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Farmers Share Concerns at Illinois State Fair Agriculture Day

Updated: Wednesday, August 13 2014, 10:36 AM CDT

It's Agriculture Day at the state fair.

Where those in farming celebrate triumphs in the industry and share concerns.

Farmers spending time at the Illinois State Fair are worried their crops at home will fill the grain bins and not their wallets.

"If you're in debt and that sort of thing and the land prices and the cash rent, it is going to hit some farmers hard," said Carl Hagene, a Washington County farmer.

The state's corn crop could produce better yields than most farmers have seen in their lifetimes, but prices have tanked.

"With falling commodity prices, this is where crop insurance becomes valuable. Producers if they have crop insurance, falling prices could trigger a payment. Also if you have falling yields, it will trigger a payment," said Michael Alston, associate administrator for the Risk Management Agency.

Hagene is a 50 year grain and cattle farmer.

He says he's worried about the U.S. Environmental protection agency's proposed rule more clearly defining what bodies of water can be regulated.

"I'm all for doing the best we can with the water and land and I think we are but I hope they don't put too much more pressure on us. You're larger operators, it's going to hit them," Hagene said.

That's an issue in which the National Resource Conservation Service is involved.

"Now I think is an excellent time for people to give their input. Really they're just looking to revise the rule. It's not finalized yet so if there's something in there that's concerning people, now is the time to talk about it," said Ivan Dozier, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Another hot issue in ag is the farm bill.

It was signed months ago, but the information is slowly trickling in, which is a frustrating situation for farmers who have to sit back and wait.

"The rules and regulations once we issue it, we issue it one time and not to come back and provide additional or subsequent information. The last thing farmers want to do is say oh there's been a change to the regulation. So we're trying to get it right the first time," said Alston.

Farmers tell us another issue that worries them is transportation and infrastructure, including the state's aging locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

All of those worries will still be there in the morning.

Farmers Share Concerns at Illinois State Fair Agriculture Day

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