Tag Archives: Illinois

Hot Topics in Ag


Don’t be the one left out of the conversation at the local watering hole, get the latest happenings in the Ag industry so you can keep the conversation going!

Farm Hack: Low Cost Tool for Farmers

In 2011, a group of engineers from MIT and regional farms met to discuss collaborative opportunities and established the first-ever Farm Hack convention, a meeting ground to share and brainstorm blueprints and designs for low-cost farm tools and equipment.

Since that meeting, Farm Hack has turned into a national effort to connect farmers with these ingenious designs. Continue Reading…

Corporate America Pledges Sustainability

More than a dozen companies, including Walmart, Monsanto and Kellogg, agreed Tuesday to focus on increasing sustainability in agriculture as the planet will need to feed another 2 billion people by the middle of this century.

The business giants pledged to drive more collaboration and efficiency across the current food system. Continue Reading….

Farm Journal Corn College Announces Drone Fly-In Event

With the emerging potential for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Farm Journal announces its first-ever Corn College event focused on practical application of drones for farmers. 

The Farm Journal Corn College Drone Fly-In will be held July 17. Producers will learn about the future of farming with drones, from highly efficient scouting to data collection and more. Continue Reading…

Illinois at Forefront of Soybean Revolution

Longtime central Illinois farmers Pat and Mike Marron don’t look like revolutionaries.

They spend these early spring days inputting computer data for their GPS-driven tractor and fine-tuning equipment. Giant bags and bins of seed are stacked to the ceiling for the day when they can get out in their fields to plant. Continue Reading…


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1979 International Harvester 1486

Fastline often receives photo submissions for the front covers of our books that come with a story. Here’s one story of how an International Harvester tractor has helped a couple become a family.

This 1979 IH 1486 was manufactured in Rock Island, IL.  It was purchased by Josh and Darci in December 1991.  Josh and Darci had just met during the spring of 1991.  Darci was from an IH farm in Carroll County, IL.

They knew then that farming and IH would be near and dear to them.  Back in the winter of 91-92, Josh and Darci painted their “new” tractor.

IH 1486 Tractor

Josh and Darci, circa 1991 with their IH 1486 tractor.

Restored International Harvester 1486

Josh and Darci with their two children and the “Courtship 1486” in 2012.


Fastline is proud to have this family share their tractor story with us!

Their paint job was far from professional; however they were very proud of it.  They were married that following spring, and put the 1486 to work chiseling and disking.

Eventually the tractor became their planter and mower tractor.

The tractor has been working their Prairieville, IL farm ground ever since.

Twenty years and two kids later, they decided to do a total restoration.  Nate Shank, a talented neighbor and friend did the work – about a three month process.  Today, their “courtship 1486” is reserved for tractor shows, the county fair, and parades.

Josh and Darci have been blessed with good kids, good soil, health and red tractors.  Someday, Josh hopes their kids will pass this tractor down to their children.

Story and photos submitted to Fastline.

1979 IH 1486

Owned by Josh and Darci Francque, Dixon, IL

Restored by Nate Shank, Dixon, IL

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One Expert’s Take on the Corn Condition

While most of the corn crop continues to suffer from drought, Ferrie says fields in central Illinois still have a lot of potential.

“To look at it overall you have to say there’s a lot of yield potential out there yet,” he says.
He says good stand counts, health and very little disease mean the possibility of good yields if there is good pollination.
“We’re in a tough spot,” he says. “We’re starting to pollinate our first corn and we’ve got anywhere from 3 to 6 leaves to go on the rest of it. So we’ll be pollinating in the next 10 days.”
Like most of farm country the temperatures in central Illinois are unseasonably hot. Ferrie says nearly 100 degree temperatures are not good for pollination. He says hot weather shortens up pollen life and is tough on the silks.
Ferrie says there are fewer possibilities than last year for yield potential of this crop but the crop is probably in as good a shape than it was last year. Water will be determining factor. He says the crop needs water badly and soon. Ferrie urges farmers to consider what will happen if the rain doesn’t come.
Read the full article and watch an interview with Ken on Agweb.com
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Value of Illinois Farmland is Up, way Up

Although home values have gone down, the value of Illinois farmland is up by 18%. According to an August 4th report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the price of Illinois farmland averaged $5,800 per acre in 2011, an increase of 18% over the 2010 level of $4,900.

“The 2011 increase continues a string of large increases that began in 2004,” said University of Illinois agricultural economist and farm management specialist Gary Schnitkey. “Since 2004, Illinois farmland prices have increased by 222%. Or, another way of putting it, farmland is 2.2 times higher in 2011 than in 2004. The last seven-year period in which land prices increased an equivalent amount was from 1975 through 1981.  During this period, Illinois farmland increased from $846 per acre in 1975 to $2,188 per acre in 1981, resulting in farmland prices being 2.6 times higher in 1981 than in 1977.”
Read the full article on Agweb.com

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