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Future farmers will benefit from research

Future farmers will benefit from research

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It might be a decade from now, but soybean growers could benefit directly from the $45 million reinvestment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supporting photosynthesis research at the University of Illinois.

September 20, 2017 6:00 pm(0)
Road, bridge upkeep present challenges

Road, bridge upkeep present challenges

GALLATIN, Ill. — The seven semi-trucks Bill Raben and his brother own to haul their grain have been a good investment. But owning trucks comes with some challenges.

September 14, 2017 4:15 pm(0)
Interest in farm nutrient management grows

Interest in farm nutrient management grows

DECATUR, Ill. — Farmers are paying attention to conservation practices this year while keeping an eye on costs with low commodity prices.

September 13, 2017 4:30 pm(0)
Farm show approaches harvest with nostalgia

Farm show approaches harvest with nostalgia

RANTOUL, Ill. — As harvest nears, thousands of farmers got together with a sense of nostalgia to mingle with more 1,000 tractors, steam engines, moldboard plows and implements of the past the Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul Aug. 24-27.

September 10, 2017 11:00 am Photos

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Rural outreach can help people connect on health care needs

ROCKFORD, Ill. — While harvest is a time of year when attention is drawn to safety, mental health is a part of the total picture.

September 08, 2017 6:00 pm Related (0)
Crop insurance talk leads farm bill session

Crop insurance talk leads farm bill session

DECATUR, Ill. — Crop insurance was by far the biggest concern of farmers and others attending a farm bill listening session at Richland Community College Aug. 30.

September 08, 2017 4:00 pm(0)
Rural schools link students with mental health care

Rural schools link students with mental health care

STANFORD, Ill. — Rural teenagers sometimes don’t know where to turn when they have personal problems. But an Olympia School district counselor says she has seen positive results in her students through a project introduced to meet the mental health needs of rural youth and their families.

September 08, 2017 2:00 pm(0)
Helping hands get small farm through health challenges

Helping hands get small farm through health challenges

BIG ROCK, Ill. — Operating a small farm profitably is challenging enough, but adding health issues makes it even more difficult.

September 08, 2017 6:00 am Photos

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Illinois top-quality farmland prices begin to stabilize

Illinois top-quality farmland prices begin to stabilize

WARRENVILLE, Ill. — Overall, land values for southern and central Illinois farms in the annual Farm Credit Illinois survey are down 4.17 percent this year from last, but prices for Class A lands in central Illinois have stabilized.

September 07, 2017 4:00 pm(0)

Illinois research keeps broom corn viable

SAVOY, Ill. — While much of the research presented at the annual University of Illinois Agronomy Day is of practical use, information about broom corn was mostly for curiosity — unless the crop does return here commercially someday.

September 03, 2017 8:00 am(0)
Agronomists highlight corn nematode, N issues

Agronomists highlight corn nematode, N issues

SAVOY, Ill. — The topic of “nematodes and soybeans” is a regular on summer field day tours and in winter coffee-shop conversations. But researchers at the University Illinois Crop Sciences Research and Education Center switched up that traditional approach at Agronomy Day in August.

September 01, 2017 8:00 am(0)
CSA farmer’s blog shares recipes for special weekly meal

CSA farmer’s blog shares recipes for special weekly meal

CLINTON, Ill. — Do you remember Sunday suppers, when everyone sat down together to share a good meal? Mariah Dale-Anderson certainly does, and she’s doing her best to bring them back to the homes of Midwest families.

August 31, 2017 4:45 pm Photos

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Farmers focus on ideas that have ROI

Farmers focus on ideas that have ROI

DOWNS, Ill. — Farmers don’t have to come from the “Show Me State” to want to see proof of what practices will make them money. While there is interest in cutting-edge trials, many farmers attending field days say they are looking for things they can try confidently to improve the profit on t…

August 31, 2017 3:00 pm(0)

CSA farmer’s blog shares recipes for special weekly meal

CLINTON, Ill. — Do you remember Sunday suppers, when everyone sat down together to share a good meal? Mariah Dale-Anderson certainly does, and she’s doing her best to bring them back to the homes of Midwest families.

August 31, 2017 10:55 am
Farmers make calls on the right equipment for the job

Farmers make calls on the right equipment for the job

STANFORD, Ill. — While most Illinois farmers struggled this spring to get crops planted because of rainy weather, having the right equipment helped some get the job done when the planting window did open.

August 25, 2017 4:31 pm(0)
Early water results show farmer efforts

Early water results show farmer efforts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — For years, Midwest farmers have been asked to do their share in addressing the problem of water quality. An Aug. 30 report will show whether Midwest farmers’ actions are already starting to make a difference.

