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home : ag & business : ag May 24, 2020

Virus imperils state's equine industry
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ equine industry is being threatened as the state adopts social distancing guidelines in response to growing coronavirus concerns.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Farmers cautious about corn, soybean season despite projected rise in plantings
SPRINGFIELD – Despite projected increases in corn and soybean plantings this year after a disastrous 2019 planting season, farmers are gripped by uncertainty surrounding spring weather and the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

County fairs hurt financially, too, by COVID-19 shutdowns
SPRINGFIELD — The social distancing guidelines that led Illinois county fairs to cancel off-season events on their grounds through the end of April is one part of a financial impact double-whammy, a trade official said.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Christian County 4-H livestock judging team takes top 2 spots at invitational
The Christian County 4-H Blue Ribbon club members have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills in preparation for several contests throughout the state and nation.

Just like all events, the season will be cut short due to the COVID 19. Nearly all contests that were scheduled throughout the spring have been cancelled or postponed.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Weekly Outlook: Planting season begins another year under much uncertainty
The planting season begins another year under considerable uncertainty. While trade issues remain, the continued spread of the coronavirus and the ensuing market collapse complicates an already difficult decision, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Illinois ag in the classroom offers online lessons
Illinois families doing their part to social distance during school and restaurant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic can add additional agriculture educational activities to the digital resources at their fingertips.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Protecting ag's essential pollinators
Chemicals are routinely applied around residential landscapes to kill insect pests and troublesome weeds, but many are indiscriminate and devastate pollinators in the process.

Over the past 30-plus years, pollinator populations have crashed worldwide due to a variety of reasons, including pesticide and herbicide exposure, invasive pests and diseases, loss of habitat, loss of species and genetic diversity, and a changing climate, scientists say.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus fears over farmers markets could hit new growers hard. . .
The familiar sight of weekend shoppers brushing shoulders at farmers markets across the U.S. is under threat from the coronavirus and fears of its spread.

In Seattle, farmers markets have been suspended altogether. In New York state  the epicenter of the U.S.'s fight against the virus  they remain open, but residents are being warned against gathering in groups and told to practice social distancing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Assumption farmer has passion for organic farming
Back in the 1960’s, local farmer Jack Erisman pushed the boundaries of agriculture, using as much fertilizers and herbicides as he could, producing bumper crops each season. It took about 10 years, but by the 70’s, he was looking for a better way - a way to get out from under the chemical dependency his crops were under in order to grow healthier crops and farm animals. It wouldn’t be until 1990, but that’s when he began practicing organic farming. He says it has been a 30-year learning experience.

According to Erisman, organic farming is more of a methodology.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Down On The Farm
David and Kristy Hebert, along with their two sons, Noah and Evan, are in the family farming business. They are the 5th and 6th generations, respectively, to farm their land in rural Owaneco.

Hebert Farms raise cattle, chickens, peacocks, pigeons, bunnies and crops, in addition to making soap and lotion to sell at the local farmer’s market.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Explore and assess your seeds this winter
While there may still be snow on the ground outside, it is never too early to start planning your garden for the spring. Begin by digging through your old seed packet stashes to find those still viable to plant.
Monday, March 23, 2020

American Angus Reserve National Champion Auctioneer helps CEO with Banquet Auction
When most guests attend a benefit auction they think they will be bidding to a local auctioneer that has been in the business for several years. This year at the Christian County CEO Banquet Auction there were two auctioneers for the evening events, veteran auctioneer Col. Joe Curvey and Taylorville Junior High Student Drew Mickey.
Monday, March 23, 2020

Fun Ag Facts
Monday, March 23, 2020

Your own veggies
Empty produce shelves greeted many of us this past week and it got me to thinking about getting out in the garden and starting some veggies. I’ve been planting what I would call a supplemental vegetable garden for several decades now. My produce doesn’t mean I don’t shop for veggies at stores and at the farmers’ market, but it’s nice to have my own produce to add to those items that I do buy. My garden includes tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, and Swiss chard. Herbs like basil, sage, and dill are there. I have blueberry bushes and a few raspberry plants as well.
Monday, March 23, 2020

