College of ACES
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2017 Certified Livestock Manager Training workshops

Published November 3, 2016
Producers attend CLMT workshops

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension has scheduled workshops to provide Illinois livestock producers the manure management training they need to meet the requirements of the state's Livestock Management Facilities Act. 

The 2017 Certified Livestock Manager Training workshops, held in eight locations throughout the state, will begin Jan. 31 in Springfield and end Feb. 23 back in Springfield.

Please note that all workshops are concentrated in February, with only one workshop in January.  Workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. and will take 3 1/2 hours with the IDOA exam administered afterward.

Workshop dates and locations are as follows:

Jan. 31 – 1 Convention Center Plaza, Springfield

Feb. 7 – 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington

Feb. 8 – 1209 North Wenthe Drive, Effingham

Feb. 9 – 1163 North 4th Street, Breese

Feb. 14 – 180 S. Soangetaha Rd. Suite 108, Galesburg

Feb.15 – 210 W. Spring St., Freeport

Feb. 16 – 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore

Feb. 23 – Ill. Dept. of Agriculture Bldg., State Fairgrounds

Each workshop will offer a general curriculum designed to keep producers current on the latest industry practices. The curriculum covers the basics of nutrient management as well as new technologies, research, and trends, so producers who have completed the training and are renewing their certification will benefit.  

The Livestock Management Facilities Act requires facilities with 300 or more animal units to have at least one employee certified in proper manure handling procedures.  For facilities with 300 to 999 animal units, the employee must attend a workshop or pass the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Certified Livestock Manager exam.  Employees of facilities with 1,000 or more animal units must do both to achieve certification. 

Registration opens Dec. 1. To register for a workshop, call the University of Illinois at 217-244-9687 or register online. The cost is $35.  If more than one employee from the same farm signs up, each additional registration will cost $25. Lunch will not be offered, but coffee and donuts are provided.

Employees also have the option of taking five online quizzes.  Passing them is the equivalent of having attended a workshop, but does not substitute for passing the state administered Certified Livestock Manager exam. Register for the online program option here. There is no charge to take the online quizzes other than the cost of a manual. 

The workshops will use the instructional manual for the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship (LPES) curriculum, which can be purchased for $67.50. Participants do not need a new manual if they have a 2003 or newer version. The manual is also available on a CD for $32.50.  To purchase a manual, contact University of Illinois at 1-800-345-6087.

Producers are encouraged to preregister at least two weeks prior to ensure a seat for the session that fits their schedule. Advance registration also allow participants to receive a manual beforehand, which is important for those planning to take the written Illinois Department of Agriculture test to obtain their certification.


News Source:

Rich Gates, 217-244-2791

News Writer:

Leanne Lucas, 217-244-9085

This is Diabetes: November is diabetes awareness month

Published November 1, 2016

URBANA, Ill. - Today, 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes. Men and women of all races, ages, shapes, and sizes are battling this mostly invisible disease. Every 23 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. It is important to bring awareness to this chronic disease and dispel stereotypes, myths, and misinformation around diabetes, says a University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator.

Each year in November the American Diabetes Association celebrates diabetes awareness month and this year’s theme is This is Diabetes.

“If you and your family have been fortunate enough to avoid diabetes, you certainly don’t have to look far to find someone dealing with the triumphs and challenges of managing diabetes,” Csernus says. Diabetes is a public health crisis with 29 million Americans diagnosed and another 86 million at risk. “Managing diabetes takes motivation, persistence, knowledge, and skill. Managing diabetes means keeping blood glucose levels within a range that lessens the chances of complications associated with diabetes. The effort it takes to accomplish this will look different for different people,” she adds.

Csernus provides the following examples of the daily routines of people with diabetes. “This is diabetes…..parents waking up in the wee hours of the morning to assure their child’s glucose levels are staying within a safe range overnight; someone with type 1 diabetes who checks their blood glucose levels five to six times each day; the athlete that has to make sure he matches his food intake and medication to make it through the event with stable blood glucose; a colleague who is prepared with carbohydrate-friendly meals and snacks, despite what others are eating; the child that has to interrupt the school day to monitor glucose levels and eat scheduled snacks. This is just a small sampling of the challenges of managing diabetes.

