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Agriculture News

News about food, farming, business, politics and policy that impacts central Illinois farmers.

GOVERNMENT WORK PAYS

A new searchable map shows there are almost as many federal government employees in Illinois as there are state employees and that their benefits are generous. OpenTheBooks.com says that of the 57,000 federal workers in Illinois, 9,000 earn more than $100,000 a year. (Illinois News Network)

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SHIFTING POLITICAL IDENTITY

Last year, 42% of Americans identified as political independents, compared to 39% in the 2016 presidential election year. 29% percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats and 27% as Republicans. (Gallup)

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DUVALL: STAY UNITED, LOOK TO THE FUTURE

During his address at the 99th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention on Sunday, AFBF President Zippy Duvall encouraged members to remain united, engaged and focused on the future. “These are challenging times for us. The farm economy is bad. And farmers in several states are hurting from terrible fires, hurricanes …,” Duvall said. “But… read more

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INFRASTRUCTURE PUSH

President Trump plans to press Republican congressional leaders this weekend to make infrastructure their top legislative priority in 2018. The White House plans to propose a wholesale change in the way the U.S. approaches big infrastructure projects. (USA Today)

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#FARMERS LOOKING FOR A RETURN

As the president prepares to address the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Nashville on Monday, farmers are looking for a sign that their issues mean as much to the president as do their votes. Trump will be the first sitting president to address the group in 26 years. (Bloomberg)

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TUITION FREEZE?

University of Illinois president Timothy Killeen will recommend that the school freeze its base tuition for incoming in-state freshmen for a fourth year in a row. It’s an effort to keep Illinois high school grads in state to attend college. (The State Journal-Register)

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PROGRESS ON COMPLAINTS

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has resolved roughly 60 percent of the pesticide use complaints it received last year but has “a significant number of complaints to go,” Deputy Director Warren Goetsch said. Of 430 complaints, 362 were related to agricultural pesticides, including 246 linked to dicamba. In previous years, IDOA has received between… read more

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FARMWEEK PREVIEW

Read these stories and more in the Monday, Jan. 8 edition of FarmWeek: 2017 ranks as the sixth warmest year on record; severe temperatures may have caused winterkill in about 5 percent of the state’s wheat crop; and Ben Hugenberg of Liberty talks about Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader goals as the new state chairman.

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ANGST AND POTENTIAL

A year after high-profile protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, Illinois farmers complain about damaged crops, unusable fields, lowered property values and the changed character of the land. For the town of Patoka, the pipeline’s endpoint, the project represents jobs and an economic boost. (Chicago Tribune)

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MORE SCRATCH FOR #EGGS

@USDA predicts consumers will pay less for beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey in early 2018 compared to a year ago. Not so for eggs. Prices are up thanks to increased domestic and international demand. (NPR)

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