August 24, 2017 5:25 pm(0)
Research seeks solutions for climate change, hunger

Research seeks solutions for climate change, hunger

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Researchers at the University of Illinois are taking the basics of photosynthesis miles farther in Urbana-Champaign test plots and greenhouses — intervening in the process, through which plants use sunlight to produce energy, to create higher yields.

August 18, 2017 2:00 pm(0)
Crop techniques impact farmers’ harvest prep

Crop techniques impact farmers’ harvest prep

VIOLA, Ill. — Harvest season has already begun for Chad Bell of Mercer County. In late July, he cut his cereal rye, which he grew for the first time for seed.

August 17, 2017 4:00 pm(0)
Volunteers at heart of helping those in need

Volunteers at heart of helping those in need

FARMER CITY, Ill. — Near the end of this month, Don Lerche will drive a trailer about 45 minutes to the Midwest Food Bank in Normal, Ill., to pick up fresh produce, meat, cans and pasta.

August 10, 2017 4:30 pm Photos

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Rural poverty growing at faster rate than urban

Rural poverty growing at faster rate than urban

CHICAGO — Chicago is most often associated with high poverty in Illinois, so it may be surprising that the five counties in the state with the highest poverty rates are all rural ones without a city larger than 26,000 people.

August 10, 2017 4:30 pm Photos

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Mom’s struggle inspires food group leader

Mom’s struggle inspires food group leader

FARMER CITY, Ill. — Tears come to Alice Jones’ eyes when she recalls her mother’s stories of being hungry when she was a child. Those memories are part of the reason she leads an effort to get hungry school children meals on the weekends.

August 10, 2017 4:30 pm(0)
Farm bill possibilities top talk during Perdue tour

Farm bill possibilities top talk during Perdue tour

CHENOA, Ill. — Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told those attending a tour of the Evergreen FS plant in central Illinois that he wished the public could see the plant and hear first-hand about the environmental and safety standards.

August 08, 2017 8:37 am(0)
Competitive youths gear up for Illinois State Fair

Competitive youths gear up for Illinois State Fair

AVISTON, Ill. — Lauren Wolter is busy on these hot July days, rinsing off her show animals to keep them cool and healthy as she prepares for the Illinois State Fair.

August 07, 2017 11:30 am Related

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Young farmers describe paths to success

Young farmers describe paths to success

NORMAL, Ill. — As long as there have been young people wanting to work the land and raise animals, there have been creative ways to start a farming business.

August 05, 2017 10:15 am Photos

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Crop progress varies across Illinois fields

Crop progress varies across Illinois fields

YORKVILLE, Ill. — When farmers across the state were trying to get crops planted in May, in every one of the nine crop districts in Illinois, they reported having “too much rain.” This summer, that consistency disappeared, with some Illinois farmers desperately wishing for rain, others getti…

August 02, 2017 4:00 pm(0)
Robots offer ‘goldmine’ of information for growing crops

Robots offer ‘goldmine’ of information for growing crops

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — When a tall, thin robot was introduced to visitors at University of Illinois test plots July 13, it was reminiscent of early “Star Wars” movies, when such robots were science fiction.

July 28, 2017 6:00 am(0)
Startups offer farmers creative solutions

Startups offer farmers creative solutions

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A robot that moves along the corn row counting emergence, a vaccine against a devastating swine disease and an analysis center for crop information gathered by drones or airplanes are all ideas formed in an Illinois business incubator park.

July 27, 2017 4:00 pm(0)
Consumer study reminds farmers of need to communicate

Consumer study reminds farmers of need to communicate

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — “What do consumers want?” and “What do we do about it?” are two questions livestock producers frequently ask.

July 20, 2017 2:00 pm Photos

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Big appetites welcome at small-town restaurant

Big appetites welcome at small-town restaurant

HANNA CITY, Ill. — People have a favorite place to pig out in a small community in Peoria County. It is thoroughly decorated in all that is swine. Aptly named the Pig Trof, it was started by former pork producers.

July 15, 2017 4:00 pm Photos

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Restoration hobby takes hours of care

Restoration hobby takes hours of care

MOWEAQUA, Ill. — Eric Shuster’s view of a tractor is usually either tearing one apart, sandblasting it, painting it or putting it together again.

July 15, 2017 10:00 am Photos

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Weeds plentiful in Illinois fields this year

Weeds plentiful in Illinois fields this year

URBANA, Ill. — There was certainly no shortage of weeds to study at the University of Illinois Field Day June 28 in east central Illinois. The abundance of weeds here is similar to what farmers are finding across the state.

July 14, 2017 7:00 am(0)
Business owner shares meals with family and friends

Business owner shares meals with family and friends

LEROY, Ill. — White meat is rarely on the menu for the Kline family. That’s by family request for beef.

July 13, 2017 4:45 pm Photos

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Family barn wedding blossoms into business

Family barn wedding blossoms into business

URBANA, Ill. — Kurt Smith works in agricultural research and Jessica Thompson has fond memories of visiting her grandparents’ farm.

