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Recovering phosphorus from corn ethanol production can help reduce groundwater pollution

URBANA, Ill. – Dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS), a co-product from corn ethanol processing, is commonly used as feed for cattle, swine and poultry. However, DDGS contains more phosphorus than the animals need. The excess ends up in manure and drains into the watershed, promoting algae production and eventually contributing to large dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.

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TerraSentia robots, Agricultural and Biological Engineering faculty featured in New York Times

URBANA, Ill. ­– Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) Girish Chowdhary and his research in field robotics continue to make headlines! A Feb. 13 article in the New York Times (NYT) features TerraSentia, a small, autonomous robot resulting from Chowdhary’s research at the University of Illinois.

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Consider soil in fall-applied ammonia rates, Illinois study says

URBANA, Ill. – Fall-applied anhydrous ammonia may not fulfill as much of corn’s nitrogen needs as previously assumed. According to a new study from the University of Illinois, the effectiveness of the practice depends on the soil.

The study used a “tagged” form of ammonia to determine how much of the nitrogen in corn grain and plant material comes from fertilizer, versus nitrogen supplied naturally by the soil.

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Yield-boosting stay-green gene identified from 118-year-old experiment in corn

URBANA, Ill. – A corn gene identified from a 118-year-old experiment at the University of Illinois could boost yields of today’s elite hybrids with no added inputs. The gene, identified in a recent Plant Biotechnology Journal study, controls a critical piece of senescence, or seasonal die-back, in corn. When the gene is turned off, field-grown elite hybrids yielded 4.6 bushels more per acre on average than standard plants.

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Agronomy Day returns to the University of Illinois Aug. 22, 2019

URBANA, Ill. – The Department of Crop Sciences, part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, will host the 62nd annual Agronomy Day this year on Aug. 22. The event, which showcases the latest scientific discoveries from ACES researchers and Extension specialists, will feature a larger number of presentations on more diverse topics than previous years.

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Illinois tar spot researcher requests samples, offers resources

URBANA, Ill. – Corn growers experienced an epidemic of tar spot in 2018, with the fungal disease occurring in 172 counties across the Midwest. With the potential for another significant outbreak in 2019, a University of Illinois plant pathologist is asking for help from growers.

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Calcium-to-phosphorus ratio established for pig diets in Illinois study

URBANA, Ill. – In pig diets, the amount of digestible calcium has a direct impact on phosphorus digestibility and the overall growth performance of the animals. With more calcium, phosphorus digestibility and feed intake decrease, leading to lower-weight pigs.

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When temperatures drop, Siberian Miscanthus plants surpass main bioenergy variety

URBANA, Ill. – Photosynthesis drives yields, but in cold conditions, this process that turns sunlight into biomass takes a hit. Miscanthus is a popular, sustainable, perennial feedstock for bioenergy production that thrives on marginal land in temperate regions.

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In sweet corn, workhorses win

When deciding which sweet corn hybrids to plant, vegetable processors need to consider whether they want their contract growers using a workhorse or a racehorse. Is it better to choose a hybrid with exceptional yields under ideal growing conditions (i.e., the racehorse) or one that performs consistently well across ideal and less-than-ideal conditions (i.e., the workhorse)? New research from the University of Illinois suggests the workhorse is the winner in processing sweet corn.

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