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home : ag & business : ag April 29, 2016

THS Plant Sale Starts Thursday
Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville High School students Tommy Mollet and Madison Wilson are shown watering greenhouse plants in anticipation of Thursday’s upcoming annual plant sale.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Are large corn and soybean price swings finished?
URBANA, Ill. — Corn and soybean prices have traded in a wide range since last summer. July 2016 corn futures traded to near $4.70 in early July 2015, declined into harvest, and then bottomed at $3.51 following the release of the recent USDA Prospective Plantings report. July 2016 soybean futures traded near $10.31 in early July 2015, dropped sharply into harvest, and traded between about $8.60 and $9.30 from harvest through early April 2016.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

T'ville FFA Members Named State FFA Proficiency Award Winners
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The State finals of the Illinois FFA Proficiency Awards were held Saturday April 2, 2016 at the University of Illinois in Lincoln Auditorium. Taylorville had 11 members competing for State honors which were more students qualifying for this event than any other school in the state of Illinois.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Soybeans react to Brazilian political, weather influences
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been higher this week propelled upward by a continued resurgence in buying interest within the bean market. The extent of this rally is tied to asset allocation and dynamic short covering, maybe an attempt to buy some bean acres from corn as well. Oddly, however, the fund position suggests that there are very few shorts left to cover at this point.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wildflower of the week
CHRISTIAN COUNTY —This interesting annual vine is a tropical plant native to Africa but now found growing wild from Florida to Texas. It has many yellow five petaled blossoms and uses curling tendrils to grow up fences and small trees.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ortho to drop chemicals linked to bee declines
DENVER (AP) — Garden-care giant Ortho said Tuesday it will stop using a class of chemicals widely believed to harm bees.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Several area youth attend Ill. Farm Bureau and Affiliates Youth Conference
EAST PEORIA, Ill. — More than 350 FFA members, County Farm Bureau Managers, FFA advisors from 74 Illinois counties attended the 2016 Illinois Farm Bureau and Affiliates Youth Conference, April 4-5 at the Embassy Suites, East Peoria.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Soybeans rally out of USDA report, corn stagnates
TAYLORVILLE — Grain markets are mixed this week with soybeans acting as the leader; the May contract is currently trading 20 cents higher for the week. Their support has been fueled by short covering and technical buying as that contract reaches into new highs for the move.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Monsanto misses Street 2Q forecasts on falling seed sales
(AP) — Monsanto Co. reported weaker-than-expected earnings Wednesday as the company offered price discounts to try and revive flagging sales of its biotech-enhanced seeds.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

U of I Economist Good: Corn consumption and acreage
URBANA, Ill. — The USDA’s March 1 Grain Stocks  report released on March 31 provides an opportunity to assess the progress of corn consumption during the current marketing year and to re-evaluate prospects for the magnitude of year-ending stocks.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Prices hold despite swell of corn acres from report
TAYLORVILLE — It’s hard to surprise a market with bearish data when its predisposition has been overwhelmingly bearish for the past several months, but the USDA managed to do just that last Thursday with the release of their planting intentions report.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

U of I Economist Hurt: Fewer hogs and higher prices
URBANA, Ill. — The nation’s pork producers have indicated to USDA that they are not expanding the breeding herd and, in fact, intend to reduce farrowings this spring and summer. According to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt, this means pork supplies will be somewhat less than had been anticipated and that hog prices will be somewhat higher.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Taylorville's Collin Lynch earns Certified Crop Adviser title
TAYLORVILLE — Collin P. Lynch of Taylorville was recently certified by the American Society of Agronomy as a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA). To attain this prestigious certification, Collin passed both an International CCA exam and the Illinois CCA exam.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thursday's USDA report to challenge money flows, prices?
TAYLORVILLE — The grain markets are coming into Thursday’s all-important quarterly stocks and acreage report on strong March rallies, which have been driven by money flows more than fundamentals.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Analysts predict bean acre reduction, prices rally
TAYLORVILLE — Grains have been steady to higher in mixed trade. For the week, May beans are 13 higher and May corn is steady. Some early-week frost scares encouraged buying interest in the wheat market, which in turn worked to fuel the recent bean rally.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Taylorville FFA Wins Section FFA Poultry CDE
SHELBYVILLE, Ill. — The Taylorville FFA Chapter recently competed in the Section 16 FFA Poultry Career Development Event held Thursday, March 17 at Shelbyville High School. The Taylorville Team placed 1st overall.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Justices uphold $5.8 million award against Tyson Foods
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a setback to business, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods Inc. in a pay dispute with more than 3,000 workers at a pork-processing plant in Iowa.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Effort to block labeling of modified food stalls
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican efforts to stop mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods have stalled.
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Illinois Soybean Growers frustrated at bill failure
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is extremely disappointed the U.S. Senate failed to pass S. 2609, a bill that would have established national voluntary GMO labeling standards.
Thursday, March 17, 2016

