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Manager’s Article November 20, 2017

gayHAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! According to AFBF, the price of an average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 dropped this year to $49.12, a 75-cent decrease compared with last year and the lowest since 2013. While the price of the meal has steadily increased since 1986 when AFBF first conducted its survey, the average cost has been trending downward for the last two years. Be sure and thank a farmer for your Thanksgiving Dinner.
BIG CROPS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR STRONG AG MARKETS – Thinking back to August, IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr. wasn’t too worried about who would buy this year’s crops. He wasn’t sure there’d be much of a crop to buy in the first place. But Guebert’s yield monitor showed surprisingly high numbers this fall, and his thoughts have returned to where his crops are going to go. “We really need good export and trade agreements to move this product out into the world market,” he said. (FarmWeekNow.com)
IL SHORT OF TEACHERS – A recent report finds Illinois schools needed 2,000 teachers at the start of this year, and 16 percent of schools had to cancel something last year because they didn’t have the teachers to conduct the classes or activities. Experts say teachers’ starting salaries, cost of a four-year degree and certification requirements are contributing to the lack of teachers in the state. (Illinois News Network)
Illinois Dicamba Training will roll out this winter, with sessions beginning Nov. 27 and continuing until April 1, just prior to spring planting.
Illinois is following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) parameters as it relates to dicamba use in 2018.
“We are now moving forward with one of the new requirements on this label for 2018, which is that this is a restricted-use pesticide,” Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) President Jean Payne recently told the RFD Radio Network®.  “So you already have to be a certified applicator to apply it.”
Those applicators must also prove that they have been to dicamba-specific training in order to apply the product, she added.
“And you have to keep proof of training as part of every record of application,” Payne said. “You don’t have to have proof of training to buy dicamba products; you just have to be a certified applicator and provide the pesticide dealer your license.”(Jim Taylor for FarmWeek.now)
FRUIT ORDERS MUST BE IN BY MONDAY.
Oranges – a 40 lb box is $35.00 and 20 lb box is $25.00
Grapefruit – 40 lb box is $30.00 and 20 lb box is $20.00
(we will not have Tangelos this year at all – sorry for the inconvenience.)
Orders must be received by November 27 for fruit and it will be in before Christmas.
WE CURRENTLY HAVE PECANS IN THE OFFICE – so you can call or stop by and pick them up. Supplies are limited so don’t wait.
Pecans are $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

What’s Growing on?

AITC AITC1The 38th Annual Mt. Vernon Teacher Conference was held on October 27, 2017, at the Mt. Vernon Twp. High School campus with a “reach~teach~inspire” theme. Ag in the Classroom Coordinators from Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Saline Counties provided an exhibit table with free resources. Those resources included posters, Ag Mags, Illinois Reading Council information, IL AITC calendars and much more. The coordinators owe a big Thank You to Jacob Kueker, Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter, and Derek Sample, Sesser-Valier FFA Chapter, for watching over the exhibit booth while the coordinators presented at 4 sessions throughout the day.
The Coordinators presenting included: Leslie Kueker, Jefferson/Hamilton Co., Maridy Tso, Saline/Gallatin Co, and Melissa Lamczyk, Franklin Co. The session titles were “What’s Growing On?” These sessions focused on specialty crops growing in Illinois and how to use new learning standards to incorporate hands on activities with some locally grown produce as well as produce from around the state. The new Specialty Ag Mag has several items highlighted from around the state with interviews from growers on the back page and information on the front page and inside. The newer Ag Mags have the standards listed on the back page and the web page for finding more lessons and activities, as well as many more links and FREE resource materials.
Mrs. Lamczyk shared an informative video from the Horseradish Festival in Collinsville , IL and presented a horseradish root, how it’s grown, special equipment needed during the planting, harvesting and storage of the produce. Mrs. Lamczyk shared her experience of touring Heepke Farms in May of 2017, where they grow horseradish and many other commodities, and learned that Collinsville, IL is the horseradish capitol of the world.
Mrs. Tso presented an activity on broom corn. Mrs. Tso had some broom corn on hand to share with the teachers and told them she relates to the product from childhood memories with her grandparents. She demonstrated the difference in use of broom corn and todays brooms. She also did a fun hands on activity of moon sand using watermelon kool-aid. She told teachers that students could make the sand with different flavors of kool-aid while learning about different produce.
Mrs. Kueker demonstrated how to pull the dna cells from a strawberry, while also providing some for snacks for those teachers attending class though the lunch hour. Mrs. Kueker demonstrated that different equipment used during the extraction process and products used could make a difernce in the outcome and the time needed to do the experiment. She talked about the different orchards available within the county for finding different produce and their products.
Teachers left with handouts, Ag Mags, and some with a variety of door prizes, such as highlighted ag related books. More than 1000 teachers and administrators and several counties participate and attend the Mt. Vernon Conference. A huge Thank You to the Regional Office of Education and all those who assisted with the planning, preparation and carrying out of the conference.

