Your hamburger cookout or steakhouse dinner won’t be as good if the cattle have not eaten well. So it’s not just the corn and soybean farmers who are in trouble in this Drought of 2012. Illinois Beef Association spokesman Eric Johnson appeared with State Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur) Friday on Brown’s cousins’ livestock farm in Macon County near Warrensburg. They announced they will ask the USDA to release more reserve acreage so the farmers will be better able to raise their cattle.
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“We have some filter strips that are in pasture; we might be able to take that and reap benefits from a standpoint of being able to get additional hay and feed sources,” says Johnson, who also farms with his family in Montgomery and Knox Counties. “Crop prices have to go higher, based on the yields that we’re looking at,” says Brown, himself a corn and soybean farmer nearby. “If we hit a hundred-bushel average (yield per acre), we’re going to be fortunate this year, and that’s about a half-crop for us in this area.”