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Agriculture

$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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Amino acid supplement key to reproductive health in dairy cows

URBANA, Ill. – Lysine is an essential amino acid for dairy cows, helping boost milk production when added to the diet at adequate levels. But could lysine benefit cows in other ways? A new University of Illinois study shows rumen-protected lysine can improve uterine health if fed during the transition period.

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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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Nitrous oxide emissions from Corn Belt soils spike when soils freeze, thaw

URBANA, Ill. – Nitrous oxide may be much less abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, but as a greenhouse gas, it’s a doozy. With a potency 300 times greater than CO2, nitrous oxide’s warming potential, especially via agriculture, demands attention.

University of Illinois and University of Minnesota researchers are answering the call. In a new study, they document an overlooked but crucial timeframe for nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in U.S. Midwest agricultural systems: the non-growing season.

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New U of I farm apprenticeship turns out veggies and well-equipped farmers

URBANA, Ill. – A new University of Illinois program will train beginner specialty crop growers in every aspect of farm operation and management. The year-long Illinois Small Farm Apprenticeship Program offers new farmers opportunities to learn by doing and to deepen that experiential knowledge with lessons from faculty experts in soil science, pest management, and more.

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New U of I open house event introduces families to today’s agriculture

University of Illinois, but now there’s another reason to head south of campus Oct. 2. Kids and families are invited to the first-ever Crop Sciences Harvest Open House to explore all things agriculture.  

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A fruitful partnership

For U.S. farmers, enormous GPS-guided equipment makes easier work of planting and harvesting thousands of acres each season. Now, thanks to a partnership between UIUC’s Center for Digital Agriculture,  a collaboration among the College of ACES, Grainger College of Engineering and NCSA, and robotics start-up EarthSense, some of the work is being assigned to machines of a much smaller scale.

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Tomatoes, but not farm workers, gardeners, safe from soil lead

URBANA, Ill. – Urban agriculture is booming, but there’s often a hidden danger lurking in city soils: lead. A recent University of Illinois study showed universally elevated lead levels in soils across Chicago, an urban ag hotspot.

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Events keep rolling through August during U of I’s Agronomy Days

URBANA, Ill. – For sixty-odd years, the University of Illinois held a single Agronomy Day at the end of August, inviting farmers and ag industry stakeholders to learn the latest advancements directly from researchers. The pandemic and other forces inspired a change this year, and today Agronomy Days events stretch across the entire season. In August, three events stand out.

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How much spring nitrogen to apply? Pre-planting weather may provide a clue

URBANA, Ill. – With the rising cost of nitrogen fertilizer and its impacts on air and water quality, University of Illinois researchers want to help farmers make more informed fertilizer rate decisions. Their latest modeling effort aims to do that by examining the role of pre-growing season weather on soil nitrogen dynamics and end-of-season corn yield.

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