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JBT scholarship provides leadership experience, connections

This week’s 5 Questions Friday features Emma Kuhns, agricultural and consumer economics major with public policy and law concentration. Emma hails from Mason, a small town near Effingham. She is one of this year’s recipients of the prestigious Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholarship in the College of ACES, and she shares her thoughts about the JBT program.

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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 finding is the result of sophisticated satellite-based remote sensing efforts that accurately detected cover crops across 140 million acres of cropland and tracked their expansion over 20 years.

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Emerging technology allows solar panels and agriculture to coexist, legal hurdles remain

URBANA, Ill. – Renewable energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels are gaining traction, but are sometimes met with local resistance because they take up valuable space that could otherwise be used for agricultural production. Agrivoltaics provides a way of creating dual land usage, combining solar panels with crops or grazing animals in the same field. But this emerging technology faces regulatory headwind because the land will no longer be classified as agricultural.

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Illinois study: Which weather characteristics affect agricultural and food trade the most?

URBANA, Ill. – Changing weather patterns have profound impacts on agricultural production around the world. Higher temperatures, severe drought, and other weather events may decrease output in some regions but effects are often volatile and unpredictable. Yet, many countries rely on agricultural and food trade to help alleviate the consequences of local, weather-induced production shifts, a new paper from the University of Illinois suggests.

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Should maize farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa store or sell their grain?

URBANA, Ill. – Many maize farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa sell their crop at harvest, often because they need funds to pay expenses. Development agencies often support or sponsor harvest-time loans that encourage farmers to store some of their grain for later sale, on an assumption that its market value will increase in months to come. But that’s not a sure bet, as a new University of Illinois study reveals.

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$30M USAID grant sees soybean innovation through the last mile in Africa

URBANA, Ill. – Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a new $30 million investment in the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) at the University of Illinois. The competitive grant was awarded under Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative led by USAID. 

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5 Questions: A chat with ACES alum and U of I CFO Paul Ellinger

This week we feature Paul Ellinger, newly appointed vice president, chief financial officer, and comptroller of the University of Illinois System after filling the interim role since July 2021. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization, a master's degree in agricultural economics, and a Ph.D.

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5 Questions: Patrick Martin

This week’s 5 Questions Friday features ACES alum, Patrick Martin (’09 Policy, International Trade and Development). Today, Martin works as a government relations professional for Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, Chicago and Washington DC.

Where did you grow up, and do you have an agriculture background? If so, describe. 

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Digital tools can transform agriculture to be more environmentally sustainable

URBANA, Ill. – Agricultural producers face dual challenges of increasing output for a growing world population while reducing negative effects on the environment. Digital technologies and artificial intelligence can facilitate sustainable production, but farmers must weigh opportunities and risks when deciding whether to embrace such tools.  

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Fulbright impacts are long lasting for both hosts and visitors

The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) has hosted dozens of Fulbright scholars who have returned to their own countries as ambassadors for Illinois.

Faculty, staff, and students on both sides of this program – hosts and the visitors – gain new collaborators and friends, advancing the program’s goal of increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

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