July 08, 2017 3:00 pm Photos

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Chicago couple’s romance tied to farm memories

Chicago couple’s romance tied to farm memories

CORNELL, Ill. — For Erin Vogel, who works in one of the most dangerous parts of Chicago, her grandparents’ farm south of the city is a refuge. Now, it is also the unforgettable place where her fiancé proposed and where they will tie the knot in September.

July 08, 2017 3:00 pm(0)
Farmers plant ‘weeds’ as part of monarch aid

Farmers plant ‘weeds’ as part of monarch aid

EL PASO, Ill. — Rob Shaffer was surprised when one of his landlords asked him not to mow part of the ditch. The retired farmer was normally quite adamant about mowing everything, but wanted to save the milkweed.

July 07, 2017 7:00 am(0)
One family’s extensive farm collection has now been converted into a museum

One family’s extensive farm collection has now been converted into a museum

ATWOOD, Ill. — Many farm families have looked around the property and thought, “We could start a museum with all this.”

July 02, 2017 11:00 am Photos

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Poe connects with rural-urban farm visit

Poe connects with rural-urban farm visit

NORMAL, Ill. — City residents tasted grilled cheese curds, judged meat goats and heard Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe “brag” about agriculture at an annual rural-urban night near Normal, June 21.

June 29, 2017 2:00 pm(0)
Extension adds programs aimed at diverse audiences

Extension adds programs aimed at diverse audiences

NORMAL, Ill. — Mike Maddox sees the goal of his work with University of Wisconsin Extension as helping with the well-being of people rather than getting the highest possible profit or yield.

June 23, 2017 2:00 pm(0)
Specialist keeps eye to future as Illinois Extension service changes

Specialist keeps eye to future as Illinois Extension service changes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Flying drones for strategic crop scouting and effectively managing cover crops are important skills today, so Dennis Bowman, a crop science educator, is naturally on top of both.

June 21, 2017 5:00 pm(0)
Father, son cement bond with farm toy hobby

Father, son cement bond with farm toy hobby

NORMAL, Ill. — It always seems a little bit like Christmas at Allen Grant’s home in Normal. Instead of holiday displays, his year-round specialty is rural scenes, complete with the farm equipment of the season — in miniature.

June 17, 2017 11:00 am Photos

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Academics offer ‘practical outcomes’ for weed battle

Academics offer ‘practical outcomes’ for weed battle

URBANA, Ill. — When Patrick Tranel was hired as the first molecular weed scientist at the University of Illinois 20 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined how relevant his work would be to herbicide resistant weeds these days.

June 14, 2017 4:30 pm Photos

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Town builds on startups, spirit to survive disasters

Town builds on startups, spirit to survive disasters

CANTON, Ill. — Some cities have survived a tornado, a factory closing, a fire or even a gas explosion, but few have survived all of those. In a span of about 40 years, the city of Canton in west central Illinois has survived all these adversities and more — but its can-do spirit has made it …

June 11, 2017 1:00 pm Photos

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Downtown makeover attracts businesses

Downtown makeover attracts businesses

FARMINGTON, Ill. — The charming main street of Farmington, a small, west central Illinois prairie city, looks much different now than it did three years ago. There are fewer empty buildings, several revamped facades and others in the process of a makeover.

June 10, 2017 7:00 am(0)

Processing, trade among industry issues

When Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced plans last spring to build its first dairy processing plant in northeastern Indiana, it instantly got the attention of dairy farmers and processors across the nation.

June 09, 2017 12:00 pm(0)
Fishing expert angles for E10 acceptance with boaters

Fishing expert angles for E10 acceptance with boaters

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Crappie Masters Tournament Trail spokesperson Brian Sowers met with members of the Illinois General Assembly in May to provide his insight on how ethanol performs in boat engines.

June 03, 2017 5:00 pm(0)
Farmers respond to common questions about conservation

Farmers respond to common questions about conservation

STRAWN, Ill. — Terry Bachtold operates a 135-acre farm in Livingston County, Ill., growing corn and soybeans with a grass-fed cow-calf operation that features rotational grazing with about 20 paddocks.

May 24, 2017 5:00 pm(0)
Poultry housing evolves with changing demand, state laws

Poultry housing evolves with changing demand, state laws

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — When Ken Koelkebeck buys a dozen eggs, he buys conventional eggs produced by chickens in cages.

May 20, 2017 11:00 am(0)
Egg producers scramble to meet demand

Egg producers scramble to meet demand

FRANCESVILLE, Ind. — With grocers offering eggs from chickens with different “lifestyles” — including cage free, pasture-raised and traditional cages — egg producers are scrambling to meet new individual consumer and commercial egg-buyers’ demands.

May 19, 2017 2:00 pm Photos

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