When it comes to chemical fertilizer – less is more, new study says

Farmers can use far less chemical fertilizer — which can be expensive and harmful to the environment — and maintain high crop yields, according to a new study. The findings of a new, long-term academic study may lay some farmers’ fears to rest: farming regeneratively, or farming in ways that benefits soil, water and air quality, doesn’t […]

Black farmers have lost $326 billion worth of farmland, study says

For the first time, researchers have assigned a value to the Black-owned farmland lost over the past century. Throughout the 20th century, Black farmers in the U.S. were forced to give up millions of acres of farmland. A new study puts a number to that loss — $326 billion. Discriminatory lending practices at the federal […]

Antique tractor sells for $1.47 million in Illinois, shattering the world record

The 1913 CASE 30-60 is one of just five that still exist, making the model highly sought after by antique tractor enthusiasts. A century-year-old tractor just became the most expensive tractor ever sold. The 1913 CASE 30-60 model tractor sold at an auction house in Illinois for a whopping $1.47 million. It’s one of only […]

Local farmers started selling online during the pandemic. That trend is here to stay

PLEASANTVILLE, IA — When the pandemic first hit, Maureen Schletzbaum had to figure out how to sell her produce while avoiding human contact. Normally, she’d set up a booth at two different farmers markets near Pleasantville, Iowa, where she and her daughter operate Straw Hat Farms. But as COVID-19 continued to spread, Schletzbaum opted to […]

The war in Ukraine could cause a global food crisis, U of I professor warns

URBANA – Ripple effects from the war in Ukraine will likely be felt in all corners of the globe — especially when it comes to the food supply. The conflict is exacerbating already-existing supply chain disruptions and sky-high food prices. Not to mention, Ukraine and Russia provide nearly 30 percent of the world’s wheat and […]

Corn ethanol is fueling our cars and climate change, study says

Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005, mandating a certain amount of renewable fuel – namely corn ethanol – be mixed in with traditional gasoline. The goal was to minimize emissions and the country’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Instead, the policy caused a chain reaction of events that has likely led to even […]

The air in rural areas may be just as toxic as the pollution in cities

URBANA — A new study suggests the notion of clean, country air might be misleading. Traditionally, air quality has been measured by the size of pollution particles or, more scientifically, particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Considered that way, urban air tends to be more polluted than rural air because the […]

Illinois just experienced one of its warmest Decembers on record

URBANA – If you felt like December’s weather was mild – you’re right. According to provisional data, December 2021 was the fifth warmest December on record. The average statewide temperature was 39.4 degrees Fahrenheit – more than nine degrees above average. It was the warmest December on record in Carbondale, the third warmest in St. […]