Ag chemical container drive set for August
A roundup of agricultural news:
TOLONO — Farmers in East Central Illinois will have a couple chances in mid-August to recycle their empty agrichemical containers.
As the result of a cooperative venture, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will have sites around the state for collecting the containers and recycling them into small plastic chips. Those chips will be used to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other products.
Collections will be made from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 at Weber Fertilizer in Buckley and from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 15 at United Prairie in Tolono. For more information about collections at those sites, contact Delmar Ecker at Buckley, 394-2042, and Ben Rawlins at Tolono, 485-6000.
Metal and household pesticide containers are not eligible for the recycling program.
Collection sites will accept only high-density polyethylene, No. 2 plastic, agrichemical containers that are clean and dry.
Participants are responsible for rinsing them and removing all caps, labels, booklets and foil seals.
The program is a cooperative venture including the Agriculture Container Recycling Council, Growmark, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, Container Services Network, Illinois Farm Bureau and University of Illinois Extension.
Pesticide pickup in Piatt, DeWitt counties
SPRINGFIELD — Separately, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is planning an agricultural pesticide "clean sweep collection" for several central Illinois counties — including DeWitt and Piatt — in late summer.
Under the program, residents of the counties can dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides for free. It's open to active or retired farmers, nursery owners, private pesticide applicators, structural pest control applicators and landowners who inherited unwanted ag pesticides with their property.
Participants must register the products they plan to dispose of by July 14, in order to give the waste disposal contractor time to prepare for the different materials that will need to be handled. Forms can be obtained by calling the department's pesticide hot line, 1-800-641-3934.
Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The mailing address is: Clean Sweep Program, Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield IL 62794-9281. The fax number is 217-524-4882.
Participants then will be sent a reservation card indicating the date, time and location of their collection.
Syngenta expands its facility in Clinton
CLINTON — Syngenta said the recent expansion of its corn and soybean research and development facility at Clinton resulted in the addition of up to eight new full-time jobs and a doubling of seasonal workers.
The $12 million expansion included a tripling in size of the soybean growth rooms, construction of seed cold storage, a new equipment maintenance shop and a new machinery storage building, according to a release from the company.
The Clinton facility, which has served the seed industry since 1936, now employs 60 full-time workers and about 125 seasonal workers.
It supports 235,000 corn and 144,000 soybean trial plots across 700 acres throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin annually.
The location features 105 acres of nursery for corn and 95 acres of nursery for soybeans.
Tyson Walters is site manager for the Clinton facility.
Illinois corn, soybean crops looking good
SPRINGFIELD — Eighty percent of the Illinois corn crop was rated good or excellent as of Sunday, as was 74 percent of the state's soybean crop, according to the Illinois office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Crop conditions broke down this way:
— Corn: 27 percent excellent, 53 percent good, 17 percent fair, 2 percent poor and 1 percent very poor.
— Soybeans: 20 percent excellent, 54 percent good, 22 percent fair, 3 percent poor and 1 percent very poor.
Statewide, 95 percent of the soybean crop had emerged, and 9 percent of soybeans were blooming as of Sunday.
In the state's eastern region, which includes Champaign-Urbana, Danville and Kankakee, the crop was farther along, with 99 percent of soybeans emerged and 17 percent blooming.
For the most part, soils in the eastern part of the state had just the right amount of moisture.
Eighty-three percent of topsoils had adequate moisture, while 15 percent had sur- plus moisture and 2 percent had too little moisture. Subsoils were also in good shape, with 82 percent having adequate moisture, 9 percent surplus, 8 percent short and 1 percent very short.