Pages

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Butterfly Weed | a milkweed for your yard & garden

ifr170630–169
Butterfly Weed | a milkweed for your yard & garden
Candice Hart, Extension Horticulture - University of Illinois
read blog post

The butterfly weed is a favorite of Candice Hart as a great cut flower, but also as a milkweed that supports the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. Commonly known as butterfly weed, this long-lived and striking perennial is native to much of the continental United States, along with Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Food Deserts, Amazon Prime, & SNAP

ifr170630–168
Food Deserts, Amazon Prime, & SNAP
Craig Gundersen, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
Amazon Prime EBT Page

There is a new twist for USDA’s food and feeding programs. Part of 2014 Farm Bill is piloting ten new delivery systems that will allow people using the SNAP program to order food online for home delivery. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Craig Gundersen says when you look deeper this program can do a lot to help those who cannot always help themselves or that simply don’t have easy access to a grocery store. He says this is because there are food deserts in the United States.

Gundersen 1:21 …through some of these home delivery programs.
audio & video clips available

The Amazon Prime program is already in place for EBT card holders. EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. The discounted Amazon Prime membership, $5.99 per month rather than $10.99, cannot be purchased with the card. Food is available to those using USDA’s SNAP, WIC, TANF and some other programs.

Monday, June 26, 2017

USDA’s June 30 Grain Stocks Report for Corn

ifr170630–167
USDA’s June 30 Grain Stocks Report for Corn
Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Friday the United States Department of Agriculture will estimate how much corn is left in the country. This amount will need to sustain the nation through the fall harvest. Todd Gleason has more on the Grain Stocks report.

The Grain Stocks report is released once a quarter…
3:29 radio
3:43 radio self-contained

The Grain Stocks report is released once a quarter by USDA. It is made up of two parts. The first is a survey, nearly a census, of the number of bushels - in this case of corn - a grain elevator, terminal, or other type of certified storage facility has in possession. These are tallied as off farm bushels. The other part is more of a guesstimate of how many on farm bushels are in storage.

When combined these two surveys provide a picture of how many bushels are available in the United States, the available supply. The market keeps track of this, too. When the report is released it compares what it thinks should be available with what USDA says is actually available and then adjusts price accordingly.

The trade estimates this Friday’s Grain Stocks report should show about 5.158 (Reuters median) billion bushels of corn on hand. The largest number for the June stocks report since 1988, and the third highest in records going back to the 1920’s. University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs is using a lower number. His estimate is 4.944 billion bushels.

Hubbs :54 …bushels of usage for other use besides ethanol.

Quote Summary - Now that is assuming feed using in the 3rd quarter was a 1,241 million bushels. This keeps with the normal 3rd quarter trend usage with the USDA targeted total corn for feed usage of 5,500 million bushels. We’ve seen strong exports, 688 million bushels in the 3rd quarter; excellent corn usage for ethanol at 1,342 million bushels in my estimate; and we’ve seen stronger industrial uses for corn. USDA has upped those figures over the last few WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) reports and I’ve about 413 million bushels of usage for other use besides ethanol.

The “other” category would include products like glucose and dextrose that can be made from corn. Again given the usage which took place during the third quarter, Todd Hubbs estimates the June 1 grain stocks report will show something near 4.944 billion bushels of corn in all positions. And he says this figure would be on pace to meet USDA’s usage goals for the year including the 5.5 billion bushels it expects to be feed to livestock.

Hubbs :31 …cenarios which would mean a higher stocks number.

Quote Summary - I think if we are within 100 to 150 million bushels of that, then we are on pace to hit that 5,500 million bushel feed and residual number. Anything outside of that range. You know, there might be a warning signal. If I were to say, would it be higher or lower? Based on the usage in this marketing year, it might be less feed and residual use would be the more likely of the two scenarios which would mean a higher stocks number.

And that brings us back to the trade estimate. ILLINOIS’ Todd Hubbs is at 4.944 billion bushels. The median trade guess is 5.158 billion bushels. That’s enough of a difference, 164 million bushels, that it could generate a push higher in the corn market if Hubbs is correct. However, this number is likely to be way over shadowed by the other report due from USDA Friday. It will release the both the Grain Stocks and the Acreage reports at 11am central time.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wood Chip Bioreactor Controls Tile Line Nitrate Load

ifr170623–164
Wood Chip Bioreactor Controls Tile Line Nitrate Load
Laura Christianson, Crop Sciences - University of Illinois

The Dudley Smith farm in Illinois is tiled and wired. Todd Gleason has more on how the University of Illinois is doing nitrogen loss research near Pana.

Farmers gathered this week for a peek…
1:38 radio
1:45 radio self-contained
1:38 tv
1:45 tv cg

Farmers gathered this week for a peek at the nitrogen loss control methods installed in Christian County. It’s a farm that rolls just a bit, but is pretty typical for the area other than the pastures on a portion of it. They came to hear from Laura Christianson. She’s a University of Illinois Crop Scientist.

Christianson :27 …nitrate is taken out of the drainage water.

Quote Summary - At the Dudley Smith farm we have a wood chip bioreactor installed. A wood chip bioreactor is a little mini water treatment plant to clean nitrate out of tile drainage. The thing that makes the Dudley Smith bioreactor different is that is has baffles inside it. So, rather than the water just running straight through the wood chips, like most bioreactors, this bioreactor has baffles in it to make the water move in more of an S shape to improve how much nitrate is taken out of the drainage water.

Early indications are the baffle is working as hoped. Wood chip bioreactors, even without the baffles, can remove between 20 and 40 percent of the annual nitrate load from a tile line. It’s technology farmers are interested in seeing and hopefully, says Christianson, deploying.

Christianson :19 …field before it goes down stream.

Quote Summary - I think farmers are interested in wood chip bioreactors because it is something they can do that doesn’t impact their production practices. It is an edge of field practice, so you can keep on in the field however you are comfortable, but this catches that nitrate at the edge of the field before it goes down stream.

A bioreactor is pretty simple to build. Use a backhoe to make a trench near the end of the tile, put a plastic liner in the trench, fill it with wood chips, be sure to have control structures on the inlet and outlet, and cover it with dirt. The chips will need to be replaced about every 10 years.

What Makes a Top Third Farm

ifr170623–163
What Makes a Top Third Farm
Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

There are just two items that make the difference between a top third farm and an average farm. Todd Gleason has more…

This University of Illinois study was…
1:28 radio
1:38 radio self-contained

This University of Illinois study was on a small set in Mclean County. This was done to limit the influences of weather and a few other factors. Gary Schnitkey says he wanted to know why some farms made more than others. Turns out, the answer is pretty simple.

Schnitkey :22 …machinery depreciation and interest cost.

Quote Summary - What we found were distinct cost differences between the two groups. This was a $45 per acre difference between the average group and the high return group. The $45 came primarily in two items; machinery depreciation and interest cost.

The more profitable farms tended to have lower machinery and non-land interest cost. The two are related says the University of Illinois agricultural economist.

Schnitkey :28 …are the cost groups that stood out.

Quote Summary - If you buy more machinery, you have more depreciation and likely more interest costs. Other differences included storage costs, with high profit farms storing less at elevators and their cost of hired labor was lower, too. Over all, these farms usually had lower costs, but these are the cost groups that stood out.

A couple of notes. The most profitable farms expanded acreage at a faster pace than those in the average group. They also had higher average yields for soybeans and did a better job of marketing soybean.

Feeding Wheat CoProducts to Pigs

ifr170623–161
READER
Feeding Wheat CoProducts to Pigs
Hans Stein, Animal Scientist - University of Illinois

Research from the University of Illinois is helping to determine the quality of protein in wheat middlings and red dog. Both are co-products of the wheat milling process. Each can be fed to pigs and other livestock.

There is information about the digestibility of crude protein in some wheat co-products produced in Canada and China, says University of Illinois Animal Scientist Hans Stein, but only very limited information about the nutritional value of wheat middlings and red dog produced in the United States.

