News and Blogs

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. ...
Headshot of Phil Cardoso, ACES, Extension Specialist
Cardoso named to board of the American Dairy Science Association
URBANA, Ill. — The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) has announced new board members to advance its mission to sustain and grow the global dairy industry. Appointed to a three-year term as production division director is Phil Cardoso...
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...
group of kids
Barrow Boosters in Second Year of Program
Last year was the beginning of the Barrow Boosters program for Edwards County 4-H members that would like to take a swine project. There were nine members that took advantage of the program.  The youth received their barrows in March of 2022 and had them ready for the Swine Show in July.  The...
Angus bull
IPT bulls average $4,400, exceed previous sales
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – This year's Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale average exceeded all previous sales, averaging $4,440 on the 49 lots offered Feb. 23 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.  "This sale continues to be one of the best sources for total performance genetics...
Black and white cattle eating out of a trough in an open air facility
Early adopters find unique approaches to alternative cow housing systems
URBANA, Ill. – Rising property prices, bad weather, and shrinking pasture acreage challenge Illinois ranchers and limit herd sizes. But what happens when cow and calf producers move cattle into open-air buildings for long periods? That is what University of Illinois staff and Extension...
sheep poking head out from gates
Next generation of livestock leaders gain hands-on skills at youth conference
DECATUR, Ill.— The next generation of livestock leaders gained hands-on experience in the livestock field at this year’s Illinois 4-H Junior Livestock Conference held Jan. 21-22 at the Decatur Hotel & Conference Center.  Attendees included 100 youth from 50 counties across Illinois,...
calf
Beef up your 2023 beef herd management
URBANA, Ill – Producers can improve herd management by learning latest research on cover crop performance, grazing farms, soil health, and drainage practices during the 2023 Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7 at the...
young farmer planting seeds
What is driving the high suicide rate among farmers?
URBANA, Ill. — Josie Rudolphi is a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign whose research examined suicide among farmers and ranchers, as...
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...
4-H livestock award winners
Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team places seventh in the nation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Illinois State 4-H Livestock Judging Team took seventh in the nation at the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. This contest is held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.  ...
pigs with 4-H logo
Illinois 4-H Skillathon Team Crowned National Champions
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Illinois 4-H Livestock Skillathon Team recently topped 20 teams from across U.S. to bring home the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Champion title. The contest was held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock...
trophy and 4H logo
Illinois 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl Team named fourth in the nation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Illinois State 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl Team was named fourth in the nation at the National 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl Contest held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.   ...
bull
Nominate bulls for 2023 IPT Bull Sale
URBANA, Ill. – Breeders must nominate bulls by Dec. 1 for consideration to the 2023 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale. The sale will be Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and includes old and young bulls. Young bulls must have calved between Jan. 1, 2021 and...
livestock winners
Record number of youth compete for superior young livestock producer honor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A record number of 4-H members from across Illinois competed for scholarships in the 2022 4-H Illinois Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest held on Aug.10 in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair. Fifty-two competitors vied for this year's top honors. This...
beef cattle in field
Make informed decisions for your beef herd
BAYLIS, Ill., – Producers weigh management options to build profitable cattle herds. Researchers at this year's Orr Beef Research Center Field Day will review several management practices to consider. The field at begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Ag Sciences Complex and Fred...
The Cattle Connection
Angus bull picture
Read article: Start Selecting 2024 Illinois Performance Tested Bulls
Start Selecting 2024 Illinois Performance Tested Bulls
Seedstock breeders should be identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2024 Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the...
Small group of black and white Simmental cows grazing in cornstalks.
Read article: Can I graze cows on cornstalks?
Can I graze cows on cornstalks?
Grazing cornstalks is arguably the best cost-saving strategy Midwestern cattlemen can deploy. The cost of grazing cornstalks is low; first because...
Calf with 2-step weaning nose insert
Read article: Investigating the two-step weaning strategy in beef calves
Investigating the two-step weaning strategy in beef calves
It is that time of year again when producers are preparing to wean  calves. Weaning can be one of the most stressful events for both the calf and the...
Cow with mouth open from heat
Read article: Managing heat stress in cattle
Managing heat stress in cattle
Heat stress is a multifaceted issue that poses significant challenges to beef cattle producers, impacting animal welfare, health, and profitability....
Sign at Dixon Springs Ag Center displaying the U.S. Forest Service and University of Illinois branding
Read article: 2023 Dixon Springs Beef Day
2023 Dixon Springs Beef Day
Dixon Springs Ag Center to Host Beef Day Illinois Extension and the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences are pleased to announce the...
cows drinking water
Read article: Sustainable water management for beef cattle during drought
Sustainable water management for beef cattle during drought
Drought conditions pose significant challenges for beef cattle producers, particularly in terms of ensuring an adequate water supply for their herds...
Cow/Calf herd grazing on dry pasture
Read article: What are alternative forage options for beef cattle producers during a drought?
What are alternative forage options for beef cattle producers during a drought?
Cattle producers have been watching pasture productivity underperform due to dry conditions. Lower forage availability in pastures and hayfields has...
Cows grazing red clover regrowth in pasture
Read article: Reminders for cattle producers dealing with dry conditions
Reminders for cattle producers dealing with dry conditions
As temperatures start to rise and rain becomes scarce, cattle farmers are facing the challenge of managing their herds in dry weather conditions....