Akin Thanksgiving

Akin ThanksgivingAkin Grade school holds an annual Thanksgiving feast Day each year. Each year Mrs. Shannon Bennett, Kindergarten teacher at Akin, invites the Franklin County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, into the classroom to prepare her students for the day.
Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Walker, 1st grade teacher, help their students in making their feast day attire. Mrs. Lamczyk discusses with the students how the Native Americans hunted for their food and how they not only ate the meat, but also how the hides and bones were used clothing, tools and jewelry.
Mrs. Lamczyk also talks about how they used other resources from their environment that to make their items. The students thought of different items that could be used for dyes for clothing, like berries and nuts and other items nature provides.
Mrs. Lamczyk dyes a variety of different shaped noodles each year for the students to make necklaces. She cuts strands of craft lace and attaches a metal ring at one end. Pairs of students are given a bowlful of noodles to make their necklaces, then each student gets to choose a dyed manicotti noodle to slide onto the center of the necklace. The teachers then help place a latch on the other end of the necklace. Each students’ initials are placed on a noodle near the latch and the students wear the necklace for a picture.
The teachers collect the necklaces and keep them until the feast day. The teachers have students decorate paper sacks for vests and Mrs. Bennett brings in real turkey feathers for the students to use for their headdress. The students then wear the attire for feast day.
Many of the 1st grade students and students from previous years say they still have their necklaces. Students sometimes make patterns with the noodles, but also need to use their fine motor skills and listening skills in making their necklaces. Students are mimicking the Native American attire and learning about history at the same time while having their Thanksgiving Feast.

Manager’s Article For November 15, 2017

gayHopefully most of the crops are out of the fields by now but I do know that there are still some farmers who are fighting the weather. So this is just a reminder that Governor Rauner signed the HSE into effect to allow farmers to haul grain and/or livestock due to crop conditions. All three common forms of weight restriction – gross, axle and registered – are addressed. In each case, the permit can allow up to a maximum of 10 percent over the standard weight restriction.
There is no cost for the HSE permit. However, you will need to have documents in EACH truck from IDOT during this time. The HSE ruling also indicates that a permit is needed for county routes, district roads and municipal streets – I have called Franklin County and talked to Matt Barnett and Mike Rolla has indicated that Franklin County is not requiring a county permit at this time for emergency harvest. I also spoke with Hamilton County and Jackson County and they are not requiring permits either.
The most important part of this is that YOU CANNOT RUN ON ANY INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS WHILE OVERWEIGHT. YOU MUST ALWAYS OBAY THE POSTED BRIDGE LIMITS!
To get the IDOT permit it is necessary to go to their website and go to the oversize and overweight site and create a log in. A permit will then be issued to you – remember that each truck/plate must have a written permit at least from IDOT. This includes any truck that is hauling grain – not just a farm plate.
Each truck will be required to have three documents:
The permit (printed or electronic)
A copy of form OPER 993*; and (*special vehicle movement permit provisions)
A copy of the Governor’s declaration.
We are getting ready for our County Annual Meeting on November 27. If you are a Farm Bureau member please call by Tuesday the 21st to make your reservations. For more information call the office at 435-3616.
We are taking donations for Harvest of Help – this is our 10th year and we have raised over $62,000 to be able to donate food to all 9 are food pantries. Any amount of money is helpful and it is a tax deductible donation to the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation. If you would like more information call the office.
It is time again to order oranges and grapefruit. We currently have pecans in the office so you can call or stop by and pick them up. Supplies are limited so don’t wait.
Pecans will be $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Oranges – a 40 lb box is $35.00 and 20 lb box is $25.00
Grapefruit – 40 lb box is $30.00 and 20 lb box is $20.00
(we will not have Tangelos this year at all – sorry for the inconvenience.)
Orders must be received by November 22 for fruit and it will be in before Christmas.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for November 8, 2017