Stein and U of I researcher Gloria Casas fed wheat middlings from 8 different states and red dog from Iowa to growing pigs. Despite the variety in the wheat middlings sources the concentration of crude protein were generally consistent. However, they did find some variation in the digestibility of the amino acids.

The red dog contained slightly less crude protein than wheat middlings.

Stein says the results of this study provide guidance to producers who hope to incorporate wheat co-products into diets fed to pigs. The paper appears in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Animal Science. The National Pork Board provided funding for the study.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Check Dicamba Soybeans After Spraying

ifr170623–159
Check Dicamba Soybeans After Spraying
Aaron Hager, Extension Weed Scientist - University of Illinois

Farmers are turning to an old technology this year to control weeds in their fields. Todd Gleason has more on what they can expect from a new, old-product.

Dicamba has been around for about half-a-century…
1:19 radio
1:31 radio self-contained
1:21 tv
1:36 tv cg

Dicamba has been around for about half-a-century. It is a corn herbicide, but soybeans have been modified to tolerate it. This was done because so many weeds have modified themselves to resist being killed by glyphosate, commonly known as Round-Up. The primary problem, says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager, is waterhemp.

Hager :11 ….but it is not excellent. It is not as consistent.

Quote Summary - Dicamba, in the 50 years that we’ve used it, has never been excellent on any of the pigweed species. It can be good. It can be very good, but it is not excellent. It is not as consistent.

This inconsistency makes the timing of dicamba applications extremely important. Without a doubt, says Hager, most post applied herbicides are going to do a better job of controlling a full suite of weeds in a field when the weeds are less than three to four inches in size.

Hager :23 …they will necessarily be completely controlled.

Quote Summary - Certainly, with something like dicamba and waterhemp, our recommendation to farmers is to treat very, very small weeds, but to go back in about 10 to 14 days and to scout those treated fields. Look to see what the efficacy has been. Sometimes we can twist up these pigweed plants, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be completely controlled.

It is possible for the weeds to recover, flower, and produce seed. And that, says Aaron Hager, is something to avoid.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hog Prices Continue to be Higher

ifr170609–152
Hog Prices Continue to be Higher
Chris Hurt, Extension Agricultural Economist - Purdue University

Despite more hogs coming to market this year, the price of pork remains higher. Todd Gleason has more on some of the reasons why.

For agricultural commodities, larger supplies generally…
2:07 radio 2:12 radio self-contained

Quote Summary - For agricultural commodities, larger supplies generally result in lower prices. This year’s hog market is going against that adage with both larger supplies and higher prices. Purdue University Extension Agricultural Economist Christ Hurt says this is because demand is really good.

Hurt :25 …twenty-two percent of our domestic production.

Quote Summary - The most important reason for higher prices involves favorable international trade for U.S. pork. Pork exports have been up 17 percent and pork imports have been down 10 percent. For trade data available so far this year, pork exports have accounted for 22 percent of our domestic production.

This is the strongest export showing since 2012, the year of record exports. Shipments to Japan, that nation imports more pork from the United States than any other, are up eight percent. Mexico, the second largest customer, has purchased 33 percent more pork than last year. South Korea is in big too, up some 32 percent form last year. South Korea ranks number four. All this extra demand, says Hurt, is plowing through the increased supply of pigs in the United States and it shows on U.S. grocery store shelves.

Hurt :36 …has been down about 1.7 percent for the year.

With about two percent more production in the U.S. so far this year, the amount of pork available to U.S. consumers is actually down about one percent because of favorable trade. When population growth is considered, the available pork per person in the U.S. has been down about 1.7 percent for the year.

This fits the theme of larger production and higher prices, with the strong export demand being the primary driver so far this year. And it is a theme Chris Hurt expects to continue into the summer and fall.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Crop Progress Reports & End of Season Yields

ifr170609–149
Crop Progress Reports & End of Season Yields
Scott Irwin, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read blog post

Last week USDA released its first national corn condition rating of the season. The crop, as you’ll hear, wasn’t in great shape. While it doesn’t mean much at this time of year, Todd Gleason reports there is a relationship between the first crop condition rating and the end of the season yield.

The weekly Crop Progress report is mostly…
2:02 radio
2:20 radio self-contained
2:02 tv
2:22 tv cg

The weekly Crop Progress report is mostly the work of Extension and FSA employees, at the least the data collection part. They report local crop conditions to state USDA offices, mostly on Monday morning, who in-turn tally those numbers and pass them along to Washington, D.C. for compilation and release on Monday afternoon. Work at the University of Illinois shows a strong relationship between the end-of-season crop condition ratings and crop yield, however, agricultural economist Scott Irwin says that doesn’t hold so well for the rest of the season.

Irwin :20 …until about mid-August in soybeans.

Quote Summary - But, of course, what you really want to know is how soon do they become really predictive of final yields. Our analysis says they become pretty useful about mid-July for corn and not until about mid-August in soybeans.

The first corn rating of the season, released just after Memorial Day, wasn’t good. the crop had been cold and wet. It showed up, or in this case didn’t show up, in the good and excellent categories USDA NASS uses. Those are the two grades the U of I economist say correlate. The math works like this; the first corn condition rating was 65% good or excellent, minus 8 points for the average drop to the end of the season rating, which brings you to 57%.

Irwin :26 …is something to keep your eye on.

Quote Summary - And then you plug that into the relationship we presented in the article and you end up with 164.3, basically on that set of calculations. It is an intriguing and pretty low number. Clearly that is not where the market is at and it is just one model, one exercise. Certainly, it is something to keep your eye on.

If you do, in about mid-July you can use the math in the farmdocDaily article to forward calculate the national average yield for corn; mid-August for soybean.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Master Gardeners Bloom through Training

ifr170602–148
Master Gardeners Bloom through Training
Kelly Allsup, Extension Horticulture Educator - University of Illinois
read blog post

Masters Gardeners spend time in the community giving back in wondrous ways. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Extension’s Kelly Allsup about the volunteer program, its great success, and heartfelt giving.

Dealing with Wind Damaged Trees

ifr170602
Dealing with Wind Damaged Trees
Chris Enroth, Extension Horticulture Specialist - University of Illinois
read blog post

High winds can take a toll on trees. Assessing the damage and setting about clean up is an important task for the future health of the tree and the landscape surrounding it. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Specialist Chris Enroth about what to do.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Another Rough Income Year for Grain Farmers

ifr170602–146
Another Rough Income Year for Grain Farmers
Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

It looks like 2017 will be another rough year for grain farmers in the United States. Todd Gleason has more on the projected incomes.

Even in Illinois, where the trend line yield for corn is 200…
2:06
2:14

Even in Illinois, where the trend line yield for corn is 200 bushels to the acre and 61 for soybeans, the average income on a 1500 acre grain for this year is just $25,000. That’s not good says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey.

Schnitkey :24 …if these projections hold.

Quote Summary - That $25,000 isn’t enough to cover all the family living withdrawals and capital purchase expenses needed for a family farm of this size. Seventy to eighty-thousand dollars is needed to be sustainable in the long run. So, we are looking, again, at some financial deterioration if these projections hold.

It is a projection that wasn’t quite so low earlier in the year. Then, like today, Schnitkey was using an average cash sales price of $3.70 a bushel in the Illinois crop budget for corn.

Schnitkey :29 …pretty representative soybean price in central Illinois.

What has caused our forecast to come down is the decline in soybean prices in recent weeks. Earlier in the year we were using $9.70 for price. It has now come down and we are using $9.00 in our projections. Even this is above fall delivery prices right now which is about $8.85. It is a pretty representative soybean price in central Illinois.

A decline in soybean prices to $9.00 likely will trigger 2017 ARC-CO payments, given county soybean yields are at trend levels. As a result, ILLINOIS’s 2017 projections build in a $15 per acre government payment. It arrive until the fall of 2018, but an estimated $20 payment from last year’s crop should arrive this fall.

