Northern Illinois Farm Show Hosts Dicamba Training- January 10

IDEAg Group LLC announces the Northern Illinois Farm Show will be hosting a dicamba training workshop at the show this year. The workshop will take place on Thursday, January 10 at 1 p.m. in the NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb, IL.

The USEPA issued a decision to allow the continued use of dicamba on soybeans for 2019 and 2020. In Illinois, only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top. “We know there are thousands of farmers and applicators across Illinois that require dicamba training for the 2019 growing season. We are excited to provide a venue for them to complete this coursework,” said Melissa Sanders Carroll, Executive Director of Business Operations and Revenue Development for IDEAg.

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) is coordinating the workshop with Bayer. Attendees are asked to pre-register online and can find the link at

The Northern Illinois Farm Show will also feature exhibits from major agri-business companies across the Midwest, including Altorfer, Inc., who will feature their all-new Cat Side by Side. In addition to the dicamba training, the University of Illinois Extension will be providing a full schedule of workshops with topics including weather and watersheds. Attendees will also find tips for controlling the financial side of their business from financial management company, Stewart-Peterson.

The schedule of educational programs and a full list of exhibitors can also be found at

 The show is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central on Thursday. Admission is free.

IDEAg Group, LLC delivers an optimal experience to attendees, exhibitors and industry thought leaders in the agricultural market. Through its established farm shows in Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas, and Feed & Grain Magazine, the IDEAg Group is dedicated to bringing interactive, content-rich, high-value events to the marketplace, connecting top-level producers to providers across the country. The IDEAg Group offers interactive events, publications and media products produced “For Agriculture. By Agriculture.” To learn more about IDEAg Group LLC visit

Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit- January 15

The first Northwest Illinois Agronomy Summit on January 15, 2019 from 8:30a.m.- 4:00p.m at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center located at 2998 W. Pearl City Road,  Freeport, IL.  Registration begins at 8 a.m.

The theme for this year’s conference is Updates in Nutrient and Pest Management. The summit will include Integrated Approaches to White Mold Management; Practical Nitrogen Management; What On-Farm N Rate Trials Are Telling Us; The 2018 Corn Season: Understanding Tar Spot and Physoderma; Insect Management in Corn and Soybean; Grain Storage and Data Intensive Farm Management.

The cost of the program is $30 per person.  Pre-registration is required by Friday, January 11.

Registration can be completed on-line at  or by calling the U of I Extension at (815) 235-4125. Lunch will be provided to registered participants. 

Businesses interested in being part of the event can participate as a sponsor and have a booth for display at the event, for more information contact the U of I Extension at (815) 235-4125.

Winterfest 2019- January 19

The annual Winterfest 2019 will be on Saturday, January 19.  University of Illinois Extension and DeKalb County Forest Preserve collaborate each year to offer a day for families to get outside, have fun, and explore an enjoyable destination.  Winterfest is from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is held at the Natural Resource Education Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve, 11750 IL-72 (located 1 mile west of Genoa on state route 72).  

University of Illinois Extension staff and volunteers offer a variety of educational and recreational activities for the whole family.  “The horse drawn wagon rides through the preserve are our big attraction,” said Extension Educator Peggy Doty.  “The draft horses take passengers on a scenic ride through our preserve located right on the Kishwaukee River,” Doty continued, “this is a festival about the season of winter so it doesn’t matter if we have snow.” 

The morning will start indoors at 9:30am at the Center’s bird viewing window where Peggy Doty will share some tips and tricks for feeding and identifying our local winter birds.  The winter joy and fun will continue through-out the day.

2019 Illinois COVER CROPS & SOIL HEALTH Seminars Scheduled- January 22-24

Using cover crops and improving soil health remained hot topics in 2018 and the trend is not fading. In fact, the go-getters have already seeded their cover crops. What’s stopping you? If you still need more information, start making plans now to attend a 2019 Conservation Cropping Seminar. Upcoming events include two powerful speakers you do not want to miss. Soil sustainability author David Montgomery and soil health rock star Ray Archuleta will wow crowds with information and demonstrations. Three new events are planned for January 2019, offering access to valuable information for farmers ready to make important and profitable changes on their ground. According to Elliot Lagacy, IDOA, “the three meetings throughout the state will help provide more information on such practices as cover crops, nutrient management, and soil health, which help address resource concerns outlined in the state’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS)”.  Register to attend any seminar—January 22nd in Mendota, January 23rd in Springfield, or January 24th in O’Fallon, Illinois – at

Two keynote speakers for the 2019 event are David Montgomery, author of A Growing Revolution—Bringing Our Soil Back To Life, and the energetic and inspirational retired NRCS agronomist and spokesman for USDA-NRCS’s Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign, Ray Archuleta. Montgomery combines ancient wisdom and modern science for a powerful look at agriculture changes we face today. Archuleta shares evidence, enthusiasm, and more as he tells the story of soil biology and the miracle below our feet. Each event will feature both Montgomery and Archuleta as well as research and local farmer testimonials and discussions where you can ask the questions you need answered.