gayGovernor Rauner signed the HSE into effect to allow farmers to haul grain and/or livestock due to crop conditions. All three common forms of weight restriction – gross, axle and registered – are addressed. In each case, the permit can allow up to a maximum of 10 percent over the standard weight restriction.
There is no cost for the HSE permit. However, you will need to have documents in EACH truck from IDOT during this time. The HSE ruling also indicates that a permit is needed for county routes, district roads and municipal streets – I have called Franklin County and talked to Matt Barnett and Mike Rolla has indicated that Franklin County is not requiring a county permit at this time for emergency harvest.
The townships that I have spoken with – Benton and Christopher – indicate that they will not require a written permit to run on their roads.
The most important part of this is that YOU CANNOT RUN ON ANY INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS WHILE OVERWEIGHT.
To get the IDOT permit it is necessary to go to their website and go to the oversize and overweight site and create a log in. A permit will then be issued to you – remember that each truck/plate must have a written permit at least from IDOT. This includes any truck that is hauling grain – not just a farm plate.
Each truck will be required to have three documents:
The permit (printed or electronic)
A copy of form OPER 993*; and (*special vehicle movement permit provisions)
A copy of the Governor’s declaration.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 435-3616 and I will do my best to walk you through the process.
We are still looking for Silent Auction Items for our Annual Meeting. The proceeds will benefit Ag in the Classroom. If you have an item that you would like to donate please contact our office at 435-3616 and we can make arrangements to pick it up. Thank you for your consideration and this is a tax deductible donation.
Also, it is time again to ask for donations for our annual “Harvest of Help” – we collect money then purchase food for each of the 9 food pantries in Franklin County. Every dollar helps! This is a tax deductible donation and checks need to be made to Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation. Over the 9 years that we have been doing the Harvest of Help we have donated in excess of $62,000 to the food pantries. We are very proud of the support that we have received from everyone for this program.
It is time again to order pecans, oranges and grapefruit.
Pecans will be $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Oranges – a 40 lb box is $35.00 and 20 lb box is $25.00
Grapefruit – 40 lb box is $30.00 and 20 lb box is $20.00
(we will not have Tangelos this year at all – sorry for the inconvenience.)
Orders must be received by November 22 for fruit and they will be in before Christmas. Pecans will be in before Thanksgiving. Call 435-3616 now to get your order in.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article October 25, 2017

