Extension Ag Update
December 2008
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)

“Do You Have a Burning Question? The Facts about Open Burning in Illinois,”

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have developed a brochure, to educate citizens about the topic of open burning and its regulations. 

The Illinois EPA receives numerous inquiries about open burning each year.  This brochure is an informational resource for citizens and should help to ensure that any open burning done in Illinois is conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Open burning is defined as the combustion of any matter in the open or in an open dump.  The Illinois EPA issues open burn permits for regulated activities, such as prairie burns, firefighter training, and disaster debris burning. While the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Pollution Control Board regulate open burning, local authorities may also have regulations within their own jurisdictions.

The brochure contains information on many types of open burning and associated permit requirements.  For example, the burning of agricultural waste can include structures, crop residue and landscape waste that is generated on-site at a farm or ranch from crop and livestock production practices.  This type of burning is not allowed in restricted areas, which include any city, village or incorporated township, plus a zone extending one mile beyond the boundaries where there is a population of 1,000 or more.  Open burning of agricultural waste is restricted to the site where the waste is generated.  The owner/operator must also show that no reasonable alternative and economic method of disposal is available. You may contact the Illinois EPA Agriculture Advisor at 217/558-6818 or the Bureau of Air for further guidance.

Copies of the brochure may downloaded from the web or may be requested by calling the Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Helpline at 800-252-3998 or through the on-line order form at: www.ienconnect.com/enviro
Carrying Farm Products & Supplies on Public Roads,
Determining what transportation rules you must follow can be confusing. Farmers are exempt from certain regulations, but you must conduct your farming operations within a specific set of guidelines entitling you to claim those exemptions. This publication will help make them easier to understand.
The book can also be purchases for $1.00 from Ag Communication, Media Distribution Center, Purdue University, 231 S. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2094,    1-888-398-4636

Aboveground Petroleum Tanks PPP-73
Anhydrous ammonia tanks have become favorite targets of methamphetamine makers, costing farmers thousands of dollars in stolen nitrogen fertilizer. Thieves are now turning their attention to another chemical container: The above ground petroleum tank, said a Purdue University Extension specialist.
“With the price of gas and diesel fuel going up, some people are now a little bit more apt to help themselves to your fuel tanks,” said Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs. “When that happens, you’re lucky if all you lose is the gas or diesel, because all you've lost is the money for that fuel.  “The real problem is when these thieves and vandals have the power to the tank on, put what they need into their truck and then let the rest run onto the ground. Now you've not only lost a product but you've also got soil contamination. And you know what? You can prevent a lot of this and it isn't that hard.”
Aboveground Petroleum Tanks outlines security measures farmers can take to discourage fuel thieves. The 110-page publication is loaded with illustrations. More than 230 photos show examples of both proper and improper fuel tank practices. The photos come from 15 years of Whitford’s travels to commercial businesses and farms across Indiana.
Four primary themes run throughout the publication, Whitford said. “One important thing you need to do is have a tank in the right place, so that if a spill takes place fuel does not get into surface water,” he said. “Secondly, do everything you can, within reason, to keep the area clean. Third, do a little security to at least make it more difficult for a person to cause you harm. Then lastly, you want to prepare for an emergency. Most of our insurance policies will not cover cleaning up contamination. So if you had a fuel spill, the cleanup would come out of your pocket.”
To order this book for $1.oo contact Purdue Extension 1-888 -398-4636 or by e-mail at media.order@purdue.edu . The publication also can downloaded free online at. For more information about the publication or aboveground fuel tanks, contact Whitford at (765) 494-1284 or by e-mail at fwhitford@purdue.edu .

Starting a Dairy Goat Business
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has released a new guide, for anyone looking to get into one of the state's fastest growing agriculture sectors. The 104-page guide covers everything from an initial personal assessment to marketing, as well as herd health, milk quality, and working with processors. To receive a copy of the guide, contact Jeanne Meier, jeanne.meier@wisconsin.gov or 608-224-5121.

A Transition Guide to Certified Organic Crop Management
Margaret Frericks Huelsman

Transitioning to organic farming? Already switched, but needing to update your farm plan? Get step-by-step help in the Organic Whole Farm Planning Workbook (8.5 by 11 in., 108 pp., coil-bound), just released by Ohio State University’s Organic Food and Farming Education and Research (OFFER) Program.

Some of the topics include: “Evaluating Your Current Farm Operation” (history, mapping, climate, and soil), “Defining Your Goal” (based on Alan Savory’s “Holistic Management” approach), “Writing Your Transition Plan” and “Pulling It All Together” (the importance of integration, monitoring and record-keeping).  There are questions to answer, conditions to describe, factors to rate and records - all with plenty of space provided to do it, plus sample certification forms, neighbor notification letters and more.

Order Organic Whole Farm Planning Workbook, $20, and Transition Guide to Certified Organic Crop Management, $15, from OFFER, 201 Thorne Hall, OSU/OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691. Make checks payable to OSU/OFFER. For more information, call (330) 202-3528.