USDA announces funding for conservation programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this weekthe availability of up to $260 million for partner proposals to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sweet corn genes related to crowding stress identified
URBANA, Ill. — Plants grown in high-density or crowded populations often put more energy into growth and maintenance than reproduction. For example, flowering may be delayed as plants allocate resources to growing taller and escape competition for light.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Vilsack issues statement on National Ag Day
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack  released the following statement on National Ag Day:
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Illinois spring trout fishing season opens April 2
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —  The 2016 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 2 at 50 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

ACES alumni event to bring youth to 'college'
URBANA, Ill. — University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) alumni are encouraged to register to attend ACES Family Academies with their young Illini fans ages 8 to 13. The one-and-a-half-day event will take place July 7-8.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Growing asparagus at home can take patience
URBANA, Ill. — Growing asparagus is best reserved for patient people, as the first crop cannot be harvested for at least a year after planting. This frustrates many home gardeners, and is one factor that can make asparagus relatively expensive in grocery stores. Commercial growers must spend time and money to weed and maintain plots before they yield any asparagus, says University of Illinois Extension Educator Jennifer Nelson.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NFU recognizes the importance of stewardship
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As agriculture is celebrated this week, one farm organization is focused on the policies that embody this year’s National Ag Week theme: “Stewards of a Healthy Planet.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Soy growers call on Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. — American Soybean Association President and Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins called on Senators from both sides of the aisle Wednesday to come together and vote to advance the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

US consumer prices fall, dragged by energy prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices fell in February, dragged by another steep drop in energy prices. However, core inflation managed to tick higher, led by the biggest jump in clothing costs in seven years.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NFU also seeking compromise on biotech labeling
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On behalf of nearly 200,000 family farmers and ranchers from a wide range of operations, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging Congress to find a meaningful compromise on the federal biotech labeling debate.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

$180M repair backlog at Illinois state fairgrounds
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A spending plan from Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner outlines a $180 million backlog in repairs and maintenance for the state fairgrounds in Springfield and Du Quoin.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bumblebees to be considered for federal protection
DENVER (AP) — Two species of wild bumblebees found from Alaska to North Carolina and in Canada will be considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. government said Tuesday.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

U of I economist Good: Surprising strength in soybean prices
URBANA, Ill. – The U.S and world soybean situation continues to be one of surplus. The USDA’s March 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report projected 2015-16 marketing-year-ending stocks of U.S. soybeans at 460 million bushels, 10 million bushels above the February projection.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Funds, demand to drive markets ahead of planting report
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been mixed this week due to a combination of short covering and some light selling interest from producers which materialized as a result of that same short covering.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

LSU AgCenter gets $1.75M from soybean, grain board
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board has given the LSU AgCenter $1.75 million to finance 62 research and outreach projects this year.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Updating a home with new foundation plants
URBANA, Ill. — Plants around the front of a house serve many purposes. A properly designed front landscape can greatly enhance the appearance and market value of a property.
Monday, March 14, 2016

Dudley Smith Farm to conduct multi-year nutrient management study
TAYLORVILLE — Every year, thousands of fish and aquatic wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico are killed due to hypoxia, the depletion of oxygen in coastal waters that stems, in part, from runoff of farm fertilizers, discharges from water and sewer treatment plants, and even residential runoff.
Monday, March 14, 2016

Field Museum's Wari Ale the latest homage to ancient brews
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Fourteen years ago, University of South Dakota anthropology professor Matthew Sayre unearthed pepper tree seed from the southern tip of Peru, unaware he’d stumbled upon a spent ingredient from a small 1,000-year-old brewery.
Monday, March 14, 2016

Container gardening can be a lot of fun
URBANA, Ill. — Many would-be gardeners may be discouraged by a lack of available outdoor space. The solution may be container gardening, according to University of Illinois Extension educator Ken Johnson.
Monday, March 14, 2016

Lincoln's farm background led to his agricultural legacy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing "at the seat of Government of the United States a Department of Agriculture."
Monday, March 14, 2016

Macro markets buoy grain trade ahead of USDA report
TAYLORVILLE — Grains have been higher in mixed trade this week due to position squaring ahead of today’s March USDA supply and demand report. For the week, May corn is up two cents, and May soybeans are up six cents.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Good: Expectations for the March 1 corn stocks estimate
URBANA, Ill. — On March 31, the USDA will release the quarterly Grain Stocks report containing an estimate of the stocks of corn that were in storage as of March 1.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