Each seminar costs $20, payable by check or credit card, and it includes lunch. The 2019 events start early and end before 4:00 pm, with time to meet and visit speakers, sponsors, or chat with others in an informal networking atmosphere. Illinois farmers, ag retailers and advisors are growing more interested in taking steps to increase conservation and improve water quality. “Five soil and water management credits are available for Certified Crop Advisors also,” Lagacy adds.

January 22, 2019: Mendota Civic Center – 2205 North Main St. in Mendota, IL – Contact: Joe (815) 787-5480

January 23, 2019: The Crowne Plaza – 3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy. in Springfield, IL – Contact: Marty (309) 738-7227

January 24, 2019: Regency Hotel – 400 Regency Park in O’Fallon, IL – Contact: Gary (618) 980-0117

These events offer producers an opportunity to gather facts and make decisions that fit their own operation. To learn more and to register, visit the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District website Local businesses and organizations can exhibit, serve as sponsors, and reach local and new clients. See website for details. Primary sponsors and organizers include Illinois Department of Agriculture, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust, the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Calling all DAIRY FARMERS- February 4

Join Illinois Farm Bureau®, COUNTRY Financial® and Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau as we co-host a program focused on your industry. 

Want to learn more about the new Dairy Revenue Protection product available for dairy farmers?  Come hear Doug Yoder, COUNTRY Crop Agency Manager, as he goes over all the details of this new coverage.

Tasha Bunting, Illinois Farm Bureau Assistant Director of Commodities & Livestock Programs, will provide an update on Farm Bureau’s efforts and activities as they relate to the livestock industry.  

The program will be held on Monday, February 4 at Joe’s Place, 9716 E. Grant Hwy., Marengo and will start with a noon buffet. The program and buffet are free to farm members courtesy of the sponsoring County Farm Bureaus, but advance registration is required. To reserve your spot, please call 815-338-1520.

 2019 GALC – “Taking Charge of Change”- February 19

Illinois Farm Bureau’s 2019 Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference (GALC) will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 (one day event, with a buffet breakfast on Wednesday (2/20) morning) at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, IL. A Legislative Reception will be held on Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel.  

To register for the conference, Farm Bureau members must register through their County Farm Bureaus.  Cost is $75 per person.  Collegiate Farm Bureau member rate is $50. For more information visit:

2019 Certified Livestock Manager training workshops- January 30-February 28

The 2019 Certified Livestock Manager Training workshops will be held in 11 locations throughout the state. The University of Illinois Extension workshops provide Illinois livestock producers the manure management training they need to meet the requirements of the state's Livestock Management Facilities Act. 

The Livestock Management Facilities Act requires facilities with 300 or more animal units to have at least one employee certified in proper manure handling procedures. For facilities with 300 to 999 animal units, at least one employee must attend a workshop or pass the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Certified Livestock Manager exam. Employees of facilities with 1,000 or more animal units must do both to achieve certification.  

Please note that all workshops begin at 9 a.m. with the exception of the Jan. 30 training at the Illinois Pork Expo which will start at 12:30 p.m. All trainings will take 3 1/2 hours with the IDOA exam administered after the training. 

2019 Workshop dates and locations are as follows:

January 30 - (starts at 12:30 pm, pre-register to receive free box lunch); Bank of Springfield Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, Springfield

January 31- U of I Extension-Effingham County, 1209 North Wenthe Drive, Effingham

February 5 - The Holiday Motel and Restaurant, 1300 S West St, Olney

February 6 - U of I Extension-Franklin County, 1212 Route 14 West, Benton

February 7 - starts at 9:00 St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 330 N Buhrman, Nashville

February 12- U of I Extension/Pike County Farm Bureau Bldg, 1301 E Washington, Pittsfield

February 13 - U of I Extension-Clinton County, 1163 North 4th Street, Breese

February 19 - Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, 1000 N Main St., Monmouth

February 20- Stephenson County Farm Bureau Bldg, 210 W. Spring St, Freeport

February 21- DeKalb County Farm Bureau Bldg, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore

February 28 - Illinois Department of Ag Bldg. Auditorium, State Fairgrounds, Springfield


Each workshop will offer a general curriculum designed to keep producers current on the latest industry practices. The curriculum covers the basics of nutrient management as well as new technologies, research, and trends, so producers who have completed the training and are renewing their certification will benefit. 

