blog posts Kidwell named College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences dean Jul 15, 2016 9:15 am2804 views Currently the executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, Kimberlee Kidwell will be the new U. of I. dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences effective Nov. 1, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She also will hold the inaugural Robert A. Easter Chair. U. of I. alumna Temple Grandin elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Apr 21, 2016 9:30 am2444 views Temple Grandin, a University of Illinois alumna and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of bees Apr 4, 2016 2:00 pm2708 views Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees. Their study found that Nosema infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees. Giant reed is a photosynthetic outlier, study finds Mar 7, 2016 11:30 am1488 views Arundo donax, a giant reed that grows in the Mediterranean climate zones of the world, isn’t like other prolific warm-weather grasses, researchers report. This grass, which can grow annually to 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) in height, uses a type of photosynthesis that is more common to crop plants like soybeans, rice and peanuts. Consumer perception of organic foods affected by food type and where they’re sold Jan 14, 2016 9:00 am1060 views The organic food industry has grown from fresh produce and grains to snack foods and condiments – from farmers markets to supercenters. Has this new variety in organic products, and the availability of them, affected consumers’ perceptions? Study: Second-generation biofuels can reduce emissions Jan 11, 2016 10:30 am1784 views Second-generation biofuel crops like the perennial grasses Miscanthus and switchgrass can efficiently meet emission reduction goals without significantly displacing cropland used for food production, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Illinois and collaborators published their findings in the inaugural edition of the journal Nature Energy. The researchers call it the most comprehensive study on the subject to date. Seven Illinois researchers rank among the world’s most influential Dec 21, 2015 9:15 am8546 views Seven University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2015. The list includes “some of the world’s most influential scientific minds,” according to a statement from Thomson Reuters. Export of wood pellets from US to EU more environmentally friendly than coal Nov 20, 2015 9:30 am1569 views A new study co-written by Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois, found that harvesting wood pellets in the U.S. and exporting them to the EU was more environmentally friendly than burning coal in the EU to generate electricity. Links between hunger and health lead to recommendation that doctors screen patients for food insecurity Nov 5, 2015 2:00 pm289 views Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure – that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources. University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen and University of Kentucky’s James P. Ziliak examined recent research on food insecurity and its association with poor health, and offer suggestions including that doctors screen for hunger. Study: Ground-level ozone reduces maize and soybean yields Nov 5, 2015 9:00 am1072 views Despite government regulations, ground-level ozone – an odorless gas that forms as polluting nitrogen oxides drift in sunlight across the countryside – continues to threaten crop quality and yield. In a new study, researchers quantify this loss from historical yield data for the first time. They show that over the last 30 years, ozone emissions have reduced soybean and corn yields by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants Nov 2, 2015 10:00 am4902 views By sequencing its genome, scientists are homing in on the genes and genetic pathways that allow the juicy pineapple plant to thrive in water-limited environments. The new findings, reported in the journal Nature Genetics, also open a new window on the complicated evolutionary history of grasses like sorghum and rice, which share a distant ancestor with pineapple. Study identifies chemical in diet that determines a honey bee’s caste Aug 28, 2015 1:00 pm2019 views A closer look at how honey bee colonies determine which larvae will serve as workers and which will become queens reveals that a plant chemical, p-coumaric acid, plays a key role in the bees’ developmental fate. Master Naturalists needed to preserve Illinois' environment Aug 11, 2015 1:00 pm505 views Adults who have a passion for the outdoors – and are interested in sharing that with others – are needed statewide as volunteers in the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program. Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds Jul 28, 2015 8:00 am5428 views U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Several hybrid canes developed in the 1980s have proved hardy in cooler climes, surviving overwinter as far north as Booneville, Arkansas. But until now, no one had tested whether these “miscanes,” as they are called, actually photosynthesize, and thus continue to grow, when the thermometer dips. Study: Groundwater from aquifers important factor in food security Jun 29, 2015 2:00 pm476 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Thirsty cities, fields and livestock drink deeply from aquifers, natural sources of groundwater. But a study of three of the most-tapped aquifers in the United States shows that overdrawing from these resources could lead to difficult choices affecting not only domestic food security but also international markets. Study: Crop rotation-resistant rootworms have a lot going on in their guts Jun 9, 2015 3:00 pm415 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to environmentally friendly farming practices – such as crop rotation – that are designed to kill them. The researchers say their insights will help develop more sustainable agricultural practices. Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity, develops soybean rust-resistant plant May 12, 2015 2:30 pm686 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and other pathogens of soy. New method helps map species' genetic heritage Dec 11, 2014 9:00 am121 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Where did the songbird get its song? What branch of the bird family tree is closer to the flamingo - the heron or the sparrow? Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil Oct 2, 2014 9:00 am739 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In addition to providing renewable energy, grass crops like switchgrass and miscanthus could store some of the carbon they pull from the atmosphere in the soil, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers. Illinois engineer wins MacArthur fellowship Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am402 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tami Bond, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a "genius grant," from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Solving food insecurity problems among older Americans Jun 5, 2014 9:00 am415 views A Minute With™... Craig Gundersen, the University of Illinois Soybean Industry Endowed Professor of Agricultural Strategy Drones give farmers eyes in the sky to check on crop progress Jun 4, 2014 9:00 am1015 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - This growing season, crop researchers at the University of Illinois are experimenting with the use of drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - on the university's South Farms. Labeling genetically engineered food May 28, 2014 9:00 am493 views A Minute With™... Bruce M. Chassy, a professor emeritus of food science and human nutrition New master's program at Illinois will train translators and interpreters Apr 29, 2013 9:00 am138 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The demand for translators and interpreters is projected to increase by at least 20 percent by the year 2020, and a new program at the University of Illinois will offer a master's degree to equip graduates to fill those jobs. Elizabeth Lowe, the director of the U. of I.'s Center for Translation Studies, says the program offers both on-campus and online options, and is accepting applications now for courses that will begin in the fall. Molecular techniques are man's new best friend in pet obesity research Apr 9, 2013 9:00 am201 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - According to the World Health Organization, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. And it's not just humans who are packing on the pounds. Our furry companions are plagued by an obesity epidemic of their own. More than 50 percent of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Zoning restrictions also a key factor in foreclosure crisis, scholar says Mar 28, 2013 9:00 am140 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The causes of the foreclosure crisis seem obvious: Buyers purchased homes they couldn't afford, lured in part by lenders pushing subprime mortgages. Real estate values escalated, and when the bubble burst, buyers were left owing more than their homes were worth. Carr visiting author series to showcase two acclaimed poets Jan 29, 2013 9:00 am41 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Kathleen Graber - a former high school English teacher who was inspired to write poetry after taking students on a field trip - will read from her critically acclaimed collections at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 (Wednesday) at the Illini Union Bookstore. Drought, crop insurance, and farm profitability Aug 8, 2012 9:00 am67 views A Minute With™... Gary D. Schnitkey, an agricultural economist What's the potential impact of herbicide-resistant weeds on agriculture in the U.S.? Apr 18, 2012 9:00 am996 views A Minute With™... Aaron Hager, a faculty member in the department of crop sciences What the media call 'pink slime' is not new or dangerous Apr 3, 2012 9:00 am162 views A Minute With™... Anna Dilger, a professor of animal sciences Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology Feb 29, 2012 9:00 am201 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report. In many instances, pesticides are applied without scouting fields to see if they are needed, violating a bedrock principle of integrated pest management. The result is a biological diversity desert in many corn and soybean fields in the agricultural Midwest, and signs that the surviving insects are becoming resistant to several key bug-fighting tools now available to farmers. Expert: Keep consumer protection agency free of 'regulatory capture' Jan 9, 2012 9:00 am48 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With many Americans now spending most of their adult lives owing debts to financial institutions, the need for a consumer financial agency