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Monday, January 16, 2012

University Research

Looking through my reading material today I found a publication on University of Illinois agricultural Research Centers.  It is easy to complain about university research not being cutting edge, but I hope our politicians don't get the idea that we don't need it.  All of our agricultural schools in Illinois are involved in research to some extent or another.  You may recall I wrote recently about Dr. Joel Gruver's research on cover Crops at Western Illinois University.  Illinois State University has a research center North of Bloomington.  Southern Illinois University has research fields near campus and also participates in Research in Belleville  and Dixon Springs.

University of Illinois has the South Farms and the Morrow plots in Urbana, but there are a number of other Centers around the state,  St. Charles Horticultural Research Center looks at Vegetable crops and grape production. Northwestern Illinois Research Center at Monmouth has research being conducted in Soil Chemistry, Crop Production, and Weed Science among other things.  Orr Center near Perry Has many crop science projects related to crop production Dudley Smith Farm is researching biofuels in Christian County.  Brownstown Research Center has crop production research on 160 acres.  I try to visit Brownstown regularly because the soils there are similar to the ones we work with.  Dixon Springs is one of the largest research Centers (over 5000 acres) east of the Mississippi River.  It is the home of much of the early work done with No-Till Farming in Illinois.  There research on grazing is cutting edge.  Many specialty crops are researched at Dixon Springs.  It is a very impressive center. For more information.

Why do we need so many research centers?  Illinois is variable in climate and soils.  Crop Conditions are very different from Monmouth to Dixon Springs.  Farmers need relevant and reliable research results from near the area where they farm.  If you are a non-farm reader, please let your legislators know that you appreciate all their support for research into food production.  We need to keep all these centers open. 

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