Brief Highlights of the 2002 Farm Bill
This material describes provisions of the Farm Bill in a concise,
Farm Bill Decision Tool
This is a downloadable Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that calculates
payments under the four options for updating acres and yields.
This spreadsheet will aid farmers and landowners in making choices
among the four alternatives.
Loan Rates in 2002
This is a link to the USDA website that shows county loan rates
for 2002. Also listed are links to U.S.D.A. and other websites
describing the 2002 Farm Bill.
Suitability Maps Available for Illinois Alternative Crops
Featuring 414 different crops and their suitability for Illinois
soil and climate conditions this site is now available from the
Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). The site is designed to help
farmers identify and find information on crops that they might
like to grow. The Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research
funded the project.
Choosing between liming materials
Many alternative liming materials are now available. Evaluate
which one might be best for your fields.
Optimum calcium to magnesium rations: should you be concerned
Do plants grow better with a specific calcium to magnesium ratio?
Learn about the chemical relationship of these elements in the
soil and learn the research-based answer to this question.
Identifying Common and Glossy Buckthorn
Color photos and detailed descriptions make identifying buckthorn
Creating Corn Mazes on Farms for Agri-tourism
Retirement Estimator for Farm Families
A new Purdue University website designed for farmers can help
take some of the guesswork out of retirement planning. Putting
a price tag on retirement dreams is the goal of the "Retirement
Estimator for Farm Families" site. The site helps estimate
the annual income a family would require for retirement and suggests
options for matching expenses with projected available funds.
Since it was designed specifically for farmers, the "Retirement
Estimator for Farm Families" site includes inputs for income
from rented crop and pastureland, income from the sale of machinery,
and other farm-related income and expenses. The retirement estimator
provides data based on information about family expenses, life
expectancy, and sources of income. The information is provided
for calculation purposes only and is not kept at the site. In
addition to calculating retirement expenses, the site provides
links to additional retirement planning resources. It also offers
examples of spending patterns for other farm families.
Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Wheat Farms
The average cost of producing a bushel of wheat was $3.97 for
producers surveyed in 1998, ranging from about $1.25 to more than
$6 per bushel. The cost of producing wheat generally declined
as farm size increased. Regional differences in production practices
and growing conditions were major influences on production costs
and yields among wheat producers. Producers in the Prairie Gateway,
a major wheat region, produced wheat at an average cost of $3.63
per bushel, the lowest cost among regions. Most high-cost farms
and very large farms were in the Southeast region; these farms
tended to be more diversified than farms in other regions, so
wheat contributed a smaller share to their total farm income.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Releases 12 Wetland-Related
The EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW)
has available online 12 wetland-related fact sheets. The topics
include: Wetlands Overview, Types of Wetlands, Functions and Values
of Wetlands, Threats to Wetlands, Wetland Restoration, Funding
Wetland Projects, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment, Wetland Monitoring
and Assessment: A Technical Framework, Wetlands Program Development
Grants, Teaching about Wetlands, Sustainable Communities and Volunteering
National Center for Agricultural Law
The National AgLaw Center's attorneys conduct legal research into
the most critical issues facing agriculture today. Based on this
research, objective and authoritative publications are produced
that are available in print and online. The Center's attorneys
have written books, articles, and bulletins on numerous topics
including federal farm programs, environmental law issues, and
The Changing Landscape of U.S. Milk Production
The U.S. dairy industry underwent dramatic restructuring during
the last 50 or so years. Key structural features of the dairy
industry are the quantity of milk produced and the location, number,
size, and organization of dairy farms. The questions of where,
how much, and by whom milk is produced are important from both
a national and a regional perspective. The structure of milk production
defines the potential direction of the industry. Dairy farms continue
to grow, become more concentrated in certain regions, and become
more specialized in producing milk. However, small traditional
dairy operations remain scattered around the country.
Income, Wealth, and the Economic Well-Being of Farm Households
Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930's notion that providing
transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased
economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that neither
change in income for the farm sector nor for any particular group
of farm business can be presumed to reflect changes confronting
farm households. Farm households draw income from various sources,
including off-farm work, other businesses operated and, increasingly,
nonfarm investments. Likewise, focus on a single indicator of
well-being, such as income, overlooks other indicators such as
the wealth held by the household and the level of consumption
expenditures for health care, food, housing, and other items.
Using an expanded definition of economic well-being, we show that
farm households as a whole are better off than the average U.S
household, but that 6 percent remain economically disadvantaged.
Agricultural Productivity in the United States
Increased productivity is the main contributor to growth in U.S.
agriculture. This data set provides estimates of productivity
growth in aggregate for the period 1948-99, and growth and relativity
levels for individual States for 1960-96.