Last call for placing your peach orders
August 5 is the deadline for placing orders for those fantastic Cresthaven freestone peaches from Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass Illinois, so don’t miss your chance to stock up on these tasty gems. We’ve worked with Randleman’s for years and they have consistently provided us with an outstanding product that gets rave reviews. We are targeting delivery for Tuesday August 9 and want to get the product in your hands as soon as possible, with pickup on August 9 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and August 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We will have plenty of help to get your order to your vehicle on both days.
Cost for a 25-lb. box is $27 for Farm Bureau members and $32 for non-members, and orders with payment must be received by 4:30 p.m. on August 5. Credit card payments will be accepted with a 3% surcharge – call (815) 232-3186.
Gaining insight at IFB conference
I attended the Illinois Farm Bureau Farm Income and Innovations Conference on July 27 in Normal, accompanied by SCFB board member Dan Scheider and Summer Program Assistant Miranda Grisham. The conference featured several keynote speakers and a diverse selection of breakout sessions from which to choose, and there was a lot of timely and interesting information shared. I attended a session called “Managing Your Costs and Farm Income Under Stress” presented by Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois professor and economist, and it painted a rather bleak picture for the farm economy in the next 12-18 months. Continued depressed commodity prices and high input costs will make margins extremely tight for the farming community, and that is resulting in significant reductions in purchases of farm equipment and non-vital expenditures. Thankfully the prospects are looking good for corn and soybean yields as crop conditions are at record high reporting levels for this point in the growing season, so we’ll hope that volume will offset the lower prices to some degree.
Cubs win, Cubs win!
Both of our bus trips to see the Chicago Cubs recently resulted in victories for the north siders, with the Cubs defeating the New York Mets 6-2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago on July 20 and prevailing over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 at Miller Park in Milwaukee on July 22. Both games were entertaining in spite of the extreme heat, but unfortunately our travel experiences proved challenging on both trips. The perfect storm of rush hour traffic and construction made the Wrigley trip a long ordeal, but the usually smooth cruise to Miller Park proved to be an even bigger adventure. Mechanical issues on the bus were compounded by the worst traffic congestion that I (and others) had ever seen approaching the stadium, and we arrived one hour after the start of the game. I don’t know if the traffic mess was an anomaly, but we’re going to start moving up our departure time by an hour to allow more than adequate time to arrive and enjoy the atmosphere. Thanks to all of our travelers for their admirable patience!
Stroke Detection Plus returning
We’re pleased to welcome Stroke Detection Plus back on Tuesday August 16 for another round of their timely and affordable screenings to determine your risk for arterial blockages and osteoporosis. The full package of tests only costs $135, and Farm Bureau members can get the package for just $100 (a tremendous return on your dues investment). Call (877) 732-8258 to schedule your appointment for a quick and informative screening!
Crop prospects looking promising
With continued timely rains and the absence of any significant damaging storms, a large portion of the Midwest is looking at the potential for some outstanding corn and soybean crops this fall. In my recent travels, I’ve yet to see many troubled areas and many of the fields look as good as I’ve seen in years. We’re less than two months until corn silage harvest begins, and it appears that there will be ample tonnage. I’ll look forward to a broader glimpse as we travel to Door County this week and get a look at a more varied soil profile.
Fireside trip nearly full
Though it’s over three months away and hard to think about holiday thoughts, our November 10 bus trip to the Fireside Dinner Theatre in Ft. Atkinson Wisconsin to see “A Fireside Christmas” has just one seat left as of July 27. We will start a standby list as we always do in the event of cancellations, so give us a call at (815) 232-3186 if you’d like to join us.
Our tentative 2017 trip list is now posted online at www.stephensoncfb.org for your review, and we have another busy year planned. The Farm Progress Show will be back in Illinois in 2017 and we’ll be making a return trip to the Wisconsin State Fair, and we have many other great trips planned as well.
We also have the lineup of Tri-State trips listed for the next three years, and there are some great options both near and far. Among the destinations in the next few years are the Panama Canal cruise, San Antonio/Corpus Christi (including a full day behind-the-scenes tour and BBQ at the famous King Ranch), Branson Christmas, North Woods of Minnesota/Wisconsin, Iceland (2 trips back-to-back), Kentucky, Canyon Lands Tour (Utah to Las Vegas), Nashville Christmas, and Alaska and the Yukon. Check out the details or stop by the FB office to pick up the list!
Bruce Johnson is the manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.