Prairie Bounty of Illinois,
a directory of direct-from-the-farm sellers, farmers markets and agritourism businesses, is available online at www.specialtygrowers.org/prairie-bounty.html.
Provided by the Illinois Farm Bureau® and the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, the directory contains contact information and locations for more than 900 individual growers of fruits, vegetables and herbs throughout Illinois. The directory also provides consumers with farms’ contact information, products available, method of sale, and a complete list of all community farmers markets and agritourism businesses in Illinois, searchable by city, county or zip code.
The directory is constantly updated as growers add their names and markets to the system. Growers interested in adding their names and businesses to Prairie Bounty of Illinois may contact Diane Handley at 309-557-3662 or via e-mail at email@example.com, or may visit the Illinois Specialty Growers website at www.specialtygrowers.org for additional instructions on how to register.
Be the voice, resource, and advocate for farm families and agriculture,
while promoting stewardship for today and future generations.
ILLINOIS FARM BUREAU TO HOST WATER USE REPORTING WEBINAR- May 18th
Illinois Farm Bureau will host a webinar to discuss the Illinois State Water Survey’s requirement that irrigators report their water usage to the state. Lauren Lurkins, director of natural and environmental resources, Illinois Farm Bureau, will host the webinar May 18 at 1 p.m.
The requirement stems from the Illinois Water Use Act, which was amended in 2010 to make reporting for all high capacity wells or intakes mandatory in Illinois, including agricultural irrigation.
“This is a new requirement that many of our irrigators may not be familiar with,” Lurkins said. “This webinar will provide a comprehensive look at the requirements of the Water Use Act as they apply to agricultural irrigators.”
All Illinois Farm Bureau members are invited to attend the webinar. For those unable to attend, the webinar will be recorded and posted on the Illinois Farm Bureau Water Use Reporting webpage at www.ilfb.org/waterusereporting.
The webinar is free of charge, but members are required to register in advance of the webinar on the Illinois Farm Bureau Water Use Reporting webpage.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 400,000 and a voting membership of more than 82,000. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
Illinois Wheat Association hosting wheat tour- May 21st
URBANA, Ill. - The Illinois Wheat Association will host the Southern Illinois Winter Wheat Tour Thursday, May 21, giving Illinois wheat growers an opportunity to tour winter wheat fields and make observations that will factor into yield estimates of the 2015 winter wheat crop.
Fred Kolb, University of Illinois professor of small grain breeding; Emerson Nafziger, U of I professor and Extension agronomist; and Robert Bellm, U of I Extension educator in commercial agriculture and crops, will be on hand to discuss wheat development and wheat diseases.
The tour will include field checks during the day with an evening report session at Brownstown Agronomy Research Center in Fayette County. Prior to the evening meal, yield estimates will be calculated, and attendees will have an opportunity to view wheat variety and seed treatment trials.
Tour participants will meet at 9 a.m. at one of four locations:
Participants are asked to call in advance with the location from which they would like to depart. Reservations can be made for dinner by contacting Charlene Blary at 309-557-3619 or firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15.
Those wishing to bring samples of their own and join the group for the dinner and wrap-up are asked to RSVP by May 15. The Illinois Wheat Association will provide the tour instructions to those bringing independent samples to ensure sampling procedures are consistent. Instructions can be found on the Illinois Wheat Association website at http://www.illinoiswheat.org/events.html.
The Summer Horticulture Field Day-Thurs., June 11th
To learn more about growing fruit trees, pumpkins, mums, sweet corn, asparagus, cider making, beekeeping or get the latest information on new varieties, fruit thinning, and integrated pest management practices then don’t miss the opportunity to attend the annual Summer Horticulture Field Day at Boggio’s Orchard and Produce, hosted by Keith and Denise Boggio. The Field Day will be held on Thursday, June 11, from 8:45 am to 3:00 pm. Boggio’s farm is located about 12 miles southwest of LaSalle/Peru at 12087 IL Highway 71, Granville, IL 61326. Registration will begin at 8:00 am.
The Field Day gives you the opportunity to learn about Boggio’s farm operation as well as to connect with other fruit and vegetable farmers in Illinois and neighboring states. Keith Boggio will share his knowledge about the farm operation, and University of Illinois Extension Specialists and Educators will discuss a range of topics related to orchard production.
A concurrent session covering agritourism and marketing will be presented by co-owner Denise Boggio. Denise will share her experiences organizing craft fairs, leading school tours, bakery management, gift shop products, and other successful agritainment activities.
The event is sponsored by the Illinois State Horticultural Society, University of Illinois, and Illinois the Specialty Growers Association.
Directions: From I 39, take exit 51 toward Oglesby/Hennepin. Head west onto Highway 71 for about 7 miles. Boggio’s Orchard and Produce will be on the left about a half mile past Granville.
Join us for the 2015 Summer Horticulture Field Day! Advance registration is $25 and includes lunch. More information about Boggio's Orchard and Produce is available at www.boggiosorchardandproduce.com. Event information is available at http://www.specialtygrowers.org/illinois-state-horticultural-association.html. For questions and reservations, email Rachel at email@example.com or call 217-853-6048.
