News Releases

wild parsnip
Identify, avoid, and manage troublesome wild parsnip
URBANA, Ill. — I love parsnips. Often parsnips, large white carrot-like root vegetables, are substituted for celery in my soups and stews. The cultivated parsnip that we eat heralds from the appropriately named wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa. However, wild parsnip is a plant to avoid. The wild...
weather map of Illinois showing normal vs observed precipitation levels
Illinois at increased risk of drought conditions
Parts of northeast, western, and central Illinois have been much drier than normal in the past 4 to 6 weeks, causing dry soils and lower streamflow. Perennials, gardens, and young trees in these areas have begun to show some response to the dryness, requiring more frequent watering than typical...
contest participants pose by signs
Youth excellence shines at 4-H public speaking contest
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –  4-H excels in preparing youth to speak well and confidently, and it is a skill that serves members for a lifetime. Youth from across the state recently came together to put their public speaking skills to the test during the Illinois 4-H State Public Speaking Contest held at...
bright purple flowers with yellow center
Plant top annuals of 2023 to create craveable container gardens
URBANA, Ill. – Experienced container gardeners likely know that successful containers have good drainage, appropriate sun exposure, and proper potting media. Get a jump on new annual arrivals each year, discover the best performers, and be the envy of your neighborhood this summer by building...
Backyard landscape filled with green grass, plants, flowers, and a tree.
Make time to be inspired by nature's lessons
URBANA, Ill. — Spending time in nature allows people to take in the world around them. In today's busy world, learning how to hit pause to take lessons from nature and explore the benefits of outdoor activities is vital. University of Illinois Extension...
A pair of redbud trees in bloom with pink flowers in spring alongside gravel road
Plant trees for every season
URBANA, Ill. – In a landscape, trees accomplish multiple tasks, from shading our homes to being a home for wildlife. They do everything from providing food to conserving water as well as contributing to our health and community well-being. As trees provide physical, environmental, and emotional...
Canned tomatoes
Learn 3 ways to can with confidence
UBBANA, Ill. — One of the best ways to preserve food is canning, a home-based method of food preservation that helps people prolong garden harvests, save on food costs, participate in family traditions, and control the quality of the food they eat. Discover how to can with confidence and...
Tomatoes on a vine
Southern Illinois series highlights diverse farming enterprises
SIMPSON, Ill. - Do you grow and sell fresh products locally? Are you considering diversifying your farming operation? Would you like to get to know your local farmer? Join University of Illinois Extension educators as they team up with area farmers to provide four monthly evening meetings to...
Bulbs that didn't work and a bulb that does shining on them
4-H youth honored for career achievements, leadership
URBANA, Ill. – 4-H youth across the state have been honored for their career achievements in the 4-H program. The State 4-H Experience Award offers recognition for members who took part in activities and events in the categories of Participation, Community Service, Leadership, and...
linda perucca demonstrates a food science skill on zoom
Youth get hands-on look at future in food science
Urbana, Ill. – Fifty-six youth from across Illinois got a hands-on look at a future in food science at a recent 4-H Food with Food Science virtual workshop held Feb. 16. In this interactive experience, youth were able to work with food scientist and 4-H alum, Linda Perucca, to learn more about...
4-H and FFA members judge animals at a livestock event.
Southern Illinois FFA and 4-H members place at livestock judging contest
DUQUOIN, Ill. – The cold weather didn't keep 126 local FFA and 4-H members from gathering at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for a livestock judging contest in early March. Livestock judging is the evaluation of an animal's characteristics and making a comparison to other animals and the ideal...