Around the County Frequent information updates for agricultural audiences Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Annual Soil Fertility Program Coming February 28 (CEU credits available) Wed, 30 Jan 2019 11:13:00 +0000 This webinar will be hosted in the U of I Extension Offices in Logan County (Lincoln, IL). Presentations will be delivered via PowerPoint and web conferencing from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and lunch will be provided.

"Those in attendance will hear about the latest University of Illinois research on the long term effects of crop rotation and tillage, as well as the relationship between cover crops and soil nitrogen availability. Other presenters from the University of Wisconsin, Western Illinois University, and the Illinois SWCD will discuss nutrient loss on tile drained land, nutrient management in organic systems, and a farmer-led program to improve soil health," says Jesse Soule, U of I Extension educator.

Presentations include:

·Managing Phosphorus Loss in Tile Systems, Aaron Pape, University of Wisconsin Discovery Farms, Tile Drainage Education Coordinator

·Cover Crops and Soil N Availability in Corn & Soybean Systems, Lowell Gentry, University of Illinois, Principal Research Specialist in Agriculture

·Long term Crop Rotation and Tillage Effects on Soil GHG Emissions and Crop Production in Illinois, Gevan Behnke, University of Illinois, Senior Research Specialist

·S.T.A.R. A Farmer-Led Program to Reduce Nutrient and Soil Losses and Improve Soil Health, Bruce Henrikson, Champaign SWCD, Special Projects Coordinator

·Understanding and Extending Organic Nutrient Management Concepts, Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University, Associate Professor of Soil Science & Sustainable Agriculture

Those planning to attend are asked to register by Tuesday, February 26. Registration can completed online at: or by calling the Logan County Extension office at 217-732-8289.

2019 Certified Livestock Manager Training Workshops Coming to Springfield Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:00:00 +0000 On-line registration NOW open at:
The 2019 Certified Livestock Manager Training workshops, will be held in 11 locations throughout the state, beginning Jan. 30 in Springfield and concluding Feb. 28 back in Springfield. The University of Illinois Extension workshops provide Illinois livestock producers the manure management training they need to meet the requirements of the state's Livestock Management Facilities Act.

The Livestock Management Facilities Act requires facilities with 300 or more animal units to have at least one employee certified in proper manure handling procedures.For facilities with 300 to 999 animal units, at least one employee must attend a workshoporpass the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Certified Livestock Manager exam.Employees of facilities with 1,000 or more animal units must do both to achieve certification.

Please note that all workshops begin at 9 a.m. with the exception of the Jan. 30 training at the Illinois Pork Expo which will start at 12:30 p.m. All trainings will take 3 1/2 hours with the IDOA exam administered after the training.

2019 Workshop dates and locations are as follows:

January 30 - (starts at 12:30 p.m., pre-register to receive free box lunch); Bank of Springfield Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, Springfield

January 31- U of I Extension-Effingham County, 1209 North Wenthe Drive, Effingham

February 5 - The Holiday Motel and Restaurant, 1300 S West St, Olney

February 6 - U of I Extension-Franklin County, 1212 Route 14 West, Benton

February 7 - Paul's United Church of Christ, 330 N Buhrman, Nashville

February 12- U of I Extension/Pike County Farm Bureau Bldg, 1301 E Washington, Pittsfield

February 13 - U of I Extension-Clinton County, 1163 North 4th Street, Breese

February 19 - Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, 1000 N Main St., Monmouth

February 20- Stephenson County Farm Bureau Bldg, 210 W. Spring St, Freeport

February 21- DeKalb County Farm Bureau Bldg, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore

February 28 - Illinois Department of Ag Bldg. Auditorium, State Fairgrounds, Springfield

Each workshop will offer a general curriculum designed to keep producers current on the latest industry practices. The curriculum covers the basics of nutrient management as well as new technologies, research, and trends, so producers who have completed the training and are renewing their certification will benefit.

Producers are encouraged to preregister at least two weeks prior to ensure a seat for the session that fits their schedule. To register, call 217-244-9687 or register online at The cost is $35. If more than one employee from the same farm signs up, each additional registration will cost $25. Lunch will not be offered, but coffee and snacks will be provided. However, a box lunch will be provided by Illinois Pork Producers for producers that pre-register be the January 30 workshop at the Illinois Pork Expo.)

