The Illinois Manure Management Plan Workbook
Scientist: Randy Fonner, Extension Specialist,
(217) 333-2611, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Leanne Lucas, (217) 244-9085, email@example.com
University of Illinois Extension specialists have developed a
new workbook that will guide livestock producers through the mire
of manure management. The Illinois Manure Management Plan Workbook
is a user-friendly resource that takes producers step-by-step
through the development of a manure management plan. Developed
by U of I Extension specialist Randy Fonner and Ted Funk, agricultural
engineer, the resource assists livestock producers in complying
with Illinois regulations.
In 1996, Illinois passed the Livestock Management Facilities
Act, which requires livestock producers with over 300 animal units
to receive training in manure management handling. Producers with
over 1,000 animal units must have a written manure management
plan available for inspection and submit a form certifying the
existence and location of their plan. Producers with over 5,000
animal units must have their management plan approved by the state.
To begin the planning process, step one in the workbook lists
all of the information that producers need to complete a plan.
Fonner stressed the importance of this step. "Pull your information
together, all of it, before you sit down and do your plan,"
he said. "If you're missing pieces, every time you get up
to look for something, you risk getting sidetracked and never
getting back to it."
Subsequent steps detail a specific section of the regulations
and include a sample form to help complete that step. The workbook
also provides instructions on filling out each of the forms, tips
to help producers organize their information in a separate three-ring
binder and suggestions on when and how to update their plan. An
extensive appendix offers additional information relevant to livestock
Once a producer has gathered all the information required in step
one, Fonner believes anyone can walk themselves through the process
in four to six hours. "Just remember," he emphasized,
"everything must be in writing. You must show your calculations
and you have to justify your numbers. If you say your yield is
300 bushels of corn per acre, then you better be able to prove
After producers have completed their plans, most of the data entry
is behind them. "Then the hardest part may be keeping track
of what you're doing during the year and having those notes available
when you go to do your update," Fonner said. Keeping your
plan updated is also crucial, he stressed. For example, producers
are required in their plan to show a four-year crop rotation.
But what if they change their minds? "Account for that in
your update," Fonner said. "Nobody's going to hold your
toes to the fire, just because you say you're going to plant corn
there in 2005. That's a long way away. Who knows what will change?
Just account for those changes."
The workbook has been designed to be used with or without a computer.
According to Fonner, "There are probably six-to-eight software
packages out there that will help crunch numbers and print reports,
but none of them will do the whole plan." However, the package
producers receive will include a CD that has a copy of the manual
and copies of the Excel spreadsheets used in the manual. More
information can be found at www.livestocktraining.com.
For producers who want more hands-on training, workshops are
held around the state 10 to 12 times a year. Because the program
is intense, only four or five producers attend each workshop.
Attendees are given two- to three-weeks' notice to compile their
records. Then, together with Extension instructors, they work
through the day to put together their management plan. "Producers
don't get into the business of raising livestock because they
like to shuffle papers," said Fonner. "A manure management
plan is just one more thing they're required to do. We put this
book together to help them do their job. It's complete. It ties
it all together."
The Illinois Manure Management Workbook is available for $45
plus postage and can be ordered through the U of I College of
Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences marketing and
distribution office at 1-800-345-6087.
Nonconventional Soil Additives: Products, Companies, Ingredients,
Released in Nov. 2001, this 95-page report lists non-traditional
product ingredients, claims and research. Find out what research
has been done on a product you are thinking about using in your
New Yield Estimates Available for Illinois Soils
Scientist: Kenneth Olson, (217) 333-9639, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Gary Beaumont, (217) 333-9440, email@example.com
Updated crop yield estimates for every soil type in Illinois,
now available through the University of Illinois, will help meet
needs of farmers, land appraisers and government agencies, according
to Ken Olson, professor of pedology.
Two publications released by the College of Agricultural, Consumer
and Environmental Sciences provide soil productivity ratings for
over 700 Illinois soil types. Average Crop, Pasture, and Forestry
Productivity Ratings for Illinois Soils or Bulletin 810 provides
the 10-year average crop yields under the average management used
by all Illinois farmers in the 1990s. Optimum Crop Yields for
Illinois Soils or Bulletin 811 shows the 10-year average crop
yields under an optimum level of management used by the top 16
percent of Illinois farmers for all soil types.
"The average (productivity rating) tends to be used by farm
managers and for land tax assessment purposes," Olson said.
"The optimum (productivity rating) tends to be used for land
appraisal, sales, and some government agencies." Determining
how much property tax a farmer will pay is one use of the average
productivity ratings. The average management standard represents
the crop yields that are obtained or exceeded by 50 percent of
the Illinois farmers, he said.
"In Illinois, agricultural land assessment is based on the
average condition including the crop rotations used in the region
and does not force users to the optimum management level or require
more row crops in the rotation" Olson said. "Land users
who manage their farms at an optimum level have greater input
costs which offset part of the profits from higher crop yields.
In an attempt to be uniform and fair to all land owners, they
all pay land taxes based on the average level of management."
The information can also be used for land use planning, sustainable
farm management and accurate land appraisal. Past, present and
future yields may be applied to land valuation, crop insurance,
nutrient management plans and other farm business, he said.
Yield data was gathered from the previously established yield
estimates for each soil based on 1970s data and updated using
20-year crop yield trends, Illinois Agricultural Statistics Staff
records, summary of Illinois Farm Business Farm Management records,
research plots, variety trials, check plots on farmers fields
and crop yield monitors coupled with global positioning systems,
County soil survey reports and maps, prepared as part of the
ongoing, 100 year old Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey Program,
are used to match soil types located on a farm or parcel with
yield data. Much of this soil survey data was collected during
the last 25 years and exists for every county in the state, he
said. "Were assuming that the soil doesnt change
dramatically in a 25 year period, but yields, if they were assigned
25 years ago, would be different than they are now," Olson
said. "So thats why were using the up-to-date
yields for the same soil."
