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Richard Cooke receives Fulbright grant for rice productivity research in Sierra Leone

URBANA, Ill. ­­– Richard Cooke, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for the 2020-2021 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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Contextual engineering adds deeper perspective to local projects

URBANA, Ill. – When engineers develop drinking water systems, they often expect their technology and expertise to work in any context. But project success depends as much on the people and place as on technical design, says Ann-Perry Witmer, lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) and research scientist at the Applied Research Institute at University of Illinois.

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New satellite-based algorithm pinpoints crop water use

URBANA, Ill. -- The growing threat of drought and rising water demand have made accurate forecasts of crop water use critical for farmland water management and sustainability. But limitations in existing models and satellite data pose challenges for precise estimates of evapotranspiration — a combination of evaporation from soil and transpiration from plants. The process is complex and difficult to model, and existing remote-sensing data can’t provide accurate, high-resolution information on a daily basis.

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Southern Illinois’ Len Small levee likely to fail even if repaired, says University of Illinois study

URBANA, Ill. – Alexander County sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, at the southernmost tip of Illinois. The sparsely populated jurisdiction is perhaps best known for devastating floods resulting from repeated failures of the Len Small levee in 1993, 2011, and 2016. Homes and businesses have been severely damaged, residents stranded, and rich agricultural land irreversibly degraded by sand deposition and erosion.

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Illinois study proposes circular phosphorus economy for Midwest

URBANA, Ill. – The U.S. Midwest produces at least a third of the world’s corn and soybean supply each year. Feeding the world requires a lot of fertilizer, mostly in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus. While nitrogen can literally be pulled out of the air, phosphorus has to be mined from finite phosphate rock reserves and treated to be made available to plants. Most of the world’s phosphate rock is in Morocco, and at some point these reserves will run out.

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Institute: Nitrogen reduction will take a revolution

A revolution in Midwestern agriculture has to happen to minimize the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone, according to the University of Illinois Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

It is a little-known fact that corn — a Midwestern staple crop — has a bearing on the Gulf of Mexico’s health. The link is nitrogen, a common agricultural fertilizer component. According to a team of Illinois researchers, each annual harvest removes just 60-70% of nitrogen from fields.

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Hydrologic simulation models that inform policy decisions are difficult to interpret correctly, University of Illinois study shows

URBANA, Ill. – Hydrologic models that simulate and predict water flow are used to estimate how natural systems respond to different scenarios such as changes in climate, land use, and soil management. The output from these models can inform policy and regulatory decisions regarding water and land management practices.

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Chicago water pollution may be keeping invasive silver carp out of Great Lakes, study says

URBANA, Ill. – Invasive silver carp have been moving north toward the Great Lakes since their accidental release in the 1970s. The large filter-feeding fish, which are known to jump from the water and wallop anglers, threaten aquatic food webs as well as the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery. But, for the past decade, the invading front hasn’t moved past Kankakee. A new study, led by scientists at the University of Illinois, suggests that Chicago’s water pollution may be a contributing to this lack of upstream movement.

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ACES student Christine Lepine participates in 2019 Next Generation Delegation

The Chicago Council of Global Affairs hosted the annual Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C. on March 20-21. The symposium provides a platform for discussion on the U.S. and the international agriculture community’s progress towards food security.  

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Deeply held environmental beliefs predict whether anglers act to control aquatic invasive species

URBANA, Ill. – Many anglers know invasive species cause problems in their favorite fishing spots, but a smaller subset routinely acts to prevent aquatic hitchhikers on boats and other equipment. What sets these anglers apart? A recent study from the University of Illinois attempts to answer that question from a social science perspective.

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