does 30% for $1m in income turn into 30% for $100k in income?

Farmers Debate Early Planting

Probably the most popular conversation topic over coffee in the local hangouts is "Are you planting yet?". Some farmers in Central Illinois have been out planting early corn crops. Others warn that the cold temperatures are not yet gone, and surface temperatures are too low to promote good growth. I spoke with an 80 year old Indiana farmer who plants by the calendar, not by the current weather. He's been farming for 60 years, so I'd say he's got it right. More thoughts from the Quincy Herald-Whig.

Illinois set to "Quick Grab" Farmland

From the Chicago Tribune, Illinois government is considering using "Quick Take" legislation to grab homes and farmland in order to build a toll road in Northern Illinois.