Crop and forage rotation was also a factor in determining the
soil productivity ratings. Federal farm bills and the state "T
by 2000" program with conservation provisions have caused
Illinois farmers to alter practices and crop rotations to reduce
soil loss from erosion. The productivity ratings offered in the
publications are a good indicator of the suitability of soils
for crop production, Olson said.The ratings can be used to determine
the best use and management of soils. The average soil productivity
ratings in Bulletin 810 range on a numeric scale from 43 to 130.
The highest rated soil, Muscatine silt loam, was assigned a rating
of 130. The 10-year average crop yield estimates for all other
soils in the state are compared with the 10-year average crop
yields of Muscatine silt loam to determine productivity indices
for the other soils. For example, Drummer, the new official Illinois
State soil, has an average productivity rating of 127.
Also, the publications show a simple method for adjusting yields
and productivity for slope and erosion, he said. "The objective
is to have all the soils expressed on the same standard and we
recognize that management level affects yield unless there is
an unusual year with a drought or flooding," Olson said.
The Average Crop, Pasture, and Forestry Productivity Ratings
for Illinois Soils bulletin also includes information on pasture
and the effects of soil on tree growth for seven tree species.
"Its a multi-use data set." Olson said. "Its
not specific for one purpose conservation, nutrient management,
crop production or appraisal. Its got a variety of uses."
Copies of Bulletin 810 and Bulletin 811 can be obtained for $3.00
and $2.50, respectively, by calling toll free 800-345-6087. Up-to-date
versions are available for no charge in PDF format online at http://research.nres.uiuc.edu/soilproductivity/.
National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
NPIC provides comprehensive information to the public on specific
pesticide chemicals, including toxicological and medical information.
The Center is funded by the EPA and housed at Oregon State University.
Contact the center at 800-858-7379 from 7:30 a.m.5:30 p.m.
Understanding Soil Phosphorus: An Overview of Phosphorus,
Water Quality, and Agricultural Management Practices
Scott Sturgul, Nutrient Management Specialist, NPM Program
and Dr. Larry Bundy, Professor Soil Science Department of Soil
This color publication discusses issues associated with phosphorus
and its potential for impact on the environment. Specific topics
include the phosphorus cycle, nomenclature, sources, transport,
and a summary of agricultural management practices for minimizing
the impact of phosphorus on water quality. p. 32
Copies can be ordered from the NPM Program at 608-265-2660 or
Urban and Agricultural Communities: Opportunities for Common
In addition to food, fiber, ornamental plants and forestry production,
this report defines agriculture as including major components
that range from food safety technologies to natural resource programs
and to the people and organizations involved in agricultural policy,
public education, and related agricultural service industries.
The report provides an extensive discussion of the ways that agriculture
already contributes to urban communities, such as storm water
management, air quality, and economic benefits as well as community
and human health and recreational opportunities. It also proposes
initiatives that the agricultural system, higher education programs
and governments must undertake jointly to remain relevant to society.
Research, extension and educational opportunities are addressed
for each initiative described in the report. The report suggests
five important initiatives within which agriculture
can play a significant role.
For a copy go to the CAST website or contact the Council for
Agricultural Science and Technology, 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames,
IA 50014-4512, Phone: 515-292-2125, Ext. 31
The Next Green Revolution: Essential Steps to a Healthy, Sustainable
James E. Horne, Ph.D. and Maura McDermott, 2002
Horne is president of the nonprofit Kerr Center for Sustainable
Agriculture in Poteau, and McDermott is communications director
of that same institution. Topics include: major problems of contemporary
industrial agriculture, historical roots of sustainable agriculture,
definitions of sustainable agriculture, the politics of sustainable
agriculture, ways to demonstrate sustainable agriculture practices,
changes needed to encourage a sustainable agriculture, and the
eight steps to a sustainable agriculture which address soil health
and erosion, water quality and use, organic waste management,
crop and livestock adaptation, biological diversity, environmentally-benign
pest management, energy use, and farm diversification and profitability.
To order contact the Kerr Center at 918-647-9123 or from Haworth
A Practical Guide to Prairie Reconstruction
This book provides a concise overview of the planning, establishment
and maintenance of a reconstructed prairie. The book includes
more than 20 beautiful color photographs and an extensive list
of suppliers and references. p. 54
For a copy contact: University of Iowa Press, 100 Kuhl House,
Iowa City, IA, 52242-1000. Phone: 319-335-2000 or 773-568-1550,
On the web at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~uipress/,
The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with
Dana Jackson, Land Stewardship Project Associate Director
and Dr. Laura Jackson, University of Northern Iowa
This book promotes the idea that restoration of a relationship
between farming and the natural world enhances the sustainability
of both. Contributors bring together insights and practices from
the fields of conservation biology, sustainable agriculture and
ecological restoration to link food and farming to biological
diversity, and celebrate a unique alternative to conventional
agriculture. Rejecting the idea that "ecological sacrifice
zones" are a necessary part of feeding a hungry world, the
book offers compelling examples of an alternative agriculture
that can produce not only healthful food, but also fully functioning
ecosystems and abundant populations of native species.
To order this 250-page book, log onto the Island Press Web site
at www.islandpress.org and click on the "Spring '02 Catalog."
You can also order from the publisher by calling toll free 1-800-828-1302.