Plant a pollinator pocket: Create a pollinator-friendly garden
URBANA, Ill. - Just imagine your dining table without the delectable fruits of apples, blueberries, cherries, and peaches or the versatile almond or pumpkin. Flowering plants and their associated pollinators are responsible for an estimated one out of every four mouthfuls of food and beverage. Unfortunately pollinators are in perilous decline, reported a University of Illinois Extension educator.
Pollinators include butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, bats, flies, and wasps. In North America, 99 percent of pollinators are insects and, of those, most are bees.
“The causes of pollinator decline include a combination of habitat loss, infectious disease, and pesticide misuse; however, the implications ripple through our native areas and crop lands,” said Sandra Mason. “Not only does pollinator decline affect our food production, but pollinators also sustain plant communities by pollinating native plants that provide food, nesting, and shelter for wildlife.
“Yet gardeners can be a positive influence on pollinator populations and diversity if we all do our part to plant pollinator-friendly gardens,” she added.
A “pollinator-friendly garden is also a people-friendly garden,” as we enjoy many of the same plants, Mason noted. “We just need to add a few elements to provide pollinators with food, water, shelter, and a nice place to raise the ‘kids’,” she said.
Mason provided a few of the basics for a pollinator-friendly garden.
Food for pollinators is generally provided by flower nectar and pollen; however, some pollinators such as butterflies need specific plants such as milkweeds for monarchs to serve as food for caterpillars. To attract particular pollinators, conduct additional research to determine their needs during each of their life stages.
Good pollinator plants include asters, beebalm, native roses, Joe Pye weed, purple coneflower, great blue lobelia, white indigo, lead plant, blazing stars, beard tongue, bellflowers, hollyhocks, monkshood, snapdragons, sunflowers, foxglove, mints, butterfly weed, goldenrod, larkspur, milkweeds, herbs, and many more “bee-utiful” flowers.
When possible choose native plants and not cultivars of native plants. Ornamental changes within cultivated plants may not provide the necessary attributes of a good pollinator flower. Exotic plants such as butterfly bush can provide food for bees and butterflies but cannot sustain the complete life cycle of pollinator insects. In addition, native plants provide food for a greater diversity of pollinators.
Plant masses of similar flowers and design areas to have flowers blooming all season. Aim for a variety of flowers blooming at once. Add easy-to-grow annual seeds such as zinnia and sunflower to existing perennial flower gardens to support flower diversity.
Convert a section of your lawn to a “Pollinator Pocket,” a suggested planting plan developed by Mason, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists. Designs are developed for an approximately 5-foot by 5-foot space and include options for a variety of sun, shade and moisture conditions. Check out “Pollinator Pockets” at http://web.extension.illinois.edu//cfiv/pollinators/ for designs and additional pollinator information.
Allow spaces between masses of flowers to provide shelter from wind and cold. Leave dead stems over the winter to provide shelter and nesting areas.
Limit, or better yet, eliminate pesticide use. Plants tolerate some leaf damage without affecting plant health. Learn to live with some plant damage. Check with your local U of I Extension office for plant problem diagnostics and least toxic options. To find the office nearest you, go to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/index.html.
“If you are worried about luring something into your garden that can sting, keep in mind bees are not bullies looking for a fight,” Mason said. “A happy bee is like a gardener in a garden center, focused on each flower.”
Agricultural Security & Terrorism Awareness
In January 2013, the Winnebago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in partnership with Win-Bur-Sew Fire Department hosted an information meeting on “Agricultural Security & Terrorism”. The presentation was given by Steffan Nass, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator- FBI’s Springfield Division.
Agro-Terrorism is defined as the deliberate introduction, use, or threatened use, of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive agent against one or more components of the food or agriculture sectors, with the goal of causing mortality or morbidity, generating fee, precipitating economic loss, or undermining sector stability and confidence in government.
Here are a few indicators of Agro-Terrorism.
Agricultural Retail Facilities should report any of the following:
Producers and Auction Markets should report any of the following:
Aerial Applicators should report any tampering or attempts to purchase or rent aircraft or chemicals.
Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in employees should be reported to your local health department. Health officials should be made aware of the emergency, normal duties and any contact with sick animals that may have led to the illness. Details of contact with feed products, medical supplies, or chemicals that the employee may have had contact with should also be noted.
Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in animals (such as blistering or ruptured blisters around the mouth, nose, teats, or hooves; central nervous system disorders that prevent the animal from rising or walking normally; loss of appetite and conditioning; swelling around the eyes and neck in poultry; dramatic drop in egg or milk production; large number of dead insects, rodents or wildlife; and unusual ticks or maggots) should be reported to your veterinarian.
If a crime is in progress, CALL 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information about a crime, or to report suspicious activity, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (217) 522-9675. The following information is needed:
This information was provided by the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group. The Illinois Agro-Security Working group is a partnership between frontline agricultural industry personnel and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for the purpose of preventing criminal and terrorist activities in and around Illinois agriculture and food systems. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Fertilizer Chemical Association, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture form the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
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