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Agribusiness

A field of corn
Randy Wick / Flickr

Farmers across the nation have expressed concern about economic hardship created by Trump tariffs and retaliation by other nations against U.S. agricultural products.

A combine harvesting a field of soybeans
United Soybean Board / Flickr

The Illinois Farm Bureau is calling for the Trump administration to go to the bargaining table with China over tariffs.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

A new manufacturer is coming to town.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Five nights of testimony over a proposed wind farm in northeastern McLean County were not enough.

A field of corn
Randy Wick / Flickr

Illinois is now in year four of fairly low farm income and no turnaround is in sight, according to Farm Bureau Chief Economist Mike Doherty.

Google Maps

Negotiations over tax incentives to bring a Canada-based Brandt Industries manufacturing plant to McLean County were unusual in that they included the Unit 5 school superintendent and the county board chair at the table, as well as economic development officials.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Board voted 16-1 on Tuesday for a proposed deal to bring a Canadian manufacturer to central Illinois in exchange for at least 300 jobs and a plant investment of more than $21 million.

When Steph Davidson and Jennifer Swartout heard talk that the local food trend in Bloomington-Normal had maxed out, they decided to take action.

Several people at outdoor table eating a meal in Cuba.
Photo courtesy of Linda Stockton via Facebook

Former State Senator and Treasurer Dan Rutherford says his travel business to Cuba won’t be hurt by President Trump’s plans to reverse Obama-era easing of restrictions on travel and trade.  But,  Rutherford thinks the president’s policy is a mistake.

Prairerth Farm

A farmer and an extension agent agree there are a number of issues hurting small organic farmers in Illinois and one of them is that a growing number of people don't know how to cook. 

Ron Frazier / Flickr

The Agriculture sector is among many U.S. interest groups carefully watching and weighing the young Trump administration in Washington. Candidate Trump staked out ground on the North American Free Trade Agreement that could harm Ag producers.

Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President David Erickson Erickson farms  3,400 acres in Knox and Henry Counties near Altona.

Forest and Kim Star / Flickr

Many couples celebrated Valentine's Day with gifts of chocolate. But, the sweet has a sometimes bitter and complex history.

Illinois State University Anthropologist Katie Sampeck looks at the genesis of taste and how chocolate came to be.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr

A state insurance fund created to protect Illinois farmers who store grain at failed facilities has seen its first claims in years.  

Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Clark says the state's Illinois Grain Insurance Fund has had its first claims since April 2012. The claims stem from the state's revocation last week of the operating license of Keller Grain Co., which operates in Anna and Jonesboro in southern Illinois.  

A Quiet Workplace Heroism

Dec 12, 2016
Maria Henneberry

Fifteen minutes felt like 15 hours for a group of GROWMARK employees who found themselves in a situation no one would wish for, but they were thankful to be part of - once it was over.

It was an alarming incident that had an inspiring outcome.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

The chief lobbyist at the Illinois Farm Bureau still thinks the nation will see comprehensive immigration reform.

But, it may take several more years because the incoming Trump administration may not take on the entire question right away.

Chilly Temps Put Chill On Planting

Apr 14, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

Cooler temperatures sometimes dipping below freezing have prohibited Illinois agricultural producers from planting until they find warmer soil.

Illinois Farmland Values Fall

Mar 30, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

A new report from the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers finds farmland prices in the state saw a significant decline last year.

Durbin, Bustos Excited About Cuban Ag Trade

Mar 23, 2016
Anja Doisseldorp / Flickr via Creative Commons

Agriculture trade between the US and Cuba should grow rapidly now relations between the neighbors are thawing. Two Illinois Democrats, US Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Cheri Bustos, are just back from their trip with the President to Cuba.

Kelly Lenz / Ka. Ag Network

  A new Purdue University study says grain bin entrapments and other confined space accidents on the nation's farms fell to their lowest level in a decade last year. The study shows 47 entrapments in grain bins and other confined spaces in 2015. That's 34 percent less than 2014's 71 entrapments and the fewest since 46 were recorded in 2006. Purdue says 25 people died last year in entrapments, down from 31 in 2014. Bill Field, a Purdue professor of agricultural safety and health, says many nonfatal entrapments go unreported each year because there's no mandatory national reporting system.

Midwest To Be Used As Model For Conservation Efforts

Feb 12, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Illinois, Iowa, and Kentucky will be the proving ground for land and water conservation across the United States. The efforts aim to reduce the amount of chemical runoff to keep the land fertile and increase water quality.

The Land Connection

A central Illinois farmer is this year's Sustainable Agriculture Award winner in Illinois. Harold Wilken farms more than 2,000 acres near Danforth in Iroquois County.

The Drones Are Coming

Dec 15, 2015
Bob Carroll / TV 10

The drones are coming, and so are the rules for the unmanned flying machines. Randy Aberle  of Flying Ag in Gibson city says he welcomes the new rules, for the most part. One rule that does bother him is a requirement anyone flying for hire must obtain a pilot's license. Aberle says that is standing in the way of farmers who want to use drones to get a better picture of conditions of the fields.

Poe Named New Ag Director

Nov 16, 2015

Outgoing State Representative Raymond Poe -- who begins today as head of the agriculture department -- says he has a favorite as Republicans look to replace him.

New Trade Pact Meets Skepticism

Nov 5, 2015

The U-S Secretary of Agriculture says a new international trade partnership will help farmers and ranchers in Illinois, if it gains congressional approval. But some Chicago representatives are already skeptical of the plan. IPR’s Alissa Zhu reports.

Harvest Nearly Complete

Nov 3, 2015
IH Case Co.

Federal agriculture officials say the harvest is drawing to a close in Illinois. The USDA's weekly crop report says the corn and soybean harvests are 96 percent finished in Illinois. The sorghum harvest is 91 percent complete. The corn harvest is far ahead of last year at this time. The report says that winter wheat planting is about 89 percent finished and rated in fair to excellent condition. The harvest finishes after Illinois saw a warmer and drier October than average according to the state's climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey.

A third consecutive overall index drop in a monthly rural bankers survey suggests an economic slowdown is ahead for rural parts of 10 Western and Plains states. The Rural Mainstreet Index sank to 44.4 this month from 49.0 in September and 50.0 in August. The overall index is computed from various economic category scores, and survey organizers say any score below 50 suggests that factor will decline.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its corn and soybean harvest estimates based on updated harvest figures across the U.S. Farmers are expected to bring in 13.56 billion bushels of corn, about 1 percent lower than the September estimate, but still the third largest crop on record. Record per-acre corn yields are expected in 11 states including Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin and Illinois. Soybean production estimates are also 1 percent lower. But the 3.89 billion bushels would be the second largest on record.

Flickr user Tyrone via Creative Commons

ConAgra Foods will receive an unspecified amount of Illinois tax credits in exchange for 150 new jobs in the state as it moves its headquarters from Omaha, Nebraska, to Chicago. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity confirmed Thursday that Con Agra will benefit from a corporate-recruitment tool that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner put on hold in June amid an ongoing budget impasse with Democratic state lawmakers.