Extension Ag Update
March/April 2003
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

University of Illinois Extension Corn and Soybean Classic Presentations
If you could not attend the 2003 Classic’s you can now read the presentations at this website.

USEPA Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations CAFO Regulations, p. 492
On December 15 the Environmental Protection Agency issued its new rule on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO). This website has a copy of this new rule as well as several brochures, one for each specie, that discuss the impacts on each specie. This rule increases the number of CAFOs required to get a permit under the Clean Water Act from 4,500 to 15,500. The rule requires hog, cattle, and poultry operations with more than 1,000 animal units to have nutrient management plans by Dec. 31, 2006.

Value-Enhanced Crops and 2002 University of Illinois Research Results
All fact sheets for value-enhanced crops and the searchable database for value-enhanced market locations in Illinois have all been updated for 2003; the findings for the 2002 on-farm value-enhanced research trials (see on-farm trial data) are also available on the Value Project website.

U.S Soybean Diagnostic Guide
An on-line diagnostic key where you enter the symptoms you are seeing on the soybean plants and a number of potential causes of those symptoms appear. This site was developed for American Soybean Farmers through a grant from the United Soybean Board in cooperation with The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations: Current Knowledge, Future Needs
The National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering report examines EPA and USDA’s ability to govern CAFOs. It outlines numerous areas of concern in the enactment and enforcement of these rules.

Check this site often for the newest listing on courses offered throughout the state or to learn about specific degree programs or call the Academic Outreach office at 1-800-242-1360.

Diagnosing Soil Compaction Using a Penetrometer (soil compaction tester) # UC178
Soil compaction is a serious concern for farmers in Pennsylvania. Soil compaction can easily reduce crop yields by 10 percent, and can lead to water and soil quality degradation
due to increased runoff and soil structure destruction. This four-page publication explains how to use a penetrometer, or soil compaction tester, to accurately assess the degree of soil compaction in a field. Agronomy Facts 63, released 2002

The Financial Benchmarks
This website contains tables that provide peer group financial ratios for farms by different farm characteristic classifications.

New Generation Grain Marketing Contracts
The purpose of this research report is to summarize the features of several types of "new generation" grain marketing contracts. Over the last several years, new types of grain marketing contracts have been developed by the grain industry in an attempt to improve the results of the marketing process for farmers. These products use automated pricing rules, discretionary marketing on the part of a professional advisor, options strategies, or some combination of all three; their goal is to achieve a price for the farmer near or above the "average" price offered by the market over a given time. Reports in the farm media suggest interest in new generation contracts has increased rapidly in recent years. This publication describes some of the contracts currently available and, where possible, provides examples of how each would perform in different market conditions

Agricultural Resources And Environmental Indicators
This report identifies trends in land, water, and biological resources and commercial input use, reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector, and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture. The report also examines the economic factors that affect resource use and estimates costs and benefits to farmers, consumers, and the government of meeting conservation and environmental goals.

Soil Fertility Influences on Cation Levels in Forages
By John Peters and Keith Kelling, University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Soil Science
A discussion on the relationship between soil nutrients and crop quality.

Agronomic Considerations for Molds and Mycotoxins in Corn Silage
By Mike Rankin, Crops and Soils Agent, Fond du Lac County, WI and Craig Grau, Extension Plant Pathologist, UW-Madison
This is a detailed discussion of molds and mycotoxins and management practices to prevent them in silage.

Farm*A*Syst is a partnership between government agencies and private business that enables you to prevent pollution on farms, ranches, and in homes using confidential environmental assessments. Farm*A*Syst can help you determine what risks -- whether from livestock waste disposal, pesticide management or petroleum storage -- could threaten your family's health and financial security. A system of step-by-step fact sheets and worksheets helps you to identify the behaviors and practices that are creating those risks.

In every home--large or small, new or old, city or country--there are potential risks to your family's health and the environment. Home*A*Syst helps you identify these risks and take action. Home*A*Syst begins with checklist questions to identify problem areas. When you find potential concerns, Home*A*Syst can help you develop an action plan to reduce the risks.

Hurry/Haste is Hazardous
A reminder of how to keep you and your family save on the farm.

Renewable Energy Annual 2001, released Nov. 2002
This is the seventh annual report that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has published on U.S. renewable energy. It covers energy consumption and electricity generation. The renewable energy resources in the report include: biomass (wood, wood waste, municipal solid waste, landfill gas, ethanol, and other waste); geothermal; wind; solar (solar thermal and photovoltaic); and hydropower.

Anaerobic Digesters and Methane Production
This publication discusses the science behind digesters and things to consider before investing in them.

National Water Quality Program Website
CSREES National Water Quality Program Web builds upon the 10 Regional Water Quality Web sites (accessible from the URL above) that are funded through the National Integrated Water Quality Program (NIWQP). This web site offers a unique opportunity to access timely and relevant information about existing water quality programs and activities underway at land-grant universities and other institutions

Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stocks (Agricultural Handbook 66 - AH 66
Fruits and vegetables continue to live after harvest; their sugars, fats and proteins generate heat as they respire. Only proper storage methods can lengthen the shelf life during which they can be transported, marketed and consumed. This handbook includes information on quality characteristics, maturity indices, grading, precooling, retail display, ethylene production and sensitivity, respiration rates, food safety, postharvest pathology and more.

Weed Identification
Enter plant characteristics to narrow the list of possible weed matches

Economic Thresholds for Weeds
A fact sheet on how to determine if weeds need to be controlled.

Corn Insect Pests – 52-page guide
This comprehensive book helps you identify common corn insects.

Corn Flea Beetle Fact Sheet
This fact sheet discusses the life cycle and how to scout for corn flea beetle.

Wireworm Fact Sheet
This fact sheet discusses the life cycle and how to scout for wireworm.

Wireworm Bait Station
On-line video giving instructions on how to set up and manage a bait trap for wireworms.

Rhizoctonia Root and Stem Rot of Soybeans Fact Sheet
Evaluate your soybean fields using this guide to common soybean diseases.

Root and Stem Diseases of Soybeans Fact Sheet
Look for these common soybean diseases while you are scouting.

Foliar Diseases of Wheat Fact Sheet
Use this guide to identify diseases in your wheat crop.

Predictive Evaluation of Alfalfa Quality
Determine the best time to harvest the highest quality alfalfa hay.

Alfalfa Weevil Fact Sheet
This fact sheet discusses the life cycle and how to scout for alfalfa weevil.