free of "regulatory capture" is now more acute than ever, according to a University of Illinois expert in consumer credit. Stink bugs a threat to farmers, smelly guests for homeowners Aug 23, 2011 9:00 am474 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The brown marmorated stink bug - scientific name Halyomorpha halys - has been found in four Illinois counties and could be a major threat to fruit, vegetable and agronomic crops if it proliferates. Study: Regulatory hurdles hinder biofuels market Jul 21, 2011 9:00 am69 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Regulatory hurdles abound for the successful commercialization of emerging liquid biofuels, which hold the promise of enhancing U.S. energy security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and serving as a driver for rural economic development, according to new research at the University of Illinois. Switch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissions Jul 12, 2011 9:00 am153 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the U.S. would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study. The switch would also slash emissions of two potent greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. How will widespread flooding of farmland affect commodity prices? May 25, 2011 9:00 am112 views A Minute With™... agricultural economist Gary D. Schnitkey Growing numbers of corn farmers ignoring refuge requirement May 12, 2011 9:00 am728 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More than 90 percent of Illinois corn producers polled at the University of Illinois Extension Corn and Soybean Classic meetings indicated that they planned to plant corn that was genetically modified with the insect-killing protein Bacillus thuringiensis this spring. Why does the FDA want to test milk for more drugs? Mar 23, 2011 9:00 am186 views A Minute With™... ADM funds new postharvest institute Feb 17, 2011 9:00 am160 views Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced a $10 million grant to establish the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss at the UI. The global institute will work with farmers in the developing world to help preserve millions of metric tons of grains and oilseeds lost each year to pests, disease, mishandling and other factors. Will 2011 be the year of the global food crisis? Jan 26, 2011 9:00 am36 views A Minute With™... Darrel Good, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics USDA awards $5.5 million to tackle childhood hunger Jan 20, 2011 9:00 am43 views The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $5.5 million to fund research that will help alleviate childhood hunger in the United States. Craig Gundersen, a UI professor of nutritional sciences in the department of agricultural and consumer economics, and James Ziliak, of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, will coordinate a research program on childhood hunger. Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish Sep 2, 2010 9:00 am523 views A UI food science professor has two important reasons for including seafood in a young child's diet, reasons that have motivated her work in helping to develop a tasty, nutritious salmon baby food for toddlers. Apologies may fuel settlement of legal disputes, study says Jun 2, 2010 9:00 am823 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Apologies may be good for more than just the soul, according to research by a University of Illinois professor of law and of psychology. Will produce prices rise following Florida freeze, Chilean earthquake? Mar 25, 2010 9:00 am37 views A Minute With™... crop sciences professor John Masiunas Study: Cell-phone bans while driving have more impact in dense, urban areas Feb 8, 2010 9:00 am332 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A new study analyzing the impact of hand-held cell phone legislation on driving safety concludes that usage-ban laws had more of an impact in densely populated urban areas with a higher number of licensed drivers than in rural areas where there are fewer licensed drivers, according to a University of Illinois researcher. Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm Jan 5, 2010 9:00 am60 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the U.S., also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report. Mastery of physical goals lessens disease-related depression and fatigue Dec 15, 2009 9:00 am75 views CHAMPAIGN, lll. - Physical activity is known to reduce depression and fatigue in people struggling with chronic illness. A new study indicates that this effect may stem from an individual's sense of mastery over - or belief in his or her ability to achieve - certain physical goals. What are the implications for agriculture under a proposed climate bill? Nov 26, 2009 9:00 am16 views A Minute With™... agricultural economist Madhu Khanna Does the recent peanut scare indicate a need for stricter guidelines? Feb 18, 2009 9:00 am59 views A Minute With™... Robin Orr, the director of programming for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program E-Learning can have positive effect on classroom learning, scholar says Nov 26, 2008 9:00 am2571 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Traditional classroom teaching in higher education could learn a thing or two from online teaching, otherwise known as e-learning, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies computer-mediated communication, information exchange and the Internet.