Prairie on campus will take time

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.

Damage may be done for corn; rain might save beans

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.

Harvest bountiful at UI student farm

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.

UI economist says corn, soybean prices set to peak by September

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.

Northeast students will get up-close lessons on healthy food

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 County Fair 2012

Photos from the Champaign County Fair in Urbana July 20 through July 28, 2012.

State farm bureau backs Davis

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.

Drought to take toll on hog producers

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.

GOW: Kay Gilliland

Kay Gilliland's garden at her home in Savoy on Thursday, June 28, 2012.

Historic Farm Days set in Penfield

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.