Manager’s Article For April 29, 2016

GayFARMERS MARKET, WEBINAR, THEME PARK DISCOUNTS, TRACTOR DRIVE
April 29, 2016
Gay Bowlin, Manager

The Benton Farmer’s Market starts next week on Thursday at the Benton Community Park next to the Kiwanis Hall from 3p-6p. This first week the produce growers expect to have varieties of lettuce, spinach, onions and radishes for the early markets. Cookies, cakes, pies, fried pies, breads, cinnamon rolls and baked goods will also be available. In addition, customers will find homemade laundry products and goats milk soaps. If you have not planted your garden yet or are looking for specific plant materials you will be able to find many plants ready to take home. Also available this year will be locally grown Longhorn beef and pork, all grown and processed in Southern Illinois. Other markets in the county are: West Frankfort City Park – Tuesday from 3p – 6p. Sesser City Park Tuesday from 7a – noon.
We were still working against the legislation that allows telecommunication companies to use the road right-of-way without the permission of the underlying landowner. A third reading deadline was set to May13, 2016. Thank you again for those that responded to the Action Request. We are hopeful that with the help of the action request, we may have been able to make a dent in the proponent’s base of support for SB 2237. However, we are unsure if we have enough votes to stop the bill if the sponsor calls it for a vote. We will continue to oppose the bill because of the May 13, 2016 deadline. If you happen to be at an event over the Senate’s break this week and see your State Senator, take a moment and remind them how important your private property rights are.
The Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC)  and Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) recently partnered to present a webinar that highlights research conducted by scientists at University of Illinois. The research focuses on phosphorus runoff and how fertilizer application methods can impact the rate of runoff. The webinar also aims at sharing outcomes and impact to yield.
As the researchers studied phosphorus runoff they looked at the following variables:
How deep placement of phosphorus migth reduce phosphorus losses from farm fields
Impacts in both no-till and strip-till fields
Nutrient loss in a stimulated 10-year rain event
Yield results
To watch the webinar go to www.illinoisncrec.org.
Franklin County Farm Bureau offers many benefits with your membership – one of these is the opportunity to purchase Theme Park Tickets – Holiday World, Six Flags, Raging Rivers in Grafton, Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO and Advertureland in Des Moines IA at a discounted price. Farm Bureau members will be given a code to purchase these tickets online. For more information on this benefit and other benefits call 435-3616 today.
Fifth Annual Farmer’s Memorial Antique Tractor Drive – May 7th – parade begins at 10:02 a.m. If you would like to be part of this event please call the office at 435-3616 to insure that you will receive a T-shirt. Registration will take place at 8:45 a.m. at the Rend Lake Plaza parking lot in front of McDonalds in West City.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article For April 19, 2016

