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Author Archives: MCFB

CHANGES TO PESTICIDE-SAFETY RULES

The Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Brad Beaver explained changes in training and respiratory protection requirements at the IFB’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference. He anticipates the changes might catch farmers off guard. “The key focus is education of workers, making sure employees are properly trained,” Beaver said. (FarmWeekNow.com)

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DEPORTATIONS COULD SLOW U.S. ECONOMY

Economists say large-scale deportations of undocumented immigrants could hurt the U.S. economy. Immigrants living illegally in the U.S. account for roughly 18 percent of employment in agriculture, 13 percent in construction and 10 percent at restaurants, hotels and casinos. “The economic shock would cause widespread ramifications,” said Ben Gitis, director of labor market policy at… read more

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SENATE BUDGET PLAN UP IN FLAMES

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton Wednesday canceled votes on key parts of the Senate’s ‘grand bargain’ budget plan, including an income-tax increase and property tax-freeze, saying that Gov. Bruce Rauner had hijacked the plan. Rauner has said won’t agree to the plan until he gets pro-business regulatory changes, a permanent property tax freeze, and term limits. (Pantagraph)

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WHITE HOUSE TO CUT EPA STAFF

The Trump administration this week proposed cuts to the EPA’s budget which would reduce the agency’s staff by one-fifth. The plan also would drop the agency’s annual budget from $8.2 billion per year to $6.1 billion, leaving grants to states, air and water programs, the radon program and climate change initiatives greatly decreased or on the chopping… read more

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IL COUNTIES STAND OUT NATIONALLY FOR CROP YIELDS

Illinois state statistician Mark Schleusener described the 2016 growing season as “amazing” for crop production, particularly soybeans. And it showed in the in the final county yield and production estimates as the average soybean yield in Piatt County (71.3 bushels per acre) and average corn yield in Tazewell County (236 bushels per acre) were the highest… read more

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CHANGING THE TRADE GAME

The Trump Administration on Wednesday is expected to break with U.S. trade policy by saying the White House will ignore certain rulings by the World Trade Organization that it thinks infringe on U.S. sovereignty. The change, which would allow the U.S. to impose tariffs against countries it thinks have unfair trade practices, could lead to more… read more

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FEBRUARY TORNADOES WREAK HAVOC

At least seven tornadoes hit northern Illinois and a portion of central Illinois Tuesday, killing one and injuring at least 14 people. An additional death was reported in Crossville, in downstate Illinois. The watch area for the rare winter storm system included all of northern and central Illinois. (Chicago Tribune)

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GRAND BARGAIN’ TAKING SHAPE

Illinois senators Tuesday approved several of the easier pieces of the ‘Grand Bargain’ budget plan. The pension reform portion of the bill failed to pass and the Senate postponed until today some of the tougher issues, including workers’ compensation, school funding and tax hikes. (State Journal-Register)

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MEAT PRODUCERS TAKE AIM AT MILESTONE

If USDA projections are realized, total red meat and poultry production this year could exceed 100 billion pounds for the first time in history. That trend could be bad for farm prices but good news for consumers both in the U.S. and abroad. USDA projects domestic and international consumption of U.S. meat and dairy products… read more

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WARMEST ON RECORD

February 2017 is the warmest on record in Illinois, beating the statewide record of 40 degrees by one-tenth of a degree. The average for the month is more than 10 degree above normal. Earlier this week, the National Weather Service reported Chicago would go without measurable snow in January and February for the first time… read more

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