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Yellow and grey Cedar waxwing bird in an evergreen.

Bring birds close to home by gardening for feathered friends

URBANA, Ill. — People plant gardens for food, flowers, and function, but planting for the birds can be beautiful and beneficial to the environment. What if instead of storebought bird seed in a feeder, gardens could include a buffet of different foods for birds while also being a beautiful…

Up close view of a brown marmorated stink bug on a green leaf.

New online agriculture course grows skills in identifying corn, soybean field insects

URBANA, Ill. — One thing is for sure, if there is a farm field, insects will visit it. Having the skills to identify insects inhabiting crop fields across the Midwest improves one’s ability to identify and effectively manage insect pests while avoiding unnecessary interventions that may…

Wind farm over a field of soybeans

Illinois clean energy transition excludes key constituents in energy justice equation

URBANA, Ill. — Illinois has made transitioning to clean energy a major priority in recent years with the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016 and the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act in 2021. Both pieces of legislation prioritize an equitable transition, aiming to avoid and address…

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Group of yellow and purple perennial plants.
Four Seasons Gardening series ushers in the fall season with care
URBANA, Ill. — As seasons shift, take care and fall into gardening with ease. Find healing, growth, and how adding a little planning keeps the mind going and growing. Explore how to keep the season alive with tips for dividing perennials, continuing self-growth, and healing with time...
Combine unloading into wagon
Focus on safety to prevent accidents during busy harvest season
URBANA, Ill. — Harvest season is beginning across the state, and for farmers, this means early mornings, long days, and the potential for exhaustion that can lead to accidents. University of Illinois Extension Specialist and Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Assistant...
Crowd watching a drone seeding a field.
Digital agriculture, cutting-edge technology: Transforming farming practices
GALVA, Ill. — On a crisp fall day, a gathering of 47 dedicated producers and conservation professionals convened at Brian Corkill's farm just outside of Galva for an enlightening session on the future of agriculture. Dennis Bowman, a digital agriculture specialist from the University of Illinois...
A woman at a table covered in flyers and pamphlets holds a guide book open while speaking with another woman
Extension grows agriculture connections at Farm Progress Show
DECATUR, Ill. — Agriculture is not just a job; it’s a way of life for so many, and it’s part of University of Illinois Extension’s mission to help. The 2023 Farm Progress Show, hosted Aug. 28-30 in Decatur, Ill., attracted...
Monarch caterpillars crawling around milkweed plants.
Butterflies can eat to live, live to eat in a balanced garden
URBANA, Ill. — A favorite thing about visiting gardens in the summer is catching sight of a butterfly enjoying nectar from a brightly colored zinnia or a monarch caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf. When designing a butterfly garden, expand and balance plant selection to provide more than...
class winners and their dogs pose with ribbons
Wet noses, wagging tails, friendly competition greet 4-H dog exhibitors
DIXON, Ill. — It was a day filled with wet noses and wagging tails as more than 150 dog owners competed for championship honors in the 2023 Illinois 4-H State Dog Show held Aug. 26 at the Granny Rose K-9 Enrichment Dog facility in Dixon. 4-H members who excel in the 4-H dog project are...
Up close image of purple coneflowers
Build drought-tolerant gardens this fall for next summer’s blooms
URBANA, Ill. — Many Illinois gardens are entering the fall stressed from the lack of summer rains combined with scorching hot temperatures. These conditions easily stress some plants; however, many plants quickly adapt to hot, dry conditions. Drought-tolerant plants are not only tough and...
winners pose for the camera
4-H members learns life, career skills at state poultry competition
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Judging contests help kids improve their decision-making skills while teaching them to defend those decisions by giving voice to their reasoning. Poultry judging teaches standards of poultry and egg production to ensure a safe and nutritious consumer product. Youth from...
Planted shrubs lined up along a fence.
Build privacy with plants for secret gardens
URBANA, Ill. — Plants serve a lot of purposes in the landscape. One of which is to add some privacy. Screening plants can help define and give purpose to a space. Homeowners may wish to screen a particular area or transparency in the landscape, creating interest in what lies beyond. ...
4-H volunteers awarded with Hall of Fame
Extraordinary 4-H volunteers honored
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois 4-H empower and prepare youth for success as the program relies on its more than 6,000 volunteers to fill key leadership and mentoring roles. Fifty-three volunteers were recently honored by Illinois 4-H for their selfless dedication to the University of Illinois...

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