In 2017, revenue is projected to be $755 per acre for corn, down by $77 per acre from last year. Gross revenue for soybeans is projected at $564 per acre, $140 per acre lower than in 2016.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Post-Emergence Herbicides in Corn

ifr170602–144
Post-Emergence Herbicides in Corn
Aaron Hager, Extension Weed Scientist - University of Illinois
read blog post

It is time for farmers to control weeds in their corn fields. However, as Todd Gleason reports, the cool, wet start to the growing season makes it doubly important to read and follow herbicide labels.

1:55 radio
1:58 radio self-contained
1:56 tv
2:00 tv cg

Farmers are heading to the field again. This time with machinery used to control weeds. The post-emergence herbicide labels they’ll be following usually allow applications to be made at various growth stages says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager.

(Gleason Stand Up) Hager says it is really important to read the label, making sure to get the height, or the stage, maybe both, of the crop correct.

This is because most all of the products for corn have a growth stage listed on the label beyond which applications, at least broadcast applications, should not be made. It is usually either plant height - measured at the highest arch of the uppermost leaf at least 50% out of the whorl - or a leaf number. Hager says if both are listed, then it is important to use the more restrictive of the two.

Hager :34 …to determine the stage of the corn plant.

Quote Summary - For example, because of some of the weather conditions we’ve had across a large part of the state this year we may have corn plants which older than their height would suggest. Using the leaf collar method is typically a better way to stage the development of the corn plant. If you can do both the height and the counting, the leaf collar method is the better method to determine the stage of the corn plant.

Corn plants under stress conditions may be more prone to injury from post-emergence herbicides. On that note, Hager says farmers should be sure to consult the product label when selecting spray additives. Many labels suggest changing from one type of additive to another when the corn crop is stressed. Also, trying to save a trip across the field by applying a post-emergence corn herbicide with liquid nitrogen as the carrier is not advisable. The U of I weed scientist says while applying high rates of UAN by itself can cause corn injury, adding a post-emergence herbicide can make it worse.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Don’t Risk a Lot to Save a Little

ifr170526–143
Don’t Risk a Lot to Save a Little
Karen Chan, University of Illinois Extension
read blog post

“Don’t risk a lot to save a little”, that simple phrase has stuck with University of Illinois Extension’s Karen Chan through many years. All the way back she says to when she learned it while studying for her Certified Financial Planner designation. It is one of three basic principles of risk management. The idea is not to try saving a nickel when that decision might end up costing $10. Karen has a list of examples.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Treat NOW for Emerald Ash Borer

ifr170526–142
Treat NOW for Emerald Ash Borer
Phil Nixon, Extension Entomologist - University of Illinois
read blog post

Emerald ash borer adults are emerging from Illinois to Ohio and points northward. Todd Gleason has more on what to do if you want to save your tree.

They’ll continue to do so for several weeks…
1:20 radio
1:37 radio self-contained

They’ll continue to do so for several weeks and it means now is the time to treat for them in hopes of saving your Ash tree. This should most definitely be done if the emerald ash borer has been found within fifteen miles of your tree says University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Phil Nixon.

Nixon : …find the girls and you eliminate the problem.

Quote Summary - If you treat the trees on an annual or bi-annual basis for approximately 20 years, this is about the amount of time it will take for the untreated trees to all die, then the number of emerald ash borer drops down and the boys cannot find the girls and you eliminate the problem.

Again, you can save your Ash tree, but it’ll take about twenty years to do that… if the experience in the state of Michigan is any guide. You or a professional can do that by making an insecticide application.

Nixon : …over a span of about eight years

Quote Summary - The beetles are out right now. They are about half-an-inch long. They are metallic green, emerald green and they come out of holes that are about one-eighth of and inch wide and D shaped, flat on one side and round on the other. The larvae girdle the trees underneath the bark. This kills the trees from the top down over a span of about eight years.

Call your local Extension office for more details about the process and how best to go about treating for the Emerald Ash Borer.

Adjusting Nitrogen for this Corn Crop

ifr170526–141
Adjusting Nitrogen for this Corn Crop
Emerson Nafziger, Agronomist - University of Illinois
read blog post

Despite the wet weather many think may be causing nitrogen fertilizer to get away from corn plants, it is still far too early to make that decision. Todd Gleason has more…

While it seems likely some nitrogen fertilizer…
2:14 radio
2:27 radio self-contained
2:17 tv
2:27 tv cg

While it seems likely some nitrogen fertilizer has moved out of the upper soil as a result of rainfall this year University of Illinois Agronomist Emerson Nafziger says if soils dry out, the torrential rains stop, the sun shines, and the weather gets warmer things should be all good.

Nafziger :29 …to look good in almost every field.

The crop is going to tell us this. If by the middle of June some of the crop has really greened up nicely and some has not, then we might need to think about those that haven’t and determine if enough nitrogen is missing to cause this to take place. My suspicion is we will not see very much of that at all. If we are warm and dry and with sunshine for a week, I think the crop is going to look good in almost every field.

One indication the topsoil hasn’t been stripped clean of nitrogen is the good recovery of green leaf color. Nafziger says, as soils dry out, root systems start to expand and the color will change. He explains the corn crop at this point looks like it does not because of lack of N, but due to cool temperatures and abundant rainfall. While it is premature to revise nitrogen management based on what has happened so far, Nafziger cautions it cannot be ruled out.

Nafziger :27 ….back and plan to put more on at this point.

I would be very reluctant now to make a decision that we need to go put more nitrogen on, especially if we’ve already put the full amount on. If we still need to side-dress and we add 10, or 15, or 20 pounds I don’t have a problem with that. But I think it is premature to decide so much of the nitrogen is gone that we put out there that we need to go back and plan to put more on at this point.

The good news is there is still time to make such decisions. The corn crop takes up barely one pound of N per acre for every inch of growth it makes up to about knee-high.

Nitrogen deficiency develops over time, and Nafziger says it is almost always more related to current soil moisture than to the amount nitrogen in the soil. So, if fields aren’t extra wet or extra dry over the next month, this season could still turn out to be much more typical than many now expect.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump Administration Budget Sets Farm Bill Guide Posts

ifr170526–139
Trump Administration Budget Sets Farm Bill Guide Posts
Jonathan Coppess, Agricultural Policy Specialist - University of Illinois

This week the Trump Administration released its FY18 budget. It includes harsh cuts to agricultural entitlement programs. Todd Gleason discusses the plan with University of Illinois Agricultural Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess.

Crop Progress & June Acreage Could be Really Bearish

ifr170522–138
VOICER
Crop Progress & June Acreage Could be Really Bearish
Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

There is a rule of thumb for marketing that says “Consider the crop year normal until that is no longer the case.” Yesterday’s USDA Weekly Crop Progress report - despite the rainy weather - tells us the nation’s farmers are on pace this season. They’ve planted 84% of the corn crop and 53% of the soybeans. For University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs this suggests, at a minimum, farmers need to really think about making new crop soybean sales prior to the USDA’s June 30th Acreage Report.

Hubbs :44 …could be really bearish soybean prices.

Hubbs writes about commodity prices each week for the University of Illinois. Those articles are posted to the farm-doc-daily website each Monday.

Summer Pricing for Corn & Soybeans

ifr170526–137
Summer Pricing for Corn & Soybeans
Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Farmers should take heed of last week’s one day drop in the soybean market. Todd Gleason has more on why from the University of Illinois.

Last Wednesday night the price of soybeans…
2:43 radio
2:51 radio self-contained

Last Wednesday night the price of soybeans tumbled as news of a scandal in the Brazilian government developed. The price decline on one piece of political news says Todd Hubbs provides an indication of the precarious price situation. He has been, and continues to advise that farmers sell new crop soybeans and the University of Illinois agricultural economist has a timeline, too.

Hubbs :31 …I think you might be prudent to do that.