“The challenges are real, but so are the triumphs! The satisfaction of finding out your 3-month average glucose level (A1C) is within the target range; recognizing how much carbohydrate you can tolerate at meals and snacks; balancing food intake and physical activity to stay healthy; and maintaining a strong support system around you to help you stay on track,” Csernus adds. “Diabetes is so much more than the medication used to treat it and food eaten to control it. Diabetes takes a lot of organization and planning. Diabetes can also be a financial burden. Health care can cost up to 2.3 times more than for someone without diabetes.”

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or during early adulthood, although it can be diagnosed later as well. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for about 5 percent of all diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that is necessary to carry the sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream to the cell to be used for energy.  People with type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin and must take insulin injections every day.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes and occurs when the body doesn’t produce or use insulin effectively. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, but is also being diagnosed more frequently in younger individuals because of extra weight and an inactive lifestyle. Being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or having gestational diabetes can increase diabetes risk. Some people with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their diabetes with meal planning and regular physical activity, while others may require oral medication and/or insulin. Diabetes is a progressive disease, which means treatment plans will likely change as the disease progresses.

Share your story, or encourage a friend or family member to share theirs using #ThisIsDiabetes.

To learn more about diabetes visit the American Diabetes Association website at and University of Illinois Extension’s website, Your Guide to Diet and Diabetes, at

News Writer:

University of Illinois Extension

OIP Announces ACES International Joint Research Grant Awardees for Fall 2016

Published November 1, 2016

The Office of International Programs (OIP) in the College of ACES with the support of the ACES Office of Research congratulates the most recent awardees of the International Joint Research Program.

This program, in its third year, supports ACES faculty who work jointly with researchers who are based at approved peer institutions abroad and are funded at a matching level by their own institution or another agency.

The researchers/partners/projects listed below were awarded funding in late 2016:   

Juan Andrade (Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Ali Almajwal (Division of Nutritional Sciences) with the King Saud University of Riyadh: “Pre‐Clinical and Clinical evaluation of legume‐based nanoaggregate as a delivery vehicle to address vitamin D Deficiency in Saudi Arabia”

David Bullock (Agricultural and Consumer Economics) with EMBRAPA Agrosilvoforestal Research Center Sinop, Mato Grosso: “Putting more data into data-intensive nitrogen management: Using precision technology to conduct large-scale field trials in Brazil and the U.S.”

Elvira de Mejia (Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Jack Juvik (Crop Sciences) with the University Federal of Viçosa (Brazil): “Impact on inflammation and atherosclerosis prevention potential of phenolic compounds and bioactive peptides from chia seeds (Salvia hispanica l)”

Hao Feng (Food Science and Human Nutrition) with Institute of Food Science & Technology, National Taiwan University: “Mano-thermo-sonication as a novel extraction method for ginseng saponins”

Kaiyu Guan (Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences) with Seoul National University: “Using novel satellite and field approaches to estimate crop yields of corn, soybean (U.S.) and paddy rice (Korea)”

Madhu Khanna (Agricultural and Consumer Economics) with Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi: “Promoting corporate social responsibility in India: Effectiveness of the CSR Act”

Youngsoo Lee (Food Science and Human Nutrition) with National Taiwan University: “Developing vitamin A and iron-fortified, less-sodium soy sauce”

Juan Loor (Animal Sciences) with Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (Mexico): “Hypothalamic transcriptome signatures of feed intake regulation induced by propionic acid supplementation in sheep”

Michael Miller (Food Science and Human Nutrition) with Autonomous University of Queretero (Mexico): “Listeria monocytogenes and Hispanic-style fresh cheese”

First female dean leads the College of ACES at the University of Illinois

Published November 1, 2016

URBANA – The University of Illinois is making history today as Dr. Kimberlee Kidwell begins her role as the first female dean in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). Kidwell, a nationally respected scholar and award-winning teacher and administrator, holds the inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair.