'Weed blaster' technology a boost organic farming
ATLANTA, Ill. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Illinois are blasting away at noxious weeds.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Outlook Forum offers little encouragement and big corn acres
TAYLORVILLE — The grain markets began the month of March much like they ended February - under pressure. Both corn and beans are challenging contract lows, which are just a few cents below current market price. Beans, though, actually posted an outside-down day on the charts on Tuesday, which could extend the selling interest.  For the week, May corn is down a penny, and May soybeans are down five cents.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Taylorville FFA Visit with Representative Avery Bourne
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Recently, the Taylorville FFA Chapter was invited to the State Capitol to partake in the Annual Agriculture Legislative Day. Twelve Taylorville FFA members were asked to represent their chapter by assisting with the day’s activities.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Johnson posthumously honored for putting retired farmers to work
WASHINGTON — Fifty years ago, Green Thumb was the first nonprofit organization to run a jobs program for disadvantaged rural Americans in response to the War on Poverty.
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Researchers: Biomass from CRP land could be source of bioenergy
URBANA, Ill. – The USDA’s Farm Service Agency established the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 30 years ago in an effort to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, and increase habitat for sensitive wildlife species.
Thursday, February 25, 2016

USDA study answers questions about microstructure of fried foods
URBANA, Ill. — What happens to food and its microstructure when it is fried is a complicated process, both scientifically and mathematically speaking. While consumers want a product that is crispy and tasty, food scientists seek to get a closer glimpse into what exactly is going on inside the food during frying in order to improve products.
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Washington's new apple 20 years in the making
WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — Blanketed by winter snow, orchards are mostly idle around central Washington, the production hub of the nation's top apple producing state.
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Illinois Department of Labor recognizes Grain Bin Safety Week
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) released the following statement to recognize February 21 to 27 as Grain Bin Safety Week:
Thursday, February 25, 2016

New dicamba-resistant soybean varieties available
URBANA, Ill. — Soybean producers looking to manage waterhemp and horseweed may be able to add a new weapon to their arsenals, but a University of Illinois weed scientist warns that it may not be available for the full 2016 season.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

USDA Outlook Forum to showcase acre projections
TAYLORVILLE — Grains have been lower in mixed trade this week due to some position squaring ahead of this week’s USDA Outlook Forum. For the week, March corn is even and March beans are down 9 cents.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Love for gardening leads Taylorville FFA student to state degree and award
TAYLORVILLE — When students enter Introduction to Agriculture class as a freshmen, finding a Supervised Agriculture Experience Project can sometimes be challenging. Senior Morgan Mollet knew exactly what her SAE was going to be when she started. She chose vegetable production.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

FFA Jacket Day At THS
TAYLORVILLE — Members of the Taylorville FFA group are celebrating FFA week with several activities. Tuesday was FFA Jacket Day and members were encouraged to wear their team jackets to school.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

US farm entrapments fall to lowest level in decade
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Grain bin entrapments and other confined space accidents on the nation's farms fell to their lowest level in a decade last year, a Purdue University study has found.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Failed pump at factory farm leads to fish kill
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A manure spill at a factory dairy farm has led to a fish kill in Grant County, Wisconsin.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A look at the role of FFA in developing leadership
TAYLORVILLE — Most people think that FFA is an organization that just teaches students about farming and where their food comes from, but that is not the case today. The Taylorville FFA Chapter President, Mary Kate Curtin is an example of how The National FFA Organization gives students leadership opportunities and teaches them skills they will use the rest of their lives.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Illinois State Water Survey: Soils warmer than average across Illinois this winter
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Soil temperatures in Illinois have been above normal for most of the winter, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Zeroing state's ag education line item means uncertain future for next generation
RANTOUL, Ill. —  The proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017 is reverberating across the state.  Illinois’ short-term fiscal woes are creating serious headwinds for long-term investment.  Nowhere is this more apparent than for agricultural education and the industry it serves.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Taylorville FFA complete various SAE projects
MAROA, Ill. — During February, eighty-six Taylorville FFA members completed various SAE projects not only for competition, but to learn valuable career and life skills that they will use the rest of their lives.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cattle and Hogs are not just for boys
TAYLORVILLE — Raising cattle and farrowing pigs is an FFA project that senior member Caitlin Hadden thoroughly enjoys. Sometimes this type of work requires effort during early mornings, late nights, hot days and frigid cold temperatures.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Taylorville FFA stays busy
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville FFA Chapter is always busy. This year has been no different. To date the Taylorville Chapter has attended numerous Career Development events, four Leadership Events, and worked on numerous community service projects.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

An Entrepreneur In High School Because of FFA
TAYLORVILLE — Most people find it hard to believe that a high school student can have their own business, but for the past four years, Taylorville FFA member, Travis Winans has maintained a productive and profitable enterprise. Owning and operating a turf grass mowing service is a business that has been a way for this teen to save money for college and learn skills that he will use the rest of his life.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