The current training manual used for Certified Livestock Manager Training is the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Curriculum. This curriculum is available for free online at If you have a manual or CD that is older than 2003, you should check the website for information for update options. IDOA CLM Exam questions are taken directly from this manual. Some of this curriculum will be covered during the workshops. However, it is impossible to cover all of the exam material in one workshop, so acquiring and reviewing the manual in advance is highly recommended.

Please visit the Certified Livestock Managers Training webpage at for more information about registration, manuals, online training options, and other resources.

Producers and employees also have the option of taking five online quizzes.Passing these is the equivalent of having attended a workshop, but does not substitute for passing the state administered Certified Livestock Manager exam. Registration is open for the CLM Online Training Program at There is no charge to take the online quizzes other than the cost of a manual.

Source: Richard Gates, 217-244-2791,
News writer: Stephanie Henry, 217-244-1183,
Precautions for Dicamba Use in Xtend Soybeans Wed, 21 Nov 2018 15:59:00 +0000 Wondering how to manage dicamba in dicamba-tolerant soybeans in 2019? Find out what four Extension and university weed specialists, Aaron Hager with the University of Illinois, Bill Johnson and Joe Ikley with Purdue University, and Mark Loux at The Ohio State University, are recommending regarding dicamba. They just released a bulletin with five additional suggestions to reduce off-site movement of dicamba. This is in response to the EPA's label for dicamba use that was released in October.

In addition to the eight label restrictions the EPA detailed in its updated label for dicamba use, the bulletin provides five additional recommendations, citing, "one can do everything "per the label" but still have offsite movement."

Their full recommendations can be found here:


Integrated Pest Management: What Are Economic Thresholds, and How Are They Developed? Wed, 24 Oct 2018 14:04:00 +0000 Author: Nick Seiter, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois.

An insect control action (such as spraying an insecticide or planting a corn hybrid that incorporates a Bt trait) is only justified once the population of an insect pest reaches a certain level. This makes sense if you consider how foolish it would be to spray an entire soybean field because you found a single bean leaf beetle. However, determining the critical level of pest activity where a control action is needed can be challenging. Management guidelines for a particular insect pest include a population density, usually referred to as the "action threshold," that is used to determine if a control tactic is justified. As long as the pest density remains below this threshold no action is needed, but if the insect population density exceeds this level, a control action is recommended. How high or low this level is depends on how much damage can be tolerated, which in turn varies depending on the situation; for example, in the case of a medically important insect such as a mosquito that spreads malaria, there is no level of infection that we could reasonably tolerate. However, in agriculture we can easily determine the value of the product that we are trying to produce, and can set an action threshold based on this value. This is referred to as an economic threshold, and is the basis of integrated pest management recommendations in crop production.

The goal of the economic threshold is to prevent a pest population from reaching the point where its damage causes monetary losses that are equal to the cost of control. This "break-even" point is referred to as an economic injury level. This can be calculated using a formula.

Get the formula and learn more about determining economic injury thresholds by visiting farmdocDaily at:
Like any other input, the goal of an insect control measure should be to provide a positive return on investment, in this case by preserving enough yield to justify its cost. Using the economic threshold concept to guide these decisions helps to ensure that pest control actions will "pencil out" on the operation's balance sheet. In addition, by using these tools only when they are truly needed, the additional costs of pest control (especially the development of resistance to tactics and the potential non-target effects of insecticides) can be minimized.
Record Corn Yield Forecast Weakens Corn Prices Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:58:00 +0000
  • Todd Hubbs
  • Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
  • University of Illinois
  • Source: Hubbs, T. "Record Corn Yield Forecast Weakens Corn Prices." farmdoc daily (8):172, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, September 17, 2018. Permalink

    The USDA crop production report released last Wednesday led to a drop in corn prices as a record yield forecast surprised the market. The December corn futures price dropped to contract lows by the close on Friday. While corn consumption continues at a healthy pace, the prospect of a massive corn crop will continue to put pressure on prices.

    The USDA September corn production forecast for 2018 came in at 14.827 billion bushels, up 241 million bushels over the August forecast. The corn yield projection of 181.4 bushels per acre, up 2.9 bushels from August, sits 5.3 bushels above the previous record. Over the last twenty years, the USDA's September yield forecast ended up higher than the final yield estimate only five times. A change in corn yield forecast that provides some hope would look like the 2010 crop year. The final yield estimate ended up almost ten bushels per acre below the September forecast during that crop year. The yield projection met some skepticism due to the record-busting yield projections in many Corn Belt states. While it is tempting to discount this yield projection, the September yield forecast over the last five years only witnessed a yield decrease once, and the change was for less than a bushel.