“It is surreal to have an opportunity to co-create the next era of excellence in the college with the ACES community at my alma mater,” said Kidwell, who received her bachelor’s degrees from the College of ACES in genetics and development and agriculture science. “It is a privilege to be able to create opportunities of a lifetime for people at the university that provided those types of opportunities for me.” 

Kidwell is an accomplished wheat breeder and geneticist with multiple patented discoveries addressing basic questions involving gene discovery, genetic characterization, and genetic mapping of important traits for wheat improvement. She also released more than 20 wheat varieties for commercial production.

“Dean Kidwell’s combination of scholarly success, teaching excellence, and academic leadership made her the clear top candidate in a very competitive national search. She will be a strong leader for the college and will help move the university forward as well. I am delighted to welcome her to our Illinois leadership team,” said Ed Feser, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kidwell’s leadership style is defined by her dedication to improving student learning; driving sound, innovative research; and cultivating industry partnerships to improve the lives and livelihoods of the residents of Illinois, in support of the land-grant mission of the University of Illinois.

“It’s important to me to land on a common purpose with the ACES community so we can clearly articulate what we do and why it matters to people,” Kidwell said. “I am land-grant­-loyal to the core. ACES research translates directly to improving the quality of people's lives. We also are teaching the next generation of change agents in our disciplines by integrating transformational learning opportunities into their academic experiences.”

In her previous role as executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Kidwell spearheaded the development of the new Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership, a student, faculty, alumni, and industry partner collaboration which provides beyond-the-classroom experiences for students and leadership development for graduate students, faculty, staff, and professionals.

“Students are the lifeblood of the college,” Kidwell said. “Everything we do should fuel the student learning experience be it in classrooms, research laboratories, communities, or industry experiences. Faculty and staff are the heartbeat of the institution. Everything that happens in the college sources from the efforts of these hardworking, dedicated people.”

She grew up in Danville, Illinois. After graduating from the U of I, she went on to obtain her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kidwell will succeed ACES Dean Robert Hauser, who has served in that role since 2010. He was interim dean of ACES for a year prior to that, and served two terms as head of the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2009.

Hauser has developed and led exceptional U of I Extension programs, taught several undergraduate and graduate courses since he joined the faculty in 1982, and received numerous research and Extension awards. After providing 35 years of excellent service to the college and university, Hauser intends to retire December 31, 2016.

Assessing the potential for higher corn prices

Published October 31, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – The monthly average price of corn received by U.S. producers has been less than $4 per bushel for 27 consecutive months, and prices below $4 are expected to persist well into 2017. Even with reductions in the cost of producing corn, prices remain below levels that would result in positive returns for many producers. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, some combination of a reduction in corn supplies and increased consumption will be required in order for prices to move above $4 per bushel for an extended time.

“On the supply side, the USDA’s Crop Production report to be released on November 9 will contain a new forecast of the size of the 2016 U.S. corn crop,” says Darrel Good.  “The previous history of yield forecast changes in November in years when the forecast declined in September and again in October, as was the case this year, shows very mixed results.”

In the previous 40 years, there were 10 years when the average yield forecast declined in September and October. The November forecast was below the October forecast in five years, was unchanged in one year, and was above the October forecast in four years.  As always, says Good, there are mixed expectations about the potential change in the forecast this year, with the average expectation leaning toward a small reduction from the October yield forecast of 173.4 bushels.  Any change in the 2016 production forecast this month is not expected to be large enough to alter prices very much.

“The corn supply for the year ahead will also be influenced by production in the rest of the world, with special attention focused on the potential size of the South American crops,” Good notes. “Brazilian production declined from 3.35 billion bushels in 2015 to 2.64 billion bushels in 2016 due to late season drought. Early season USDA projections are for production in 2017 to rebound to 3.29 billion bushels. In addition, Argentina is expected to expand corn area due to reductions in export taxes, with early season USDA projections showing a 2017 production increase of 335 million bushels. It’s too early in the growing season to assess yield potential, but production well below early projections would be required to push corn prices higher.”

