Extension Ag Update
May/June 2007
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

Soybean Rust Scouting Video

The video features Dr. Yorinori and others who discuss step by step how to scout for soybean rust and how to apply fungicides, if necessary. 

"Western Bean Cutworm Short Course" Video

Presenters included Eileen Cullen (University of Wisconsin), Gary Hein (University of Nebraska), Marlin Rice (Iowa State University), and Kevin Steffey (University of Illinois) on these topics:

  • Review of the situation (Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin)
  • History and biology of the western bean cutworm
  • Economic impact of the western bean cutworm
  • Look-alikes--moths and larvae
  • Managing western bean cutworms

"Managing Soybean Aphids in 2007: How Will Biological Control Contribute?" Video

Entomologists from eight states made presentations on these topics:

  • History and biology of the soybean aphid (David Voegtlin, Illinois Natural History Survey)
  • Review of the situation with soybean aphids in the Midwest (David Ragsdale, University of Minnesota)
  • What is biological control, and what do we have to work with in the Midwest? (Bob O'Neil, Purdue University)
  • Predators, parasitoids, and pathogens (Kelley Tilmon, South Dakota State University)
  • Practices to conserve and use natural enemies (Matt O'Neal, Iowa State University)
  • Introducing new natural enemies into the U.S. (Bob O'Neil)
  • Foreign exploration (Kim Hoelmer, USDA-ARS, Newark, Delaware)
  • Host specificity testing (George Heimpel, University of Minnesota)
  • Studies with nontarget aphids (Cory Straub, University of Wisconsin)
  • Management guidelines and potential for biological control (Chris DiFonzo, Michigan State University, and Marlin Rice, Iowa State University)

Both short courses were facilitated by the North Central IPM Center. The western bean cutworm short course was sponsored by the North Central IPM Center, and the soybean aphid biological control short course was sponsored by the North Central Soybean Research Program.

"Nitrogen Management on Dairy Farms"

A free, interactive website is now available to help dairy producers better manage nitrogen on their farms. It's the result of cooperative work by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Cornell University and the University of Vermont, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fund for Rural America grant.

The website is part tutorial, with interactive diagrams to aid in the review of information, as well as quizzes. Instruction is provided on sampling and testing manure, soil and crops for nitrogen. Information is also available on interpreting test results and calculating the amount of plant-available nitrogen present in a manure sample. A downloadable spreadsheet, called the "Manure Nutrient Calculator," is provided as an example of a manure-crediting system used in New York State.

Illinois Small Farms

A new website provides a centralized location for information about upcoming events, resources, sustainable ag tours, and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

Illinois Resource Management Mapping Service

The web site allows people to create maps of any area in Illinois in a matter of minutes over the Internet.  It was recently updated and now has information for all counties in Illinois. Agency staff can use the RMMS web site to view natural resources, farmers can use the site to view individual fields, and city planners can use the site to review town boundaries and plan future growth.  Users can quickly locate, create, print, save, and email maps of large and small areas within Illinois in a few minutes.  Numerous map layers from demographic data to resource data may be added to the base map to give a better idea of a specific location's resources and other important attributes.  After the base map is selected you can choose resource layers (lakes, river, watershed), administrative layers (townships, legislative, IDNR districts), and economic layers (highways, county roads, railroads).  The map engine allows people to buffer points, buffer critical areas, view aerial photographs and tabulate acreages on data features.  Users can create maps within watershed, farms, and fields.

Experience Counts: Farm Business Survival in the U.S.

Farming, like other businesses, exhibits high turnover, with many thousands of existing farms going out of business each year. As in other industries, new farm businesses enter at a high rate and new entrants subsequently exit at high rates, irrespective of the size of the farm or the age of the operator. Exit rates fall as businesses age to 5-9 years old, and then fall again, although modestly, for more experienced farm businesses. Experience seems to provide an important advantage to well-established businesses that can learn quickly and efficiently.

China Agricultural and Economic Data

The China agricultural and economic database is a collection of agricultural-related data from official statistical publications of the People's Republic of China. Analysts and policy professionals around the world need information about the rapidly changing Chinese economy, but statistics are often published only in China and sometimes only in Chinese-language publications. This product assembles a wide variety of data items covering agricultural production, inputs, prices, food consumption, output of industrial products relevant to the agricultural sector, and macroeconomic data.