SAVOY — Samplings from Champaign County corn fields indicate the county's yield average may be 30 percent lower than last year.
Dozens of people combed corn fields across the county Wednesday as part of Premier Cooperative's crop survey. Some were pleasantly surprised by what they found. Others were utterly dismayed.
SPRINGFIELD — The condition of Illinois corn and soybean crops deteriorated further last week largely due to lack of rain,
Statistics from the Illinois Department of Agriculture show 71 percent of the corn crop was rated poor or very poor as of Sunday, up from 66 percent a week ago.
URBANA — Somewhere out there among the unruly crabgrass grow shooting star flowers, asters, wild quinine and more.
It might be hard to see them through the pokeweed and weedy grasses that student interns have been busy yanking out of the ground in the July heat. But they're there: blazing star, milkweed, black-eyed susans.
Any rain that comes now will be too late to help the corn crop, but it might salvage soybeans, area farmers say.
At this point, neither crop looks good in East Central Illinois.
Some corn growers will be lucky if they get half the yield they usually get, said Dave Sadler, who farms in western Vermilion County between Fithian and Ogden.
URBANA — Three-and-a-half years after it was first established on campus, the University of Illinois Sustainable Student Farm is having its best year ever.
Despite the drought.
On a recent morning, workers and volunteers harvested salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers and plenty of that ubiquitous summer vegetable, the zucchini.
URBANA — University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good expects corn and soybean prices to peak sometime this summer or fall.
"It is widely anticipated that corn and soybean prices will reach a peak early, sometime in a relatively wide window around harvest time, and then decline as the marketing year progresses," Good said in a UI news release.
DANVILLE — In the last few years, Northeast Elementary students have been learning about eating healthy as part of the magnet school's health and wellness focus. They have studied good nutrition, snacked on fresh fruits and veggies and practiced making all kind of healthy snacks, among other things.
CHAMPAIGN — Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis has won the endorsement of the Illinois Farm Bureau's political action committee, backing that will yield him in-kind support in his 13th Congressional District race against Democrat David Gill, a Bloomington physician.
The endorsement was announced Wednesday, following interview sessions Tuesday in Springfield with both candidates.
A roundup of agricultural news:
URBANA — Hog farmers could be hurt as much as — if not more than — grain farmers by this year's drought, a Purdue University Extension economist said.
PENFIELD — Minneapolis-Moline and BF Avery farm equipment will reign at this year's Historic Farm Days, which runs through this weekend in Penfield. And don't be surprised to see a Doodlebug or two.