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 ...
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.  ...
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...
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
A swarm of flies congregate on a bull's back
Read article: Effective Fly Control Methods Can Save Money
Effective Fly Control Methods Can Save Money
Written by Payton Block As June begins, flies are ready to bother cattle all summer long. It is important to plan an effective fly control...
A collection of small ticks gather on the end of a leaf
Read article: Livestock recommendations for the Asian Longhorned Tick
Livestock recommendations for the Asian Longhorned Tick
Recently, the Asian longhorned tick was found in west-central Illinois. This invasive species can pose challenges to cattle populations in the area....
Read article: Details matter when artificially inseminating beef cows
Details matter when artificially inseminating beef cows
As breeding season for spring-calving cows’ approaches, now is a good time to refresh on semen handling practices. Often, semen handling gets...
Read article: Watching your cows
Watching your cows
Observation and reflection seem to be a lost art in a world dominated by phone screens, data sets, and short attention spans. I challenge you to...
Angus cow standing with a calf in a pasture.
Read article: Tips for getting cows to breed early in the season
Tips for getting cows to breed early in the season
There are many reasons to maintain strict breeding windows and shorter calving windows. A tight 60-day calving window can aid in programming cow...
Person paying attention to cattle feeding at a feed trough in a feedlot.
Read article: Cattle handling reminders
Cattle handling reminders
Isn’t it fun to watch people that are good at handling cattle? I love it. We all aspire to be better stockman and handling animals correctly is a big...
A person standing to think while staring at a far off herd of cattle in a pasture.
Read article: Planning your cattle journey
Planning your cattle journey
I have been traveling recently. I hop in the truck, load the navigation app, and off I go. Within seconds, I know exactly how to get to my...
Group of cattle standing around cement waterer and shade in a pasture lot
Read article: Four pasture management tips
Four pasture management tips
Here are four tips for better managing pastures. Rest Keeps Roots Resting plants allows them to recover leaf tissue without...