AUDIO: Illinois crop report 7-28-14

AUDIO: Illinois crop report 7-28-14: Play now!

The UDSA's Doug Hartwig has a look at the week that was in Illinois agriculture.


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Government's share of crop insurance costs heading up

By Robert Holly and Pam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

After two years of debate, Congress passed a farm bill this year that replaced direct subsidies to farmers with an ever-increasing multibillion-dollar federal crop-insurance program.

UI Extension surveys farmers markets prices

A roundup of agriculture news, compiled by The News-Gazette's Don Dodson

URBANA — Illinois produce farmers can get a better handle on what the market is bearing, with University of Illinois Extension staff collecting data on what's charged at farmers' markets.

That's cool: An atypical July

CHAMPAIGN — July is supposed to be the hottest month of the year in central Illinois.

Not this year.

The average temperature so far this month in Champaign is 70.4 degrees, or almost 5 degrees below the historical average of 75. It's also lower than last month's average temperature in Champaign-Urbana — 73.4 degrees.

Researchers look to past for clues on record yield

A roundup of agriculture news

URBANA — University of Illinois agricultural economists Scott Irwin and Darrel Good were curious.

How has this year's weather stacked up with the weather in years that produced high corn yields?

Ready for a FAIR bit of fun

URBANA — There's more music and a new ride at the 2014 Champaign County Fair.

Among the bands are Blackjack Billy — with their big hit "Booze Cruise" — the Feudin' Hillbillys, Blackberry Smoke featuring Matt Poss Band and Scotty McCreery featuring Gracia Harrison.

How sweet it is

URBANA — Whether you like it boiled, grilled or ripped right from the stalk and eaten fresh, now is the time to start loading up on local sweet corn from area roadside stands and farmers markets.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, the folks at Griest's stand off High Cross Road in Urbana pick the ears around 5:30 a.m. and start selling them around 3 p.m. until they're out.

AUDIO: recent rain impacts local crops

AUDIO: recent rain impacts local crops: Play now!

The head of Champaign County Farm Bureau says the recent heavy rain we've experienced in East Central Illinois has had a mostly positive effect on corn but not as much on soybeans. Michael Kiser reports.


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Energy firm takes steps toward expansion of biodiesel facility

DANVILLE — Although there are no specific plans for expansion, Renewable Energy Group Inc. has purchased several lots next to its Danville biodiesel production facility and is asking the city to vacate alleys and portions of streets in the area and change the zoning from residential to industrial.

WEED DATING: Mixing farming and friendship

You've heard of speed dating? Well, a Champaign-based group that promotes sustainable agriculture is offering a new twist, called "weed dating."

"We're doing it to help people meet other like-minded people who are interested in sustainable agriculture for both friendship and dating," said Magdalena Casper-Shipp, office manager and program coordinator for The Land Connection.

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