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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
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On the road

Posted by Russel Higgins -

The past two days I have been traveling from the NIARC, a rarity this summer. On Thursday I joined my co-worker Richard Hentschel for his radio program "Green Side Up" on WDCB 90.9 recorded at the College of DuPage. Today was a trip to campus to deliver frozen soil samples and an opportunity to do a windshield survey of crops between Grundy and Champaign Counties. I did not see any combines operating as we hear about in southern Illinois, but it was evident that many corn fields have progressed to where future rains will likely have a minimal impact on final yield. I'm growing more pessimistic about the soybean crop but I am not willing to venture a guess on their ability to make use of late season rains.

While on campus I visited with my son who is a grad student in the Department of Crop Sciences. Race is working under Dr. Patrick Brown and both gave me the chance to visit their extensive sorghum trials at the Energy farm on campus. Commercial sorghum acreage is very limited in Illinois, but after visiting their plots I was reminded of the drought tolerance of this species. The plots consist of near 10 acres of green sorghum (next to struggling corn). Perhaps we should start working on a market!

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