Farmweek E Edition Page 1

Periodicals: Time Valued Monday, September 21, 2015 Two sections Volume 43, No. 38 Circulating redistricting peti- tions? Check out some steps to ensure you get valid signatures. page 2 When it comes to new covered farm vehicle rules, a CDL and Class A license are not the same. page 3 Celebrate National Farm Safety & Health Week with a reminder about harvest roadway safety. page 4 BY DANIEL GRANT FarmWeek Warm, windy days were just what the doctor ordered last week for anxious farmers ready to fire up their combines. Harvest activity heated up in areas where corn dried down to optimal picking levels. Other farm- ers cut soybeans. Ed Leonard Jr., a farmer from Niantic and president of the Macon County Farm Bureau, reported some corn in his area tested below 20 percent moisture. "With the sun and heat we've gotten, more and more fields moved into that sweet spot in terms of moisture," said Leonard, who started harvest around Labor Day. "I'm in a field (last Tuesday) that's at 15 percent." Dan Eyer, who farms near Anchor in McLean County, started corn harvest early last week. He reported moisture levels in the mid-20s. Both farmers reported quality corn yields, although well below last year when the average yield set a new state record. Leonard as of last week also harvested a field of soybeans, which yielded close to 60 bushels per acre. "The corn has been drying really well," Eyer said. "Our yields are a little better than expected. They might be 10 to 15 percent less than last year." Overall, farmers in the state as of the first of last week harvested 6 percent of the corn crop, just half of the five-year average but ahead of last year's pace of 2 percent. In the northwest part of the state, John Long- ley, a farmer from Aledo (Mercer County) and member of the Illinois Soybean Association board, reported most corn wasn't ready for har- vest in his area. A little less than two-thirds (61 percent) of the corn crop was mature in the state last week. "I don't think any corn will be fit to go for two or three weeks," Longley said last week. "We'll be off and on beans for a while." Longley reported some initial soybean cuttings yielded between 55 and 60 bushels per acre. "Yields are pretty good here," he said. "But other parts of the state had prevent plantings or they didn't get as much double-crop beans plant- ed as they would've liked." Nationwide, USDA estimates the portion of the crops rated good to excellent at 68 percent for corn (down 8 percent from last year) and just 61 percent for beans (down 11 percent from a year ago). Disease pressure could take the top end off some yields or create standability issues in the weeks ahead. Outbreaks of stalk rot are quite common this year, according to Brent Tharp, agronomy and product training manager at Wyf- fels Hybrids. "Standability could be an issue later in the sea- son, especially if you didn't apply a fungicide," Eyer said. In other harvest-related news, more than one- third (36 percent) of sorghum reached maturity statewide the first of last week, while the third cutting of alfalfa was 90 percent complete, just 2 percent behind average. BY KAY SHIPMAN FarmWeek The University of Illinois "driven primarily by state budget cuts" is reducing crop research at four research and education centers before the 2016 crop- ping season, Neal Merchen, associate dean for research, told FarmWeek . The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), the Agricultur- al Experiment Station and the Department of Crop Sciences made the decision to reduce crop research at Brownstown Agronomy Research Center, Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center, Dixon Springs Agricultural Center and St. Charles Horticulture Research Center, Merchen said last week. Merchen addressed all media questions. Nine employees at the research centers will be impacted. Asked if employment opportuni- ties for them exist elsewhere within the university, Merchen said, "Maybe." As for the research fields, he said a transi- tional plan will be put into place during the next few months. Merchen emphasized the cut- backs impact only research con- ducted by the crop sciences department at the four research centers and not research there by U of I Extension or the depart- ments of animal sciences and natural resources and environ- mental sciences. "We have to make reductions if we are to maintain strong pro- grams in the areas of crop research," Merchen said. "We don't anticipate research pro- grams on campus being reduced." In addition to the four cen- ters, ACES, Extension and the Crop Sciences Department also conduct crop research at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultur- al Research and Demonstration Center, Monmouth; Orr Agricul- tural Research and Demonstra- tion Center, Perry; and the Crop Sciences and Research Education Center (South Farms), Urbana. Funding cuts during the last 10 years eventually reached a lev- el that resulted in a "difficult" decision, Merchen explained. For the current fiscal year, ACES' budget of state funding was reduced by 7.5 percent or $3.7 million. "We anticipate that reductions for the next couple of years will likewise be in that neighborhood," he added. "The reductions of this mag- nitude extend into the ACES departments," Merchen contin- ued. "Thus crop sciences and the Ag Experiment Station must deal with substantial budget reduc- tions. This is the primary reason for the reduction in program- ming at the research and educa- tion centers." Merchen was not aware of crop research funded by nonstate Harvest activity heats up; results variable Shane Beck, who works for McLean County farmers Dave and Dan Eyer, completes a round of corn last week near Anchor. The Eyers began harvesting Sept. 14 with corn moisture at 23 to 24 percent. Early yields look to be about 10 percent below last year, but still above average. (Photo by Catrina Rawson) U of I reducing crop research at four farms See Research ,page 2

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