Good says a more likely source of a reduction in corn supply may be reduced corn acreage in the United States in 2017. Planted acreage increased about 6.5 million acres in 2016 and early expectations are for a 3 million-acre reduction in 2017 due to low corn prices and the high cost of producing corn relative to competing crops. Corn prices would be expected to get a boost if acreage is reduced enough to result in smaller stocks at the end of the 2017-18 marketing year.  “Assuming a 3 million-acre reduction in harvested acreage and consumption during the 2017-18 marketing year near the 14.525 billion bushels projected for this year,” Good says, “the 2017 average yield would need to be below 173 bushels in order for year-ending stocks to be reduced from the 2.32 billion bushels projected for the current year. Under the acreage and consumption assumptions made here, a yield near trend value of 169 bushels would result in year-ending stocks of about 1.99 billion bushels.”

Higher corn prices might also be generated by stronger demand that would result in some combination of increased consumption and the willingness of end users to pay more for corn,” Good says. “Domestically, feed and residual use of corn is already projected to increase by nearly 9 percent this year. A larger increase seems unlikely based on current livestock inventories. In addition, the ability of livestock producers to pay a higher price for corn will be limited by current low livestock and livestock product prices. Corn used for ethanol production is projected to increase by only 1.3 percent this year.”

A larger increase might be generated by a continued expansion in gasoline consumption, larger ethanol exports, and a decline in the use of sorghum as a feedstock. Ethanol production was up about 4 percent in the first two months of the 2016-17 marketing year. The amount of corn used for ethanol production in September will be revealed in the USDA’s Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report to be released on November 1. It seems unlikely that corn used for ethanol production this year would exceed the current USDA projection by more than 100 million bushels.

At 2.225 billion bushels, U.S. corn exports are expected to be 327 million bushels (17 percent) larger than exports of a year earlier. The increase primarily reflects the smaller Brazilian crop harvested earlier this year. Export inspections through the first eight weeks of the current marketing year were 74 percent larger than inspections of a year earlier, and unshipped sales as of October 20 were 90 percent larger than outstanding sales of a year earlier. “However,” Good says, “it is misleading to judge export potential for the current year based on the pace of export sales and shipments relative to that of last year. U.S. exports started slowly in the 2015-16 marketing year and ended on a strong note due to the Brazilian production shortfall. In contrast, the current rapid pace of exports is expected to slow as the year progresses if South American production rebounds.”

It appears unlikely that higher corn prices will be generated by a large reduction in the estimated size of the 2016 U.S. crop or stronger than projected demand for corn. “That leaves a smaller than expected South American crop or a much smaller U.S. crop in 2017 as the potential sources of higher prices. If South American production increases as projected,” Good concludes, “a large decline in U.S. acreage and/or a 2017 yield below trend value may be required to push the average corn price above $4 during the 2017-18 marketing year.”

News Source:

Darrel Good, 217-333-4716

News Writer:

Leanne Lucas, 217-244-9085

ILRI director advocates for broadened agricultural development in Africa

Published October 31, 2016
Dean Emeritus Robert Hauser, Dr. Jimmy Smith, and Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson

Returning to his alma mater as a distinguished speaker in the food security lecture series, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute Dr. Jimmy Smith presented a case for broadened agricultural development in Africa. 

Smith, who earned his Ph.D. in animal sciences at Illinois, began his lecture by paying tribute to his mentors during his education at Illinois, which he referred to as one of the most formative times in his life.

VIDEO: Click here to view Smith’s October 11 lecture.

Smith argued that agricultural development in Africa must and can do much more than produce more food.

“It is not just about food security but economic development more broadly,” he explained.

Smith emphasized Africa’s untapped potential, including its people, land, and water, that could be employed to produce food that is currently imported. That production could then allow for importation of medicine and other products the continent cannot produce. 

Addressing the “youth bulge” of population aged 15-24, he hoped that instead of taking boats to seek better lives, these youth can benefit from modernized and mechanized agriculture that will provide increased opportunities in Africa that do not exist today.

