Lawmakers Celebrate Illinois’ Role In Distribution Of Penicillin

SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers gathered Tuesday at the University of Illinois Springfield to designate a new state microbe and add agriculture sciences to the list of courses that fulfill admissions requirements at state universities. Penicillium rubens NRRL 1951, which yields the antibiotic penicillin, was designated as the official state microbe in House Bill 1879, which Gov. JB […]

For Farmland Conservation, It Comes Down To Who Owns It

TOLONO — Lin Warfel puts farmland owners in central Illinois into two categories: Those with a deep connection and desire to preserve their land, and those obsessed with short-term money.   The 80-year-old still owns the land that’s been in his family since his great-grandfather arrived in Champaign County in the 1800’s. After farming it […]

Tracking COVID-19 Outbreaks On Farms

This digital map shows locations of COVID-19 outbreaks on US farms and meat processing sites as reported in local news, state health authorities or the agriculture companies. A Purdue University professor says an estimated 9,000 agricultural workers have died of COVID-19. 

Amid COVID-19 Concerns, Clinics Step Up Testing For Migrant Farmworkers

CHAMPAIGN – Maricel Mendoza is familiar with the work migrant and seasonal farmworkers do. Growing up, her family traveled from Texas to central Illinois every year for her parents’ jobs as contractors with a large seed company.  “All of my parents’ siblings were migrants, my grandparents were migrants,” Mendoza says. “So it’s just something that […]

Farmers’ Struggles With Mental Health Increase Amid Pandemic

CHAMPAIGN — Meg Moynihan knows what it’s like to struggle. In 2016 she and her husband, who own an organic dairy farm in Minnesota, found themselves without a processor, which turns farm milk into a consumer product. Their farm was too far a drive for too little milk, they were told. They didn’t find another […]

Nitrate Pollution In Illinois Drinking Water Increasing, New Report Finds

CHAMPAIGN – Nitrate levels in Illinois drinking water continue to be an environmental health issue and in some areas are increasing, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The analysis gathered data on 10 largely agricultural states—including Illinois, Kansas and California—and found that many small, rural water systems have potentially unsafe […]

News Around Illinois – June 5, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Fire Chief Apologizes For Sharing Post On Shooting Looters LINCOLN — The fire chief of the central Illinois city of Lincoln is apologizing for sharing a social media post asserting supporters of President Donald Trump would blow the heads off looters. Chief Bob Dunovsky said Thursday the decision to share the Facebook post was made […]

Trump Signs Order To Beef Up Meat Production After Coronavirus Hits Plants

WASHINGTON – President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at addressing concerns about meat shortages. The order invokes the Defense Production Act to ensure beef, pork, poultry and egg plants keep running. “It is important that processors of beef, pork, and poultry (“meat and poultry”) in the food supply chain continue operating and […]

News Around Illinois – February 19, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

New Tool Will Help Farmers Calculate Crop Insurance URBANA – Farmers must make decisions about crop insurance over the next few weeks, and a new tool from the University of Illinois can help. The crop insurance calculator allows farmers to enter their state, county, crop, and other farm information, and it spits out different premiums. It was […]

Jury Awards $265 Million To Bader Farms In Lawsuit Against Bayer, BASF

UPDATED Saturday at 12:00 p.m. – CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – A federal jury found in favor of Bader Farms on all counts in a lawsuit against Bayer and BASF. On Friday, the jury awarded $15 million of the requested $20.9 million in damages requested by Bader Farms. On Saturday, the jury also awarded Bader Farms $250 […]

Farmers Are Optimistic About The Economy’s Future

Farmers rounded out the year 2019 generally optimistic about the state of the economy and the future. That’s according to the Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly report calculated by Purdue University. Michael Langemeier is a professor at Purdue and helps put the barometer together. He says it was volatile throughout the last year amid trade […]

More People Returning Christmas Trees To Nature

Christmas tree sales

It’s after Christmas and maybe you’re wondering what to do with the wilting, live tree in your living room. You might think about re-purposing the tree after the ornaments come down. More people are recycling Christmas trees versus throwing them in a landfill, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. For some trees, that means being […]

Dept. of Natural Resources Encourages More Plants At Solar Farms

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is encouraging owners of solar energy fields to be more pollinator-friendly. Across the planet, bees and other pollinating insect species are disappearing at an alarming rate. That’s due in part to a loss of natural habitat space to humans. Now, as part of the 2018 Pollinator-Friendly Solar Site Act, […]