Crop, Stock & Ledger: December a time for farmers to train

Crop, Stock & Ledger: December a time for farmers to train

December will be full of meetings aimed at improving your farming operation.

Pesticide training and certification

The Illinois Department of Agriculture requires that anyone purchasing or applying restricted-use pesticides be licensed. To apply for a license, a person must pass a test administered by the Department of Agriculture. Those applying pesticides for hire must have a commercial license.

The University of Illinois Extension's Pesticide Safety Education Program provides test training and study materials. For more information and to register, go to the Extension's PSEP website at

The next Commercial Pesticide Training and Certification Clinics will be Dec. 10 in Springfield and Dec. 19 in Champaign. Pre-registration is required for each training session and must be received seven working days before the desired clinic date.

The next Private Pesticide Training and Certification Clinic will be Dec. 13 in Champaign. There is a $30 registration fee per person per clinic. The training will be from 8 to 11:30 a.m., and testing will be from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The next Private Pesticide Certification Clinic (testing only) will be from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 3 in Monticello. There is no charge and no training. Pre-register at or call 217-762-2191. There will be another Private Pesticide Certification Clinic (testing only) on Dec. 12 in Gilman; call 815-268-4051 for more information.

2013 Illinois Farm Economics Summit

There was no shortage of volatility and uncertainty in 2013.

Just a few of the events causing notable volatility were monsoon rains in parts of the Corn Belt during planting, extended dryness during the summer growing season, lack of a new U.S. farm bill and a U.S. government shutdown. There were also some more pleasant surprises such as better-than-expected corn and soybean yields in many parts of Illinois.

Understanding these sources of volatility and how to deal with the associated large risks continues to be front and center in the minds of all producers.

Speakers from the "farmdoc" team at the UI will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the outlook for prices, farm income prospects and crop rotation decisions, trends in farmland prices and rents, renewable fuels policy and crop markets, the new farm bill, and health reform. The format for the meeting will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.

To register for the Dec. 16 meeting in Champaign, go to

2013 Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Convention

This year's convention on Dec. 12 will focus on nutrient management, seeding rates and herbicide resistant weeds. There is an outstanding lineup of speakers from around the country. For more information, go to:

2013 Certified Livestock Manager Training Workshop

Any livestock producer needing this training can attend one of several training workshops across the state. The first will be Dec. 16 in Bloomington. To register ($30 and $20 for the second person from same farm) and to request the Certified Livestock Manual, call 800-345-6087. The workshop will open at 8:30 a.m., and the program will start at 9.

Please allow 3.5 hours for the workshop, plus the time needed to take the state exam. Coffee and doughnuts are provided. For program details, go to

Doug Gucker is educator for local food systems and small farms at the University of Illinois Extension, DeWitt/Macon/Piatt unit. You can reach him at 877-6042 or