“What Africa needs is a Marshall Plan in Agriculture,” he said.

Large investments are required to transform African agriculture to employ young people and drive economic change, he said.  

Smith hopes African governments and the international donor community can work together to make sustainable livestock development and efficient agricultural intensification top priorities, by ramping up the use of agricultural inputs and modern biotechnologies.   

“My wish is that the University of Illinois’ longstanding and distinguished agricultural research, training and partnerships, of which I am a grateful beneficiary, can be put to even greater use for Africa’s development, particularly that of its young people, who are hungry for jobs and livelihoods as well as food, and on whose ambitions the future of much, within and beyond Africa, depends,” Smith said.  

Smith said he looks forward to “seeing even more orange and blue around the world, especially in Africa,” and invited everyone in the audience to visit him at ILRI.

Before joining ILRI as director in 2011, Smith worked for the World Bank, in Washington, DC, where he led the Bank’s Global Livestock Portfolio. Before joining the World Bank, he held senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Still earlier in his career, Smith worked at ILRI and its predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), where he served as the institute’s regional representative for West Africa and subsequently managed the ILRI-led System-wide Livestock Programme of the CGIAR, an association of 10 CGIAR centres working at the crop-livestock interface. Before his decade of work at ILCA/ILRI, Smith held senior positions in the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

Read more about International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) here:



Fall-applied herbicides: Which weed species to target?

Published October 27, 2016
Marestail plant

URBANA, Ill. – Herbicides applied in the fall often can provide improved control of many winter annual weed species compared with similar applications made in the spring. Marestail is a prime example. More and more Illinois marestail populations are resistant to herbicides, including glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting products. University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager recommends targeting emerged marestail with higher application rates of products such as 2,4-D in the fall to achieve better control come spring.

Hager is frequently asked whether a fall application needs to include one or more herbicides that provide residual control of winter annual weed species.

“Typically, the earlier the fall application is made—say, early October—the more benefit a soil-residual herbicide can provide, since emergence of winter annual weeds is often not complete. However, delaying the herbicide application until later in the fall—say, mid-November—often diminishes the necessity of a soil-residual herbicide, since most of the winter annual weeds have emerged and can be controlled with non-residual herbicides,” Hager says.

Applying a soil-residual herbicide late in the fall in hopes of having a clean field prior to planting is akin to gambling on the weather. Cold winter conditions can reduce herbicide degradation in the soil and increase herbicide persistence. This might not always be favorable since, depending on the residual herbicide, increased persistence also can cause injury to the following crop. A more moderate winter and early spring warming will increase herbicide degradation, which could result in the need for a burndown herbicide to control existing vegetation before planting.

“We recommend fall-applied herbicides to target fall-emerging winter annual species, biennials and perennials,” Hager notes. “We do not recommend fall application of residual herbicides for control of any spring-emerging annual weed species.”

Hager notes that some products have 2(ee) recommendations that suggest the product will control certain summer annual weed species following application in the fall. Certain products list “pigweed species” among these summer annuals, but Hager specifically recommends against fall application of residual herbicides to control Amaranthus species, for the following reasons:

Inconsistent performance: Performance consistency of soil-residual herbicides applied in the fall is greatly dependent on weather and soil conditions after application. “Our data suggest the greatest and most consistent control of Amaranthus species either at planting or several weeks after planting was achieved when residual herbicides were applied in the spring, not in the fall,” Hager says.

Increased selection for herbicide-resistant biotypes: Soil-applied herbicides are not immune from selection for herbicide-resistant biotypes. Following a fall application, the concentration of herbicide remaining in the spring when Amaranthus species begin to germinate will be much lower compared with the same product rate applied closer to planting.

Populations of several summer annual broadleaf weed species in Illinois demonstrate resistance to herbicides from more than one site-of-action herbicide class. Their effective management requires an integrated approach that often includes soil-residual herbicides.

“Applying these herbicides when they will be most effective against these challenging summer annual species is a critical component of an integrated management program,” Hager says.

For more information, visit the Bulletin.

News Source:

Aaron Hager, 217-333-4424