January 14, 2008
Dr. Tony Vyn, a nationally-recognized agronomist and researcher from Purdue University will be the featured speaker at the West Central Illinois Tillage Seminar, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, at Hamilton's in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Tony has received national acclaim for his applied research associated with strip-till and no-till farming systems. The program, featuring numerous state and nationally recognized speakers, runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is co-sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, NRCS, AISWCD, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Seed, chemical, machinery dealers and other agri-businesses will be featured as exhibitors. This Tillage Seminar will provide 5.0 CEU's for Certified Crop Advisers (4.5 Soil & Water Management and 0.5 IPM).
Pre-registration is necessary and the deadline is January 30. Seating is limited so registration will be taken on a first-come basis. A $15 per person fee will be charged to cover room rental and noon luncheon. To register, include the following information with your check: West Central Illinois Tillage Seminar, your name, address and county of residence. Please make your check payable to "University of Illinois Extension" and send to: Morgan County Extension Office, 104 North Westgate, Jacksonville, IL 62650.For more information, contact Aaron Dufelmeier at (217)243-7424.
January 14, 2008
"This is the largest number of Simmental bulls offered in recent years and includes two long-aged senior division bulls calved during January 2006, six junior division bulls calved between July and December 2006, and 35 yearling division bulls calved from January through March 2007," said Dave Seibert, University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator who oversees the sale.
"Simmental bulls typically add more growth and muscle than British breed bulls, and EPDs allow for a breeder to match genetic selection to his individual cow herd needs for calving ease, growth, milk, and carcass traits."
Also on the sale program are a combination of 28 purebreds, five three-quarter blood composites, and 10 half-blood composites. Most of the composite bulls are Angus-based. All of the bulls are black except for one red bull, and all of the bulls are polled except for two that are polled/scurred.
"In addition, five of the bulls are eligible to be used on heifers in the Illinois Heifer Development Program because of exceeding the plus-11.2 EPD Calving Ease Direct for purebreds or minus-2.1 EPD Birth Weight for composites," he noted.
Interested bull buyers can obtain a copy of the sale catalog by contacting Seibert at (309) 694-7501, extension 224, or by e-mail at: email@example.com, or by mail at 727 Sabrina Drive, East Peoria, 61611. A copy of the sale catalog is also available on the web at: http://www.IPTBullSale.com
January 10, 2008
The yields from 2007 showed that the crops did quite well in a year without much rainfall in the middle of the growing season. The season started with a full soil moisture profile and the field received about 5 inches of rain in May. Then it turned dry in June and July, with only about 1 inch and 2 inches of rain, respectively. From August 1 until September 18 (crop maturity), an additional 5.8 inches of rain fell, helping the soybeans but coming a little late for the corn. The no-till plots had the highest yields and the best profitability as they didn't have any tillage costs (see Table 1).
Historically, row crop cultivation has been used for weed control and these plots included no-till with and without cultivation from 1981 until 2006. In 2007 the plots were not cultivated and it was interesting to note the effect of previous cultivation on yields, almost the same as doing tillage this year. As many producers are doing, postemerge herbicides have been used on these plots the past several years in combination with an early preplant application, making row crop cultivation unnecessary. In the previous years, row crop cultivation did not increase yields unless there was severe weed competition not controlled by herbicides.
The continued use of no-till has improved soil structure and protects the soil surface with residue. With less crusting and reduced runoff, more soil moisture is available for the crop, resulting in higher yields. After the 2007 harvest, a cereal rye cover crop was drilled into one of the no-till treatments (no-till cultivated in the past) and one of the disk treatments (disk). This use of cover crops will continue and add a new dimension to the tillage study, looking at the effects of the extra roots and biomass in the soil system.
January 7, 2008
URBANA - Computer workshops to help agricultural producers manage risk and make better financial decisions will be offered in February and March by University of Illinois Extension. The workshop series is part of the Farm Analysis Solution Tools (FAST) program.
"These FAST Training Workshops are two-day sessions," explained Paul Ellinger, U of I Extension farm financial management specialist. "Both days involve computer training. The first day focuses on spreadsheet development and financial management. The second day provides computer training in risk management.
"Producers may attend one or both days."
FAST is a series of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that aid producers in making various farm business decisions.
Each workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. The $45 registration fee per workshop includes both lunch and materials. The registration charge for both sessions is $65.
Registration is due one week before the workshop you plan to attend. Each workshop is limited to 30 participants. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Garrett Stoerger at (217) 333-1817, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ellinger said.
Also sponsoring the workshops are U of Extension's farmdoc program and the USDA Risk Management Agency.
Dates and locations for the workshops are:
Feb. 5-6, Oregon, Ogle County Extension office
Feb. 7-8, Bloomington, McLean County Extension office
Feb. 14-15, Galesburg, Knox County Extension office
March 4-5, Mount Vernon, Rend Lake Marketplace.