NRCS Announces Environmental Quality Incentives Program
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The U. S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will be offering special funding to improve habitat for migratory water fowl through the Mississippi River Basin Critical Conservation Area portion of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016 Christian County Plat Book now available
TAYLORVILLE — The 2016 Christian County Land Atlas and Plat Book is now available locally from the Christian County 4-H Foundation.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Livestock Judging is Returning to Christian County 4-H
TAYLORVILLE — Livestock Judging is returning to the Christian County 4-H program.  Over 30 4-H members and their parents attended the first 4-H Livestock Judging Clinic held Tuesday February 16 to learn more about 4-H livestock judging.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

State FFA interviews recently conducted
DECATUR, Ill. — Recently, interviews for the coveted State FFA Degree took place at the Macon County Farm Bureau Office in Decatur, IL. Numerous students from twelve different schools competed for this top FFA honor in which only two percent  of the FFA membership achieves.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Scholarships Available to Ag Students through Jenner Ag
 HARRISTOWN, Ill. — Illinois and Indiana high school and college students pursuing an agriculture degree have the opportunity to further their education with three scholarships from Jenner Ag.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Taylorville students take home star awards
TAYLORVILLE — Recently 26 students in Section 16 FFA competed for the prestigious State FFA Degree. When applying for the State FFA Degree, students have the opportunity to compete for special awards such as Star in Entrepreneurship, Placement, Production, and Science.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Welcome to the 'agrihood': homes built around working farms
(AP) — Gated communities with houses clustered around golf courses, swimming pools, party rooms and fitness centers are common in many suburban areas. But homes built adjacent to functioning farms?
Saturday, February 20, 2016

FFA: more than cows, sows and plows
TAYLORVILLE — Many people that are not directly related to the FFA organization do not realize that high school agriculture and FFA is not just “cows, sows, and plows”; it is science, technology, and leadership. Senior FFA Officer Alec Higgason defines what today’s FFA stands for. Over his high school FFA career he has had an innovative SAE project that has made it all the way to the National FFA level.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

U of I Economist Good: A weather market for corn in 2016?
URBANA, Ill. — Nearby corn futures remain above the early January lows, but continue to struggle under the weight of a number of negative market fundamental factors. Those negative factors include both supply and demand considerations, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Farmers sue to stop cattle checkoff fee referendum
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Rural Crisis Center and two farmers are suing the Missouri Department of Agriculture to halt a referendum on higher fees for cattle farmers.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Grain markets in limbo over mixed demand items
TAYLORVILLE — With the market closed on Monday for President’s Day, grain trade has been higher in this holiday-shortened week due to some light short covering and spillover support from the wheat market.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wisconsin landowners sue Enbridge over spill insurance
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of Wisconsin landowners is suing Enbridge to force the company to carry spill insurance on a pipeline that will carry Canadian tar sands oil across the state.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Exports of ethanol remain strong; Canada largest importer from US
URBANA, Ill. – U.S. exports of fuel ethanol were generally small prior to 2010. For 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated exports at 398.5 million gallons. Exports peaked at just under 1.2 billion gallons in 2011 when Brazilian ethanol supplies were in short supply. Exports declined to 619 million gallons in 2013, but recovered to 846 million gallons in 2014.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

USDA report features growing South American supplies
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been lower this week on improved south American weather and spillover pressure from wheat and soybean meal, which are both probing new contract lows.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No new horse virus cases reported in Illinois
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they haven't received any new reports of equine herpes virus which sickened eight horses last week at Bartlett's Sunset Hill Farm.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Christian County Farm Bureau announces annual scholarships
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Farm Bureau (CCFB) Foundation Board of Trustees and the Christian County Young Ag Leaders (YAL) continued its commitment to supporting young agriculturists by approving to continue sponsoring scholarship allotments for 2016 at their January Board of Trustees Meeting.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

U of I: updated online crop insurance decision tools
URBANA, Ill. - A completely revamped crop insurance section of the University of Illinois farmdoc website is being released today along with two new web-based decision tools. The ifarm Premium Calculator provides farmer-paid premiums for insurance products on a per acre basis. The ifarm Insurance Evaluator provides performance evaluations of alternative crop insurance products for a case farm within a county.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Solid demand, short-term technicals push markets higher
TAYLORVILLE —Grain trade has been higher in mixed trade this week due to some position squaring, short covering, light chart buying, and solid, though unspectacular, demand items. For the week, March corn is up a penny, though it managed to finish out last week on a strong note, up six cents on Friday. March soybeans are up four cents on the week, but they too had an impressive day on Friday, finishing 14 cents higher.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016










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