gayThis rain has not been a welcome sight to the farmers. Those who still have crops in the fields are needing to get them out and those who have them out already are needing to work in other areas that are outside. This means that the harvest will last a little longer so please continue to watch out for farmers on the roadways.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) may need to recalibrate its production goal for the state based on the size of the current crop. USDA this month estimated soybean production in Illinois could total nearly 601 million bushels this season. If realized, the crop would set a new state record, lead the nation and capture ISA’s production goal three years early. (FarmWeekNow.com)
When customers walk down aisles of grocery stores, they are inundated with labels such as organic, fair-trade and cage free, just to name a few. Labels such as these may be eye-catching but are often free of any scientific basis and stigmatize many healthy foods.
“If you show consumers a chocolate bar that is labeled as ‘fair trade’, some will tell you that it has lower calories,” Messer said. “But the label is not about calories. Consumers do this frequently with the ‘organic’ label as they think it is healthy for the consumer. Organic practices may be healthier for the farm workers or the environment, but for the actual consumer, there’s very little evidence behind that. You’re getting lots of mixed, wrong messages out there.
The natural label is a classic one which means very little, yet consumers assume it means more than it does. They think it means ‘No GMO’ but it doesn’t. They think it means it is ‘organic’ but it isn’t. This label is not helping them align their values to their food, and they’re paying a price premium but not getting what they wanted to buy per a study produced by the University of Delaware.
When you start labeling everything as ‘free of this’ such as ‘gluten free water,’ you can end up listing stuff that could never have been present in the food in the first place.
My final word is “Don’t get caught up in all of the different labels – there are some that are just too confusing. When you purchase meat – buy from a grocer you trust. When you purchase fruits and vegetables – purchase from Farmer’s Markets when possible. Just try and use good judgement and don’t get caught up in all of the hype.
It is time again to order pecans, oranges and grapefruit.
Pecans will be $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Oranges – a 40 lb box is $35.00 and 20 lb box is $25.00
Grapefruit – 40 lb box is $30.00 and 20 lb box is $20.00
(we will not have Tangelos this year at all – sorry for the inconvenience.)
Orders must be received by November 22 for fruit and they will be in before Christmas. Pecans will be in before Thanksgiving. Call 435-3616 now to get your order in.
Have you ever wondered what the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders do in the county? They give out scholarships every year, they are the face of Harvest of Help, they participate in parades throughout the county, help will any and all of the Farm Bureau programs throughout the year and they have a great time doing it.
To be a Young Leader you must be between the ages of 18 – 35 and live in the county. We do have a Junior Young Leader Program that focuses on high school age. We work hard and play hard and get a lot of recognition while doing it. It is a great way to get your name and face in front of businesses and business leaders in the county and the state. If you would like more information please call the office at 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article October 2017

gayGay Bowlin-Manager

Just a reminder that Farmer’s Markets throughout the county are still open until the end of October. Take advantage of what the area farmers have to offer that is still fresh from their gardens.
During the fall harvest season, countless hours are being spent in combines, tractors, trucks and other equipment by farmers and workers, who will be transporting large equipment on our roads and highways.  Some workers may be young, new or inexperienced, so it’s always a good suggestion to go over safety considerations with all workers to teach or reinforce the importance of safety on the farm.  Agriculture ranks among the nation’s most hazardous industries.  Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries…and farming is one of the few industries in which family members, who often share the work and live on the farm, are also at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.
This time of year poses the highest risk of injury for farmers who experience fatigue and stress, under pressure to spend as much time as they can in the fields.  Injuries actually increase by 50% during harvest.  Not only are hours long and the workload heavy, but farmers also have to deal with equipment breakdowns and weather-related issues. Staying safe during harvest is challenging.  Contact with machinery presents the biggest risk for both injuries and fatalities but there are ways to avoid them and stay sharp.  Consider these tips:
Inspect all machinery before beginning and have repair tools at the ready
Eat balanced meals
Stay well-hydrated to maintain awareness
Keep your phone on you, not on a dashboard
Keep SMV emblems and other markings maintained and clean of dirt and mud so they can be seen
Replace faded reflectors, they fade faster if stored outdoors and constantly exposed to sunlight
Make sure those operating equipment are well-trained, this is not the time to train them
Get a good night’s sleep to be as rested as you can be
TEACHERS USE AG IN THE CLASSROOM TO BOOST LESSONS – Teachers are using unique tools and resources from the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program to incorporate agriculture education into general class curriculum. The Illinois Farm Bureau-led program, now in its 35th year, infuses agriculture into everyday subjects and offers up supplemental resources for teachers, including hands-on activities for students ranging in age from kindergarten through high school and college.
If you would be interested in any of the resources that we have available in Franklin County or to schedule Melissa Lamczyk, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator to come to your classroom please call the office at 435-3616.
Just in time for the end of the year – New member benefit is John Deere Program. Members will be eligible for all benefits associated with GreenFleet Platinum 2 status. To receive these benefits members can sign up through the John Deere link to the IFB website: http:www.ilfb.benefits/farm-home.aspx. Once a member has signed up for GreenFleet they will have access to all the benefits: $350-$3,200 off commercial mowing, $100-$250 off residential Mowing, $200-$350 off utility vehicles, 3200-$350 off tractors, $500-$3,700 off golf and sports Turf and much more. For more information call the Franklin County Farm Bureau at 435-3616 or call your local John Deere dealer.
Companies offering savings to Illinois Farm Bureau members include, but are not limited to:
Case IH, Ford, Caterpillar, Theme Parks, Great Wolf Lodge, Choice and Wyndham Hotels, Polaris and ADT.
“Illinois Farm Bureau offers close to 30 discounts or products to our members,” Rhode said. “We’re extremely proud to partner with these excellent companies to offer our members these discounts on products and services they use every day.”
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article September 26, 2017

