Manager’s Article July 28, 2016

GaySB2160 – ILSoy Advisor Field Day
Gay Bowlin, Manager

Last Friday the Governor approved SB 2160, sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan and Rep. John Bradley, that extends the sunset date on property tax assessments on agriculture filter strips to December 2026. Specifically, the bill provides that in all counties except Cook, land which is located in a farm field or an area to be protected that is a vegetative filter strip shall be assessed at 1/6 of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland for another 10 years.
We would like to thank all of you who shared the importance of this issue with your legislators. The passage of any bill, no matter its contents, in the current tenuous and tense mood of the General Assembly is not certain. Currently, passing any bill is like pushing a fully laden flat boat up stream during the spring snow melt. Many in the State Capitol ponder how things can still be accomplished in light of the stagnating odds and we can attest that it is because of Farm Bureau members who take the time to let their legislators know what is important.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau is proud to be able to present Senator Gary Forby and Representative John Bradley with the Friends of Ag Award. Representative Bradley has an 89% voting approval rate and Senator Forby has a 98% approval rate from the Illinois Farm Bureau. We want to take this opportunity to let them know how much we appreciate both of them and how hard they work for Southern Illinois farmers.
The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program will host its second annual ILSoyAdvisor.com Field Days in the Southern Region in Benton. “If you grow soybeans you can’t afford to miss this event,” says John Longley, soybean farmer and ISA Production Committee Chair. “This will take everything growers have been reading about on our ILSoyAdvisor.com blog right to our area. They can hear firsthand from local experts about the technology and practices that are increasing yields and maximizing profits.”
This event will take place at 98 Industrial Park Road on August 4 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Lunch will be catered and it is free to attend just go to www.ilsoy.org/fielddays to register. Pre-registration is not mandatory but is encouraged.
I am always telling you about the discounts that are available when you are a Franklin County Farm Bureau member – Theme Parks, Hotel, Ford, Polaris. But I have not mentioned in a while about the prescriptions discounts that are available through your membership. If you DO NOT have any insurance for prescription medications you are eligible for a reduced price through either Agelity or ScriptSave. If you would like more information on these programs and what they have to offer please call the office at 435-3616.
I was watching the local news and saw the story about the two men who were recently rescued from a grain bin. The key word here is RESCUED meaning they were alive. This is something that all farmers are well aware that can happen anytime they enter a grain bin with grain inside but there are times when they don’t always take the necessary precautions. This event, once again, brings this to the forefront of everyone’s mind so please take precautions and be safe when entering a grain bin – always let someone know when you are entering and when you come out. Thankfully the area fire department trained in this and there was a positive outcome.
Insurance – one of those things that is a necessary in this day and age – if you have any insurance questions or needs – auto – home – life or if you are in need of investment advice please call your local Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representative. In Sesser call Krista Menckowski @ 625-5100, in West Frankfort call Jeff Smith or Darla Sloan @ 932-6695 and in Benton call Michael Brachear @ 435-8191.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for Week of July 13, 2016

GayFARMERS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDING – 4-H FAIR – RLC CLASS – GMO LABELING – EWING FIELD
July 15, 2016
Gay Bowlin, Manager

