Atkins Group Director of Farm Management Jim Goss and Clearview Farm intern Sophia Hortin clear brush at the farm Monday in Champaign.

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CHAMPAIGN — The Atkins Group was taking advantage of the warm weather Monday to prepare the 140-acre Clearview Farm for sunflowers and 17 other crops.

The development tucked northeast of where interstates 57 and 74 intersect will showcase regenerative agriculture and include educational signs about the different crops.

“We’re just cleaning stuff up today,” Vice President of Farms Jim Goss said Monday. “We’re cleaning up scrubby trees and just getting it looking more presentable.”

Wheat and triticale were planted in the fall, and oats, flax and alfalfa are up next, Goss said.

“I don’t think we’ll be planting before the rain,” which is forecast for Thursday, Goss said. “Hopefully, we don’t get too much rain and get it done by the end of the week.”

The Atkins Group hopes to have everything in the ground by the end of May, with the final crops to be planted being different varieties of corn — white corn, sweet corn and popcorn — and the popular sunflowers.

Last year, The Atkins Group planted 34 acres of sunflowers at the Stone Creek subdivision in southeast Urbana, which became something of a social media sensation when they all bloomed in August.


Ben Zigterman is a reporter covering business at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@bzigterman).

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