Today’s farm photo comes to you from the Illinois State Fair. We have one youngster enjoying the new “Farmer’s Little Helper” exhibit!
Welcome to Illinois agriculture, where we treat our cows like members of the family!
Fair time means lots of young kids with livestock of every shape and size, showing off their year of hard work. Frankly, this donkey was having none of it.
We’re finding all kinds of ways to share information about corn and the family farmers that grow it at The Corn Crib, professional baseball’s newest ballpark. The Corn Crib is home to the Normal CornBelters. If you visit you’ll see messages like this one, reminding non-farmers that their friends and neighbors are the family farmers producing Illinois’ highest valued crop. If you sit through a game, you’ll hear conversations about corn and farmers happening between people that otherwise never would have talked about corn. Spontaneous shouts of “Let’s Go Corn!” echo through the stands, and Corny, the CornBelters mascot, is high-fived wherever he goes. It’s opportunities like this that can make a huge difference as more and more challenges to agriculture are being promulgated by detractors.
During a recent tour of Illinois River Energy in Rochelle, IL, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and staff learned about new and innovative techniques to produce ethanol that lesson the energy requirement and create more valuable co-products. Corn-based ethanol gets more and more efficient every day!
Did you see in this recent study by Stanford University
, the researchers determined that high yield agriculture prevented the equivalent of 590 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere? According to the researchers, their results, “Dispel the notion that modern intensive agriculture is inherently worse for the environment than a more ‘old-fashioned’ way of doing things.”
High yield agriculture is good for the environment. And these higher yields are what is producing enough corn to fuel our countries green-energy revolution.
Wind farms are a growing segment of interest within the agricultural community. They are an environmentally friendly resource that provides the farmer with additional income for his investment in land. Some windmills completely pay for themselves, providing power needs for the farmer and donating power back to the grid.
The storms that continue to pound Illinois fields added yet another chapter on Wednesday night. Here are the skies over one central Illinois farm, and the rain gauge on Thursday morning.
As the country song says, rain is a good thing, but too much rain literally drowns crops. Farmers are struggling to drain water from the land, as the soil has already soaked up more than it can handle and fertilizer or crop protection applications continue to be delayed because fields are too muddy to drive in.
Three weeks without rain would be a welcome change, giving the fields time to dry out, farmers a chance to work, and a very happy change in mood around the IL Corn office!