I am sure that many of you have come across farm equipment on the roadways while driving lately – that is just part of life in Franklin County and for the most part we must learn to deal with it at certain times of the year. There are times, however, when farmers themselves must be more in tuned to the cars behind them. Someone came into the office the other day and said that they followed a combine for about 8 miles and that at no time did it try to pull over to let the excessively long line of cars behind him get by.
There are times when it is not possible or extremely difficult for the equipment to get over on some of the roads with no or very little shoulder. FARMERS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS – not only is it annoying for the people behind you and potentially dangerous but it also gives farmers in general a bad name. Let’s all be a little more courteous on the roadways – when it is safe please try and more over to let people pass.
The Franklin County 4-H Fair began on Sunday July 10th with the Horse Show. Events will continue through Wednesday July 20th with the 4-H BBQ and Auction. Come out on Tuesday the 19th for the Farm Bureau/COUNTRY Appreciation Picnic. Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representatives will be grilling pork loin sandwiches and hot dogs along with chips and drinks and ice cream. The Young Leaders will have a fun game of cow chip bingo and will be selling squares for a 50/50 drawing.
Rend Lake College is currently enrolling for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program which will begin on August 1, 2016. Rend Lake is the only college in the State of Illinois offering an UAS certificate program. This will offer students hands-on-skills to operate a small UA and will also provide rules and regulations and knowledge to successfully pass the aeronautical knowledge test. For more information call (618) 437-5321 and ask for Chris Nielsen, Joy Fitts or Chris Edwards.
Illinois Farm Bureau President Rick Guebert announced last week “We are extremely pleased to see the Senate vote to limit debate on the Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill. The passage of this bill will do a great deal to protect Americans from an unnecessary rise in food prices, and will prevent a costly state-by-state patchwork of mandatory GMO food labeling laws. We would like to thank Senator Mark Kirk for his support of the bill, and urge the Senate to vote quickly on the bill so the House of Representatives can do the same.”
The University of Illinois Extension will host the Ewing Demonstration Center Agronomy Field Day on Thursday July 28 at 9 a.m. Ewing Field is in its 48th year of continuous no-till production. The topics to be discussed are: Managing Nitrogen for Corn, The Effects of Cover Crops on Water Quality & Nutrient Cycling in Southern Illinois, Weather Trends & Soils, Definition of Insanity & Weed Management and Exploring New Clover Cover Crops for Corn.
Field Day is free and open to anyone interested and lunch will be provided. Certified Crop Advisor CEUs will also be offered. To help provide for an adequate lunch please call 439-3178 by Monday July 25th. For additional information contact Marc Lamczyk at the number above or at lamczyk@illinois.edu
Don’t forget to visit your Farmers Market for locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many have baked goods and local meats.
Even though farmers are pretty much done planting they are still on the roads finishing up spraying and taking care of other tasks so please WATCH OUT FOR FARM IMPLEMENTS!
With many people taking vacations this time of year don’t forget about your Farm Bureau Discounts for hotels and car rentals. If you need more information please call the office at 435-3616. Or call to join now for your savings on these and much more.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for July 8, 2016

Gay   Rain! Well it has finally happened and the farmers and anyone with a garden are extremely happy. It seems that the Good Lord was shining down on us with this rainfall. It came rather slowly and steady at first making it easier for the ground to absorb. We had such dry weather for so long that we were afraid that when it finally did rain it would come a downpour and just run off – this was not the case. Even as the rains fell harder and steadier the ground still soaked it up and there was very little run-off.
With more rain in the forecast this week everyone feels that this will finally be the makings of good corn and bean crops along with second wheat harvest.
The Franklin County 4-H Fair begins Sunday July 10th with the Horse Show. Events will continue through Wednesday July 20th with the 4-H BBQ and Auction. Come out on Tuesday the 19th for the Farm Bureau/COUNTRY Appreciation Picnic. Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representatives will be grilling pork loin sandwiches and hot dogs along with chips and drinks and ice cream. The Young Leaders will have a fun game of cow chip bingo and will be selling squares.
Illinois farmers should keep an eye on their mailboxes this month for an important survey that could help change the future of Illinois agriculture. On July 1, 2016, the Heartland Regional Field Office of the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) began mailing out surveys asking Illinois farmers about the techniques they utilize in accordance with the state’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS).
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) is a joint effort by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Water Resources Center, and several public and private stakeholders. The Illinois effort is one of 31 other state strategies developed and implemented across the Mississippi River basin, intended to improve our nation’s water quality. Illinois’ strategy provides a framework for reducing both point and non-point nutrient losses to improve our state’s overall water quality, as well as the quality of the water leaving the state and making its way down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.
This NLRS survey will ask farmers about crop production practices, including: use of cover crops, tillage strategies and nutrient application strategies. The survey will also ask some questions about fields and tiling. A high participation rate will help the state of Illinois prove that Illinois does not need additional mandates; that our state’s farmers and ranchers can make a difference through voluntary involvement; and that our producers have taken ownership of the issue and are willing and able to meet the challenge.
Don’t forget to visit your Farmers Market for locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many have baked goods and local meats.
Even though farmers are pretty much done planting they are still on the roads finishing up spraying and taking care of other tasks so please WATCH OUT FOR FARM IMPLEMENTS!
With many people taking vacations this time of year don’t forget about your Farm Bureau Discounts for hotels and car rentals. If you need more information please call the office at 435-3616. Or call to join now for your savings on these and much more.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.