Quote Summary - There is only one direction I see soybean prices going currently, barring some type of extreme weather event, and that is downward. Yes, we’ve seen some difficult weather early in the crop year, but does that portent difficult weather this summer? Who knows? Will we have weather rallies? In all probability we will. Still, on pricing 2017 soybeans, if you can get a good price before that June 30 USDA Acreage Report I think you might be prudent to do that.

Corn, on the other hand, is a different story. It starts with the lower number of acres farmers told USDA they were going to plant this season. It was down some four million from last year when USDA took the survey in March. And that thread - maybe now a threat - of lower acreage has been complicated by the weather says Hubbs.

Hubbs :39 …there is support in my opinion.

We’ve seen this real issue with planting and replanting in not normally a good thing for yield. Will we see a huge yield like we did last year with corn? It is hard to say? I think moving into the summer there could be a much larger rally in corn prices than in soybean prices. While are supplies are large, these are being reduced with good consumption and USDA is projecting lower ending stocks. So, when I look at corn prices long-run, I see them flat to up. There is support in my opinion.

Support which should provide a marketing opportunity for both old and new crop corn. Todd Hubbs summarizes it this way.

Hubbs :20 …not where you would want it to be.

Quote Summary - If you get a good rally in the summer I think you’ll have an opportunity to price the crop. Soybeans, on-the-other-hand, after the June Acreage Report - we’ll have to see how it shapes out - that could be a really bearish signal to the market. It might put prices, even it they were to rally later, at a level not where farmers would want them to be.

The risks associated, then, with waiting for a summer price rally is larger for soybeans for several reasons. Soybean acreage is more likely to surpass planting intentions. Soybean yields may be less vulnerable to summer weather problems. And finally soybean prices appear more vulnerable to downward movement given the state of domestic and global supplies.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

UPDATED | HRW Condition in Kansas with @KSUWheat

ifr170519–131
UPDATED | HRW Condition in Kansas with @KSUWheat
Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat & Forage Specialist - Kansas State University

The hard red winter wheat crop in Kansas has been under serious stress this spring. It’s been frozen, covered with snow, drown, and riddled with disease. Still, as Todd Gleason discovers, it may not be as bad off as conditions suggest.

6 Ways to Age Successfully

ifr170519–130
6 Ways to Age Successfully
Karla Belzer, Extension Family Life Educator - University of Illinois
read blog post

Studies have shown there are six main characteristic to aging successfully:

  1. Maintaining a positive or optimistic attitude. People who are more positive and optimistic are more resilient due to their creative, flexible, and open ways of thinking about things. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Let go of worry and practice self-care by managing your stress, laughing, and practicing positive self-talk.

  2. Stay socially active. Get involved in a cause or interest, pursue a passion, and do something you enjoy each day. Being socially active will help you reduce stress and benefit your mental and physical well-being.

  3. Live with purpose. Looking beyond yourself through giving to others is a hallmark of people who live with purpose. Consider volunteering in your community and think of ways you can give back. Share a talent or skill with others. Work as a mentor or tutor. Volunteering is a great way to build purpose into your social relationships.

  4. Eat well. What you eat and how active you are plays a role in how well you age. Strive to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Adopt a heart healthy diet and use the My Plate method and recommendations made at www.choosemyplate.gov

  5. Be physically active. Physical activity is good for your body and your brain – improving reaction times, concentration, and focus. Aim to be physically active a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity three days per week. Make sure you start out slow and do something you enjoy so you’ll stick with it.

  6. Challenge yourself intellectually. Stimulating your brain with new, interesting, and increasingly difficult tasks helps it stay healthy. Try a new hobby, learn something new, take a class, or play brain games.

We are all aging. Every minute you are older than you were a minute ago. By looking past the negative stereotypes and changing your view of aging, you can to look forward to your later years rather than dreading them.

Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” You can age successfully and lead a productive, inspiring, and fruitful lifelong into your golden years.

University of Illinois Extension Family Life Educators have a program on positive aging titled, “I’m Positive, I’m Aging.” To learn more about this program, contact your local Family Life Educator.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Yellow Corn Needs Some Heat

ifr170512–122 Yellow Corn Needs Some Heat
Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois

Farmers are worried about their corn crop across the Midwest. Some of it most certainly will need to be replanted because of standing water, but as Todd Gleason reports some whole fields have turned yellow.

Farmer don’t worry too much about…
1:33 radio
1:48 radio self-contained
1:37 tv
1:55 tv cg

Farmer don’t worry too much about a few very young yellow corn plants in their fields. They do get concerned when every plant is yellow. The problem, in this case, isn’t the wet weather says University of Illinois Agronomist Emerson Nafziger.

Nafziger :10 …more than it is of wet soils.

Quote Summary - Well, yellow corn is a direct consequence of having cool temperatures, more than it is of wet soils.

It’s the night time temps that are mostly causing the problems. When those overnight lows are in the 30’s, and 40’s, it damages the leaf.

Nafziger :32 …temperatures they way they are now.

Quote Summary - The bright sunshine we’ve had the last couple of days adds an extra ding to the low temperatures. If it is 40 degrees in the morning under bright sunshine the leaves react by yellowing. They are taking in sunlight energy, but are not in condition to do something with it. So, it will actually cause a little bit more damage. They are going to grow out of this pretty well, but it is not going to happen very fast with temperatures they way they are now.

The corn should green up once air temperatures return to normal. However, it may be only the new growth that is green says Nafziger. He’s not sure if there will be longterm consequences.

Nafziger :08 …can come back and start to grow.

Quote Summary - Our optimistic answers is we don’t think so, as long as it can come back and starts to grow.

The good news, though it is cold comfort says Nafziger, is that any replants that must be done in these yellow fields won’t be so very far behind because the standing plants haven’t really been growing much.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Condition of Kansas Wheat | an interview with Romulo Lollato

ifr170505–112
The Condition of Kansas Wheat | an interview with Romulo Lollato
Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat & Forage Specialist - Kansas State University

The Wheat Quality Tour has predicted a very good Kansas crop. However, as you’ll hear, the numbers produced are likely only good for the day they were released. Todd Gleason has more on how the hard red winter wheat crop may deteriorate.

Areas of Above & Below Trend Yields in the Corn-Belt

ifr170505–110
Areas of Above & Below Trend Yields in the Corn-Belt
Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read farmdocDaily post

Farmers in Illinois and other parts of the eastern corn belt have had above average yields over the last several years. Gary Schnitkey wondered if this was due to the weather or some other reason. He explored the topic and came to three conclusions.



First, yield expectations in the current year likely are more heavily influenced by more recent experience. In those areas where yields have been high, it may be tempting to building financial budgets and expectations on relatively high yields. Doing so could result in higher projections of incomes than are warranted. Farmers in Illinois and other recent high yielding areas should be cautious about building in high yield expectations.

Second, the comparison of above average yields in Illinois and near average yields in Iowa is instructive in understanding whether high yields are caused by technological change. The high yields in Illinois in recent years likely are not a result of technological changes. If technological change was causing the yield differences, Iowa would have had above trend yields as well as Illinois. Rather, high Illinois’ yields likely are the result of good growing conditions. Over time, areas with good growing conditions will move around the greater Corn Belt, as has happened in the past.



Third, the above yield maps likely are indicative of relative financial performance since 2012. Overall, incomes have been lower since 2012. However, farmers in Illinois and other higher yielding areas likely have fared better than farmers in Iowa and other regions with near average yields. Again, weather variations can change from year-to-year, so areas with higher and lower yields will change over time.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Autism Resources at the University of Illinois

ifr170428–108
tcp170428–02
Autism Resources at the University of Illinois
Susan Sloop, Extension Family Life Educator - University of Illinois

Learn more about autism and the resources available at the University of Illinois with U of I Extension’s Susan Sloop.

theautismprogram.org

How to Make a Compost Pile | with Duane Friend

ifr170428–107
tcp170428–01
How to Make a Compost Pile | with Duane Friend
Duane Friend, Extension Environmental Stewardship - University of Illinois

Composting can be a great way to eliminate yard and garden waste along with some table scraps. It is easy to create a home compost pile.

directions on the web

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Black Cutworm Moth Flights & Projected Cutting Dates

ifr170428–104
Black Cutworm Moth Flights & Projected Cutting Dates
Kelly Estes, Entomologist - Illinois Natural History Survey
University of Illinois Crop Sciences Field Crops Pest Guide

Farmers across Illinois will soon need to scout their cornfields for the black cutworm. Todd Gleason has more on the pest and projected cutting dates.

