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Prairie Research Institute provides millions in direct returns to Illinois’ economy, report shows

Champaign, Ill. – The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has had a positive direct economic impact on Illinois’ economy valued at $667 million for years 2018–2022 and has provided more than 5,300 full-time jobs in the state, according to a recent analysis at a U. of I. research center.

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ACE graduate student is 2023 Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar recipient

URBANA, Ill. – Inder Majumdar, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, has been named a 2023 Farm Foundation Agricultural Scholar. This annual program is sponsored in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS).

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$5M USDA grant funds Illinois-led innovative cover cropping project

Urbana, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it is funding a new project led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that will address major obstacles to adoption of cover crops in the United States.

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Former ACE professor Lyle Fettig died on Jan. 1, at age 88

Lyle Fettig, professor emeritus of agricultural and consumer economics, died on Jan. 1 at his home in Savoy.

Throughout his career in ACE, Fettig had a passion for teaching and advising. He was honored with the Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Advising award, and he was included in the ACES Academy of Teaching Excellence. He also served as associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and was an establishing editor of the North Central Journal of Agricultural Economics.

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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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