Tractorcade planned for Farm Bureau anniversary

CHAMPAIGN — Don't be surprised if you see a long line of tractors in Champaign on Saturday.

About two dozen tractors — dating from 1939 to 1980 — are expected to take part in a tractor drive marking the Champaign County Farm Bureau's 100th anniversary.

Senator: Transit bill good for state, C-U

CHAMPAIGN — A federal transportation bill approved by Congress in late June will help Illinois, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday, but it's not enough.

Rain, cool-off boost beans

SPRINGFIELD — Last week's cooler temperatures and above-normal rainfall improved Illinois soil moisture and perked up the soybean crop a bit.

Plus, the corn harvest picked up steam, with 3 percent of the state's corn crop harvested as of Sunday, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

GOW: Kirtley

The garden of Michael and Susan Kirtley in Urbana  on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

Edamame given star role in latest UI Agronomy Day tour

URBANA — Here in the heart of soybean country, some folks aren't acquainted with edamame (eh-duh-MAH-may), the edible soybean.

That was underscored Thursday when folks on a University of Illinois Agronomy Day tour tried some edamame samples.

Instead of digging seeds out of the pod to eat, some put the whole pod in their mouths and chewed it before spitting it out.

UI ag economist: Soybean, corn prices may stay high

URBANA — Corn and soybean prices could remain high for "an extended period," a University of Illinois agricultural economist said following the Agriculture Department's release of new crop estimates.

The department on Friday cut its estimate of the U.S. corn crop by 17 percent and the U.S. soybean crop by 12 percent.

Rains make little difference in crop conditions

SPRINGFIELD — A little rain last week added moisture to the state's topsoil, but the prospects for Illinois corn and soybean crops didn't improve, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

As of Sunday, 74 percent of the state's corn crop was rated poor or very poor, up from 71 percent the previous week, the department said.

Corn yield projections all over the map

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.

2012 Corn Yields

Kris Ehler, Thomasboro talks about 2012 corn yields while surveying area fields as part of Premier Cooperative's annual crop tour in rural Thomasboro on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

Crop conditions continue to slide

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.