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Looking for Anaplasmosis in Beef Cattle

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Researchers at the University of Illinois are working with beef cattle producers in the southern third of the state to determine the prevalence of a disease that causes cows to become listless and die.



A cattle disease called anaplasmosis has been ramping up in southern Illinois, or at least that’s the way it appears. In short, it causes severe anemia. Illinois Extension’s Teresa Steckler, with funding from the Illinois Beef Association, has been pulling blood samples from herds in the area. She’s trying to determine if the strain of anaplasmosis is one called Mississippi that can be controlled by a vaccine, or if it is something else, “I’m just trying to see, with the movement of cattle throughout the United States, if we have a new strain? Is there a new agent transmitting the disease or is it just the tick that is causing the transmission? Is that linked to our deer population or some other population which the ticks may feast on and then move on to the cattle? It is related to the…

Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat Acres in Illinois

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Between 1996 and 2017, the sum of acres planted to corn, soybeans, and wheat have varied within a tight band for the state of Illinois. It has ranged from 22.0 million to 22.7 million acres for the three crops. Over this period acreage planted to wheat has been small and declining. It has decreased from 1.7 million in 1996 to just half-a-million in 2017. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey says most of the acreage switches in the state have been between corn and soybeans.



These are the historical facts for Illinois. In 1998, corn and soybean acres were each at 10.6 million. With some yearly variations, corn acres then increased and soybean acres generally decreased from 1998 to 2012. In 2012, 12.8 million acres of corn were planted and 9.0 million acres of soybeans. Since then, corn acres have decreased and soybean acres have increased. Corn acres declined from 12.8 million in 2012 to 11.2 million in 2016. Soybean increased from 9.0 million to that same 11.2…

IFES 2017: Crop and Livestock Price Prospects for 2018

read farmdocDaily articleby Todd Hubbs, Commodity Markets Specialist - University of IllinoisCROPSCrop prices will remain below the high levels seen in the early part of this decade due to large global inventories. Global economic growth continues to build on the momentum seen over the last year. Growth in China and emerging market in Asia is projected to remain strong throughout 2018. The prospects of improved growth support commodity demand, but the significant changes to trade policy could mitigate some of this demand growth in export markets. Lower prices are expected to continue in 2018 barring a shortfall in one of the major production regions. The following price outlook analysis assumes a good 2018 growing season.Corn prices continue to struggle with large crops and five consecutive years of growth in ending stocks. Domestic corn demand continues to see moderate growth in corn used for ethanol which has been supported by record levels of ethanol exports. Growth in livestock pr…

What Is Up with Soybean Yields

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by Scott Irwin, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Soybean yields in the U.S. have been very high the last four years. The U.S. average yield set new records in a stair-step fashion each year between 2014 and 2016. The 2016 yield reached the remarkable level of 52.1 bushels. While not a record, the 2017 yield (based on the November 1 USDA estimate) was 49.5 bushels, the second largest ever. On top of the high U.S. average yields are the numerous reports of field-level yields in the 70s, 80s, and even a few in the 90s.





The high soybean yields of recent years have sparked a debate about what is driving the exceptional yields. In thinking about this debate it is important to understand that there are only three possible sources of soybean yield gain. The first is weather during the growing season. The second is genetic improvement in soybean varieties. The third is a management, which encompasses all aspects of the soybean production process. Genet…

U.S. Crop Acreage Still Moving to Soybean

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Todd Gleason reports on the move away from wheat and towards soybeans.

Corn is king in the United States. Soybean has been on a swift move upward. And wheat acreage has been on the decline for about 40 years. About half-way through those 4 decades two important things happened. Congress passed the 1996 farm bill - often called Freedom to Farm because it eliminated the last vestiges of supply controls for program crops and Monsanto introduced Round-Up Ready soybeans, that was 1995. The latter made it a whole lot easier to raise beans and the former, says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey, let farmers react to the market.



From 1996 to 2012 U.S. farmers increased soybean acreage by 20 percent, corn acreage was up a bit more, but not much, and wheat acreage plummeted 36 percent. Schnitkey says much of the change can be explained by just looking at the relative profitability of the crops. Corn and soybeans are more profitable than wheat. …

2017 Year End Tax Planning Ideas

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by Dwight Raab, Illinois FBFM

With the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Congress passed on 12/20; President signed on 12/22) there are significant changes to the deductible amount of state income, property tax and real estate tax used in calculating itemized deductions beginning in tax year 2018. Under the new law, beginning in 2018, there is a $10,000 maximum combined limit of state income, property and real estate tax that may be deducted when itemizing deductions on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A. For 2017, there is no limit on the amount of these expenses. Thus, there are two tax planning opportunities with the potential to allow taxpayers to maximize the amount of these deductions if they take action prior to December 31, 2017. These two planning opportunities are available only to those using Form 1040, Schedule A to itemize certain deductions on their individual income tax return.

The first planning opportunity involves the advance payment of …

Corn Use for Ethanol Update

University of Illinois Commodity Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs discusses prospects for the ethanol exports to Brazil and China with Extension Farm Broadcaster Todd Gleason.by Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
farmdocDaily articleThe recent strength in ethanol production has led to speculation about changes to USDA’s estimate of corn used for ethanol in the pending WASDE report. Ethanol production for the week ending December 1 set a new ethanol production record with an average of 1.108 million barrels per day, continuing eight consecutive weeks of more than a million barrels a day of production. Currently, the WASDE forecast for corn consumption for ethanol production is 5.475 billion bushels, up 36 million bushels from 2016–17 marketing year estimates. The ability to surpass this projection is possible, but foreign demand for ethanol will be crucial as we move into 2018. Domestic ethanol consumption is influenced by domestic gasoline consumption, due to the ethanol blending requirem…

Weekly Outlook | Soybean Export Prospects for 2017-18

Up Next… U.S. soybean exports need to continue to build on the strength seen in the 2016–17 marketing year. The ability to exceed the current USDA export projections in 2017–18 is a possibility, but it is heavily dependent on South American production and the continued growth in demand from importers. Todd Gleason has more from the University of Illinois…

Fun Turkey Facts

Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.In 2012, the average American ate 16 pounds of turkey.The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.The male turkey is called a tom.The female turkey is called a hen.The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited.Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.It takes 75–80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.A domesticated male turkey can reach a weight of 30 pounds within 18 weeks after hatching.Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.Male t…