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Author Archives: MCFB

NEWS COVERAGE OF TRUMP MORE NEGATIVE

News reports about President Donald Trump have been more focused on his personality than his policy, and are more likely to carry negative assessments of his actions, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. Two-thirds of news stories about Trump from his first 60 days in office were negative, more than twice the… read more

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GOP LEADERS WEIGH CHANGES TO #TAX PLAN

GOP leaders are considering putting limits on the $1.3 trillion state and local tax deduction – instead of eliminating it – to secure votes from members in the hardest-hit states. Potential changes include capping the deduction for top earners and allowing individuals to choose between deducting mortgage interest or property taxes – but not both… read more

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#HARVEST17 ACTIVITY HEATS UP; DRYNESS CONCERNS INTENSIFY

Areas where fieldwork is picking up feature noticeable dust clouds as farmers continue dealing with extremely dry conditions in many areas of the state. The U.S. drought monitor considers the majority of the state abnormally dry, with a band of moderate drought across the middle. Soybean harvest is ahead of schedule, according to USDA, while… read more

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COURT RULING CASTS DOUBT ON POWER-LINE PROJECTS

Developers for the $2.2 billion Grain Belt Express are considering options after the Illinois Supreme Court rejected their Rock Island project late last month. Likewise, opponents of the Grain Belt project hope to use the Rock Island project’s dismissal in their favor. “We’re hopeful that they will be denied a permit for Grain Belt as… read more

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#HEALTHCARE COSTS TOUGH ON #FARMERS, TOO

Small business owners, including farmers, are scrambling to get affordable health insurance, even as lawmakers scrapped their final repeal-and-replace effort late last month. For farmers, that means a plan that is out of compliance with the ACA, or a plan with premiums that can top $40,000 while net farm income averages just $77,000. (Crain’s Chicago… read more

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LOOKING FOR THE EXITS

The number of #Illinois students leaving the state to pursue a degree keeps going up. According to the State Journal-Register, between 2000 and 2014, the number of freshman students leaving Illinois to attend college jumped by 64%. Only New Jersey exceeded Illinois in students’ out-migration. Preliminary enrollment data, released in the last few weeks, shows… read more

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U OF I EXTENSION PLANNING FOR 21ST CENTURY

University of Illinois Extension is looking to the future with an Extension 3.0 Task Force. It’s “an action plan for Extension of the 21st century,” according to College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Deans Kim Kidwell. “We have to be creative on how we get information to you,” she said. (FarmWeekNow.com)

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#Harvest17: Crop Condition & Progress

Corn harvest reached 21% and soybean harvest stands at 30% complete for the week ending Oct. 1. Dry conditions were prevalent across the state last week.  Statewide, the average temperature was 66.4 degrees, 4.3 degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged 0.02 inches, 0.68 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 36 percent very short, 48… read more

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FARMWEEK PREVIEW

Be sure to check out next week’s issue of FarmWeek for stories about Illinois harvest beginning under dry conditions; safety tips regarding potential field and machinery fires; and how college and high school culinary programs are providing farmers a menu for educating students about agriculture.

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#CORN YIELDS FORECAST LOWER

Corn yields are expected to rank a little below the past few years due to variable rainfall patterns and a cooler than normal July and August. Ross Perkins, a farm manager with Soy Capitol Ag Services in Bloomington, estimates the average yield at 197.39 bushels per acre, potentially making this year’s harvest the third highest… read more

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