THS FFA places 2nd at poultry event
The Taylorville FFA Chapter recently competed in the Section 16 FFA Poultry Career Development Event.  The Section 16 event was held Wednesday, March 11  at Shelbyville High School. The Taylorville Team placed 1st overall with team members Lacey DeClerck, Mylie Corso, Will Colbrook, Jonathon Scott, and Chris Hartwig. Three Taylorville FFA members made the top ten individuals overall and they were Lacey DeClerck was 3rd, Mylie Corso was 5th, and Will Colbrook was 7th.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Drop-off in economic activity certain, only duration and severity unknown
Sharp price drops across equity and commodity markets over recent trading sessions indicate that investors foresee a drop-off in economic activity over the near term. Only the duration and severity of the economic contraction remain uncertain, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

USDA announces feeding program partnership in response to COVID-19
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a collaboration with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19:
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Edinburg student is selected District FFA Proficiency winner
Edinburg Illinois's Emma Stuart was selected as the District FFA Proficiency Winner in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management. Emma Stuart is a member of the Edinburg FFA Chapter of the Illinois Association FFA. Illinois FFA recognizes students in fifty different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agricultural Experiences or SAE. FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award. SAEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Corn growers and Illinois scientists estimate crop production in real time
University of Illinois scientists, with help from members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, have developed a new, scalable method for estimating crop productivity in real time. The research, published in Remote Sensing of Environment, combines field measurements, a unique in-field camera network, and high-resolution, high-frequency satellite data, providing highly accurate productivity estimates for crops across Illinois and beyond. 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Central A&M FFA places second at veterinary science career development
On Tuesday, February 25th, members of the Central A&M FFA Chapter attended the Section 16 Veterinary Science CDE at Richland Community College. Team members included Ella Forlines, Mallory Schmitt, Aaron Schmitt, Alyssa Nichols, Abby Vidmar, Izac Virden, Logan Virden, Tucker Long, and Victoria Billups. As a team, Central A&M FFA received 2nd place overall.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

CA&M FFA sends three members to districts in record book judging
Central A&M FFA Advances three to districts in Section 16 Record Book Judging. The following Central A&M FFA members participated in the Section 16 Proficiency Award judging on Thursday, February 20 at Maroa-Forsyth High School. Members who competed and their place are
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Grain markets higher despite wild market swings in response to coronavirus
Financial markets around the globe surged Monday in response to widespread speculation that policy makers around the world would implement economic measures to offset the toll taken on the markets by the recent coronavirus outbreak. That sudden influx of buying in the financial markets worked to buoy the grain markets as well.

For the week, May corn is trading 13 cents higher, and May soybeans are up 11.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Fire Protection District Purchases Rescue Auger
Morrisonville-Palmer Fire Protection District has purchased a grain tube Rescue Auger with a generous donation from the Morrisonville Farmers Co-op. The Rescue Auger is used with a grain rescue tube. Once the tube is secure around the victim, the Rescue Auger is placed in the tube and it removes the grain from around the victim.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Central A&M FFA Members
Thursday, February 27, 2020

CC Farm Bureau Foundation Scholarship Applications being accepted
The objective of the CCFB Foundation’s 2020 Scholarship program is to provide scholarships to college students who major in agriculture, agribusiness or an ag-related course of study. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of exceptional scholastic ability and/or financial need. Applicants may have been the recipient of a previous CCFB Foundation Scholarship.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Study shows universally positive effect of cover crops on soil microbiome
Only a fraction of conventional row crop farmers grow cover crops after harvest, but a new global analysis from the University of Illinois shows the practice can boost soil microbial abundance by 27%.

