Agriculture

Topflight Grain lowers area's corn-yield projections for 2008

BEMENT – After two consecutive years of proclaiming "monstrous" corn yields for the area, officials at Topflight Grain are projecting slightly lower yields for 2008.

Teams of crop scouts sampling the corn population at random fields throughout Piatt, Champaign, Macon, Moultrie and Douglas counties between Friday and Tuesday for the 25th annual Topflight Grain Crop Tour found corn yields down a little from last year.


Strong market for crops helps raise area real estate values

URBANA – Illinois farmland is more valuable than ever before, according to a University of Illinois Extension study released Monday.

The average value of farm real estate in Illinois rose from $4,330 an acre in 2007 to $5,000 in 2008, according to Dale Lattz, a UI Extension farm management specialist who prepared the report based on data from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.


Local farmer touts benefits of adding miscanthus to list of crops

CHAMPAIGN – An area farmer who has been growing miscanthus for three years said the crop isn't quite as profitable as corn, but it can be significantly more profitable than soybeans.

But, in order for miscanthus to become a viable crop, ethanol plants that burn the product need to build locally to establish a market for it.


Groups announce formation of Renewable Energy Alliance

URBANA – A group of more than 120 organizations, schools, local governments and businesses are banding together to increase public and private use of renewable energy sources in Illinois.

Leaders of the movement announced the formation of the 25x'25 Illinois Renewable Energy Alliance on Thursday during the University of Illinois Agronomy Day at the South Farms.


Parkland hosting conference on farming and energy production

CHAMPAIGN – Farmers and area landowners can learn about the role Midwestern growers may have in producing energy at a conference planned next week at Parkland College.

"Preparing for Tomorrow's Harvest" is the theme for the conference, sponsored by the Champaign County Farm Bureau.


UI advisers helping African entrepreneurs test natural products

URBANA – For generations, African elders have taken careful note of plants that seemed to have health benefits.

Now, with the help of advisers from the University of Illinois and Rutgers, African entrepreneurs hope to bring those beneficial properties to the global marketplace – perhaps including them in pharmaceuticals or nutritional supplements.


Christie chief says clinic's plans to move still up in the air

CHAMPAIGN – Will they move or will they stay?


Rising costs to blunt rising revenue

Champaign farm owner Stephen Zehr got sticker shock when he opened his fertilizer bill last month.

A year ago he paid about $4,400 for nitrogen and other fertilizer for his farm.

He purchased about the same amount this year, and his bill was more than $10,600.


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