Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has been reported in the Midwest, causing illness among poultry and temporarily disrupting deliveries and supplies of eggs. Although the virus has not been seen in Illinois, University of Illinois, Department of Animal Sciences Professor Kenneth Koelkebeck is alerting poultry farmers in the state so that they can take necessary precautions to avoid infection in their flocks.

August 25, 2015–The Logan County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Group conducted their 1st annual crop tour on the 20th of August. The mission of the crop tour was to evaluate the overall condition of the corn crop in Logan County. Eli Klokkenga and Matt Wrage spear headed the crop tour with consistency and accuracy in mind. Mother Nature plays an important role in the production of a corn crop. Some years she is kind, such as last year, some years she deals a tough hand as she did this year.

Each year the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA releases estimated average farm real estate values by state. The estimates are based on surveys of farmers from selected geographical areas. The surveys follow strict statistical guidelines. Estimated values maybe revised the following year based on additional information. Revisions may also be made based on data from the 5-year Census of Agriculture.

One of the emerging trends to improve soil tilth, and to scavenge available nitrogen to prevent its loss from the field, is to utilize cover crops. A simple demonstration has been put out at the Hartsburg Field to demonstrate a few examples of self-terminating (meaning it is killed by the cold winter) cover crops. The strips were broadcast after corn harvest on September 17 with oats used as a carrier for the small seeds. Matt Wrage provided the seeding and obtained seeds for us. Attached are photos of the five demonstration strips taken 18 days after seeding.

While it may seem a little bit off topic, there have been many questions concerning eligibility for exhibition in the Junior Show at future State Fair Opportunities. Many questions have come to us concerning livestock exhibition, particularly for youth who are beyond the 4-H enrollment age. Here is a synopsis of eligibility rules for the 2016 fair:


JUNIOR SHOW

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY RULES

New and Currently Effective with the 2016 Illinois State Fair

2015 Logan Co. Field Crop Scouting Workshop Series

Date

Host

Educator

SW

NM

IPM

CM

Wednesday

June 3

Blair Hoerbert

2506 100th Ave.

San Jose, IL 62682

(309)247-3547

Russ Higgins,

Extension

1

1

2015 Logan Co. Field Crop Scouting Workshop Series

Date

Host

Educator

SW

NM

IPM

CM

Wednesday

June 3

Blair Hoerbert

2506 100th Ave.

San Jose, IL 62682

(309)247-3547

Russ Higgins,

Extension

1

1

The National Ag Statistics Office has released 2014 corn and soybean yields by county on February 19. The state average corn yield was 200 bushels per acre, compared to the 178 bushel average of the 2013 season. Logan County averaged 230.8 bushels per acre and Sangamon County averaged 226.8. Menard County had an average yield of 222.7.

In the courts, two of the three federal district court judges in Georgia and West Virginia refused to block WOTUS from taking effect. One of the cases was brought by a coal company, the other by a group of 12 states. A third federal court judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of WOTUS in 13 states west of the Mississippi.











ILLINOIS PUMPKIN DAY - 2015

PLACE: Vegetable Crops Research Farm at Champaign, IL
DATE: September 2, 2015

TIME: 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

PRESENTATIONS: All at Research Plots

Here is a set of updated photos from the Hartsburg Field cover crop strip demonstration taken October 16, 2015. Below is the seeding information from the September 17 seeding. Lack of moisture is severely impacting some of the seedings.

Crop budgets for 2016 have been revised. Primarily because of lower corn and soybean prices, the revised budgets have lower operator and land returns than those released in June 2015 budgets. The complete set includes budgets for corn, soybeans, wheat, and double-crop soybeans grown in northern, central, and southern Illinois. These are available on farmdoc.

Revised 2016 Crop Budgets

Farm pond weed control seems to the the hot topic - when it is usually too late to do much about it without affecting fish populations. One of the keys it to begin early, so decaying algae doesn't affect oxygen levels in the water, leading to a fish kill. If you already have had a significant algae bloom, treat smaller areas and allow ample time between treatments.

A good guide for pond weed control can be found at the following link. This has been provided by Mike Roegge Extension Educator.

Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Such plans might include fall ammonia application, early spring application of ammonia or another form of nitrogen, or plans to apply all of the nitrogen at or after planting, said a University of Illinois crop scientist.

"In recent years, there has been a trend toward more applications per crop, and it's not unusual today to have nitrogen applied three or four times on the same field," said Emerson Nafziger.

As wheat has become less common as a crop, it is harder to find the "fly free date" in publications. For those who are not familiar with the term, this comes from the date after which damage from the Hessian fly is negligible. It is also the planting date range which typically gives the best yields of wheat for a variety of reasons, including less damage from Septoria leaf spot and Barley yellow dwarf virus. Below is the table of dates for Illinois counties:

Last week, symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois's Northwestern Research Center in Warren County, according to a U of I Extension educator.

Angie Peltier explained that weather during the 2015 growing season has been favorable for the development of SDS: cool, moist soils after planting followed by frequent rains. Symptoms began appearing approximately 3 weeks earlier than in 2014, she said.

The newest Costs of Operations for machinery costs have been posted to the farmdoc website. These were calculated this summer and recently posted.Here is a link to the sheet:
http://www.farmdoc.illinois.edu/manage/machinery/summary_2015.pdf

Commercial cow-calf producers and seedstock breeders interested in purchasing a total performance-tested bull will want to attend the 2015 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11 a.m. at the Livestock Center on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The sale will be the lead-off event for the Illinois Beef Expo. There are 69 bulls cataloged including 15 longer-aged 2013 mature bulls and 54 yearlings. A breakdown of the breeds includes 32 Angus, 32 Simmental and SimAngus, and 5 Polled Hereford.

With increasing concern about avian influenza (bird flu), a set of fact sheets has been developed by Extension Specialists and Educators to help producers and consumers to prepare for the situation. These resources are located at:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/factsheets/fs1427.html

Last week, I visited all of the University of Illinois corn variety trials in the northern half of the state. Gray leaf spot and northern leaf blight were beginning to appear in most of the locations, but were the most obvious at the trial located near Perry, IL (Pike County).

The 2015 Yield Trial information has now been added to the variety testing program information website. You simply click on the tab for the crop you want, and select the type of file by the region of the state and year.
The site is at: http://vt.cropsci.illinois.edu/

Recent reports indicate that payments from the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs for the 2014 crop year may be reduced by nearly 7% due to sequestration. The following discussion provides additional background information on sequestration and its likely impact on payments.

Although no intense flights (nine or more moths caught over a two-day period) of black cutworm moths have been reported, captures of this species have been common in several Illinois counties and states, said a University of Illinois Extension entomologist.