News & Updates

Friday Leader 5-8-15
May 11, 2015 by: Lesley Gooding

The Friday Leader

News from the Champaign County Farm Bureau

News for the Week Ending Friday, May 8th, 2015



Please look for the email following the Leader concerning an Action Request for WOTUS


Learning About the Farm

Above: Students from the University of Illinois took part in  weekend visit to different areas of Champaign County agricultural industry.

The U of I ACE AG Public Policy class, composed of 22 students, taught by John Scholl, arranged weekend Ag visits with Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager, Brad Uken. The visits took place on April 17 (4p.m.–8p.m.) and 18 (8a.m.-4p.m.) at: Watson Farms, Premier Coop, Wood’s Feedlot, Illini FS and Birkey’s in Urbana.

The purpose of the class visiting these farms and agribusinesses was to expand knowledge and gain understanding. Being a student of ACE Ag. Public Policy, it is important to know what is incorporated with the title. 4 of 22 students in the class had an agricultural background, the remainder were from city suburbs, or International students. Seeing this great opportunity, Scholl with collaboration of Uken and CCFB, designed a weekend that would achieve these goals of agricultural education.

On Friday: The students met with Jerry Watson on his family farm. Jerry discussed structures, equipment, technology, storage, UAVs, seed sales and planting with the students (See below).

On Saturday: Students visited Premier Cooperative in Thomasboro. They learned about the structure of the company, what they do as a company, the number of locations, storage/marketing, transportation of grain and the process of trucking grain (from field, to scale, to pits, back to scale and back to get another load).

On Saturday they visited with Don and Lois Wood, pictured above, to learn about their family cattle operation, where their beef is sent, manure management, feeding, handling and antibiotics.  

The students learned safety and application at Illini FS and finished the day at Birkey’s with Brian McCoy to learn about the structure and history of the company, tour their new facility, how they relate to Case IH, had a walk-through with various equipment and lastly they covered the cost that is associated with a brand new combine/tractor etc. that a farmer pays. Overall, a well-received weekend that has set a model for the future!  

This Week’s Hot Topics

·       USB REPORT – A new United Soybean Board report looks at livestock feeding trends since 2000. The findings: pork production has generally shifted from the periphery of the country, particularly from coastal states, and moved toward the Midwest where feed costs are lower. The report also showed at least a 25% decline in cattle production in Illinois.


·       REPORT CHANGES – Next week’s USDA supply-demand reports will no longer show "CCC Inventory, Free Stock and Outstanding Loans." That’s because Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) grain inventories have been small to non-existent in recent years.


·       POLITICAL INTERESTS - When asked the question, "How interested would you say you personally are in politics?" fewer than half of Millennials and barely half of Gen Xers say they are "very" or "fairly" interested. Numbers for older voters are substantially higher.


·       WHOLE FOODS - Whole Foods is planning to open a new chain of stores that courts millennials with lower prices as it faces intensifying competition as a purveyor of organic and natural products. No name yet for the new operation.


·       WEB SEARCHES - Google says that more people now use Google Search on mobile devices than they do on desktops.


·       AVIAN FLU UPDATE - With avian flu cases continuing to spread across Midwest poultry farms, a bipartisan group of senators is appealing to appropriators to ensure the Agriculture Department has enough money to fight the outbreak. So far, Illinois has not seen any cases.


·       TRADE SINCE NAFTA – USDA says intraregional agricultural trade among the United States, Canada, and Mexico has more than tripled (in inflation-adjusted value) since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. In 2011-13, agricultural imports from NAFTA partners accounted for 80 percent of Mexico’s total agricultural imports, 63 percent of Canada’s imports, and nearly 40 percent of all U.S. agricultural imports.


·       NEW REFINERY ONLINE - The Dakota Prairie refinery, the first oil refinery built in the U.S. since 1976, has begun producing diesel fuel in southwestern North Dakota, and is expected to begin sales of the product later this month.


·       GEO-LOCATED STORIES - The New York Time’s Upshot column uses geolocation to push readers deeper into data. The story changes its text depending on where you’re reading it online. “It’s a fine line between a smarter default and being creepy,” says one observer.  Check it out online.


·       FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILS IN EAST MOLINE– Two tanker cars from a 16-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying flammable chemicals derailed about 9:30 a.m. Monday in East Moline. The cars did not overturn and no chemicals were spilled, officials said.


·       BLUE MOUND FARMER TOPS AMONG ILLINOIS CORN GROWERS– Jeff Brown had a feeling when scouting one of his cornfields last fall near Blue Mound that something special was going to come out of it. His yield ended up hitting 350 bushels per acre, which earned him first place for Illinois in the non irrigated category of the 2014 National Corn Growers Association corn yield contest. He placed third in the nation.


·       PANERA TO DROP MANY FOOD ADDITIVES– Panera Bread Co. committed itself to removing at least 150 artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and preservatives from its menu by the end of next year. It was the latest move by a major food company to respond to a consumer shift toward foods seen as simpler and more healthy.


·       WHEAT TOUR EYES DAMAGE TO CROPS – Farmers and other agriculture industry leaders will fan out across Kansas in the coming days to examine the extend of damage to winter wheat from drought, disease and winterkill. The Wheat Quality Council’s forecast of the size of this year’s crop is expected to be announced Thursday. The group’s hard red winter wheat tour has drawn a record number of expected participants this year, with more than 90 people signed up.


·       ALLIGATOR – THE OTHER, OTHER WHITE MEAT– Florida, home to booming markets for condos and tourism, can add another sizzling sector to the list: alligator meat. Prices for cuts of alligator tail, ribs and tenderloin have doubled in the past three years. The meat, which comes from both wild and farm-raised reptiles, fetches $12 to $15 a pound wholesale. 


·       ADM TOPS ANALYSTS’ 1Q PROFITS FORECASTS (– Archer Daniels Midland Co. on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income of $493 million. 


Mark Your Calendar!

MAY 12, 2015 FROM 08:00AM TO 12:00PM

Defensive Driving

801 N Country Fair Dr
Champaign, IL 61821


MAY 13, 2015 (ALL DAY EVENT)

The Last Potluck Supper

Circa '21
1828 3rd Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201


MAY 13, 2015 FROM 08:00AM TO 12:00PM

Defensive Driving

801 N Country Fair Dr
Champaign , IL 61821


MAY 14, 2015 FROM 10:00AM TO 12:01PM

Prime Timers

CCFB Auditorium
801 N Country Fair Dr
Champaign, IL 61821