Extension Ag Update
May/June 2006
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

Western Bean Cutworm, University of Illinois Fact Sheet http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/fieldcrops/insects/western_bean_cutworm.pdf

Japanese Beetle, University of Illinois Fact Sheet

Western Corn Rootworm Variant, University of Illinois Fact Sheet

European Corn Borer, University of Illinois Fact Sheet

Soybean Aphid, University of Illinois Resources

Potato Leaf Hopper, University of Illinois Resources

Small Volume Grain Mills
Are you producing small grains and looking for alternative markets. One option is to mill your own grain. Check out this article for information on the different mills available.

Solar Powered Livestock Watering Systems
Learn how to select, configure and install solar powered livestock watering systems.

Dairy Your Way: A Guide to Management Alternatives for the Upper Midwest, Univ. of Minnesota and the Minnesota Dept of Ag
Dairy Your Way describes the variety of management alternatives available to today’s dairy producers, including tie stall setups, free stall barns and transitional housing options. The book also discusses confinement, grazing and organic management systems as well as custom heifer-raising and value-added production. There is also a chapter dedicated to milking center design and retrofitting options. For farmers at the beginning or the end of their careers, one chapter is devoted to entry and exit strategies.

Print copies of Dairy Your Way are available free of charge from CIAS by calling 608-262-5200 or download it from the website. The publication was produced using funds from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. It is published by the MDA with significant participation from the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Minnesota, the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin, and the Michigan Agricultural Stewardship Association.

There are two other titles in the “Your Way” series. Poultry Your Way is available on the CIAS web site. Hogs Your Way is available for purchase from the University of Minnesota Extension Distribution Center at (800) 876-8636 or www.extension.umn.edu

Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch
This report spotlights innovative, SARE-funded research into a range of conservation options including soil management, such as using compost, conservation tillage and cover crops; plant management, featuring crop rotation, water-conserving plants and rangeland drought mitigation; and water management strategies such as low-volume irrigation and water recycling. For a free copy go to the website or e-mail san_assoc@sare.org or call 301-504-5411.

Land Retirement and Working-Land Conservation Structures: A Look at Farmers' Choices

All sizes and types of farms have adopted conservation practices and installed conservation structures. Programs that support a wide range of alternative conservation practices are more likely to match the wide range of interests of farmers. Recent ERS research suggests that farms and farm households that install working-land conservation structures—such as contour strips or grass waterways—often differ from those that retire farmland.

Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2002
This publication presents the results of the latest (2002) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the Census, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources. The data are synthesized by state to calculate the use of several broad classes and subclasses of agricultural and nonagricultural land over time. National and regional trends in land use are discussed in comparison with earlier major land-use estimates.

Understanding U.S. Farm Exits
The rate that U.S. farms go out of business or exit farming is about 9 or 10 percent per year and is comparable to exit rates for nonfarm small businesses in the United States. U.S. farms have not disappeared, because the rate of entry into farming is nearly as high as the exit rate. The relatively stable farm count since the 1970s reflects exits and entries essentially in balance. The probability of exit is higher for recent entrants than for older, more established farms. Farms operated by African-Americans are more likely to exit than those operated by Caucasians, but the gap between African-American and Caucasian exit probabilities has declined substantially since the 1980s. Exit probabilities differ by specialization, with beef farms less likely to exit than cash grain or hog farms.

Whole-Farm Approaches to a Safety Net
In recent U.S. farm policy debates, several “whole-farm revenue” programs have been proposed as a new form of safety net that would be available to all U.S. farms. A whole-farm program is based on revenues from all farming activities added together and is not linked to the production of particular commodities. This report looks at the risk management potential for such programs and the obstacles to implementing such a whole-farm revenue approach to a farm safety net.