gayWe are aware that solar energy developers have been contacting landowners in Franklin county seeking leases for possible utility-scale solar farms.  If you have been contacted by a company seeking to lease land from you, please contact the Franklin County Farm Bureau office.  If you think you have any interest in such a lease, we strongly encourage you to contact a qualified, experienced attorney to help you fully understand the terms and conditions of the lease agreement before you sign anything.   Contact this office at 618/435-3616 for additional information.
We have received word that Volkert, Inc., on behalf of Ameren, is in the process of re-negotiating some easements in Franklin County.  (See Letter Below).
Large supplies of crops and livestock likely will weigh on commodity prices through this year and possibly into 2018.
That’s the outlook provided by Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension ag economist, who advises farmers to “hunker down” in the wake of the latest USDA world supply and demand estimates report.
USDA this month raised ending stocks of corn to 2.335 billion bushels. Ending stocks of soybeans, 475 million bushels, and wheat, 933 million bushels, also came in above trade expectations.
“We’re in a supply-driven market right now,” Hurt told FarmWeek. “It gives concern for the financial position of farmers. Cash flows will be extremely tight again this year as it looks like the revenue situation will be a little weaker than last year.”
USDA projects farmers will harvest the largest soybean crop and third-largest corn crop on record this fall.
The Ag Department subsequently lowered its season average price projections by a dime for corn and beans (to ranges of $2.80 to $3.60 for corn and $8.35 to $10.05 for beans) and by 20 cents for wheat to a range of $4.30 to $4.90.
The ample supplies and lower prices for the feed crops should lower feed costs for livestock farmers. But livestock farmers, just as their crop-producing counterparts, face an issue with large supplies heading into 2018.
“For the livestock sector, we’re going to see around a 2 percent expansion of animal numbers in general,” Hurt said. “It looks like we could feed more corn than what’s in the current balance sheet.”
Livestock farmers should consider locking in feed prices later this month or in October. The soybean fall low often occurs around Columbus Day (Oct. 9) while December corn retested its low this week, Hurt noted.
But livestock production margins likely will tighten. The portion of meat available per person in the U.S. could reach 222 pounds by 2018, a level last seen in 2007 before crop prices spiked.
“We’re building animal production,” Hurt added. “It looks like margins will be narrow (for livestock farmers), even with low feed prices.”
The benefactor of the supply and price trends appears to be consumers as Hurt foresees limited food price inflation next year based on current production estimates.
The benefactor of the supply and price trends appears to be consumers as Hurt foresees limited food price inflation next year based on current production estimates.
Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.
Just a reminder that Farmer’s Markets are still going on until the last week in October.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

 

