R.F.D. News & Views January, 28, 2015

Tim Alexander

Pork Exec Named As Rauner’s Executive Director
SPRINGFIELD -Longtime Executive Director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Jim Kaitschuk has accepted the position of legislative director for new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, the IPPA reported. The position is effective January 26. Tim Maiers has been appointed as the interim executive director.

“It has been a tremendous blessing to be a part of this organization and the rich tradition and bounty that it provides,” said Kaitschuk. “I believe Governor Rauner is the right person for the job. However, he can’t do it alone and I value the opportunity to work for his administration on the list of challenges we all face.”

From IPPA President Todd Dail of Whiteside County: “We thank Jim for everything he has done for pork producers, as well as of all of Illinois agriculture. We wish him well in his new position, and look forward to the achievements the administration will have.” Kaitschuk credited those in the pork industry and the IPPA board of directors for their “exceptional” involvement with his 12 years with state’s pork industry.

“You have a committed and strong board of directors and staff that are passionate about their industry. I have treasured this time working for the association,” Kaitschuk said in IPPA news release.”It is difficult leaving, but this is a fantastic opportunity that promises to be challenging and exciting.”


Goss’s Wilt on Rise in Illinois
EAST PEORIA – Knowing the differences between common foliar diseases in corn– and how to treat corn pathogens including Goss’s wilt– was the topic of a presentation from University of Illinois associate professor of plant pathology Carl A. Bradley during the 2015 U of I Corn and Soybean Classic. During the annual Classic’s January 7 stop in East Peoria, Bradley noted that high levels of foliar disease can lead to lower yields, stalk rot, lodging and other issues that can cause economic yield losses.

But before farmers can begin to form a management plan to combat a foliar disease, they must first be able to positively identify the particular bacterium. “You’ve got to be able to recognize the disease,” said Bradley, noting that Goss’s wilt is characterized by large tan to gray lesions with dark spots, or freckles, within the lesions on a corn leaf. “If you are unsure, it’s important to get another opinion, such as sending samples to the University of Illinois Plant Clinic where they can do a bacterial screening under a microscope.”

Once a sample has been positively identified as Goss’s wilt, a course of action may be determined by producers, often after consultation with a plant pathologist, crop advisor or other crop disease expert. “I think that resistant hybrids are the number one way to manage this disease. In the late 2000s we didn’t have very many resistant hybrids. There were a lot of very susceptible hybrids out there that have left the marketplace and been replaced by products with higher resistance,” said Bradley.

“Rotation is obviously important as well. We always see this disease first in fields that were corn-on-corn or had been for many years. Tillage, to break up the residue, can also be an important component.” For more advice on handling foliar diseases in corn, see the U of I Dept. of ACES’ farmdoc.com website.


Yield Challenge Winners to Be Recognized
BLOOMINGTON – Participants in the 2014 Illinois Soybean Association 2014 Yield Challenge are scheduled to be feted at the ISA’s second Soybean Summit, scheduled for January 30 in Effingham and March 6 in Peoria at the Civic Center.

LaSalle County farmer Dan Arkels harvested a whopping 103.95 bushels per acre on his 30-acre test plot outside Peru. Five other participants realized yields exceeding the 70-to-80 acre threshold.

‘Illinois consistently has ranked as a top soybean production state, and was number one in the nation with a statewide average yield of 56 bushels per acre and a total soybean production of 547.7 million bushels in 2014. Now we’ve had the first verified yield with more than 100 bushels per acre,” remarked ISA production committee chair Don Guinnip of Marshall. “Innovative crop strategies and technologies tested during the Yield Challenge are making a difference. Our goal for 2015 is for many more Illinois farmers to reach 100 bushels. We look forward to continuing the exchange of strategies and ideas.”


Illinois Farm Fact:
76 Soybean farmers throughout nine crop districts participated in the Illinois Soybean Association’s 2014 Yield Challenge. USDA has recognized Ill. soybean producers as the most prolific in the country for a second consecutive year.


(Tim Alexander is a freelance reporter who writes agriculture, news and feature articles for Chronicle Media, Farm World, Prairie Farmer and many other publications. He resides in rural Peoria County with his family.)