News Spotlight
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…

Overhead view of farmland filled with solar panels.

Attend field day to learn how agrivoltaics boosts energy, resiliency in food production

URBANA, Ill. — Continuing to feed a growing world is the agriculture industry's future, and the demand for sustainability is here. One avenue of exploration includes agrivoltaics or solar energy within production agriculture.

“The relatively recent idea combines solar panels for…

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Person driving a tractor without a cab on a rural road.
Level up safety first thinking during the spring planting season
URBANA, Ill. — Current spring weather conditions have a lot of tractors parked for now, but when the weather clears and fields dry, it will be a fast-paced season for planting 2024 statewide. Although another Midwest farming season may seem routine, the agriculture industry is highly...
Youth teams standing at a crop scouting station discussing plants with a researcher.
Illinois crop competition calls for youth scouting teams
URBANA, Ill. — The Illinois Youth Crop Scouting Competition is not just any competition. It is a unique opportunity for agriculture students to showcase skills and knowledge while working on a team competing for a prize...
a group of children stand at a table full of potted plants in a classroom
Plant positivity, learn how to grow a school or community garden
URBANA, Ill. — When green spaces fill schoolyards and neighborhoods with flowers and fresh produce, children and communities thrive. But the journey from the idea of starting a community or school-based garden to planting one that is built to last is long. What funding sources are available?...
Recent quarter-sized holes in the soil made by periodical cicadas
Enjoy the silence. Cicadas are coming
If you haven't heard the buzz, you will soon. Billions of periodical cicadas are coming, and University of Illinois Extension is sharing information to help track their moves before emergence. “Historically speaking, 2024 is a big year for...
Erin Garret standing next to little bluestem in a garden
Grasses at a Glance blog earns award from national Extension organization
URBANA, Ill. — Grasses are a small and often subtle backbone of many ecosystems, making up nearly 30% of the planet’s land cover. They prevent soil erosion, regulate water flow, and provide food and habitat for wildlife and livestock. But ask someone to identify one grass from another, and you...
pressure canner tested
Get your pressure canner tested for free by Illinois Extension
URBANA, Ill. — Spring is a great time to take inventory of your canning equipment to prepare for the summer canning season. If you have a dial gauge pressure canner, make it a habit to get it tested by Illinois Extension every year. Various...
Row of blooming Callery pear trees
Six replacement trees for invasive Callery pear
URBANA, Ill. — Now considered an invasive species, Callery pear is a widely used ornamental flowering tree with negative effects on native ecosystems. The tree is still bought, sold, and planted because it has not yet made the...
two morel mushrooms growing on the forest floor
Spring brings opportunity to forage wild mushrooms
URBANA, Ill. — Spring is a time of change. Migrating birds return. Ephemeral wildflowers start popping up. And morel mushrooms start appearing prompting enthusiastic mushroom hunters to scour forests across Illinois in search of the elusive and delectable fungi. Determined...
Row of green evergreens and shrubs planted as a windbreak in a yard.
Discover added benefits to planting windbreaks
URBANA, Ill. — Windbreaks are utilized as critical components of agriculture worldwide and have been for centuries. Traditionally, windbreaks are linear plantings layered with trees and shrubs primarily designed to reduce wind speeds. Also known as shelterbelts, windbreaks have the potential to...
Up close view of a calculator laying next to corn kernels and soybeans.
Determining cash rent on Illinois farmland
URBANA, Ill. — One of the most consistently asked questions to University of Illinois Extension offices across the state is, what is the going rate for cash rent for farmland? Cash rent rates are a common yet recurring question that is...
A man at a podium presents to a room full of people
Future forests rely on stewardship, knowledge of private landowners
FREEPORT, Ill. — A forest is many things. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife. Their leaves clean the air, and their roots filter water, slow floods, and prevent soil erosion. Timber products are crucial to local economies and tourism. Forests and woodlands also once made up more...
Ignite youth gather in front of banner.
National leadership super summit gives teens new pathways
Washington, D.C.. – Eighteen teen leaders from across Illinois were chosen to represent Illinois 4-H at the Ignite by 4-H Summit to be held Mar. 13-17 in Washington D.C. Teens experienced four days of inspiring and engaging panels, respected speakers, workshop sessions, entertainment and...
Road Trip attendees look at a presenter.
Illinois youth attend first 4-H post-high school success conference
URBANA, Ill. — Over 140 eighth through 12th graders from across Illinois headed to the Illini Union on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus for a 4-H College and Career Road Trip. This dynamic conference was aimed at preparing Illinois youth for the journey into higher education...
Turmeric spice roots image
Spice-Healthcare: Dietary assessments for culturally diverse older adults
URBANA, Ill. — A cross-campus team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, led by Kinesiology and Community Health Assistant Professor Mina Raj, has received two grants to test an online platform designed to help dietitians, clinicians and food service personnel make...

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