Extension Ag Update
July/August 2004
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

Liability Risk and Recreational Use of Land after Hall v. Henn: Illinois Landowners Beware

A new article by Uchtmann and Endress discusses general principles of liability affecting a landowner. How the Illinois Recreation Use Act can reduce a landowner's risk of liability is discussed. Most importantly, it highlights how a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision limits the liability protection previously available from the Act, and how the Hall v. Henn decision has created a new decision-making framework for landowners when deciding whether to say "yes" if persons ask to use Landowner's property for recreational purposes.

I-FARM : Internet-Based Farm Simulation Program Debuts July 2 in Iowa http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/newsreleases/2004/simulation_061804.htm

A new internet-based simulation program that lets farmers build their own farm and see what happens environmentally. I-FARM is a database-driven farming systems simulation model under development at Iowa State University. "Many of the existing simulation programs are just for crop or livestock operations," said I-FARM developer Ed van Ouwerkerk. "They do not at look how they can work together in one system to reduce external inputs, conserve resources and tighten nutrient cycles to maximize efficiency." The model has weather and soils data for 12 Midwestern states, along with data for a range of crops and crop rotations as well as associated practices such as tillage, fertilization, planting, weed control, harvesting and residue removal. Users can select options that fit their farm or interests. The model can show detailed information about soil erosion (using a model also developed in the United States) about a particular farm, the farm's energy and labor requirements, and what's produced in terms of crops, livestock, manure to be used as fertilizer, and residue that could be harvested for its biomass. I-FARM results also can be used in other models related to water or air quality on a landscape scale.

A Matter of Scale: Small Farms in the North Central Region http://ssfin.missouri.edu/report.htm

A discussion of the importance of Small Farms in the Midwest. Although the answers are neither simple nor definitive, the discussion here is intended to help agricultural professionals, farmers, and the public better understand and act on the challenge of keeping small farmers viable in a changing culture.

New Listserv Highlights Participatory On-Farm Research

The North American Farming Systems Association, one of six regional associations of the International Farming Systems Association , is being revitalized and has launched a listserv to share information and questions about projects, programs, events, opportunities, publications, materials, and ideas related to on-farm participatory research, whole farm systems approaches, and farmer learning in the United States, Mexico and Canada. To subscribe to the NA-FSA list serv: e-mail sejohnson@smallfarm.org . To help get the NA-FSA Listserv started, and build the North American Farming Systems Association, please email a brief summary of your interdisciplinary, on-farm research or farmer participatory development activities or questions related to Farming Systems in North America when you subscribe.

Profiles of Agricultural Energy Industries Available

The Agricultural Marketing Research Service has released several new and updated reports related to ag energy. Brief industry profiles provide an overview of each industry, and discuss demand, production, competitiveness, government regulations and industry resources. Profiles on biodiesel, ethanol, wind and solar.

CSA Across the Nation

A comprehensive portrait of the community-supported agriculture movement in the U.S. Findings from a 1999 national survey show both common traits and diversity among Community Supported Agriculture farms

Sustainable Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management Resource & Information Directory, 2004 Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Lists sustainable agriculture organizations in Minnesota and outside of Minnesota. Provides information on other sustainable agriculture resources. 39 pages. Contact Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 90 West Plato Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55107; phone (651) 296-7673