Black cutworm moths ride the southerly winds…
2:38 radio
2:46 radio self-contained

Black cutworm moths ride the southerly winds into the state of Illinois and then lay their eggs in cornfields. The hatched larvae then feed on the stem of seedling corn plants. The eat all the way through it, cutting it off. That’s why it is important to monitor black cutworm moth flights into the state using traps says entomologist Kelly Estes from the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Kelly Estes :22 …cut those plants like you described earlier.

We’ve had reports of significant moth flights, which is more than eight moths (captured) over the course of a two-day span. We use this to set a biofix. From this bio-fix, we can use degree days to predict when black cutworm larvae will be in an area and large enough to cut those plants like you described earlier.

One cutworm can feed on as many as four corn plants - up to 15 inches in height - over its lifetime. They feed at night and burrow into the ground during the daylight hours. Conditions that favor black cutworm outbreaks include later tillage and planting dates, reduced or no-till fields, and or fields were large weed populations exist or were controlled late.

Damage is likely to occur when weed hosts are destroyed and larvae begin feeding on corn. Small larvae feed on plant leaves. Early cutworm feeding can be identified as small irregular holes in the leaves of corn plants. The larvae feed above ground for about the first quarter of their lives, or until they are approximately half an inch long.

Estes is now projected the earliest cutworm feeding will start May 9th in Madison County. That’s near St. Louis. Her projections move north from there with the passage of time.

Estes :37 …we expect to see larvae present.

Say, like, I–72 across with projected dates from May 11th through the 15th and then as we progress into northern counties, like Warren or Grundy and even as far north as Lee County, with projected cutting dates from May 17th through May 21st. So, as we see delayed planting in several areas across the state, we could potentially have small corn in those areas right about the time we expect to see larvae present.

Illinois farmers should begin to scout corn fields for black cutworm larvae now. They’ll need to scout five locations in each field, looking at about 250 plants total. The cutworm is black to gray and about an inch and half long when fully grown and looks a little greasy. A post-emergence rescue treatment is needed when 3% of the plants are cut, and larvae are still present.

Tracking Black Cut Worm Moth Flights in Illinois | with Kelly Estes

ifr170428–101
Tracking Black Cut Worm Moth Flights in Illinois | with Kelly Estes
Kelly Estes, Entomologist - Illinois Natural History Survey

Todd Gleason talks with Illinois Natural History Survey Entomologist Kelly Estes about insect pests of corn in the state.





Friday, April 21, 2017

Evaluating Barley Yellow Dwarf Resistance in Oats

ifr170421–097
Evaluating Barley Yellow Dwarf Resistance in Oats
Fred Kolb, Crop Scientist - University of Illinois

Doing research on crops can be tedious. It also ensures diseases and pests won’t over take them. Todd Gleason has more…

Fred Kolb heads up the small grains breeding…
1:11 radio
1:23 radio self-contained
1:11 tv
1:23 tv cg

Fred Kolb heads up the small grains breeding program at the University of Illinois. He and his crew were out working on the south farms last week (Wednesday, April 18). They swing specialized tubes to deliver a little corn meal and an Aphid that carries Barley Yellow Dwarf disease. The aphid, says Kolb, infects the oats.

Kolb :43 …several in the U.S. and several in Canada.

Quote Summary - We are inoculating these oats with Barley Yellow Dwarf virus. And in order to that we rear aphids in the greenhouse, the aphids carry the virus, and then we put the aphids on the hills, and they infect the plants with the virus. We can then evaluate all these different genotypes for resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf virus. We have material here from my breeding program, but we are also evaluating material from most to the other breeding programs in North America; several in the U.S. and several in Canada.

Kolb says about a week after the aphids are released, he and his team come back to eradicate them. Fred Kolb is a crop scientist at the University of Illinois.

Cattle | Increase Conception Rates after Lush Spring Turnout

ifr170421–096
ifr170421-100
Cattle | Increase Conception Rates after Lush Spring Turnout
Travis Meteer, Extension Beef Educator - University of Illinois
Dan Shike, Animal Scientist - University of Illinois

During the winter most cattle are supplemented with dry forages, grains, and co-products. This ration is balanced and delivered to cattle. Then spring comes along and cattle are put out to grass. While green grass solves a lot of problems associated with winter feeding (manure, pen maintenance, calf health, and labor demands), it can, as Todd Gleason reports, pose nutritional challenges especially for newly bred cows.

That lush green grass forage has three major…
2:28 radio
2:55 radio self contained




That lush green grass forage has three major challenges when it comes to meeting cattle nutrition requirements.
  • it can lack enough dry matter
  • it is high in protein, but the excess can become a problem without the dry matter
  • and it is low in fiber
The beef cattle specialists at the University of Illinois wondered if this combination of problems has taken a hand in some of the lower artificial insemination conception rates they’ve seen in one of the three campus herds. A herd Animal Scientist Dan Shike says is very well managed, always in good condition, and thought be, well, right.
Shike :36 …turnout to spring grass coincided with our time of breeding.
Quote Summary - And yet, we were seeing our lowest A.I. conception rates. This happened a few years in a row. We thought we were doing ok on some the first traditional things you would look at. Then we decided we should consider the nutrition after breeding. We realized, with this particular herd, our turnout to spring grass coincided with our time of breeding. We started to point a finger there to see if that is where our concerns maybe were.
Shike, and Extension Beef Educator Travis Meteer set up an experiment to find out. Low dry matter and excess protein has been well documented by the dairy industry as a detriment to reproductive performance. The two wanted to know if a supplemental dry matter feed stock would make a difference. It did.
Shike :39 …the non-supplemented cows were pregnant to A.I.
Quote Summary - We had two treatments. Our control group was grazing pasture. The other group was grazing and fed four pounds of a mix. We started about ten days prior to breeding and turnout and carried it through for about six weeks after breeding. We looked at their bodyweight and body condition, but were ultimately interested in the first service A.I. conception rate. We did a synchronized timed A.I. At the first pregnancy check about 58% of the supplemented cows were pregnant to A.I. and 46% of the non-supplemented cows were pregnant to A.I.
A twelve percent increase is significant. However, Shike cautions he has just two years worth of data to support the findings. Shike and Meteer did a Facebook live video discussing lush spring grasses and the impact on cattle going to pasture that includes more details on conception rate work. Search Facebook for “University of Illinois Beef Cattle Extension”.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Choosing Nitrogen Rates

ifr170421–095
Choosing Nitrogen Rates
Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois
read blog post

The growing season has started and most corn farmers have already applied nitrogen. It is a very expensive plant food and, as Todd Gleason reports, getting the rate right may mean using a little less.

Here’s how the University of Illinois nitrogen…
1:54 radio
2:08 radio self-contained

Here’s how the University of Illinois nitrogen recommendation used to work. It was formula equal to roughly one-point-two times the expected yield minus the nitrogen leftover from the previous crop. That “yield-goal-based system” recommends too much for today’s corn hybrids says University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger.

Nafziger :13 …up more than requirements for nitrogen have gone up.

Quote Summary - That yield-goal-based system flat-out doesn’t work anymore. The reason it doesn’t is that our yields have gone up a lot, and we are clearly showing that yields have gone up more than requirements for nitrogen have gone up.

Nafziger believes there are two reasons for the change. First, he says the system always recommended more nitrogen than was really needed.