Producers are encouraged to preregister at least two weeks prior to ensure a seat for the session that fits their schedule. To register, call 217-244-9687 or register online at The cost is $35.  If more than one employee from the same farm signs up, each additional registration will cost $25. Lunch will not be offered, but coffee and snacks will be provided. However, a box lunch will be provided by Illinois Pork Producers for producers that pre-register to attend the January 30 workshop at the Illinois Pork Expo.)

The current training manual used for Certified Livestock Manager Training is the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Curriculum. This curriculum is available for free online at If you have a manual or CD is older than 2003, you should check the website for information for update options. IDOA CLM Exam questions are taken directly from this manual. Some of this curriculum will be covered during the workshops. However, it is impossible to cover all of the exam material in one workshop, so acquiring and reviewing the manual in advance is highly recommended.

Please visit the Certified Livestock Managers Training webpage at for more information about registration, manuals, online training options, and other resources.

Producers and employees also have the option of taking five online quizzes. Passing these is the equivalent of having attended a workshop, but does not substitute for passing the state administered Certified Livestock Manager exam. Registration is open for the CLM Online Training Program at There is no charge to take the online quizzes other than the cost of a manual.

IFCA- Dicamba Training- March 19

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) is hosting a free dicamba-specific training on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at the Giovanni’s Convention Center located at 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford IL. The training will last from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (There is no exam.) 

The new requirements associated with the new dicamba label requires annual training for anyone who plans on applying dicamba to soybeans (in other words, this training is required in addition to any private or commercial applicator license). For more information on the new dicamba labels and to sign up for this training, visit:

Save the Date! Illinois Forage Expo- June 19

The Illinois Forage Expo will be held June 19 at the Mitchell Dairy and Grain operation, Winnebago, IL.

Various forage cutting, raking, and harvesting equipment will be demonstrated in addition to table-top exhibits from seed, chemical, etc. companies, agencies, and organizations. Educational presentations will also be offered along with a quality hay contest. Organized tours of the dairy operation will be offered. There is no charge for admission or parking. Lunch will be available for purchase. 

This one-day event is coordinated by the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, with support from the NW Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, U of I Extension and NRCS. 


Northern Illinois Farm Show Returns to DeKalb Jan. 9-10

IDEAg Group LLC announces that the Northern Illinois Farm Show will take place Jan. 9-10 at the NIU Convocation Center. The event will feature more than 200 companies showcasing the latest innovations available to farmers in the Midwest.

Exhibits featuring major dealers and equipment companies – including Altorfer, Inc., R-Equipment, Clarks Ag Supply, River Front Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Martin Implement, CSR Bobcat and many more – remain a hallmark of the show. Seed companies represented will include AgriGold Hybrids, Stone Seed, Dairyland Seed Company, and Mark Seed.

New at the show this year will be live indoor and outdoor equipment demonstrations. Additionally, the show will be hosting Dicamba education.

Again this year, the University of Illinois will conduct an educational series with topics including a weather outlook with Chief Meteorologist Candice King, current and future projects for Illinois watersheds, farming insights from international travel and much more. There will be annual pesticide applicator testing as well.

Senior Market Advisor Bryan Doherty of Stewart-Peterson, known for his guest appearances on AgriTalk After the Bell, U.S. Farm Report,, and WNAX Radio 570, will give farming professionals tips for controlling the financial side of their businesses, provide market updates, and deliver strategies that can be implemented immediately.

A full schedule of meetings and educational programs slated to take place at the show will be posted to Northern Illinois Farm Show.

The show is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central on Thursday. Admission is free.

IDEAg Group LLC delivers an optimal experience to attendees, exhibitors and industry thought leaders in the agricultural market. Through its established farm shows in Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas, and Feed & Grain Magazine, the IDEAg Group is dedicated to bringing interactive, content-rich, high-value events to the marketplace, connecting top-level producers to providers across the country. The IDEAg Group offers interactive events, publications and media products that are produced “For Agriculture. By Agriculture.” To learn more about IDEAg Group LLC visit


Monarch Watch's Milkweed Market for Homeowners!

As you may or may not know, the monarch butterfly is in decline and they need milkweeds and other nectar sources to be planted across the landscape to support their fantastic tri-national migration. One of the key frustrations many gardeners, conservationists, and land managers face in their conservation efforts is the inability to find locally appropriate milkweed plants to provide this much-needed habitat. 

