R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: 2017 was 6th-warmest

By Tim Alexander for Chronicle Media

Gary Schnitkey (left), farm economist with the University of Illinois, and Dwight Raab, CEO of Illinois Farm Business Farm Management, will lead the U of I 2018 Resilient Farm Roadshow, which will stop in five Illinois cities in February. (Tim Alexander photo)

In this week’s news corral: Musings and observations from the Illinois State Meteorologist on the year it was, weatherwise, and plenty of dates and locations for winter farm meetings, conferences, summits and gatherings to mark on your seed store calendars. For details, please read on …

State Climatologist: 2017 was 6th-warmest

URBANA — 2017 was the sixth-warmest year on record in Illinois with a statewide average temperature of 54.3 degrees, which is 2 degrees above normal. This is according to Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, who noted that in spite of a very cold and wet ending to December in most parts of the state, a topsy-turvy weather year ended up being warmer and drier than normal.

“We experienced the warmest February on record with a statewide average of 41 degrees, 10.1 degrees above normal. On the other hand, Illinois experienced its 10th coolest August on record in 2017 with a temperature of 70.5 degrees, 3.1 degrees below normal. “Eight out of the 12 months experienced above-normal temperatures,” Angel said in his weekly weather blog.

As for December? “It’s funny to think that up until Christmas Eve, we were enjoying exceptionally mild December weather,” Angel continued. “The end result is that the cold and warm weather more or less balanced out in December, leaving the statewide average temperature for the month at 28.9 degrees, 1 degree above normal.”

The statewide average precipitation for 2017 in Illinois was 37.65 inches, 2.31 inches below normal, the climatologist reported. “However, that obscured several dramatic precipitation events such as the heavy rains in southern Illinois in spring and in northern Illinois in July and September. Illinois received 6.86 inches of rain in April, 3.08 inches above normal and fifth wettest April on record. On the other hand, Illinois experienced its fifth driest September on record with only 0.82 inches, 2.41 inches below normal,” Angel reported.

Crop insurance, farm bill topics of meeting

PEORIA — The Peoria County Farm Bureau auditorium will play host to a crop insurance, farm bill and market update session featuring input from Doug Yoder, crop agency manager for Country Financial, on the morning of Jan. 25. Yoder, who will speak about changes to the 2018 crop insurance program and possible changes in the 2018 Farm Bill, will be joined by Joe Camp, a risk management specialist with AgriVisor Services. Camp will offer a market update and analysis, according to a PCFB news release.

Yoder is expected to give an update on recent farm bill safety net program payments and projections for Peoria County in 2018. The longtime farm bill policy expert will also outline six crop insurance changes for the coming year, including margin protection. He will also illustrate trends in crop insurance coverage displayed by the county’s farmers and highlight the most profitable options.

Camp, a licensed broker, is a published market commentator and regular contributor to Farm Week and the RFD Radio Network, with market updates broadcast on more than 75 radio affiliates. Reservations for the meeting can be secured by calling the PCFB at (309) 686-7070.

Illinois Farm Fact:

Pork producers pay an average of $46,900 in taxes each year while providing local jobs in their communities. (Ill. Pork Producers Assoc.)


Resilient Roadshow topics, speakers announced

URBANA — More information on the upcoming University of Illinois-Illinois Soybean Association-Illinois Farm Business Farm Management-sponsored 2018 Resilient Farm Roadshow has been released, including expected speakers, topics and venue locations. The five-city tour, which will examine proven methods of profitability employed by successful Illinois farm managers, will kick off on Feb. 13 in DeKalb, at Faranda’s Banquet Center. It will continue Feb. 14 at the Prairie Inn and Conference Center in Galesburg, and Feb. 15 at Chateau Bloomington in Bloomington. The tour will resume Feb. 20 at the Keller Inn and Convention Center in Effingham, and conclude Feb. 21 at the Drury Inn in Mount Vernon.

Presenters at the forums include U of I farm economist Gary Schnitkey, Illinois FBFM CEO Dwight Raab and ISA agronomist Dan Davidson. They are expected to be joined by personnel representing Compeer Insurance and Farm Credit Illinois Insurance.

Program topics include cash flow management, return on investment on production decisions, optional cash flow planning and a panel discussion: “Resilient Farm Crop Insurance as a Risk Management Tool.” See the U of I’s farmdocDAILY website or the Illinois Soybean Association website for more information and registration. (U of I, ISA news)

FAST 2018 training dates set

URBANA — The University of Illinois farmdoc staff also announced dates and locations for FAST 2018 training, which is designed to get producers to take a look at potential return scenarios for 2018 and perform financial analysis using FAST tools. FAST training will be offered Feb. 26 at the U of I Extension office in Champaign, Feb. 27 at the Stephenson County Extension in Freeport, and March 7 at the Clinton County Extension in Breese.

Those with questions may call Ryan Batts at (217) 333-1817. (U of I Dept. of ACES news)

Pork Expo set for Feb. 6-7

SPRINGFIELD — Also announced last week were the dates and preliminary information for the state’s most swine-centric producer’s gathering of the year: The Illinois Pork Expo, sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producers Association. Communications director Jenny Jackson said the 2018 expo will be held Feb. 6 and 7 at the Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield. Highlights of the expo’s first day will include the IPPA annual meeting, awards luncheon, tradeshow, legislative reception and pork production auction. The event will conclude Feb. 7 with a tradeshow and educational seminars featuring Joe Kerns, Dr. Ronald Ketchem, Dr. Scott Dree, and more.

“I look forward to seeing you at the 2018 IL Pork Expo,” Jackson said in an email.


–R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: 2017 was 6th-warmest–