Manager’s Article July 25, 2017

KendallOn Tuesday evening, July 18, Brad Browning participated in the District 17 Young Leader Discussion Meet in Edwards County. Of the four participants, Brad earned first place in the District. For his efforts he will next compete on the state level at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago, in December. We are very proud of Brad and his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck at the State Level.
Pictured with Brad Browning, Young Leader Chair from Franklin County is our District 17 Representative Kendall Browning.
The American Farm Bureau Federation’s priorities for the next federal farm bill are in place, and Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. helped play a role in establishing those at AFBF’s board meeting last week.
Guebert said crop insurance, high on Illinois Farm Bureau’s wish list, remains prominent among AFBF’s priorities.
“It was really an interesting conversation, but at the end of the day, we ended up supporting crop insurance as a risk-management tool,” Guebert told the RFD Radio Network® on last week. “We need to keep the funding level where it is; that’s really important.”
Crop insurance is top of mind right now for many farmers facing hot, dry conditions in Illinois and other states. That includes some parts of Iowa, Nebraska and North and South Dakota, where many farmers continue to struggle with drought-like conditions.
South Dakota is home to AFBF Vice President Scott VanderWal, who testified last week in front of a U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee on the need for tax reform. Guebert said VanderWal also touched on farmers’ crop-insurance needs during his remarks.
“Gross income has really declined in the last couple years, and (VanderWal) expressed the importance of a good farm bill moving forward,” Guebert said. “He referred back to the drought of 2012. … Agriculture did not come to Congress asking for disaster assistance, because crop insurance was doing what it was designed to do.”
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article July 19, 2017

gayWith the farm economy front of mind, Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. met with the state’s senators on Capitol Hill this week to lobby for crop insurance, trade, tax reform and regulatory reform.
Guebert shared Illinois farmers’ concerns with U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, and Dick Durbin, D-Springfield.
“The farm economy has declined for the last three or four years, our working capital has deteriorated tremendously as well as the low commodity prices – whether it’s for wheat, corn or soybeans – and the challenges in the dairy, pork and beef industries,” Guebert told FarmWeek.
Also, while in Washington, D.C., Guebert joined state Farm Bureau presidents from across the country at American Farm Bureau Federation’s Council of Presidents and attended AFBF’s board meeting. Joining him in D.C.: Mark Gebhards, IFB’s executive director of governmental affairs, and Adam Nielsen, IFB’s director of national legislation.
Guebert said the upcoming farm bill dominated discussion throughout the nation’s capital.
He and eight other state Farm Bureau presidents had dinner with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which continues to hold farm bill listening sessions. Conaway hopes to bring a farm bill to the House floor late this year or early next year, Guebert said.
During visits with Duckworth and Durbin, Guebert outlined IFB’s 2018 farm bill priorities. President Donald Trump’s budget proposes deep cuts to crop insurance, IFB’s top farm bill priority.
“I continue to point out to them that in the drought of 2012, crop insurance did work for our producers and agriculture did not come back to Congress for an ad hoc disaster assistance program,” Guebert said. “It’s really important that we have that risk management in our toolbox.”
Duckworth previously expressed concerns about the impact Trump’s proposed budget would have on agriculture. After meeting with Guebert, Duckworth issued the following statement:
“The work of America’s farmers is fundamental to the strength of our state and our nation,” Duckworth said. “We should not be turning our backs on Illinois farmers or slashing investments that Americans living in rural communities rely on for public health, good-paying jobs, quality transportation and educational opportunities. I’ll keep working to ensure our farmers have access to the resources they need to support our nation’s food supply, fuel our cars and grow our economy.”
The Council of Presidents meeting included speeches by Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue by phone.
Guebert said Pruitt discussed EPA’s proposed rule to repeal and rewrite the “waters of the U.S.” rule.
Ewing Demonstration Agronomy Field Day will be held on Thursday July 27 at 9:00 am. Topics will include Managing Nitrogen for Corn & 2017 Growing Season Overview, Management Strategies for PPO-Resistance, Southern Rust Management in Corn, Insect Headlines in 2017 and Cover Crops: The Good, The Bad and The Practical. There will be a free lunch provided – Rain or Shine. Please RSVO to the Franklin County Extension Office at (618) 439-3178 by July 24.
Directions: From I-57, take exit 77 IL 1524/Sesser. Head east on IL 154 to IL 37. Turn left (north) on IL 37 for about ¼ mile and turn right on Ewing Road. Take this approximately 3 miles to Ewing and turn left on Main St *N Ewing Rd) in Ewing. Travel about ½ mil and the road to the Ewing Demonstration Center will be on the right. Look for signs.
For more information attend one of the upcoming forums – July 25th at John A Logan College from 1pm to 4:30pm or at Southeastern Illinois College on July 26th from 9am to 12:30pm. To register or for more information call Pam or Lan at (217) 607-1948 or (773) 556-3417 (cell).
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article July 11, 2017

gayCORN YIELDS LIKELY TO REMAIN STABLE – Despite dry conditions for the next two weeks, without a significant heat event in July, national corn yield is unlikely to fall too far below the long-term trend, further expanding global supplies. Given the current state of the 2017 corn crop, and the weather forecasts for early July, final yield shouldn’t fall more than 3 or 4 percentage points below USDA’s trend of 170 bushels per acre.
We will conduct our annual Corn Yield Tour sometime in August and will let everyone know what the outcome for Franklin County is at that time. We are usually pretty close to the state wide average.
With that being said – According to the University of Illinois, farmers planning for 2018 cash rents and acreage allocations can safely plan on corn prices of $3.80 and soybean prices of $9.50.  These are based on trend yields, future price levels, and long-term forecasts by USDA, Food and Agricultural Research Institute, and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
A $3.80 price for corn would continue a series of corn prices below $4.00 per bushel that began in 2014.  This is assuming that 2017 price averages below $4.00 which could be a premature assumption as yields could still vary from the trend.
Actual prices in 2018 have a large possibility of being different from these 2018 price projections. As has often happened in the past, some combination of events could lead to prices that differ from forecasts. Until those events materialize, using a $3.80 corn price and $9.50 soybean price for 2018 seems reasonable.
Congratulations to all of the 4-H participants for their hard work at the fair this past week. The BBQ and the Auction are the last things being held on Wednesday evening with the BBQ starting at 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm and the Auction beginning at 6:30 pm. BBQ tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for 10 & under.
The Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) is one of the post significant pieces of energy legislation ever to pass the Illinois General Assembly. The Act will stimulate job creation with new investments in energy efficiency, wind and solar, and enhance Illinois’ position as a leader in the clean energy economy.
Specifically, FEJA will:
~~Expand energy efficiency programs to drive customer savings while also expanding options for commercial, industrial, and low-income customers.
~~Commit up to $750 million for low-income communities to save money and ensure they have access clean energy and clean energy jobs.
~~Generate $180 million per year —growing to $220 million per year—in funding for renewable resources, including new wind power; large-scale solar power projects; and rooftop and community solar.
~~Provide job training and create thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries.
~~Protect consumers through a $0.25 monthly cost impact cap for residential customers through 2030 and a 1.3% cost cap for business customers.
Taken together, these provisions will create tens of thousands of jobs, spark up to $15 billion in wind and solar development, and deliver more than $4 billion in consumer savings.
For more information attend one of the upcoming forums – July 25th at John A Logan College from 1pm to 4:30pm or at Southeastern Illinois College on July 26th from 9am to 12:30pm. To register or for more information call Pam or Lan at (217) 607-1948 or (773) 556-3417 (cell).
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know