Extension Ag Update
September/October 2001
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

2001 Structural and Financial Characteristics of U.S.
Economic Research Service, USDA, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 768, May 2001

"Family farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, ranging from very small retirement and residential farms to establishments with sales in the millions of dollars. The farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) categorizes farms into groups based primarily on occupation of the operator and sales class of the farm. The typology groups reflect operators' expectations from farming, position in the life cycle, and dependence on agriculture. The groups differ in their importance to the farm sector, product specialization, program participation, and dependence on farm income. These (and other) differences are discussed in this report." (Source: abstract)

A Farmer's Guide to Agricultural Credit
This guide is designed to help you better understand credit. Borrowers are offered more alternatives and need to develop procedures to evaluate those choices. These alternatives give borrowers the opportunity to better manage their financial affairs. This guide also outlines a practical approach to evaluating loans. Many terms used by lenders and others offering credit are defined in the glossary of this guide and are illustrated in the following sections. Learning the language of credit will be important as you manage your finances. Before entering any formal loan agreement, consult with an attorney, tax advisor and accountant.

Securing Agricultural Rent Payments in Illinois after July 1, 2001
On July 1, 2001 Illinois Public Act 91-893 became effective. It amends the Illinois landlord's lien upon crops statute and the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code. This article discusses the steps an Illinois agricultural landlord may take after July 1, 2001 to secure the payment of rent under the revised Illinois landlord's lien statute. A form for giving notice to prospective purchasers of the crop is provided, along with a link to the UCC 1 (the form needed for filing with the Secretary of State). Other links to the Secretary of State's Website and to applicable Illinois Statutes are provided, along with various other suggestions.

The New Farmers Market
The following selections from a new book "The New Farmers Market" are available as free PDF downloads from New World Publishing’s website.

  • Benefits of Farmers' Markets for Farmers, Customers & Communities
  • Selling to Ethnic Groups
  • Hottest Products to Sell
  • Getting Grants for your Market
  • Market Issues & How To Deal With Them
  • Salad Bar Program
  • School Lunch Program
  • Special Events for Your Market
  • What's In A Name (Finding a great name for your market)
  • Resources from "Embracing the Community" & "Expanding the Vision"

Healthy Farmers, Healthy Profits
Focused on useful tips to decrease workload by making chores easier and safer while lowering costs. The site has Tips for Dairies, Vegetable and Fruit Growers. Some of the dairy topics include: Use Silage Bags, Build an On-Site Calf Feed Preparation Area, Use Bottle Holders for Newborn Calves, Move Calf Feed and Supplies by Wagon, Long-Day Lighting in Dairy Barns.

Confined Animal Production and Manure Nutrients
ERS Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 771. 40 pp, June 2001
Noel Gollehon, Margriet Caswell, Marc Ribaudo, Robert Kellogg, Charles Lander, and David Letson.

Census of agriculture data were used to estimate manure nutrient production and the capacity of cropland and pastureland to assimilate nutrients. Most farms (78 percent for nitrogen and 69 percent for phosphorus) have adequate land on which it is physically feasible to apply the manure produced on-farm at agronomic rates. (The costs of applying manure at these rates have not been assessed). Even so, manure that is produced on operations that cannot fully apply it to their own land at agronomic rates accounts for 60 percent of the Nation's manure nitrogen and 70 percent of the manure phosphorus. In these cases, most counties with farms that produce "excess" nutrients have adequate crop acres not associated with animal operations, but within the county, on which it is feasible to spread the manure at agronomic rates. However, barriers to moving manure to other farms need to be studied. About 20 percent of the Nation's on-farm excess manure nitrogen is produced in counties that have insufficient cropland for its application at agronomic rates (23 percent for phosphorus). For areas without adequate land, alternatives to local land application--such as energy production--will need to be developed.