The result adds to cover crops’ reputation for nitrogen loss reduction, weed suppression, erosion control, and more. Although soil microbial abundance is less easily observed, it is a hugely important metric in estimating soil health.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Ag in the Classroom
Rebecca Livingston of the University of Illinois Extension office has been busy with activities for the Ag in the Classroom Project. Livingston has been visiting local schools and educating students about soil and how important it is to us.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Night Hikes at Griswold Conservation Area
Venture into the darkness during one of several Night Hikes at Griswold Conservation Area this spring.  Choose from Saturday, March 7, April 18, and May 23 from 8pm-9:30pm.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Alex Weitekamp talks about his experience in FFA
Pana High School FFA officer, Alex Weitekamp, recently sat down and put pen to paper to answer questions about his experience with FFA and farming. Here are his answers:
Thursday, February 27, 2020

THS Agriculture Program continues to add new classes to the curriculum
The Taylorville Agriculture Program has continued their mission of keeping up with educational progress by thinking outside the box and adding courses that are valuable to students’ futures and offer real-world content.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Yes, hard-working farm boys really do still exist
Throughout Section 16 FFA, four exceptional students each year are named Stars in different areas. This year, each of the four Stars came from the Taylorville FFA Chapter. These awards require hard work, diligence, and dedication to the FFA. No student exemplifies the necessary qualities like the Star Farmer, Tanner Mickey.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Proud Of Their FFA Roots
Pictured from left are Pana High School FFA Officers Chase Temmen, Alex Weitekamp, Ellie Kuhn and Amanda Hall. Not pictured Serenity Eiler.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Researchers find way to detect presence of turtles
The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle may be the largest freshwater turtle in North America, but that doesn’t make it easy to spot. The up-to-200-pound armored beasts have only been officially recorded in Illinois 16 times since the late 1800s. But, in a recent study, University of Illinois scientists have demonstrated an effective new method to detect the secretive reptiles in the wild.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Central A&M FFA Involved In Many Activities
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Master gardener says prepare your body for gardening
Ahh! Spring! When will it get here? For most of us, spring won't get here soon enough. But are you ready? Maybe you've forgotten that strained back muscle or cramps you had in your legs after doing gardening last year. Maybe you need to start now to do some simple stretching exercises to get ready this spring. Most of these exercises do not require heavy or expensive equipment or even a trip to the local gym. You can start by doing 10 repetitions and work your way up to as many as you care to do and with just a few ordinary household items most will have around the house. But as always, check with your physician to make sure you are up to exercise.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Virus prompts more selling in the grain markets
Coronavirus fears seem to have the markets, both financial and agriculture, in a state concern that is teetering on the edge of panic.

The U.S. CDC has told Americans to begin preparing for the possible spread of the virus in the United States. “The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s head of respiratory diseases said.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Central A&M FFA
Central A&M FFA members toured Tuttles Apple Orchard while attending the National FFA Convention in October.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CAM FFA members named Greenhand Star Farmers
On Monday, February 3, 2020, Parker Smith and Spencer Uphoff traveled to the National Sequestration Building at Richland Community College in Decatur where they attended the Star Greenhand Interviews.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Large Group Of Morrisonville FFA Students Attends Farm Progress Show
The Morrisonville FFA  is active year-round in many activities. The group is pictured above at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

U of I ag team charts yields and light fluctuation
Komorebi is a Japanese word that describes how light filters through leaves—creating shifting, dappled “sunflecks” that illustrate plants’ ever-changing light environment. Crops harness light energy to fix carbon dioxide into food via photosynthesis. In a special issue of Plant Journal, a team from the University of Illinois reports a new mathematical computer model that is used to understand how much yield is lost as soybean crops grapple with minute-by-minute light fluctuations on cloudy and sunny days.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Edinburg student attends FFA 212° Conference
Edinburg  FFA chapter member, Emily Schleyhahn attended the annual 212° conference in Decatur, on February 7-8th, 2020. 
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

THS FFA dominates public speaking contest
Winning every category at the public speaking contest in Clinton Wednesday night, the FFA Chapter came home with a pretty successful record. This event is one that the chapter competes in every year given that it is a great way for the students to get more comfortable speaking in front of people, which will in turn help them in their future careers.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020








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