University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Farm Bureau are partnering to co-host a live satellite television broadcast July 31 aimed at helping producers understand the various options they have regarding updating or not updating base acres and program yields under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002.

"We're excited about partnering with the Illinois Farm Bureau to offer Illinois producers a chance to learn more about the bill's provisions and how their enterprises are affected," said Dennis Campion, Associate Dean in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences for Extension and Outreach. "It is particularly important to note that this broadcast is interactive. Producers will be encouraged during the program to ask questions."

Ron Warfield, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau said, "This farm bill continues the policy of allowing farmers to plant whatever they want in response to signals they receive from the marketplace. And like the previous bill, the new farm bill will permit commodity prices to reflect true global supply and demand."

Orion Samuelson of WGN will moderate the program scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Presenters include Doug Yoder, director of marketing and risk management for the Illinois Farm Bureau; Stan Wilson, chief program specialist, Illinois State Farm Services Agency; and Bill Gradle, state conservationist, Illinois State Natural Resources and Conservation Service.

Several options are available for viewing and participating in the program.

The program may be viewed live on larger satellite dishes on the Telstar 6 satellite. The KU-band analog signal will be on channel/transponder 28. The C-band analog signal will be on channel/transponder 16. On small home DBS satellite receiving equipment, the program will be carried on The Dish Network by Universityhouse, channel 9411. It will also be available on RFD-TV on The Dish Network on channel 9409 and on DirecTV on channel 379. (DirecTV viewers will need the larger elliptical dish that picks up both the 101 degree and 119 degree location satellite signals.)

Some U of I Extension offices and/or county Farm Bureau offices will be hosting meetings for viewing of the live broadcast. Those interested should contact their local Extension or Farm Bureau office to learn the nearest viewing location.

The program will also be transmitted over the Internet as a live webcast. A URL address will be announced later.

An audio-only version of the program will be available through any touch-tone telephone by dialing 1-800-DISTANT and pressing "1" to enter the teleconference. For the meeting ID, dial FARM followed by the pound (#) sign. Follow the voice prompts and for the password, enter BILL and the pound sign. This is a listen-only option.

Questions may be submitted by e-mail at IFR@uiuc.edu or FAXED to (217) 333-9695, or telephoned during the broadcast by calling 800-468-1834.

The program will be re-broadcast a number of times. To learn details of times and locations, contact your local Extension or Farm Bureau office.

U of I Extension's farmdoc Web site also contains information on the farm bill and decision-making tools. This information can be accessed at: http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/FarmBill/decisiontool.htm .