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Agriculture

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  • Environmental effects of biofuels crops must be weighed, researchers say

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Biofuels advocates should not ignore the potential ecological side effects of crops being developed to produce such fuels, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says in an article being published today in Science.

  • Food-crop yields in future greenhouse-gas conditions lower than expected

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Open-air field trials involving five major food crops grown under carbon-dioxide levels projected for the future are harvesting dramatically less bounty than those raised in earlier greenhouse and other enclosed test conditions - and scientists warn that global food supplies could be at risk without changes in production strategies.

  • Fast-growing kudzu making inroads in Illinois, authorities warn

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - To all Illinois residents: Be on the lookout for kudzu. This high-climbing, fast-growing weed, which is illegal to buy, grow and plant in Illinois, smothers existing vegetation and has been spotted in more than 30 Illinois counties.

  • Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a hybrid grass that can grow 13 feet high, may be a valuable renewable fuel source for the future, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say.

  • Nutritious frozen foods can play role in weight-loss programs

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Size matters when it comes to meal portions in weight-loss diets, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And consuming convenient, nutritious frozen dinners may be a way to control portion size.

  • Information on three new agricultural pests enhances web tool for farmers

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Three more pests - fruit tree leafroller, lilac borer and western bean cutworm - have been added this spring to the Illinois State Water Survey's Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program, a Web-based tool that provides helpful information for the state's farmers.

  • Arsenic removal from drinking water is focus of new projects

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More stringent federal standards for acceptable levels of arsenic in public drinking water go into effect next year, a prospect that has resulted in four new research projects on arsenic.

  • Unique weather a factor in record 2004 Midwest crop yields

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If farmers talk big about 2004 crops as they get ready to head out into the fields this spring, let them talk. Believe them. Last year's crop season saw record yields in every major crop amid the closest-to-perfect weather conditions of the last century, scientists say.

  • Goal of project is development of petroleum-free fuel

    Developing a petroleum-free fuel from corn byproducts is one of the goals of a newly funded research project at the UI. Eight research laboratories will pool their expertise, attacking the problems from different directions in order to work to improve the efficiency of bioconversion of plant fibers into fuels and other value-added products.

  • Anti-cancer compound found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A well known anti-cancer agent in certain vegetables has just had its reputation enhanced. The compound, in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, has been found to be effective in disrupting late stages of cell growth in breast cancer.

  • Grocery stores find security in locally produced beef

    Knowing where, how and by whom your steak dinner was raised recently has become a more pressing question for Americans. Several independent grocery stores in Chicago have found a locally produced beef marketed under the label Illinois Crown Beef that they say they can sell to their customers with confidence because they know where it came from. 

  • Supersweet Sweet Corn: 50 Years in the Making

    Fifty years ago, sweet corn wasn't all that sweet and had a short shelf-life, which made it difficult for grocery stores to stock it. As a result of the persistence of some UI corn researchers, today's sweet corn not only lives up to its name in taste, it maintains its high quality for more than a week, long enough to get it into stores and onto dinner tables. Jerald "Snook" Pataky, UI plant pathologist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has researched the history of UI’s contribution to the existence of today's supersweet corn and will be one of the featured speakers at Agronomy Day on Aug. 21. s

  • Efficient fertilizer use could benefit river without hurting crop yields

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A computational study on nitrogen inputs to the Mississippi River Basin from the 1950s to the 1990s suggests that better use of the fertilizer such as not over-applying it could substantially reduce the amount of nitrates flowing down river without compromising crop yields.

  • Bt corn variety study shows no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A Bt corn variety grown widely in East Central Illinois in 1999 had no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars that thrive in weeds alongside cornfields, according to both field and laboratory studies at the University of Illinois.