December 02, 2013

Hantz Farms Interview - AgMasters

This morning UK's Ron Hustedde introduced agriculturalist attending the 2013 University of Illinios AgMasters Program to Hanrtz Farms. It is a project working to take the blighted areas of Detroit (between downtown and the 8 Mile Road) and turn them into farms. Todd Gleason spoke with Mike Score from Hantz Farms in 2010. You may listen to that interview using the link conected to this entry. 


September 25, 2013

Corn-to-Soybean Yield Trends:  History and the Future

The National Agricultural Statistical Service or NASS projects the 2013 yields for the state of Illinois are 165 bushels per acre for corn and 47 bushels per acre for soybeans, giving a corn-to-soybean yield ratio of 3.51 (3.51 = 165 bushel corn yield / 47 bushel soybean yield).  This 3.51 ratio in 2013 is much higher than ratios between 2010 and 2012, but below the ratio’s average from 2000 to 2009 says University of Illinois Extension Farm Management Specialist Gary Schnitkey. 

The corn-to-soybean yield ratio has trended up over time in the state of Illinois. It averaged 3.12 during the 1970s, 3.16 during the 1980s, and 3.18 during the 1990s.

The highest corn to bean yield ratio for the state of Illinois came in 2003 when it took the yield from 4.43 acres of soybeans to equal the yield, in bushels, from one acre of corn. The last three years, however, have shown the ratio in decline from the 2000-2009 average.  Farmers, over that time says Schnitkey, have followed the lead of the math, and planted a few more acres of soybeans from one year to the next.

Let’s go through the math, again. It is a simple ratio; bushels of corn per acre divide by bushels of soybeans per acre. The higher the answer goes the more profitable, most likely, it is to plant corn rather than soybeans. It has gone from the 3.12 in the early 1970’s to 3.51 (projected) for this year.

A ratio between 3.4 and 3.45 seems reasonable for the state of Illinois in the future thinks Schnitkey.  The highest ratios, by the way, have come when statewide average corn yields are above 170 bushels to the acre. It was 180 in 2004, 175 bushels in 2007, 179 in 2008, and 174 in 2009.  Since 2009, Illinois has not had a state yield over 170 bushels per acre.


September 20, 2013

Edamame: A Future of the U.S. Soybean

There are more than 77 million acres of soybeans in the United States. Very few of these beans will be consumed directly out of the pod by us. However, there is a push to grow more varieties suitable for vegetable crop production.

Edamame: A Future of the U.S. Soybean


September 01, 2013

The History of Labor Day

LISTEN - Labor Day Radio Story

From U.S. Department of Labor Website

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.


Flood waters surround a grain elevator in Alton, Illinois.
August 16, 2013

The Great Flood of 1993

The summer of 1993 brought with it record rainfall. The flood those waters spawned on the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers was of historic proportions. Todd Gleason traveled with a group of volunteers from Champaign County to the water's edge where they worked to hold back nature. He produced this radio portrait of the scene on the Illinois River


August 06, 2013

Meds & Food for Kids – soybean for nutrition

A cooperative grant effort between the National Soybean Research Lab based in Champaign, Illinois, the United States Department of Agriculture, and a Haiti based Not-for-Profit called Meds & Food for Kids is working to fight malnutrition in the Caribbean nation while at the same creating economic prosperity. Todd Gleason files this report from the north end of the island.

Meds & Food for Kids – soybean for nutrition


We believe these live pigs were being carried to market strapped to the back of a motorcycle.
Todd E. Gleason, University of Illinois
July 25, 2013

Pigs on a Motorcycle

Yup, you can take two pigs to market on the back of little motorcycle. 

Pigs on a Motorcycle


Close up of the face of a world war two veteran. He has a retrospective look, and is wear a world war two hat.
Todd E. Gleason
May 22, 2013

Honor Flight May 21, 2013

Tuesday, as some of you may already know, I flew to Washington, D.C. with my father on an Honor Flight. It is a most moving experience. Dad is a WWII vet and among only a handful on this trip. Most were Korean Era vets. You can see photos taken during the day using the link below. If you are or know a WWII or Korea era vet and can travel (at all) please do not miss this opportunity. Honor Fights are extraordinary events. 

Over this Memorial Day as we remember the fallen, please take time to thank those that served along side them. Freedom comes at a price, and a few have paid with their lives, many have paid with their service. We thank all of them. 

Todd Gleason, Guardian - Central Illinois Honor Flight

tgleason@illinois.edu


March 16, 2013

Costa Rica Study Abroad with Parkland College

This is the worst soil I have ever seen, at least at this pineapple field. They tilled them with track hoes. Really I am not kidding. Here's some more videos of what we've been up to this week.


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