Agriculture | WGLT

Agriculture

Catrina Petersen / WGLT

U.S. representatives from central Illinois and Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said they have high hopes for a common plant they believe will be a "wonder weed," during a tour of the ISU Farms near Lexington.

Erin Ripley-Gataric with kids
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Passers-by are getting quite a view outside a home on Vernon Avenue in Normal: Instead of flower beds chilling in the front yard, there are 15-foot stalks of corn.

Alex Sing

A documentary film about an organic vegetable farmer in Woodford County is now available to a much wider audience.

Illinois State University

An Illinois State University researcher’s project is getting a $13 million boost from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Scott Trimble in a field
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The tomato hornworm didn’t stand a chance in Scott Trimble’s field.

As Trimble walked his field near Heyworth, out of the corner of his eye he spotted a roly-poly hornworm eating one of his tomato plants for breakfast. Trimble picked it up, showed it to a visiting reporter, and squashed it with his shoe.

Cows feeding
Ropp Jersey Cheese

The restaurant shutdown caused by the pandemic has hurt independent dairies in Illinois and prompted them to revert to practices that faded out in the 1970s and '80s: home delivery.

Boys & Girls Club
Bridget Caldwell

The McLean County Ag in the Classroom program is finding new ways to engage students since classrooms are closed because of COVID-19.

A giant of Illinois agriculture has died. Former state representative, state agriculture director and longtime 4-H booster Gordon Ropp was 87 years old.

Sonny Perdue
John O'Connor / AP

McLean County farmers and landowners have been sent over $68 million in USDA trade relief payments so far—and one ag industry watcher says more may be on the way.

Richard Guebert speaking at conference
Facebook/Illinois Farm Bureau

The head of the Illinois Farm Bureau on Wednesday told the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee the China trade agreement is good for the country. That's in spite of trade war damage to Illinois farmers.

dairy cows
Jeff Roberson / AP

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said Tuesday the new U.S. trade agreement with Canada and Mexico will make two of the state's top export markets even stronger.

Gracie Weinzierl
Ryan Denham / WGLT

2019 was a memorable year for central Illinois farmers—and not in a good way. Trade disputes cut into prices and drove up anxiety. A soggy planting season led to a late harvest. And just as farmers finally were able to get into this fields this fall, it snowed.

John and Bridget
Courtesy

Teacher Katie Buckley needed to show her students in LeRoy the many real-world applications of the STEM concepts they were learning about. That made agriculture a no-brainer.

Sonny Perdue speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Illinois’ two senators are calling on the USDA to rework its massive trade aid program to fix what they see as inequities and a lack of transparency into how payments are doled out.

man at podium speaking.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Chinese consul general in Chicago said talks to end the trade war are at a critical point. During a speech at Illinois State University, Zhao Jian said the world's two largest economies are interdependent.

Giant check presentation
DeAnne Bloomberg / Illinois Farm Bureau

The Illinois State University farm will buy new equipment with help from a $50,000 gift from the Illinois Farm Bureau's board of directors.

Pennycress in a field
Maliheh Esfahanian

Illinois State University researchers are part of a team that’s creating a new crop that could help both the environment and farmers' bottom lines.

Industrial hemp growers are still working through some kinks to comply with state rules and have a successful growing season.

Jeff Hake
Eric Stock / WGLT

This is the last in a four-part series about how the USDA’s trade relief payments are playing out in Central Illinois. It was produced by WGLT and WCBU.

This is the third in a four-part series about how the USDA’s trade relief payments are playing out in Central Illinois. It was produced by WCBU and WGLT.

This is the second in a four-part series about how the USDA’s trade relief payments are playing out in Central Illinois. It was produced by WCBU and WGLT.

Wes Kingdon poses
Ryan Denham / WGLT

This is the first in a four-part series about how the USDA’s trade relief payments are playing out in Central Illinois. It was produced by WGLT and WCBU.

Chad Leman
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Want to know farmer Chad Leman’s top concern? It’s not the trade dispute with China.

Rich Guebert speaks
Illinois Farm Bureau / Facebook

An economist with the American Farm Bureau visiting Normal this week said the trade dispute with China has shown how “dangerous” overreliance on one customer can be.

Combine harvests corn
Nati Harnik / AP

Central Illinois farmers produce a lot of corn and soybeans. But they also produce tons of data.

Google Maps view of the plant
Google Maps

UPDATED 3:40 p.m. | An unknown number of people will lose their jobs after Corteva Agriscience announced Wednesday it is closing its commercial soybean production facility in LeRoy.

Sibley Celebrates Vibrant and Rich History

Jul 3, 2019
Sibley Business and Historical Association

Small towns across Illinois are having a rough go to keep their culture alive. For decades rural populations have been falling. Some subside into tiny crossroads communities. Others keep trying.

Drone hovers off the ground
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

At the edge of the McLean County fairgrounds, a sound like a swarm of bees filled the air.

Two men stand at a podium
John O'Connor / AP

The Illinois Department of Agriculture received nearly 400 applications to grow or process industrial hemp in the first 24 hours after they became available.

Agriculture officials said Wednesday they received 295 applications to grow the plant on 7,100 acres (2,873 hectares). Another 74 applications to process the harvested crop arrived.

A change in state law last summer allowed growing the crop in Illinois for the first time in decades. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Tuesday that applications to grow this season are availabl

John Sullivan was chosen by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to head the Illinois Department of Agriculture, succeeding former director Raymond Poe. 

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