Extension Ag Update
May/June 2003
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education


Publications Plus – University of Illinois Agricultural and Horticultural Publications

Call 1-800-345-6087 or order on the web www.PublicationsPlus.uiuc.edu. It’s a one-stop shop for a current catalog of research-based information (Mastercard and VISA accepted)

Farm Income & Production Costs for 2002, AE-4566, April 2003

The most current information on farming costs in Illinois. To order call University of Illinois at: 1-800-345-6087 or order on the web www.PublicationsPlus.uiuc.edu

Improve Your Skill and Knowledge with College Courses

Dr. Fred E. Below, Program Coordinator (800) 252-1360, ext. 39745, or at f - below@ uiuc .edu

The Off-Campus Graduate Studies (OCGS) Program in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois is an excellent way to expand your knowledge base in agriculture; courses are offered around the state in a wide variety of topics. University classes in crop and soil sciences are taught by faculty members who travel to off-campus locations and teach in person, usually for 3 hours, one evening a week, for one semester. Locations where these courses are currently offered are Joliet, Malta, Kewanee, Rock Island, Vandalia, Quincy, Springfield, and Champaign. Classes start in early September; registration must be completed by mid-August.

Successfully completing three courses (one must be a higher-level course) in the OCGS Program qualifies you for a Professional Development Certificate in Crop Sciences. Students who apply and are accepted to the Graduate College can obtain a master's degree in Crop Sciences after completion of eight units (usually 9 or 10 courses). However, people may take individual courses for personal or professional development; no further course enrollment is necessary.

To learn more about the Off-Campus Graduate Studies Program in Crop Sciences, view the OCGS web page (http://w3.aces.uiuc.edu/CropSci/grad/Options/off_campus/index.html)

Farming on the Edge: Loss of Prime Farmland


American Farmland Trust recently released their latest Farming on the Edge study, which provides tangible evidence that our nation's best farmland is being lost at a faster rate than ever before. Between 1992 and 1997, the U.S. paved over more than 6 million acres of farmland, an area approximately equal to the size of Maryland. Wasteful use of land, rather than economic growth, has led to America losing twice as much farmland in the 1990s as it did in the 1980s.

This study includes national and state maps of farmland in the path of development, as well as ranking the top 20 states by acreage of prime farmland lost to development. To obtain a complimentary copy of AFT’s latest 27"x36" full-color national Farming on the Edge map (one map per person), e-mail me at gchen@farmland.org or call (202) 331-7300 ext. 3060.

Organic Update Newsletter

This monthly electronic newsletter offers news and information about the organic farming industry in the Upper Midwest and is produced by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Contact MOSES at (715) 667-5501.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas Resource sheets

Over 200 free resource sheets are available from Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, (ATTRA) resource publications office by calling 800-346-9140, or downloading them from the website. Topic include:

  • Scheduling Vegetable Plantings for Continuous Harvest
  • Organic Farm Certification and the National Organic Program
  • Organic Pumpkin and Winter Squash Production
  • Stored Grain Pest Management
  • Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational IPM
  • Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms
  • Solar-powered Livestock Watering Systems
  • Anaerobic Digestion of Animal Wastes

2003 Directory of Least Toxic Pest Control Products Catalog

A listing over 2000 items from 600 commercial sources. Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC) is a nonprofit organization offering over 25 years of insight, experience, and leadership in the development and communication of least-toxic, sustainable, and environmentally sound Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods. Cost is $15. To order call the Bio-Integral Resource Center at, 510-524-2567 or e-mail birc@igc.org.

Rethinking the American Dream

A 20-minute video available for free on-line viewing. It was produced by the Oregon State Extension Service. The video focuses on what Americans report is most important in life: health, fulfilling work, education, connection with family, friends, community and the natural world, and spirituality. It points out how merely consuming "stuff" and increasing material wealth can get in the way of achieving these important goals. A free 20-page companion guidebook on sustainable living is also available for viewing and printing at the web site. It is also available on videotape (and DVD soon) for $19.95 or soon for free rental at the OEA's Clearinghouse at (651) 215-0232 or (800) 877-6300.