I have tried to main hopeful and positive about the present condition of the corn crop but the reality is that we are suffer yield loss at this point that no amount of rain can recover. Some corn is tasseling with some spots 8 feet tall and other areas of the field 5 feet tall. There are very uneven heights of corn in every field and stress is showing earlier each day. I believe that even if good rains begin today that we have lost the top 20% of our yield potential.
Pastures are slowing drying up and some hay has already been fed. I have a few cows and I am thinking about weaning the spring calves early to reduce the pressure on pasture.
Wheat harvest is finished and double crop soybeans are being planted with hopes for rain soon to cause seed to germinate.
The Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation regulating the use of SLOW MOVING VECHILE (SMV) signs. HB 4598 provides that a slow-moving vehicle emblem may not be displayed in public view from a highway on an object other than an animal drawn vehicle, farm tractor, implement of husbandry, certain special mobile equipment, and certain off-highway vehicles. The bill establishes a fine for a first or subsequent offense of improperly displaying a slow-moving vehicle of $75 instead of the current fines of $25 for the first offense and $75 for a second or subsequent offense within one year. An amendment was added to the bill in the Senate to assure that non-highway vehicles that are also required to display an SMV emblem would not be impacted by the bill. Some municipalities that allow golf-carts or other similar non-highway vehicles to use roadways require them to display an SMV.
Congress has been working on a new Farm Bill and we are asking members to contact our U. S. Senators Please call each of your U.S. Senators (Senator Durbin at 202-224-2152 and Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854) and respectfully state our position on the following points.
The farm bill must be passed now. IFB supports the Senate bill for its emphasis on crop insurance, its revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program, and its deficit reduction goals. ($23.6 billion/10 years). Many farmers are preparing to make decisions for their farming operations for the 2013 crop year and beyond. They need certainty. With the current farm bill expiring at the end of September, it is imperative that a new five-year farm bill be passed this year.
New means testing is unacceptable. Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the next farm bill. Sen. Durbin is offering an amendment that reduces the premium risk subsidy (discount) for farmers with average adjusted gross incomes greater than $750,000. No other federally-sponsored insurance program is means tested. Any policy that discourages participation by lower risk participants increases the risk pool for remaining participants and drives up premiums for all. IFB opposes means testing and any caps or limits on federal crop insurance support.
Animal production practices must not be legislated. Farm Bureau strongly opposes the Feinstein egg amendment which would legislate animal care standards. The HSUS-UEP agreement was never put to a vote of UEP members, will drive up production costs and consumer egg prices and is opposed by both conventional and cage-free egg farmers in Illinois.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.