    Despite the strong record of accomplishment recently of USDA yield projections, the yields projected for top-producing states merit consideration. Yield prospects for the top ten states in harvested corn acreage this year, which compromise approximately 75 percent of all harvested acres, increased in eight of those states. Compared to the August forecast, yield prospects for the top ten states in corn acreage increased in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. Yield prospects declined in North Dakota and remained the same for Minnesota. In six of those states, the forecasted yield came in at record levels. Illinois and Nebraska came in 13 bushels per acre above the previous record yield at 214 and 198 bushels per acre respectively. The forecasts for Ohio and South Dakota were 11 and 12 bushels per acre above their last record yields. Iowa and Indiana came in at a mere four and three bushel per acre above previous records respectively. While 2018 witnessed good growing conditions for corn, the forecasts for many Corn Belt states indicate large deviations from trend.

    On the back of the record yield projection, the forecast of total supply for corn during the 2018-19 marketing year increased 215 million bushels to 16.879 billion bushels. Beginning stocks fell by 25 million bushels on stronger consumption to close out the 2017-18 marketing year. The ending stocks estimate for 2018-19 increased by 90 million bushels to 1.174 billion bushels. The muted growth in ending stocks related to stronger use projections in all consumption categories due to rising production prospects and lower prices. The USDA increased to 2018-19 feed and residual use forecast by 50 million bushels to 5.575 billion bushels. Food, Seed, and Industrial consumption increased 125 million bushels to 7.13 billion bushels on stronger ethanol and industrial use. Corn export projections increased by 50 million bushels to 2.4 billion bushels. The forecast of the seasonal average corn price came in down 10 cents in a range of $3.00 -$4.00. An adjustment to this year's production forecast or a sharp demand increase appears necessary to see prices in the upper part of this range during the current marketing year.

    Despite the prospect of a large U.S. crop, increased consumption throughout the world continues to reduce global ending stocks. World production projections for 2018-19 increased 3.4 percent from last year's estimate to 42.08 billion bushels. The September world ending stocks forecast increased slightly to 6.18 billion bushels from August projections. World ending stocks are down 1.4 billion bushels from the 2017-18 marketing year estimate. The changes place world stocks to use at 11.7 percent, down from 13.4 percent last marketing year. The projected size of the Brazilian corn crop remained at 3.72 billion bushels, up 15 percent from the disappointing recent crop. Corn production projections for Argentina currently sit at 1.61 billion bushels, up 28 percent from this year's production estimate. An expansion in corn acreage looks probable in Argentina this year due to the recent policy change regarding export taxes in the soybean complex. At 8.85 billion bushels, Chinese corn production is up 4.21 percent from last year's estimate. A projected decrease in ending stocks in China by 766 million bushels, on stronger domestic use, encapsulates approximately 52 percent of the ending stocks decrease forecast for the world.

    The market now anticipates yield reports from the field as harvest commences and the October production forecast. Corn prices will be dependent on consumption throughout the marketing year barring a reduction in production levels. Corn use continues to show strength at the lower corn prices in place in the market. While there is potential for a higher corn yield as we move through harvest, the impact on corn prices may be minimal. Conversely, any reduction in corn yields sets up the potential for a strong rally.

    YouTube Video: Discussion and graphs associated with this article.

    Closing in on 2018 Gross Revenue Estimates for Corn and Soybeans Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:18:00 +0000 Gary Schnitkey
    Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics -University of Illinois
    Recently released yield estimates and the announcement of Market Facilitation Program details allows for more accurate estimates of 2018 gross revenue for corn and soybeans. Gross revenue in 2018 could be near 2017 levels as long as 1) yields are exceptional and 2) some pre-harvest hedging occurred before May. Those farmers with lower yields or no hedging could have 2018 gross revenues well below 2017 levels. At this point, projections of 2019 gross revenue projections will be below 2018 levels.

    Revenues will be projected for high-productivity farmland in central Illinois. These 2018 projections will be compared to previous average gross revenues for farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM). Table 1 shows the components of gross revenue projections, including crop revenue, Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments, ARC/PLC payments, and crop insurance. Projections are made for both corn and soybeans with both stated on a per acre basis.

