News Releases

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...
bee on flower
Take small steps to improve, support the environment this winter
URBANA, Ill. – Widespread environmental issues like changing weather patterns and habitat loss can feel overwhelming, but small everyday choices make a difference. Explore sustainable maple syrup harvesting, tornado trends in the U.S., and what research says about how to support pollinators in...
cover crops in field
Cover cropping up to 7.2% in U.S. Midwest, boosted by government programs
URBANA, Ill. – Cover crops, with their ability to reduce erosion and promote soil health, are being planted across more Midwestern land than ever. That’s according to new University of Illinois research showing cover crop adoption reached 7.2% in 2021, up from just 1.8% a decade prior. The...
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,...
digging up invasive plants
Best way to estimate costs for invasive plant removal? Get out and dig
URBANA, Ill. – Plants are designed to travel. They might not stand up and walk, but many plants produce seeds or other bits that can be carried long distances by wind or animals and start growing. While that might be great news for the plant, escapes like these can disrupt natural ecosystems and...
nimbleweed
Grassy weeds becoming more common in lawns
URBANA, Ill. — When confronted with lawn weeds, typically we think of dandelion, creeping Charlie, and violet. These plants and many others are classified as broadleaved weeds, or dicots, and are easily distinguished from grasses which are monocots. Scientists have engineered herbicides that...
Little bluestem is a native prairie grass with beauty in all four seasons, including excellent fall color.
Native prairie grasses create distinct, breezy aesthetic in home landscape
URBANA, Ill. — Nothing beats the light and airy look of tall, distinctive grasses in a landscape arrangement. The fluffy seedheads and slender, attractive stems practically dance in the wind on breezy days, adding texture as well as a structural element to any landscape bed.    For many...
orange and black monarch butterfly sits on pink swamp milkweed flowers
Give monarch butterflies something to munch on, plant native milkweeds
URBANA, Ill. – Imagine eating only one type of food your entire life. Your survival depends entirely on being able to find this food. This is the challenge monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, face every day as landscapes change nationwide and fewer native plants are available. But home...
Illinois Extension wordmark
Microclovers making a comeback as lawns grow in biodiversity
URBANA, Ill. – Clovers are making a comeback in lawn seed mixes. Today many families want to attract more pollinators to their yards. They are searching for ecologically sound ways to grow grass, including adding white clover back to the turf seed mix. Clover adds diversity to lawns and provides...
A large open area being flooded
Slow stormwater, prevent floods with rain friendly landscaping
URBANA, Ill. – Life does not exist without water. Gardens don’t grow without water. But what happens when there is too much of a good thing? Or when that good thing is mismanaged and becomes a misfortune. Or when there are prolonged periods of drought? “The tale of stormwater is more...
Natural lawn care made easy with new eco-friendly guide
URBANA, Ill. – Every summer weekend, like clockwork, the roar of lawnmowers fills neighborhoods across the state as homeowners and landscape companies try to keep up with the never-ending chore that is lawn care. ...
Armyworms march into Illinois' fields, lawns, gardens
  URBANA, Ill. – Fall armyworm caterpillars are enjoying a bountiful meal at the expense of farmers and homeowners. Prevalent in the southern states, the adult moths move north to Illinois to mate and lay eggs. This year’s appearance is earlier and in higher numbers, says...