CHAMPAIGN — Prospects look dubious for a new farm bill to be written this year, a former deputy agriculture secretary said.
Chuck Conner, who served under U.S. agriculture secretaries Mike Johanns and Ed Schafer from 2005 to 2009, said political gridlock and a presidential election year make the prospect unlikely.
A roundup of agriculture news.
Champaign County ranked fourth among Illinois counties last year in the number of soybean acres harvested and the number of bushels of soybeans produced.
But the average corn and soybean yields for area counties — while decent, relative to the rest of the state — weren't standouts.
BUCKLEY — Farmers can expect this growing season's weather to be more normal than last year's, Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel said.
A climate forecast model from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for a very wet March and moderately wet April followed by a dry May-to-August period, Angel said.
On a day that seems more like the first blush of spring than winter, Roy Van Arsdall drills a 7/16-inch hole slantways in a sugar maple and fits a metal spout into the tree trunk. An empty milk jug with a hole cut in it fits neatly over the spout, and within seconds sap drips against the plastic.
"It's running," he says with a smile.
CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois will host an international symposium on food and agricultural communications Feb. 17 at the I Hotel in Champaign.
The symposium, which will include speakers from business, academia, journalism, agriculture and an environmental group, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
BUCKLEY — An Iroquois County swine facility has agreed to pay more than $81,000 in fines to the state for illegally discharging livestock waste into a rural creek in 2009.
The Food for Families Drive brings in tons of food and more than $100,000 annually for the hungry, but the first attempt at a Champaign-Urbana food drive didn't go so well.
JAMAICA — Emergency workers rescued a man from a grain bin Tuesday morning at the grain elevator in Jamaica.
Two men were in the grain bin cleaning it early Tuesday morning, according to Roger Miller, general manager of Premiere Cooperative Inc. in Champaign, which owns the grain elevator in Jamaica.
MAHOMET — Richard Hungerford Jr. spent the first part of his career in the West, becoming an expert on livestock grazing and resource management in the harsh climates and fragile environments of Texas, North Dakota and Nebraska.
Sixteen years ago, he moved to Champaign County and found a land that was quite different.
Bob Allen was known around his hometown of Newman for his love of family, community and the family farm.
"If you live in paradise, why would you want to go anywhere else?" he used to say.
Allen's widow, Eileen, their four children and extended family just celebrated 175 years of their little piece of paradise on the family homestead in southeast Douglas County.