    Yields are projected at the highest level ever in 2018: 233 bushels per acre for corn and 70 bushels per acre for soybeans (see Table 1). For corn, the previous high was 231 bushels per acre occurring in 2014. The previous high for soybeans was 69 bushels per acre occurring in 2018 (for historical yields see Revenue and Costs for Illinois Crops). Note that these are average. There will be many farms with much higher yields. It is likely that some field averages on corn will approach 300 bushels per acre. Moreover, there will be areas with much lower yields. Several areas have been very dry, resulting in low yield estimates, and much lower revenue projections than given here.

    See the FULL article with tables and charts HERE.

    Source: Schnitkey, G. "Closing in on 2018 Gross Revenue Estimates for Corn and Soybeans." farmdoc daily (8):169, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, September 11, 2018. Permalink


    U of I Releases Study on The Effects of Injectable Trace Minerals for Beef Heifers Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:51:00 +0000
    Angus cow

    It can be a struggle for beef cattle producers to maintain mineral status, especially for cattle on pasture, so many implement a trace mineral supplementation program. But research on newer trace mineral strategies, including injectables, has been inconsistent and incomplete. In a set of recent studies, University of Illinois animal scientists study the effects of the injectable trace mineral Multimin®90 on reproductive performance in beef heifers.

    "We definitely have heard a lot of producers asking, 'What about this product? Does it work?' So we started to do studies on it," says Dan Shike, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I.

    In the first study, published in Translational Animal Science, Shike and his research team injected heifers with Multimin®90 at a rate of 1 milliliter per 68 kilograms, 33 days prior to artificial insemination (AI). The heifers were spread out in three herds across Illinois, in Champaign, Simpson, and Baylis.

    "In those three herds, we had variable results," Shike says. "In two of the herds, we had very good AI conception rates in our controls, so we were already doing well and did not see a response to the injectable. In the last herd, the controls were below where we would like to see. By giving the Multimin®90, there was an improvement in conception rates. In that particular case, it appeared that trace mineral was limiting."

    In the second study, in the Journal of Animal Science, Shike and his team injected Multimin®90 into heifers every 90 days from weaning to final pregnancy confirmation, at variable rates according to age, body weight, and label specifications. It is the first published study to evaluate the effects of repeated trace mineral injections.

    In this case, the injections had no effect on reproductive performance, but selenium and copper status improved compared to animals that received only saline injections.

    In explaining the result, Shike says it's complicated. "In pregnancy, there are so many factors, but the result is either yes or no. In this particular study, the limiting factor was not trace mineral. We had a tougher forage year, so all the heifers were a little lighter, thinner than expected. In this case, overall energy status was likely the most limiting."

    Even if it doesn't make a huge difference in reproductive performance, Shike still sees value in the product because trace minerals play critical roles in overall cattle health and productivity. And ingestible trace mineral products, such as free-choice minerals in pasture-fed cattle, can be hit-or-miss.

    "When producers ask about this, my first questions are, 'How have your AI conception rates been? Are you hitting a home run every year?' If so, then you probably don't have a trace mineral issue.

    "But if you've had poor AI conception in three out of four years, you need to start evaluating. It may not be trace mineral, but it's one of the things you should look at. Consider a different mineral program or an injectable. The value of an injectable is you pick the timing and you ensure every animal gets it."

    He says that value is worth it to some purebred seedstock producers, who view the injectable as a cheap insurance program. "If you can get a couple extra pregnancies out of this, you can pay for all your Multimin®90 for a couple of years in these operations."

    The first article, "Effect of an injectable trace mineral at the initiation of a 14 day CIDR protocol on heifer performance and reproduction," is published in Translational Animal Science [DOI: 10.2527/tas2017.0050]. Authors include Rebecca Stokes, Abigail Ralph, Alexander Mickna, Wesley Chapple, Adam Schroeder, Frank Ireland, and Dan Shike. The research was funded by the Illinois Beef Association and Multimin USA.

    The second article, "Effect of repeated trace mineral injections on beef heifer development and reproductive performance," is published in Journal of Animal Science [DOI: 10.1093/jas/sky253]. Authors include Rebecca Stokes, Mareah Volk, Frank Ireland, Patrick Gunn, and Dan Shike. The research was funded in part by Multimin USA.

    Source: Dan Shike, 217-333-0322,

    News writer: Lauren Quinn, 217-300-2435,