blog posts ADM funds new postharvest institute Feb 17, 2011 9:00 am157 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. Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds Jan 8, 2018 9:30 am4844 views When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. Agricultural robot may be ‘game changer’ for crop growers, breeders Feb 23, 2017 9:45 am1633 views A semiautonomous robot being developed by University of Illinois scientists may soon be roaming agricultural fields gathering and transmitting real-time data that crop breeders can use to identify the genetic traits in plants likely to produce the greatest yields. Ag robot speeds data collection, analyses of crops as they grow Mar 12, 2018 8:45 am4676 views A new lightweight, low-cost agricultural robot, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Illinois, could transform data collection and field scouting for agronomists, seed companies and farmers. A little prairie can rescue honey bees from famine on the farm, study finds Nov 25, 2019 2:00 pm1669 views Scientists placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bees fared over the growing season. To the researchers’ surprise, the bees did well for much of the summer. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores. But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone and the overwintering brood was malnourished, the team discovered. Anti-cancer compound found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth Aug 31, 2004 9:00 am43 views 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. Apologies may fuel settlement of legal disputes, study says Jun 2, 2010 9:00 am801 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. Arsenic removal from drinking water is focus of new projects Apr 6, 2005 9:00 am33 views 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. As more corn is used for ethanol, how will we make up for lost food production? Mar 14, 2008 9:00 am89 views A Minute With™... Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics A warming Midwest increases likelihood that farmers will need to irrigate Jun 18, 2019 8:45 am781 views If current climate and crop-improvement trends continue into the future, Midwestern corn growers who today rely on rainfall to water their crops will need to irrigate their fields, a new study finds. This could draw down aquifers, disrupt streams and rivers, and set up conflicts between agricultural and other human and ecological needs for water, scientists say. Beneficial arthropods find winter sanctuary in uncultivated field edges, study finds Jun 3, 2021 8:00 am1123 views Many species of ground-dwelling beetles, ladybugs, hoverflies, damsel bugs, spiders and parasitic wasps kill and eat pest species that routinely plague farmers, including aphids and corn rootworm larvae and adults. But the beneficial arthropods that live in or near cropped lands also are susceptible to insecticides and other farming practices that erase biodiversity on the landscape. A new study reveals that beneficial arthropods are nearly twice as abundant and diverse in uncultivated field edges in the spring as they are in areas that are cropped – if those field edges are rich in an array of flowers and other broad-leaved plants and not just mowed grass. Berenbaum named PNAS editor-in-chief Oct 31, 2018 8:30 am1333 views University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and longtime editorial contributor to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other journals, has been appointed editor-in-chief of PNAS, effective Jan. 1. Biochar may boost carbon storage, but benefits to germination and growth appear scant Jun 19, 2019 8:15 am1557 views Biochar may not be the miracle soil additive that many farmers and researchers hoped it to be, according to a new University of Illinois study. Biochar may boost the agricultural yield of some soils – especially poor quality ones – but there is no consensus on its effectiveness. Researchers tested different soils’ responses to multiple biochar types and were unable to verify their ability to increase plant growth. However, the study did show biochar’s ability to affect soil greenhouse gas emissions. Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil Oct 2, 2014 9:00 am720 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. Brain gene expression patterns predict behavior of individual honey bees Dec 22, 2020 7:00 am1753 views An unusual study that involved bar coding and tracking the behavior of thousands of individual honey bees in six queenless bee hives and analyzing gene expression in their brains offers new insights into how gene regulation contributes to social behavior. Bt corn variety study shows no adverse effect on black swallowtail caterpillars Jun 5, 2000 9:00 am158 views 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. Cahokia's rise parallels onset of corn agriculture May 14, 2020 8:15 am5966 views Corn cultivation spread from Mesoamerica to what is now the American Southwest by about 4000 B.C., but how and when the crop made it to other parts of North America is still a subject of debate. In a new study, scientists report that corn was not grown in the ancient metropolis of Cahokia until sometime between A.D. 900 and 1000, a relatively late date that corresponds to the start of the city’s rapid expansion. Can we talk about the Illinois climate? Dec 3, 2018 8:15 am664 views Jim Angel, the Illinois state climatologist, has announced that he will retire in December 2018 after 34 years at the Illinois State Water Survey. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with him about his career, climate change and the National Climate Assessment released on Black Friday. 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. Caterpillar, fungus in cahoots to threaten fruit, nut crops, study finds Nov 5, 2018 8:00 am602 views New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides. Chickens may help aid in early detection of ovarian cancer Feb 1, 2007 9:00 am273 views Understanding and treatment of human ovarian cancer, known as the silent killer, may be a step closer thanks to some chickens at the UI. Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and unlike other cancers, its rate of mortality has not been reduced. Chill-tolerant hybrid sugarcane also grows at lower temperatures, team finds Jul 28, 2015 8:00 am5217 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. Climate adaptation increases vulnerability of cocoa farmers, study shows Jan 13, 2022 1:00 pm1208 views Sean Kennedy, a professor of urban and regional planning, found that strategies to keep cocoa farmers in place transferred climate-related risks from chocolate manufacturers to the farmers. Consumer perception of organic foods affected by food type and where they’re sold Jan 14, 2016 9:00 am1057 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? Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds Jun 20, 2017 9:00 am6069 views Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs. Corn genetic heritage the strongest driver of chemical defenses against munching bugs May 3, 2022 10:30 am970 views Plants release chemical distress signals when under attack from chewing insects. These “911 calls" alert other bugs that dinner or a nice place to lay their eggs is available nearby. If predatory or parasitic insects detect the right signal, they swoop in like saviors to make a meal out of – or lay their eggs in – the bodies of the herbivore insects. A new study explores the factors that contribute to corn plants’ chemical signaling capacity, comparing how different corn varieties respond to herbivory in the presence or absence of a soil bacterium known to promote plant health. Counties with more trees and shrubs spend less on Medicare, study finds Apr 1, 2019 8:00 am15923 views A new study finds that Medicare costs tend to be lower in counties with more forests and shrublands than in counties dominated by other types of land cover. The relationship persists even when accounting for economic, geographic or other factors that might independently influence health care costs, researchers report. Diagnostic tool helps engineers to design better global infrastructure solutions Nov 15, 2018 7:45 am1213 views Designing safe bridges and water systems for low-income communities is not always easy for engineers coming from highly industrialized places. A new discipline called contextual engineering helps engineers think beyond personal values, expectations and definitions of project success when tackling global infrastructure problems. Does the recent peanut scare indicate a need for stricter guidelines? Feb 18, 2009 9:00 am57 views A Minute With™... Robin Orr, the director of programming for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Drones give farmers eyes in the sky to check on crop progress Jun 4, 2014 9:00 am1003 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. Drought, crop insurance, and farm profitability Aug 8, 2012 9:00 am66 views A Minute With™... Gary D. Schnitkey, an agricultural economist Efficient fertilizer use could benefit river without hurting crop yields Nov 7, 2001 9:00 am19 views 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. Eight Illinois researchers rank among world’s most influential Nov 18, 2016 9:15 am6823 views Eight University of Illinois researchers have been named to the Thomson Reuters / Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016. The list identifies scientists “whose research has had significant global impact within their respective fields of study." E-Learning can have positive effect on classroom learning, scholar says Nov 26, 2008 9:00 am2569 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. 'Engineering Fire' documentary premieres on BTN May 9, 2019 8:45 am850 views “Engineering Fire,” 30-minute documentary video chronicling the work of University of Illinois engineers to introduce a solar-cooking device in Haiti, premieres May 12 at 7 p.m. CDT on the Big Ten Network. Environmental effects of biofuels crops must be weighed, researchers say Sep 22, 2006 9:00 am43 views 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. Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought Apr 30, 2019 8:15 am1943 views Recent flooding in the Midwest has brought attention to the complex agricultural problems associated with too much rain. Data from the past three decades suggest that excessive rainfall can affect crop yield as much as excessive heat and drought. In a new study, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Illinois linked crop insurance, climate, soil and corn yield data from 1981 through 2016. Expert: Keep consumer protection agency free of 'regulatory capture' Jan 9, 2012 9:00 am47 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. Export of wood pellets from US to EU more environmentally friendly than coal Nov 20, 2015 9:30 am1547 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. Fast-growing kudzu making inroads in Illinois, authorities warn Oct 20, 2005 9:00 am3856 views 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. Foodborne pathogens difficult to remove from produce Oct 5, 2006 9:00 am30 views Will you ever feel comfortable eating fresh spinach again? All raw agricultural products carry a minimal risk of contamination, said a UI scientist whose research focuses on keeping foodborne pathogens, including the strain of E. coli found recently on spinach, out of the food supply. Food-crop yields in future greenhouse-gas conditions lower than expected Jun 29, 2006 9:00 am121 views 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. Four Illinois faculty members elected AAAS Fellows Nov 27, 2018 10:00 am2101 views Four professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been elected 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are: mechanical science and engineering professor Narayana Aluru, computer science professor William Gropp and plant biology professors Andrew Leakey and Ray Ming. Fungus application thwarts major soybean pest, study finds Apr 9, 2020 8:15 am2153 views The soybean cyst nematode sucks the nutrients out of soybean roots, causing more than $1 billion in soybean yield losses in the U.S. each year. A new study finds that one type of fungi can cut the nematodes’ reproductive success by more than half. Future of US citrus may hinge on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food Feb 13, 2019 10:45 am2093 views A tiny insect, no bigger than the head of a pin, is threatening to topple the multibillion-dollar citrus industry in the U.S.The battle to save it is pitting producers and researchers against a formidable brown bug, the Asian citrus psyllid. Gallery offers first comprehensive U.S. look at Japanese architect's work Sep 30, 2008 9:00 am54 views CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will be exhibited Oct. 10 through Nov. 15 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree Jun 6, 2017 3:00 am15883 views New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago – ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct – is more closely related to today’s African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Genomic study explores evolution of gentle ‘killer bees’ in Puerto Rico Nov 16, 2017 9:30 am3715 views A genomic study of Puerto Rico’s Africanized honey bees – which are more docile than other so-called “killer bees” – reveals that they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees. According to the researchers, these changes likely contributed to the bees’ rapid evolution toward gentleness in Puerto Rico, a change that occurred within 30 years. Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree Oct 8, 2020 9:15 am4766 views The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp that has coevolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it. In a new study, researchers identify regions in the banyan fig’s genome that promote the development of its unusual aerial roots and enhance its ability to signal its wasp pollinator. Giant reed is a photosynthetic outlier, study finds Mar 7, 2016 11:30 am1451 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.