CHAMPAIGN – Seed companies have become a hot commodity as biotechnology giants seek more ways to get their crop-genetics technology to market.
During the last decade, Monsanto Co. acquired Asgrow and DeKalb Genetics. DuPont absorbed Pioneer Hi-Bred. And Syngenta acquired NK, Garst and Golden Harvest seeds.
The Treasury. The Capitol. The White House.
Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., is a far cry from Pennsylvania Avenue, Urbana.
MAHOMET – Rick Kumler splits his days between fishing in a clear blue lake and getting physical therapy for injuries from a motorcycle accident.
He prefers the fishing at River Bend Forest Preserve, which gets its formal opening Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. River Bend is due south of Mahomet, just off Illinois 47.
URBANA – Canned peas or fresh peas?
Rebecca Russell will take fresh vegetables any day. And if they were grown locally, well, that's even better.
Russell is the force behind a new University of Illinois student organization called Just.Food. She and other students want to raise awareness about the benefits of eating locally grown, organic produce.
Gary Parker looks at images from Saturn's moon Titan and sees the Sangamon, the Illinois, the Wabash and other earthbound rivers.
Oh, there are differences to be sure. That stuff running in Titan's rivers is probably liquid methane, not water, for one thing. And if you plucked a stone from the shore to skip across the surface, you likely would be skipping ice, not rock.
BROADLANDS – Kevin Donoho looked at Joe Rothermel's field, full of tiny corn plants, and he liked what he saw.
SPRINGFIELD – A site just west of Tuscola is one of four Illinois finalists for a $1 billion project touted as the "coal plant of the future," according to Brian Moody, executive director of Tuscola Economic Development Inc.
The FutureGen project is expected to create 1,300 construction jobs at its peak and about 150 permanent jobs at the plant, plus as many as 750 permanent indirect jobs, Moody said.
RURAL MONTICELLO – Fred and Ginger are living the good life.
They have a brand-new dog house, a doting human and 3 acres to romp and bark at wildlife to their hearts' content. The barking-at-wildlife part is actually their job.
ROYAL – An Indiana agribusiness company is planning to build a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant in this rural Champaign County town.
JBS United, which operates several grain elevators in Illinois and Michigan, including one in Royal, announced Thursday it intends to construct the plant, but a company spokesperson declined to offer many details about the project.
CHAMPAIGN – If you think Illinois is all about corn and soybeans, you haven't heard the latest on the grapevine.
Vineyards and wineries across the state have flourished in recent years, blossoming into a $20 million annual industry.