In response, Monarch Watch has created the Milkweed Market to assist those who are looking for regionally appropriate milkweeds to incorporate into their garden, restoration, landscaping, or to sell in their garden center. The Milkweed Market provides the opportunity to get low cost or free (for non-profits and schools) milkweed seedlings for your projects. You simply need to order ahead of time, to make sure they can meet the upcoming year's demand. 

As part of a North American Pollinator Protection Campaign effort, members of the Monarch Task Force are working to spread the word about this great resource and let you know that the time to order is now. Please see the below message from Monarch Watch to find out more, and share this with your network as you see fit!

Three ways to get milkweed seedlings: order now from Monarch Watch for Spring 2019 plants!

Monarch Watch is excited to report that with our partner nurseries in Kansas, Oklahoma, California, and Florida, we distributed over 147,000 milkweed seedlings in 2018. Planning for Spring 2019 begins now. Preorders and early applications are necessary to help us determine how many plants we need to grow.

Please help get the word out about these three ways to get milkweed plants, and put your order in now!

1.      Milkweeds are available for purchase by the flat through our Milkweed Market. Preorder for Spring 2019 here:

2.      We have funding in place to distribute 100,000 FREE milkweeds for restoration projects. We are currently accepting applications for Spring 2019. The link to the free milkweed information page and application is provided below. This grant provides free milkweeds for large-scale (2+ acres) habitat restorations on both private and public lands.

3.      Through a separate grant, schools and educational non-profit organizations can apply for one free flat of milkweed for Spring 2019 at this link:

Thank you for your help in spreading the word and planting more milkweed for monarchs. If you do not see milkweed available for you now, re-visit the Milkweed Market later to see if we have added products based on new seed acquisitions. 

Please contact Dena Podrebarac at Monarch Watch with any questions at

Master Gardeners are ready to answer your call 

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners offer a free service answering garden questions at their Horticulture Help Desk.  The Help Desk is open 1:00-4:00pm, Monday thru Friday throughout the growing season (April – Sept.)

Master Gardeners research topics about insects, trees, shrubs, plants, vegetables, fruits, gardens, lawns, and more.  They provide research-based answers to questions, and take time to find the information you need for your specific circumstance.

The Master Gardeners can be reached by calling 815-544-3710 (Boone) and 815-986-4357 (Winnebago), emailing in your question to  or or by stopping at the office located at 205 Cadillac Court, Suite 3 in Belvidere or 1040 North Second Street in Rockford, IL.  Master Gardener volunteers will ask you diagnostic questions to understand your horticulture situation, then they will call you back after they have done their research.  They do not make house calls. 

Clients are encouraged to email or bring in photos or drop off samples of their troubled plants, trees, or shrubs.  Call for tips on how to collect samples.

“Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters” Guidebook for Il Farmers

“Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters” Guidebook is a new resource for Illinois farmers that introduce the most recent research and information on the best management practices for effectively incorporating a cover crop ahead of soybeans. The Guide outlines comprehensive tactics for cover crop use as part of a nutrient management strategy. Research results from planting to termination of cover crops are included.
With funding from the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC), researchers from the University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Purdue University have been studying the various variables involved in a successful cover crop program. Research efforts are supported by Dan Schaefer with Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) through a grant from NREC. This research has been performed at an on-farm, field-scale level and has shown – over multiple years – that a cereal rye cover crop ahead of soybeans has no detrimental impact on the soybean crop, and that the cover crop successfully scavenges nitrogen -- lowering the levels of N in field tiles.

As defined in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, Illinois has a target of reducing nitrogen (N) losses by 410 million pounds and P losses by 38 million pounds by 2025. Cover crops are identified as an important tool in meeting that target. NREC’s investment in this research helps to support the collaboration across the agricultural industry, environmental groups, and engaged stakeholders.

The guide is available for download from the Illinois NREC website at . Printed copies can be requested by filling out the contact form on the website or emailing


University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County and its Master Gardeners are proud to present our annual Gardener’s Pathway! Click here for more information.

Save the Date: February 23, 2019


Buy Direct From the Farm

Prairie Bounty of Illinois, a directory of direct-from-the-farm sellers, farmers’ markets and agritourism businesses, is available online at

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. 

“Consumers are demanding more of the food they purchase.  They want to make that connection with the farmer and know who grew the food on their table,” said Jim Fraley, Manager of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association. 

This directory helps consumers do just that — support local farmers and buy farm-fresh produce and products at farms and farmers markets across the state.  Prairie Bounty has become a great source for retailers as well looking to find growers to provide product for restaurants, grocery stores, and schools, among others.

The directory is regularly 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 Jim Fraley at 309-557-3109 or via e-mail at, or may visit the Illinois Specialty Growers website at for additional instructions on how to register.