Wrapping up a bountiful Harvest 2016
Only a few scattered fields remain to be harvested as most the 2016 corn and soybean crop is now in the bin (or in some cases, in piles on the ground at elevators). Northwest Illinois was blessed with outstanding growing season and harvest conditions, and the yields reflected that fact. Area farmers saw soybean numbers never before seen on the yield monitor, and the corn ranged from above average to excellent. We were fortunate that deteriorating stalk quality and mold issues were not as prevalent here as in other parts of the state, where in many cases the yields were below what we experienced here. Unfortunately, market prices are at dismal levels and producer returns for the year are expected to be depressed. The need for continued trade expansion in global markets is imperative, but it appears that the Trump administration has no desire to further pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Farm Bureau was actively supporting. We’ll wait to see what develops in the weeks ahead in terms of cabinet appointments and policy perspectives, but a feeling exists that there could be a more favorable regulatory and policy environment for agriculture on the horizon.
Mark your calendar!
Saturday April 1 is the date for the inaugural “Farm-to-Farm 5K and Fun Run” sponsored by the Stephenson County Farm Bureau Young Leaders. The event will be an ag-themed point-to-point run on Christian Hollow Road northwest of Lena, starting at Kent Farms near the Wisconsin border and ending at Mau Farms with lots of highlights along the way. There will be farm equipment at intersections and at farms along the route for you to stop and see (especially if you’re not someone pushing to win their age group), as well as signs along the course highlighting our local agriculture industry. We plan to start at 8:30 a.m. with some fun competitions including the Chore Boot 50-meter dash (for all ages) and the Kids’ Bale Hurdle Race, with the 5K immediately following. Registration information will be forthcoming along with more details, so whether you are a serious runner looking for a unique race with a few hills or if you are a mom and dad with kids that want to walk and enjoy, plan to join us on April 1 for a fun time!
Fun at the Fireside
A full busload of area travelers enjoyed our trip to the Fireside Dinner Theatre on November 10 to enjoy their spectacular buffet dinner and the presentation of “A Fireside Christmas”. The performers were excellent and the theater-in-the-round setting was well served by the show’s format. I was happy to have my wife Andrea and my father Howard along with me for the outing, and the show did a great job of sparking our holiday spirit. We’re planning two trips to the Fireside in 2017, on Thursday September 7 to see “Church Basement Ladies” and on Sunday November 12 for the matinee presentation of “Miracle on 34th Street – The Musical”. Watch our website at www.stephensoncfb.com for more information to come!
Speaking of trips…
Plans are starting to take shape for our Hawkeye Ag Tour, tentatively planned for Wednesday and Thursday June 28-29. Day one starts with tours in Pella Iowa of Lely Manufacturing, where they make varied livestock equipment including robotic milking systems, and Vermeer Manufacturing, home to a diverse line of products including haying equipment. Our overnight stay at the new Holiday Inn Express and Suites – Downtown Des Moines includes an evening at nearby Principal Park to watch the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs take on New Orleans. An I-Cubs game is a fabulous experience in a great setting, where you’ll see many of the Cubs players that are just one level away from the major league. Day two begins with a delicious complimentary breakfast at the hotel, followed by a visit to the Monsanto Learning Center at Huxley and a tour of the John Deere Des Moines Works at Ankeny, where we will see the assembly of cotton harvesters. Our trip home will include a tour of Kinze Manufacturing and their terrific Innovations Center at Williamsburg, returning home in the early evening. I hope to have final details in place very soon, so stay tuned and get ready for a fun and educational trip to the Hawkeye state.
Purchase your chance for our Barn Quilt!
November 29 is the deadline for purchasing your chance at the awesome barn quilt being raffled by the Stephenson County Beef Association. The 4’ by 4’ wooden quilt in a red, white, and black design was created by Abby Endress and her grandmother, and tickets are $5 each or three for $10. Stop by the Farm Bureau office to see the quilt and secure your shot!
Nuts and candies
We have a limited supply of Terri Lynn nuts and candies for sale in the Farm Bureau office while supplies last, including cashews, mixed nuts, honey roasted peanuts, almonds, and a variety of yummy chocolate items. Stop in soon and stock up for your holiday snacking, baking and gift needs! We also have local honey, maple syrup and popcorn along with CFP cooking spice and Henn House BBQ sauce.
Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.