International experts say agricultural programs will need to feed eight billion people on earth by the year 2030.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews retired U.S. AID Senior Policy Advisor John Becker. Becker says there is a unique role to play for universities in the future of agricultural programs all over the world.

Candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate in Illinois spent time talking about their priorities for agriculture Wednesday, as a part of an Illinois Farm Bureau forum.

University of Illinois

Aerial surveillance may take on an entirely new meaning for farmers in Illinois...

Illinois Farm Bureau

The value of farmland in Illinois continues to rise.

Local Orchard Optimistic About Impact of Cold on Trees

Jan 7, 2014

The winter storm has caused many problems for homes such as power outages and frozen pipes, but Rendleman Orchards says they do not believe the below average temperatures have affected their fruit trees.

Thanksgiving Includes Slice of Illinois

Nov 27, 2013
Peter Gray, IPR/Harvest Public Media

This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.

ADM Considers HQ Move

Sep 24, 2013

After 44 years as the world headquarters for Archer Daniels Midland, the central Illinois town of Decatur is about to lose that title.

DuQuoin State Fair
IL Dept of Agriculture

Despite unseasonably warm temperatures during much of the Du Quoin State Fair, officials say the 2013 event may set an attendance record.

A new report suggests Illinois farmers could do a better job of protecting their fields from severe drought.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports the morning's news and weather.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller talks with U.S. Representative Bill Enyart (D-Belleville).

Peter Gray/WUIS/IPR

The stakes are high for honeybees.  A survey conducted by the USDA shows apiaries continue to lose nearly one third of hives each year. That's led some environmental activists to push for further restrictions on a pesticide used to treat seed corn.


The Illinois Stewardship Alliance is working with the legislature to provide local food producers with some tax incentives.

Wes King is the Policy Director for the Stewardship Alliance.  He says they want lawmakers to consider providing a tax credit to help local farmers, who supply fresh food to grocery stores and farmers' markets, to keep up with the demand. King says such an incentive would help farmers to buy additional hoop houses or green houses as well as provide incentives for new farmers to help meet the demand for locally grown food.

Congress has less than two weeks to act before the current farm bill expires.

That could leave dozens of federal program in limbo, affecting everything from crop insurance to food aid for the poor.

Spending on food aid is one of the reasons that House Republican leaders have refused to call the measure for a vote.

Jennifer Fuller

Experts say the drought of 2012 will go down in the record books, as farmers watch their crops wither away due to lack of rain.  But the moisture shortage may actually be a GOOD thing for some local growers.

“We’ve had a lot of clear days where the plant was a lot more efficient with producing its own natural sugars through the whole photosynthesis process. And I think the apples have got a really good flavor to them, also.”

Illinois’ Senior Senator says time is ticking when it comes to putting farmers minds at ease when it comes to a new Farm Bill for the nation.

IL Dept. of Agriculture

Attendance was up nearly 15 percent at this year's Illinois State Fair.

State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick tells The State Journal-Register in Springfield attendees seemed to enjoy the mild weather after weeks of heat earlier in the summer. Attendance for the 10-day fair was just more than 844,000 this year. Last year it was about 735,600.

Bliefnick says attendance figures ``would have been very different'' if central Illinois had the triple-digit temperatures it saw in July.


Grape growers and wine producers have an opportunity to learn more about how this year's drought may affect their crop, as well as ways to weather the extremes at an upcoming "Viticulture Day" at SIUC.

WSIU Radio

It still not too late for some of Illinois' summer crops.


A southern Illinois farmer and rancher says his 300 acres of corn are a bust and he's eager to hear the governor's plan for dealing with drought.

Gov. Pat Quinn is set to visit 71-year-old James Laird's farm near Waltonville today. It's about 80 miles east of St. Louis. Quinn isn't releasing his plans ahead of the scheduled visit.

Laird says he'll likely mow down all his corn, chop it up and feed it to his cattle. Almost a third of the nation's corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought.

Laird hopes his 300 acres of soybeans pull through.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller reports the morning's local and state news, along with weather information.

WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller has the morning's news and weather.