Nafziger :22 …bushel or what ever formulation people were using.

Quote Summary - And the other is that our hybrids have become much better at extracting what’s there; water and the nutrients that come with water. Nitrogen is the main one of those. Today we get higher yields and do not have to use the 1.2 pounds of nitrogen per bushel or what ever formulation people were using.

ILLINOIS abandon the formula about ten years ago in a favor of a system used and promoted by Land Grant’s throughout the corn belt. It is called the N Rate Calculator and it actually brought the Illinois rates down by a few pounds for this year.

Nafziger says at current corn and nitrogen prices, guideline rates for corn following soybean are 154, 172, and 179 pounds of nitrogen per acre in northern, central, and southern Illinois, respectively. 200, 200, and 189 for corn after corn. Southern Illinois farmers will make note that their rate for corn after soybeans is higher than in either central or northern Illinois and lower than both of those for corn after corn.

You may find and use the calculator online. Just search for “n-rate calculator”.

Too Early to Worry About Late Planting

ifr170421–092
Too Early to Worry About Late Planting
Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Farmers have been a bit worried about getting into the field because of rains throughout the Midwest. It looks like those will clear out for the week, mostly, and even if they don’t, there isn’t much to worry about, yet. Todd Gleason has more on when the ag economist at the University of Illinois think late planting impacts the markets and yields.

Farmers have been itching to go to the field…
1:24 radio
1:39 radio self-contained
1:27 TV
1:48 TV CG

Farmers have been itching to go to the field. They want to plant corn in the Midwest. There’s also some rumblings about delayed planting. That’s a little hard to swallow in mid-April says Todd Hubbs.

Todd Hubbs :05 …not getting a corn crop in.

Quote Summary - We need a few more weeks before we start getting panicked about not getting a corn crop in.

Hubbs is an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois. He’s looked at the stats and the historical record. He says it is pretty concise.

Hubbs :18 …data on crop progress and planted acres.

Quote Summary - If we have a huge amount of corn planted late, then we will see some acreage removed from the national portfolio. There is really no correlation or pattern with soybeans being planted late. There is for corn when you look at the national data on crop progress and planted acres.

It’s a correlation that won’t happen for about a month if it happens at all.

Hubbs :28 …I don’t think we are in any danger right now.

Quote Summary - May 20th for corn is late. You do see some yield hits as you move along. Emerson Nafziger has a really nice post from last year for Illinois in particular about corn and soybean yields and planting dates. So, May 20th for corn and around May 30th for soybeans and I don’t think we are in any danger right now.

You can check out Emerson Nafziger’s planting date post on the web. Just search google for bulletin and University of Illinois.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Working to Create New Illini Brand Soybean Varieties

ifr170421–093
Working to Create New Illini Brand Soybean Varieties Troy Cary, Crop Sciences - University of Illinois Lauran Widman, ACES Graduate Student - University of Illinois

Troy Cary & Lauran Widman (wihd-man) are working to create twelve-thousand 2017 University of Illinois soybean breeding program plots. Todd Gleason caught up with them on Tuesday morning and put together this look at some of the pre-planting season work.

They started out as individually selected…
2:32 tv clean 2:39 tv cg

0:04 CG
Troy Cary, Crop Sciences
University of Illinois

1:38 CG
Lauran Widman, ACES Graduate Student University of Illinois

YouTube Link

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Frozen Sweet Peas Recall, Listeria, & Pregnant Women

ifr170414–089
The Frozen Sweet Peas Recall, Listeria, & Pregnant Women
Mary Liz Wright, Nutrition and Wellness Educator - University of Illinois
voluntary recall notice
read blog post



Earlier this week (April 11th) frozen sweet peas sold under the Season’s Choice Brand at Aldi stores in seven states (including Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Wisconsin) were voluntarily recalled.

Listeria is a particularly concerning pathogen…
1:09



Listeria is a particularly concerning pathogen that University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Mary Liz Wright says should especially be avoided by pregnant women. However, Wright says there are some easy ways to make sure frozen peas are listeria free.

Wright :28 …chill them and use them in your salad.
Quote Summary - We need to cook those frozen vegetables before we add them to a cold salad. Listeria can be killed at 155 degrees F. So, bringing the peas up to a 155 degrees will kill the listeria and then you can safely chill them and use them in your salad.
The U.S. government reports pregnant women are twenty-percent more likely to contract listeria. It can lead to miscarriage.

Lakeside Foods says the 16 ounce packages of Season’s Choice frozen sweet peas were potentially contaminated. The product has already been removed from store shelves. Consumers should either throw the frozen peas they’ve purchased away, or return them for a full refund.

How to Boil, Color, and use Easter Eggs

ifr170414–088
How to Boil, Color, and use Easter Eggs
Mary Liz Wright, Extension Nutrition & Wellness - University of Illinois
read blog post

If you haven’t made Easter Eggs for the weekend, you’re in luck. There is still time and Todd Gleason has the how-to details with University of Illinois Extension’s Mary Liz Wright.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pork Industry Favored by Strong Demand

ifr170414–086
Pork Industry Favored by Strong Demand
Chris Hurt, Extension Agricultural Economist - Purdue University

The price of hogs should go up in 2017 even though there will be more of them around. Todd Gleason has more…

This year pork producers around the nation should…
3:05 radio
3:14 radio self contained

This year pork producers around the nation should raise about three percent more hogs. This increase in supply will coincide with an increase in price. That’s a bit unusual, but there are some reasons for it to happen says Purdue University Extension Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt.

Hurt :28 …at decade lows, as well.

Quote Summary - Prices will be supported by stronger demand because of a growing U.S. economy and by a robust eight percent growth in exports as projected by USDA. New packer capacity is also expected to contribute to stronger bids for hogs. Feed costs will be the lowest in a decade and total production costs are expected to be at decade lows.

The national breeding herd has increased by four percent since 2014. Notable expansions of the breeding herd in the past three years have occurred in Missouri 25 percent; Ohio 9 percent; Illinois 8 percent; and Indiana, Nebraska, and Oklahoma each up 4 percent. Given this increase, it is important to note live hog prices averaged about $46 last year. It is estimated producers lost about $11 on each hog they marketed. Prices are expected to be $3 to $4 higher this year.

Live hog prices averaged about $50 per hundredweight in the first quarter of 2017. Prices for the second and third quarters are expected to average in the very low $50s. Prices will likely be seasonally lower in the fourth quarter and average in the mid-$40s. Chris Hurt says if this forecast pans out, then prices would average near $49 for the year and be slightly under projected total costs of production. Producers would still lose about a $1 for every hog sold.

Hurt :13 …receiving a normal rate of return.

Quote Summary - This is basically a forecast for a breakeven year with all costs being covered, including labor costs and equity investors receiving a normal rate of return.

There are some financial shadows that could fall on the pork industry in 2017. Hurt is concerned about competition from the beef and poultry sectors. Both have increased production and will be vying for the consumer’s food dollar. That, by-the-way, has had an optimistic start to the year. However, Chris Hurt is cautious about the follow-through needed to maintain the strong economic tone as the new Administration works to develop stimulus packages. Feed costs, bad weather conditions in the northern hemisphere are always a concern. And finally, the industry, he says, needs to keep expansion of the breeding herd to near one percent.

Hurt :23 …one percent annual growth needed to expand exports.

Quote Summary - This one percent increase along with about one percent higher weaning rates means the industry can increase pork production about two percent a year. That is sufficient to cover a one percent growth in domestic population and about one percent annual growth needed to expand exports.

Growth of the breeding herd at more than one percent could shift the industry back into deeper losses.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dicamba Soybeans | how to manage herbicide applications

ifr170414–085
Dicamba Soybeans | how to manage herbicide applications
Aaron Hager, Extension Weed Scientist - University of Illinois

read more from Aaron Hager, University of Illinois Extension

Farmers going to the field this spring will be using a brand new type of soybean. Todd Gleason has more on why dicamba-resistant varieties will require them to exercise caution when making herbicide applications.