GayTRACTOR DRIVE, FUNDRAISER, NUTRIENT LOSS REDUCTION STRATEGY
Fifth Annual Farmer’s Memorial Antique Tractor Drive – May 7th – parade begins at 10:02 a.m. If you would like to be part of this event please call the office at 435-3616 to insure that you will receive a T-shirt. Registration will take place at 8:45 a.m. at the Rend Lake Plaza parking lot in front of McDonalds in West City.
Farmers are feeling the pain of the continued slump in commodity prices, AFBF President Zippy Duvall told Congress on Thursday. Lower prices will affect income for all farmers and ranchers, but will have an even greater impact on new and young farmers who have not built up equity, are renting a significant portion of their land or are paying off equipment.
The Young Leaders are doing a fundraiser to benefit Ag in the Classroom. They are taking orders for That’s My Pan items. If you would like to order you can get on the website at www.thatsmypan.biz/fril10398 – if you click on Local then whatever you order will be delivered to the office or if you would like them to be delivered directly to you then click on Direct Ship.
The orders must be in by Friday the 22nd and we will have delivery before Mother’s Day.
I have a Traditional Pan that I been using for over 12 years and it is still in great shape. Please take time to utilize this link and make your order today.
I am excited to share with you a new website that was released on Monday to kick off Earth Week!
This new site, which we are calling a Conservation Story Map, gives farmers a place to tell their story and share the best management practices (BMPs) they use on their farms to protect water quality. In addition, the map provides local and regional program and cost-share information for farmers by watershed. The map highlights the diversity of practices used across Illinois, and shows that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to the nutrient issue. Check out the map here:  http://www.illinoiscbmp.org/What-Illinois-Farmers-Are-Doing/
The project was funded by IFB, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP), IL Corn Growers, IL Soybean Association Check-off Program, American Farmland Trust, the Soil Health Partnership, and the Zea Mays Foundation.
Advanced technology helps farmers grow more bushels per acre with greater efficiency, but under the right conditions, more nutrients potentially remain at risk, according to southern Illinois cover crop specialist with the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP).
“With your investment in fertilizer and with water quality issues, that’s a (nutrient) efficiency issue on your farming system,” said John Pike, a former research agronomist with the University of Illinois. “It’s not that everything farmers are doing is bad, but with more nutrients in the system, we need more stewardship.”
One way for farmers to “hang onto” their nutrient investment is growing cover crops, Pike said. The state Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) offers many options, including cover crops, to manage nutrients and reduce their loss.
“The big take home message is it’s safe to say every farming operation needs to contribute something to achieve the goals the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy sets out,” Pike said.
“What works in southern Illinois won’t necessarily work in northern Illinois, but options are available that any operation could adopt,” he added.
Pike encouraged farmers who are new to cover crops to make sure any information they use applies to their farms. “A lot of really good information from progressive producers is being shared about cover crops, but make sure it applies to your geography and soil types,” Pike advised. He supported farmers attending field days and programs in their region to find local experts.
CBMP offers six regional cover crop specialists who can offer recommendations and support. Visit http://illinoiscbmp.org/Cover-Crops/Cover-Crop-Specialists.
I want to remind you once again that farmers will be on the roadways. With the rain that we have had it has put them a little behind and they will be in the fields until late. This will make for long hours in the fields when they can start again. Their machinery is large and takes up a lot of room on the roads and makes wide turns. If an automobile gets in an accident with a farm implement I am afraid that the automobile would not come out a winner. PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR FARMERS AND FARMERS WILL WATCH OUT FOR YOU.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for April 12, 2016

GaySHARE THE ROAD, BMPs, TRACTOR DRIVE, THEME PARK TICKETS
April 12, 2016
Gay Bowlin, Manager

The focus of the Farm Bureau is to help farmers in many ways. This week we received an Action Request that was also geared to landowners. The Senate will be voting on SB2237 soon. SB2237 would allow telecommunications companies to install their equipment along road right-or-ways without negating an easement with the landowner.
Landowners still own the land included in the road right-or way, so allowing telecommunications companies to install without negotiating an easement is unconstitutional taking of property. The bill also minimizes landowners’ ability to ensure that repairs to damages made during installation on items like drain tile are made appropriately and timely.
We had several members of the Franklin County Farm Bureau call on this issue and we have until Thursday, April 14th to make these calls. If you would take a minute to call and then let me know at the Franklin County Farm Bureau I would appreciate it and so would all landowners in the state. We need to call Senator Gary Forby at 217/782-5509 and our Adopted Legislator Senator Martin Sandoval at 217/782-5304 if no one answers leave a message with your name and county then call me at 435-3616 to report your contact.
I want to remind you once again that farmers will be on the roadways. With the rain that we have had it has put them a little behind and they will be in the fields until late. This will make for long hours in the fields when they can start again. Their machinery is large and takes up a lot of room on the roads and makes wide turns. If an automobile gets in an accident with a farm implement I am afraid that the automobile would not come out a winner. PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR FARMERS AND FARMERS WILL WATCH OUT FOR YOU.
The Rend Lake Water Festival Parade will be held on Saturday May 7th and once again the Franklin County Farm Bureau Antique Tractor Drive will be included in the parade. If you would like to be part of the Farmers Memorial Antique Tractor Drive please call the office to reserve your place and be assured that you will have a t-shirt to commemorate this year’s event. Call 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.