Dear Farm Bureau Members and other Franklin County Landowners,
We have received word that Volkert, Inc., on behalf of Ameren, is in the process of re-negotiating some easements in Franklin County. Since 2010, Ameren has sought to re-negotiate easements for existing transmission lines in several Illinois counties.
Illinois Farm Bureau® has reviewed easements proposed by Ameren in several counties, and the terms were much broader than the rights granted to Ameren in the existing easements with landowners. Additionally, compensation offered by the company was not commensurate with rights given up by landowners.
Ameren’s letter to landowners’ states that it is “seeking to expand the right-of-way easement by up to 150 feet so that we can prevent trees and vegetation for compromising existing transmission lines”. Ameren already has the right to maintain vegetation and does NOT need to expand the existing right-of-way in order to prevent trees and vegetation from compromising the existing transmission lines.
Contrary to the assertion in Ameren’s letter, the additional easement does NOT “simply increase the protected space around these lines so that reliability of the lines can be improved.” For example, the easement would expand the width of the right-of-way to 150 feet, and allow Ameren to install new upgraded transmission lines which they would not be able to install within the existing right-of-way. An easement with an expanded 150- foot right-of-way would also allow Ameren to install new poles (any type) for electric energy or any other power, and telecommunications lines along with the right to access the new easement area from anywhere on all of your adjoining property at any time Ameren deems it necessary under Ameren’s proposed easement.
Please keep in mind: You do not have to enter into a new easement with Ameren.  You do not have to amend your existing easement with Ameren. If Ameren wishes to expand the width of the existing right-of-way then Ameren will have to file a petition for approval with the Illinois Commerce Commission and negotiate an Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement (AIMA) with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to ensure that land impact by the construction of transmission lines is restored to its pre-construction activity. If you sign Ameren’s proposed easement, you would not have the protections afforded by an AIMA. The AIMA was developed after the electric transmission line on your property was installed and the Illinois Farm Bureau® recommends that landowners incorporate the provisions of an AIMA into their easement and improve upon those terms where needed for your farming operations. Templates for the AIMA for electric transmission lines are available on this link:  HYPERLINK “https://www.agr.state.il.us/aima/” https://www.agr.state.il.us/aima/.
You should not sign any easement until you have consulted with legal counsel. Though the Illinois Farm Bureau® may provide some legal information to you as a member, they cannot serve as your attorney. However, they have provided me with a list of attorneys that have a great deal of experience with Ameren’s utility easements, not all attorneys have this knowledge base.
If you don’t have a copy of your current easement, you can and should request a copy of it from Ameren or Volkert, Inc.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau wants to make sure your investment is protected, and we thank you for being a member. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 618-435-3636.
Thank you, Gay Bowlin, Manager

Manager’s Article September 19, 2017

gayNot much rain was received in Franklin County this past week but those who did receive some were grateful. Harvesting has begun with many farmers shelling corn and harvesting beans.
New 4-H Year Kick-off Party will be held on Sunday, September 24 from 4-7 p.m. at the Franklin County Extension Office at 1212 Route 14 West (directly behind the Farm Bureau office). Computers will be set up to enroll on-site. Dues for new members are $20 and for re-enrolling members $10 – payable when you enroll. Parents will need to be there to fill out medical and risk release forms also. There will be food, games and prizes. 4-H is a great way to get your kids involved in many activities. For more information please call 439-3178.
Here are some great facts about the Economic Impact of the Benton Farmer’s Market for 2017 provided by Kathleen Logan with eatsoutherillinois.org – she attended the Farmer’s Market twice during the year and surveyed 15% of the customer count.
Last year our market averaged 400 customers each week for 26 weeks. Her survey revealed the average week purchase was $16.19.
400 customers per week spending an average of $16.19 = $6,476 each week. 26 weeks of the market = $6,476 x 26 weeks = $168,376 for the year.
Kathleen used a multiplier of 2.5 (a conservative number) for economic impact because money spent with farmers and local producers stays in the local economy longer – $169,379 x 2.5 = $420,940
This equals the living wage all year for about 9 families. This is the impact that the Benton Farmers Market has on the economy during a 26 week period – we bring the dollars back into the community which is out goal.
With the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and with Hurricane Maria threatening the already devastated islands in the Caribbean we have to wonder what else is coming. Then on Tuesday of this week there was a 3.8 magnitude earthquake with epicenter showing in Edwards and Wabash Counties and on September 9 a 3.1 magnitude earthquake epicenter was in Mt Carmel in Wabash County. With so much going on in the weather these days I think that it is even more necessary that we say a prayer daily for everyone involved.
Farm injuries increase by 50 percent during harvest due to working longer hours, dealing with equipment breakdowns and handling weather-related issues.
According to USDA, Illinois farmers started on corn harvest last week. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)
During the fall harvest season, farmers spend countless hours in combines, tractors, trucks and other equipment. They also transport large equipment on our roads and highways.
“Some workers may be young, new or inexperienced, so it’s always a good suggestion to go over safety considerations with all workers to teach or reinforce the importance of safety on the farm,” said Dan Schlipmann, Illinois Farm Bureau field support manager.
Agriculture ranks among the nation’s most hazardous industries. Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries. And farming is one of the few industries in which family members, who often share the work and live on the farm, are also at risk.
This time of year poses the highest risk of injury for farmers who experience fatigue and stress, under pressure to spend as much time as they can in the fields.
According to Robert Aherin, Ph.D., professor and ag safety and health program leader at the University of Illinois, sleep deprivation is a big problem, especially during harvest.
Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re really tired, he advises shutting down for a few minutes and taking a nap. A 20-minute break with a short nap can really help improve alertness. A short walk every hour might do the same.
Staying safe during harvest is challenging. Contact with machinery presents the biggest risk for both injuries and fatalities, but there are ways to avoid them and stay sharp. Consider these tips:
– Inspect all machinery before beginning and have repair tools at the ready.
– Eat balanced meals.
– Stay hydrated to maintain awareness.
– Keep your phone on you, not on a dashboard.
– Keep SMV emblems and other markings maintained and clean of dirt and mud, so they can be seen.
– Replace faded reflectors. They fade faster if stored outdoors and constantly exposed to sunlight.
– Make sure everyone operating equipment is well trained.
– Keep extra riders off equipment.
Using good, common safety sense on the road and in the field will keep everyone safer during harvest.
Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.
Just a reminder that Farmer’s Markets are still going on until the last week in October.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article August 29, 2017

