Harvest of Help Donations Feed Franklin County

1 2Franklin County farmers have donated over $62,000 since 2008 to help feed Franklin County families by way of the county food pantries.
Each year farmers are asked to donate the net proceeds from an acre of land to the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation – a not-for-profit organization. We then take the money donated and purchase food for each township in the county.
All food is purchased locally – also helping the county. We ask each food pantry what they need in their community and then let the stores know what the needs are.
Once the food is available for pick-up the Young Leaders – along with their helpers deliver the food. This year we purchased a total of $6,735 worth of food items.

Manager’s Article for December 22, 2016

GayIt is the season to Praise the Lord for all that we have. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.
Some farmers fortunate enough to harvest record crops fared a little better than expected this year.
But the overall economic outlook in farm country remains gloomy as crop surpluses could lead to lower prices, particularly for soybeans, in 2017.
Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois Extension farm management specialist, provided his latest farm income outlook at the Illinois Farm Economics Summit in Champaign.
“2016 incomes are a bit better than we thought they were going to be,” on farms enrolled in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) program, he said. “Most farms are going to have higher incomes than they did in 2015 due to higher yields.”
Surprisingly strong soybean prices, which pushed well above $10 per bushel since harvest, also helped the farm income outlook.
Schnitkey projects gross revenue on FBFM farms, before costs, for soybeans this year could total $696 per acre, up from $651 in 2015.
But gross revenue for corn could decline, despite record yields, from $830 in 2015 to $787 this year. If realized, corn revenues would end up below costs for the year.
Overall, 2016 crop returns on FBFM farms in Illinois should be up from last year, when farm income plummeted to the lowest level since 1990, before possibly slipping again in 2017.
“It (farm income) is going to vary a lot,” Schnitkey said. “We (in Illinois) are probably sitting in the best spot (this year).”
USDA projects record yields in Illinois this year of 202 bushels per acre for corn and 62 bushels per acre for soybeans. The corn yield here remains well above estimates elsewhere of 147 bushels per acre in Nebraska, 164 bushels in Ohio, 165 bushels in Missouri and 177 bushels in Indiana.
“Farmers are looking at much lower revenues east of here,” Schnitkey said.
Nationwide, USDA projects net farm income this year could fall 17.2 percent to the lowest level since 2009.
And incomes around the Corn Belt could slip again next year if yields return to trend levels and crop prices fall. USDA projects price averages of $3.30 for corn and $9.35 for beans next year. University of Illinois price projections next year sit at just $8.75 for beans and $3.60 for corn.
“If that’s the case, incomes would be worse in 2017 than what we saw in 2015,” Schnitkey said of the price/income projections. “We’re not betting on the same high yields.”
Schnitkey also projects Agricultural Risk Coverage county payments received by farmers this year will evaporate next year.
Dale Lattz, U of I farmdoc research associate, said all signs point to the continued need to lower input costs, including cash rents.
“We are in a situation where the economics of farming has changed quite a bit,” he said. “We’re looking at stepping back and resetting some of these things.”
Cash rents around the state declined an average of $25 per acre from 2014 through this year. And while many rates for 2017 likely are set, the downtrend should continue.
Average crop prices of $3.30 corn and $9.35 beans next year would provide an operator/land return of just $199, which means cash rents above that level would result in negative farm returns.

AS A FOOTNOTE – WE STILL HAVE PECANS IN THE OFFICE – 1 lb bags (shelled) for $9.25 and we have 12 oz bag of milk chocolate covered pecans for $8.00. Call the office 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

2016 Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

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(Photo #1:) Presenting Board President Leon McClerren with our County Awards plaque is Vice President of the Illinois Farm Bureau David Erickson.

(Photo #2:) Presenting Kelly Robertson with the Illinois Certified Crop Advisor Award is President of the Illinois Farm Bureau Rich Guebert Jr.

(Photo #3) Kelly Robertson, Leon McClerren and Jim Hood – Franklin County Farm Bureau Delegates at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.

ANNUAL MEETING WRAP-UP – A rapidly-concluded farmer-delegate session didn’t go without significant action at the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Annual Meeting on Monday, according to Mark Gebhards, IFB executive director of governmental affairs and commodities. Gebhards said IFB received fewer submittals from counties and in open session than usual. “But the ones that we did have – I think there are two or three significant areas within the policy book that they did focus on,” he said. Those areas included trade, property rights and water quality. IFB also approved a bylaw amendment, creating a new membership class.
Agriculture students and Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) members and their children are encouraged to apply for 71 college scholarships offered by the IAA Foundation, Illinois Farm Bureau’s charitable arm. The scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 per year, will be awarded in total of $143,400 for the 2017-2018 school year.
“We are pleased to help students through our growing scholarship program,” said Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation. “It is a great privilege to support the next generation of leaders, and encourage continuing education in agricultural fields.”
Students may apply for a variety of scholarships, including three IAA Foundation Top Scholarships, where winners will each receive $5,000 awards. Another $7,500 award goes to the Illinois Farm Bureau Legacy of Leadership scholarship winner.
In addition to family scholarships often established to honor the memory of a loved one, the IAA Foundation offers scholarships on behalf of organizations such as Prairie Farms Dairy and the Illinois Soybean Association.
All applicants must be high school seniors accepted for enrollment, or students already enrolled at an accredited college, university or community college. Scholarships are awarded for exceptional academic ability, leadership and financial need. Previous winners of an IAA Foundation scholarship are eligible to apply again.
A full listing of available scholarships, eligibility guidelines, and application documents are available at the Foundation website, www.iaafoundation.org. Completed applications must be submitted online by Feb. 1, 2017.
For more information, contact Franklin County Farm Bureau at (618) 435-3616, the IAA Foundation at (309) 557-2230, or e-mail Susan Moore, director, IAA Foundation, at smoore@ilfb.org.
The mission of the IAA Foundation, Illinois Farm Bureau’s charitable arm, is to fund education, research, and charitable activities that benefit Illinois farm families and agriculture.
We have raised over $6,000 for Harvest of Help this year thanks to all of the amazing donations from our area farmers and Farm Bureau members. We will be delivering food the week before Christmas to all of the Franklin County Food Pantries. I want to thank everyone who has donated to this worthwhile cause. So far we have donated over $63,000 worth of food to benefit Franklin County residents in need.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau has had a great 2016 and we have even more events planned for 2017. We have many goals here at the Franklin County Farm Bureau – lobbying for farmers and members when it comes to legilsative issues, teaching students about agriculture with Ag in the Classroom, we have a very active Young Leaders Committee, bring many speakers throughout the year to offer advice on farming issues and much more. Let me know if you would like to be a part of this great organization by becoming a Franklin County Farm Bureau member. Call the office at 435-3616 for more information.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know