Dicamba is a very old herbicide…
2:15 radio
2:28 radio self-contained



Dicamba is a very old herbicide. It has been in use for more than four decades. It kills broadleaf plants and one of the most sensitive of these says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager has long been the soybean.
Hager :13 …trying to look at how soybean are.
Quotes Summary - It is one of the most sensitive broadleaf species that is grown in Illinois. You can look in the literature and find studies that have been done now for forty or fifty years really trying to look at how soybean are.
Recent work out of Missouri indicates sensitivity down to a rate of one-twenty-thousandths of a field use rate. There are many things listed on the dicamba label that will legally bind farmers planting dicamba and spraying resistant varieties. Even pre-season prohibitions.
Hager :38 …application, if we do that the buffer goes to 220 feet.
Quote Summary - We will give one example. If we are look at the Extendimax label, which is a straight dicamba formulation from Monsanto, there is a requirement to have a buffer area. A downwind buffer area. The size of that buffer area would vary depending on the rate that is applied. So, an in crop application that would require half-a-pound of dicamba acid would require a 110 foot buffer. However, if we are using decamba now in this pre-plant or pre-emergence time frame, when we are allowed to go up to a full pound at that application, if we do that the buffer goes to 220 feet.
This is not a recommendation. It a restriction. There is a big difference says Aaron Hager and farmers planning to use dicamba on dicamba resistant soybean fields this season must understand the consequences.
Hager :18 …are now violating this federal label.
These statements on these labels are not recommendations. These are things that must be followed every time these applications are made. So, for example, if you elect not to follow something like the nozzle selection type, or the height of the boom above the crop canopy, you are now violating this federal label.
This story has listed just a few of the restrictions; the downwind buffer, the nozzle selection type, the height of the boom above the canopy. There are others including speed, temperature, inversions, and predicted rainfall events. The point says Hager is that farmers choosing to use dicamba resistant soybeans this season and spraying them with decamba must read, understand, and follow the labels.

Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Sting Like a Bee

ifr170414–084
tcp170414–01
Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Sting Like a Bee
Jason Haupt, Energy & Environmental Stewardship - University of Illinois
read blog spot

Pollinators play a significant role in keeping habitats healthy and diverse. They are important to agriculture pollinating crops and help in ensuring a good healthy yield. When most people think of pollinators, their first thought is honeybees. However, there are so many more bees than just honey- bees (which are non-native) and more than 3,500 species of native bees in the United States with 228 of them found in Illinois. Without bees, much of the produce that you love to have in the summer would not be available in the quantities or the quality that you love. Peppers, tomatoes, many root vegetables, and many fruits need bees to pollinate and produce healthy produce. Bees ensure that the flowers properly pollinate and produce healthy and abundant fruits, seeds, and vegetables. Research has also shown that an increased native bee population also makes honeybees produce more honey increasing the yield of local honey.

Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Float Like a Butterfly

ifr170407–083
tcp170407–02
Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Float Like a Butterfly
Jason Haupt, Energy & Environmental Stewardship - University of Illinois
read blog spot

When you are looking to attract butterflies and other pollinators to your yard, you need to think about providing for all stages in the life of the insects that you want to attract. Insects have multiple life stages, and each stage has a different food requirement. Milkweed is one of the most common plants chosen to attract butterflies, Monarchs specifically, but Milkweed only provides for one of the life stages of the Monarch’s life cycle. To attract and keep the butterflies coming to your yard, you need to provide food for the larval stage (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult (butterfly) stages. Each stage has specific requirements.

Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Feathered Friends

ifr170407–082
tcp170407–01
Birds, Bees, & Wild Things | Feathered Friends
Jason Haupt, Energy & Environmental Stewardship - University of Illinois
read blog spot

Attracting wildlife to your yard is something in which everyone seems to be interested. But knowing how to do this is what many people lack. As you think about attracting wildlife to your yard, the first step is to start looking at your yard as a habitat. All habitats have four elements: water, shelter, food, and space.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Corn & Soybean Planting Date Recommendations

ifr170331–080
Corn & Soybean Planting Date Recommendations
Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois

Coming up, we’ll hear some planting date recommendations from Emerson Nafziger. Todd Gleason reports the University of Illinois agronomist is surprised by the consistency between corn and soybeans.

The University of Illinois has conducted planting date…
2:27 radio
2:40 radio self-contained

The University of Illinois has conducted planting date studies for decades. Emerson Nafziger smiles to himself when he says he’s been here for more than a couple of them. It’s the last 10 years he says that has really changed things.

Nafziger :28 …as it probably was twenty or thirty years ago.

The big surprise we are finding is that corn and soybean responses are so similar. What I think has happened with genetic improvement in both crops is that they have both become more stress tolerant and resilient. Consequently, late planting is not quite so damaging to yield potential as it probably was twenty or thirty years ago.

Here’s the other thing. Nafziger says the old rule is that soybeans suffer less than corn from late planting. This meant farmers planted corn first and, only when that was completed, would soybean be sown. This is not the situation today says Nafziger.

Nafziger :24 …much the same for corn and soybeans.

Quote Summary - The fact is the two lines of yield decline, as you get into late May planting for corn and soybeans - as a percentage of maximum yield for a site - those two lines lay right on top of each other. Basically, it says priority for planting dates is pretty much the same for corn and soybeans.

The point being, when soil conditions are right - especially late in the planting season - there isn’t a reason to prioritize based on crop, corn or soybeans, but rather to just plant the field that is in the best condition first. This lengthens out the viable planting dates at the end of the season. A similar thing has happened at the front of the season, too, says Nafziger.

Nafziger :33 …pretty soon after that as fields are ready to plant.

Quote Summary - I think that today, with what we’ve found with corn and soybeans, sometime in mid-to-late April is really the best time to plant either corn or soybeans. I would be inclined to start with corn before the middle of April, but if I had two planters, I’d have the second one planting soybeans pretty soon after that as fields are ready to plant.

If you’d like to read more about the University of Illinois planting date studies for corn and soybeans, please look for Emerson Nafziger’s article on The Bulletin website. Search Google for bulletin-comma-university of Illinois.

Are Native Plants Better than Non-Native

ifr170331–079
TCP–170331–01
Are Native Plants Better than Non-Native
Chris Enroth, Extension Horticulture - University of Illinois
read blog article

The time of year has come to think about what plants you’d like to put in your yard and garden. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Extension’s Chris Enroth about how he decides what to plant, and… what to constrain.

Are Cooking Oils Interchangeable

ifr170331–078
TCP–170331–02
Are Cooking Oils Interchangeable
Jenna Smith, Extension Nutrition & Wellness, University of Illinois
read blog article

As you read a recipe, you see it calls for canola oil, but all you have is olive oil. Do you reach for the canola or put on your shoes and head to the store? Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Extension’s Jenna Smith about the interchangeability of cooking oils.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Corn Prices Moving Forward | an interview with Todd Hubbs

ifr170331–075
Corn Prices Moving Forward | an interview with Todd Hubbs
Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

May corn futures’ prices tumbled to the lowest price level since December during the week ending March 24. Large crop estimates from around the world placed downward pressure on the corn market despite some positive domestic consumption numbers in exports and corn used for ethanol. Still, Todd Hubbs from the University of Illinois is hopeful there could be some support left in the corn market over time.

read full article on farmdocDaily

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The American Robin: Living up to its Superhero Image

ifr170324–073
TCP–170324–02
The American Robin: Living up to its Superhero Image
Chris Enroth, Extension Horticulture Educator - University of Illinois

by Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension

After an exceptionally mild winter, I noted my first robin sighting about three weeks ago. During that initial observation, scores of robins had arrived in my yard. Spring is a time of year when the migratory American robin can be found scouring the earth in search of protein. Sipping on my coffee, wave after wave of robins hopped through the yard, stopping to cock their head, as if listening for worms in the soil below. Scratching and digging through my leaf mulch, these red-breasted thrushes, found quite a feast.




