Farm-related deaths drop in Illinois
A roundup of agriculture news:
BLOOMINGTON — Illinois had fewer farm-related deaths in the 12 months ending June 30 than it had in any of the previous 35 years, according to Country Financial.
Twelve deaths were reported during the 2012-13 year, down from 20 in 2011-12 and 38 in 2010-11, according to company records.
"We are clearly on a path to report zero farm deaths in Illinois," said Eric Vanasdale, senior loss control representative for Country Financial.
During the past year, four deaths were attributed to tractor roll-overs or run-overs, and four were attributed to roadway collisions.
The other four stemmed from miscellaneous causes, including grain bin suffocation and a fall from a hayride trailer.
Increased awareness as a result of campaigns by the Grain Handling Safety Coalition helped prevent accidents, Vanasdale said.
"A smaller and dry crop also worked in our favor last year," he said, noting there weren't many reasons for farmers to enter grain bins and break up crusted grain.
Vanasdale said most of the year's roadway collisions happened around dusk.
"Rural motorists should be extra careful in the dark. Sharing the road becomes more difficult as the sun goes down," he said.
Illinois biofuel projects get U.S. support
Three Illinois biofuel producers are among 188 producers nationwide getting payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the production of advanced biofuel.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the department is making nearly $15.5 million in payments through the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program.
The Illinois recipients and amounts received: Incobrasa Industries Ltd., $153,518; Archer Daniels Midland, $33,338; and Midwest Biodiesel Product, $28,192. All three payments came in the subcategory of "biodiesel trans esterification."
Under the program, payments are made to producers based on the amount of advanced biofuels produced from renewable biomass, other than corn kernel starch.
Examples of eligible feedstocks include crop residue; animal, food and yard waste; vegetable oil; and animal fat.
Alliance publishes legal guide for farmers
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Stewardship Alliance has published a legal guide for farmers wanting to sell directly to consumers and restaurants.
"Guide to Illinois Laws Governing Direct Farm Marketing" is intended to be an introduction to the legal framework surrounding agriculture for farmers wanting to market vegetables, fruits, meats and other products.
The guide covers issues including taxes, zoning, liability insurance, cottage food laws and regulations pertaining to specific foods.
Wes King, the alliance's executive director and the guide's co-author, said it should help farmers make the leap into local and organic food sales.
Collaborating with King on the guide was Rich Schnell, an attorney who focuses on agriculture-related issues.
The alliance is a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally sustainable food systems through policy development, advocacy and education.