A roundup of agricultural news:
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois was the top soybean-producing state in 2013 and had the second-biggest corn crop, behind Iowa's, according to statistics released Friday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Illinois produced 462 million bushels of soybeans, up 20 percent from the previous year. The state produced 2.1 billion bushels of corn for grain, up 63 percent from 2012.
The average soybean yield for Illinois was 49 bushels per acre, third-highest yield on record.
The average yield on corn was 178 bushels per acre, also the third-highest on record.
Illinois produced 55.6 million bushels of winter wheat in 2013, with an average yield of 67 bushels per acre.
Sustainable farm manager to talk
CHAMPAIGN — Zack Grant, manager of the Sustainable Student Farm at the University of Illinois, will describe what goes on at the farm during a Feb. 7 lecture at Parkland College.
Grant's presentation, "Sustainable Year-Round Farming and the Sustainable Student Farm," is part of the "World of Science" lecture series at Parkland. It will start at 7 p.m. in the college's Staerkel Planetarium.
Admission will be $1 at the door, with Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium admitted for free.
Grant will describe a year of farming at the 6-acre student farm, which provides locally grown food to UI residence halls. He will also tell what it takes to grow vegetables year-round.
Grant has managed the student farm project for five years. He received a bachelor's degree in horticulture/agribusiness from Illinois State University and a master's degree in horticulture from the UI.
For more information about the student farm, visit thefarm.illinois.edu.
Prairie group receives state grant
URBANA — Grand Prairie Friends, an Urbana-based conservation organization, has received a $2,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help support a summer internship program.
Last summer, the organization hired two interns, Joe Boise and Will Wright, who worked about 700 hours removing invasive weeds from sites owned by the group.
Grand Prairie Friends seeks to preserve and restore natural areas in East Central Illinois by buying prairie, woodland and wetland areas and by helping individuals and organizations, such as the Champaign County Forest Preserve District, with ecological stewardship of their areas.
The group owns about 186 acres at seven sites including Embarras Ridges, a 141-acre forest in Coles County. Other sites are located in Champaign, Iroquois and Vermilion counties.
Crop management conference slated
CHAMPAIGN — Champaign will be one of four sites where University of Illinois Extension will host its annual Illinois Crop Management Conference this year.
The two-day conference will be Feb. 5 and 6 at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., with sessions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
The conference, geared toward farmers and certified crop advisers, will cover recent research on crops, pests, nutrients and soil and water management.
Advance registration, which includes lunch each day, is $130. Registration at the door is $150. Online registration can be made at extension.illinois.edu/go/icmcchampaign.
Other dates and locations for the conference are: Jan. 22 and 23 in Mount Vernon, Jan. 29 and 30 in Springfield and Feb. 12 and 13 in Malta.
Topics include: "Achieving High Corn Yields in a Low Commodity Price World," "Western Corn Rootworm Resistance to Bt" and "Extreme Weather Events: Climate Change or Normal Variability?"