Our American Robin suffers from an unfortunate Latin/scientific name coincidence- Turdus migratorius. Thumbing through various literature, ornithologists with an impeccably matter-of-fact tone describe the origin of Turdus as Latin for “thrush.”

Though my first sighting of a robin was in late February, most likely they’ve been here all winter. According to Douglas Stotz with the Chicago Field Museum, robins are migratory birds. In fact, fifteen years ago most American robins were flying south for the winter. With increasingly warmer winters, robins are now year-round Illinois residents. Cornell’s Journey North map reveals that robins were sighted in Southern Canada on January 24.



American robins are one of the first songbirds to nest in the spring. The male’s song is what we often hear on these crisp mornings warding off competing males while drawing in female mates. The female builds her nest and lays her beautiful blue eggs, while the male watches over and provides food during the incubation (fourteen days) and fledgling stage (about two weeks).

American robin chicks are born completely featherless, blind and totally dependent on their mother and father to regulate their body temperature, food, and protection. Only about one-quarter of baby robins survive the summer. Predators abound seeking eggs or newly hatched nestlings. Housecats have become a problematic non-native predator of songbirds. Nest predators slither, walk, and fly and range from snakes to raccoons to jays and many others.

With such a high mortality rate, it is remarkable how the American Robin has succeeded in establishing across the entire North American continent. Robins can rear two to three broods per season and adults live an average lifespan of two years.

At this point, my son joined me at the breakfast table, watching the late-winter spectacle unfold of birds digging up various invertebrates from our yard and carrying them around in their beaks (including the signature earthworm). Upon pointing out the birds picking their way through our yard were robins, his eye lit up. “Like Robin from the movie?” (Referencing his growing Batman knowledge) “Yes,” I explain, “they could be considered protectors in the bird world.”

Being so large in comparison to other songbirds, the American Robin can produce one of the loudest songs. Not only do robins use their songs to attract mates, but they also have songs to sound the alarm of an approaching predator.

Biologists have found that robin songs are so pronounced, that other species of birds, squirrels, and deer respond to their alarm call. In a way, robins act as a scout. Foraging on the open ground leaves these birds open to many predators, so they must be vigilant. Often when trouble arrives, robins are the first to sound the alarm. Signaling to other wildlife to be on the lookout, run/fly away, or a call to action to thwart a stalking housecat or sneaky snake.

While the song of the American Robin is music to our winter ears, these birds carry far more than a cheery tune. Their warnings protect and rally those being preyed upon by cunning predators. The American Robin, our backyard superhero.

Historical Planted Acre Changes for Corn and Soybeans | an interview with Gray Schnitkey

ifr170324–072
Historical Planted Acre Changes for Corn and Soybeans | an interview with Gray Schnitkey
Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist- University of Illinois

Friday, March 31, 2017, USDA will release the Prospective Plantings report. The survey of U.S. farmers will estimate how many acres of corn and soybeans will be sown this spring. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey talks with Todd Gleason about the historical changes in planted acres.



by Gary Schnitkey
see farmdocDaily post

At its annual Agricultural Outlook Conference in February, USDA projected that planted acres of corn would decrease from 94.0 million acres in 2016 to 90.0 million in 2017, a decrease of 4 million planted acres. At the same time, soybean acres are projected to increase from 83.4 million acres in 2016 to 88.0 million in 2017, an increase of by 4.6 million acres. Herein, we evaluate historical changes in acres across counties, thereby providing perspective on where likely 2017 acreage changes may occur.

U.S. Planted Acres

In 2016, planted acres to corn in the United States was 94.0 million acres (see Figure 1). This acreage level was the third highest number of planted acres since 2000, only being exceeded by 2012 (97.3 million acres) and 2013 (95.4 million acres). The 2017 projection of 90 million acres would be a 4.0 million acre decrease from the 2016 level. Plantings of 90.0 million acres would be about the same level as occurred in 2014 (90.5 million acres) and would be below the average planting for the last ten years.



In 2016, planted acres to soybeans was 83.4 million acres, the highest amount ever planted in the United States. Before 2014, planted acres to soybeans never exceeded 80 million acres (see Figure 1). Planted acres exceeded 80 million acres in each year since 2014: 83.2 million acres in 2014, 82.6 million in 2015, and 83.4 million in 2016.

In the following maps, acreage changes from 2011 to 2016 will be shown. In 2011, U.S. corn acres were 91.9 million, 1.9 million acres higher than in 2016. Reversing the corn acre increases during this five year period would go part way to reaching the decreases projected for 2017. The soybean acreage increase from 2011 to 2016 of 8.4 million represents twice the change projected from 2016 to 2017.
Corn Acre Changes

Figure 2 shows a map color coded to give changes in acres from 2011 to 2016. Counties colored blue had increases in acres, counties coded in orange had decreases in acres. Those counties that are yellow had essentially the same acres in 2016 as they did in 2011.



Several areas had pronounced increases. In particular, the northern Great Plains had sizeable increases. Between 2011 and 2016, North Dakota increased acres by 1.2 million, South Dakota by .4 million, and Minnesota by .4 million. Another area of sizable increase was Texas, with the planting .9 million more acres in 2016 than in 2011. Counties along the Mississippi River, especially in Arkansas, increased acres as well.

There were areas of notable decreases as well. Sizable decreases in corn acres occurred in Illinois. Between 2011 and 2016, planted acres in decreased by 1.0 million in Illinois. Indiana and Iowa had modest decreases as well.

Soybean Acre Changes

Figure 3 shows a map with planted acre changes for soybeans. Similar to corn, soybean acres increased in the upper Great Plans. Planted acres increased by 2.0 million acres in North Dakota, 1.1 million acres in South Dakota, and .5 million acres in Minnesota.



Other areas of significant increase were Illinois with a 1.1 million acres increase in planted soybeans. Planted acres also increased along the Mississippi River, parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as areas in North and South Carolina.

Perspective on Changes for 2017

Areas with large acreage changes in the past likely will contribute in a significant way to acre changes from 2016 to 2017. These areas include the upper Great Plans, Texas, and the corn belt.

It seems conceivable that total corn and soybean acres could continue to increase in the upper Great Plains in 2017. Much of the acreage increases of corn and soybeans between 2011 and 2016 came from acres previously planted to wheat. In 2017, wheat acres could continue to decrease, leading to increases in corn and soybean acres. Whether corn acres will decrease while soybean acres increase in this region is an open question. One event that could lead to acre decreases is higher incidence of prevented planting. Prevented plantings were low in 2016, leaving open the possibility of increases in prevented planting acres in 2017.

Texas could see acreage shifts away from corn. Cotton prices look favorable, and an increase in cotton acres could contribute to fewer acres in corn.

Illinois and the corn belt in general could see shifts from corn to soybeans. Returns from crop budget suggest soybeans will be more profitable than corn (farmdoc daily, December 6, 2016), suggesting a shift is possible.

While budgets suggest the possibility, acre shifts have been slow in coming. Perhaps the most likely area where a shift will occur is where corn acres exceed soybean acres by a considerable margin. Corn acres divided by soybean acres exceed 1.0 in many counties in southern Minnesota, Iowa, northern and central Illinois, and western Indiana (see Figure 4). Bringing these areas back closer to a 50% corn - 5% soybean rotation, indicated by 1.0 corn divided soybean value, could increase profits suggesting that switches are possible.



Summary

Areas that experienced large acre changes in the past likely will be the ones where acres changes occur in 2017. This suggests focus on the upper Great Plains, Texas, and Illinois and the corn belt more generally. Continued corn and soybean acreage increases in the upper Great Plains seem reasonable to expect, except if prevented planting acres increase significantly. Texas could experience reduced corn acres. Budgets suggest switches to more soybeans from corn in the Midwest, although this is the case in previous years. Further indications of planting attentions will be received with the release of NASS’s Prospective Plantings report on March 31.