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Current News
Local News Releases
Farmer and AgrAbility client services rep assessing farm equipment.
Illinois AgrAbility ready to serve farmers across the state
URBANA, Ill. — Farmers have always been the backbone of America. The state of Illinois includes 72,650 farms that cumulatively harvest over 27 million acres and are operated by 118,000 producers. The work involved is not only the farmer’s livelihood but rather their way of life. ...
weather map showing drought conditions across Illinois
Illinois at increased risk of drought conditions
Parts of northeast, western, and central Illinois have been much drier than normal in the past four to six 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...
Red automated tractor driving through roadway near field.
Automated agricultural machinery requires new approaches to ensure safety
URBANA, Ill. — From self-driving tractors to weeding robots and AI-powered data collection, automated machinery is revolutionizing agricultural production. While these technological advancements can greatly improve productivity, they also raise new questions about safety measures and regulations...
Aaron Hager standing in soybean field surrounded by the weed waterhemp
Tank-mixing herbicides may not be enough to avoid herbicide resistance
URBANA, Ill. — Eight years ago, University of Illinois and USDA-ARS scientists turned weed control on its head. More and more herbicide resistant weeds were popping up, and the pest plants were getting harder to kill. It was clear farmers could no longer rely on the same chemicals year after...
rows of young corn plants growing in sunny field
Illinois Extension to create holistic regenerative ag course
URBANA, Ill. – Illinois’ agriculture industry is rooted in its soil. Now, University of Illinois Extension is continuing to invest in the earth by developing a regenerative agricultural program to bring healthy soil practices to farms and gardens statewide. The North Central Region...
map of chicago area
Be a part of the history of soils in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Your land, your soil may have been part of an historical and extensive soil sampling program dating back to 1899 by University of Illinois. University researchers and Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council are looking for...
carolyn banks
Cook County invests in the future of urban agriculture
URBANA, Ill. – From helping backyard gardeners provide locally grown foods to supporting the growing urban agriculture system, new University of Illinois Extension staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of diverse communities. ...
From ground to air to space: Tillage estimates get tech boost
URBANA, Ill. – According to national USDA statistics, no-till and conservation tillage are on the rise, with more than three-quarters of corn and soybean farmers opting for the practices to reduce soil erosion, maintain soil structure, and save on fuel. However, these estimates are based...
chilly stream near home
Gully erosion prediction tools can lead to better land management
URBANA, Ill. – ­Soil erosion is a significant problem for agricultural production, impacting soil quality and causing pollutants to enter waterways. Among all stages of soil erosion, gully erosion is the most severe phase, where large channels are carved through the field. Once gullies develop,...
sweet corn
Sweet corn sweltering in summer heat spells uncertainty for corn lovers
URBANA, Ill. – Few things say summer in America more than buttery corn on the cob, but as summer temperatures climb to unprecedented levels, the future of sweet corn may not be so sweet. New University of Illinois research shows sweet corn yields drop significantly with extreme heat during...
plane spraying herbicide
Aerial applications going full speed ahead this season
URBANA, Ill. – This year, nearly all of Illinois has experienced hot and humid conditions that can lead to fungal pathogens and insect pests in crops. Farmers can use ground equipment to apply fungicides or insecticides, but the machinery is slow and can injure crops. So, to protect their yield...