R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: ELDs not necessary for most ag uses

By Tim Alexander for Chronicle Media

The Krogman family — Chad and Julia Krogman, with sons Hezekiah, 4, Titus, 2 and Brayden, 6 months — cuts a ribbon to signify the opening of a new 2,450-head pig barn, during an open house. (Photo courtesy of Illinois Pork Producers Association)

Grain transporters are preparing for new regulations that dispense with traditional paper logs and require trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices. In this week’s ag news roundup, we have information on whether most farmers will be required to install ELDs in their grain transport vehicles, courtesy of the Illinois Soybean Association. Also this week: information on how to sign up for certified livestock manager training in your area of the state, plus more timely news for Illinois farmers and rural dwellers. Please read on …

ELDs not necessary for most ag uses

BLOOMINGTON — Farmers unsure whether they will need to install electronic logging devices in vehicles used to transport grain and agricultural commodities received some clarification from the Illinois Soybean Association last week. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon require truck drivers to install the devices, which synchronize with a truck’s engine to automatically record usage data.

“ELDs are designed to improve road safety by more accurately tracking a driver’s time behind the wheel,” explained Paul Rasmussen, ISA director, in an ISA news release. “The advanced features of ELDs can help reduce idle time, improve route planning and minimize fuel consumption and downtime, overall providing a positive return on investment.”

Most farmers who own trucks they utilize at harvest will be exempt from the new regulation, according to Rasmussen. “If you’ve been operating trucks with an ag exemption, there’s no change,” he said. “But if you have drivers using paper logs now, you’ll need to switch to electronic logs.”

In addition to harvest grain transportation, the regulation grants drivers delivering agricultural commodities an exemption for hauls within 150 air miles. For truck company operators, the ELD rule will likely cause delays at harvest time that, some speculate, could increase basis. According to National Pork Producers Council President Ken Maschhoff, of Carlyle, the ELD rule “presents some serious challenges for livestock haulers and the animals in their care.” To address industry concerns with the rule, a 90-day waiver for trucking companies hauling ag commodities has been granted, effective this week.

Livestock management training announced

URBANA — The University of Illinois Extension has announce dates and locations for certified livestock manager training classes, which are required for livestock producers under the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act. Held in 12 locations throughout the state, the workshops are designed to keep producers current on the latest industry practices, including nutrient management, new technologies, research and trends.

Dates and locations are as follows: Feb. 7 (Springfield), Feb. 8 (Nashville, Ill.), Feb. 13 (Sycamore), Feb. 14 (Freeport), Feb. 15 (Morrison), Feb. 20 (Bloomington), Feb. 21 (Galesburg), Feb. 22 (Pittsfield), Feb. 27 (Effingham), Feb. 28 (Breese), March 1 (Benton) and March 14 (Springfield). Workshops begin at 8:30 am and last until noon, with the Illinois Department of Agriculture exam to follow.

For more information, see the University of Illinois ACES website or call (217) 244-9687. There is a fee for the course and materials.

Wilhour honored as one of America’s best

BEECHER CITY — Wade Wilhour, 40, of Wilhour Farms in Beecher City, has been named as one of five new honorees for the DTN-Progressive Farmer America’s Best Young Farmers and Ranchers program. The nationwide program recognizes those who are building successful and innovative agricultural businesses, while promoting agriculture and positively impacting their communities. Wilhour manages a 6,000-acre family operation and is a member of the Fayette County Board and a deacon at Beecher City Church of Christ.

“I lease ground from several dozen landlords, from three acres to 300 acres,” he said, adding that the arrangement can lead to some communications issues. “We visit in person, bring the grain check and talk to them about the year. We also mail newsletters. A spring newsletter talks about the crop, how the season began. A fall newsletter lets them all know how the season ended. Good communications with every family is a blessing to our farming operation.”

Wilhour’s farm operation includes his mother and father, and four brothers. He and his wife, Emily, are raising four children. Congratulations, Wade!

Illinois Farm Fact:

Pigs enter wean-to-finish barns at around 12 pounds and remain there until reaching market weight of around 280 pounds; this takes place in a six-month period. (Ill. Pork Producers Assoc.)


Two new family run swine farms make debuts

SHANNON and GRIGGSVILLE — Speaking of farm families having a positive effect on their communities, the Illinois Livestock Development Group and Illinois Pork Producers Association celebrated the recent openings of two new pig farms in the state with public open houses and ribbon cutting ceremonies. New barns were opened during November in Shannon at the Chad and Julia Krogman farm, and in Griggsville at the Matt Bradshaw family farm.

The Krogmans, parents of three young sons, are starting their farming career with pigs. “We’ve been married eight years and desire a farm lifestyle for our family, where we can work together as husband and wife and build a legacy to pass on,” Chad Korman said. “We enjoy raising and caring for livestock and the environment. As first-generation farmers, we see raising hogs as an opportunity to work into an agricultural realm that is very capital intense. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to pursue our goals in agriculture and desire to be good stewards of what we’ve been given.”

In Griggsville, the Mossy Mountain Pig Barn owned by the Bradshaw family was constructed by local businesses and will add to the local tax base by contributing taxes to county and local roads, the school district and other local taxing districts. Feed will be delivered from nearby Western Illinois Feed in Pleasant Hill, supporting local jobs and taxes. (IPPA news releases)


–R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: ELDs not necessary for most ag uses–