FarmThursday August 24 we finally were able to go out in the county and do the Corn Yield Tour. Of course these are not numbers that are written in stone but we have always been close to the National Average in the past. Results are as follows:
Barren 157.7
Benton 162.9
Browning 136.9
Cave 146.8
Denning 161.4
Eastern 161.5
Ewing 145.3
Frankfort 154.3
Goode 117.9
Northern 206.5
Tyrone 162.0
Six Mile 125.1
COUNTY AVERAGE 153.2
Pictured are: (standing) Chelsea Browning, Brad Browning, Tony Lamczyk, Diane Wallace, Bennie Browning, Seth Schlag, Jenny Schlag and Esiah Schlag (front row) Marshall Browning, Kendall Browning, Joe Heard, Michael Browning, and Melissa Lamczyk. Not pictured – Gay Bowlin, Marc Lamczyk, Kenneth Rexing, Nikki Isaacs, Adam Birkner and Clint Brashear.
An odd thing has happened in wheat country — a lot of farmers aren’t planting wheat.
Thanks to a global grain glut that has caused prices and profits to plunge, this year farmers planted the fewest acres of wheat since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping records nearly a century ago.
Instead of planting the crop that gave the wheat belt its identity, many farmers are opting this year for crops that might be less iconic but are suddenly in demand, such as chickpeas and lentils, used in hummus and healthy snacks.
American farmers still plant wheat over a vast landscape that stretches from the southern Plains of Oklahoma and Texas north through Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas as well as dry regions of Washington and Oregon. However, this year’s crop of 45.7 million acres (18.49 million hectares) is the smallest since 1919.
North Dakota harvested wheat acres are down 15 percent, Montana 11 percent and Nebraska 23 percent, to the state’s lowest winter wheat acres on record.
Fewer farmers planted wheat after a 2016 crop that was the least profitable in at least 30 years, said grain market analyst Todd Hultman, of Omaha, Nebraska-based agriculture market data provider DTN.
Many farmers took notice of a surging demand for crops driven by consumer purchases of healthy high-protein food.
“The world wants more protein and wheat is not the high-protein choice and so that’s where your use of those other things come into play and are doing better,” Hultman said. “Up north around North Dakota you will see more alternative things like sunflowers, lentils and chickpeas.”
How long the new trend will continue is unknown. While some farmers will likely switch back to wheat when profitability returns, others may keep planting the alternatives because demand is expected to remain strong, keeping prices at attractive levels.
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