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Angie Peltier

Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture

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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. Terry Davis, a farmer and no-till proponent, speaks with a reporter from German Public Radio in his machine shed about no-till agriculture.
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The world is watching Illinois!

Last week Thursday (August 23rd), two reporters from German Public Radio (Deutschlandradio), similar to our National Public Radio, came to Warren County. They interviewed me, Mark Phillipson from the USDA Farm Services Agency, Rick Winbigler from the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Terry Davis, a farmer and no-till proponent from Roseville.

The reporters had recently read an article in a prominent German newspaper detailing the drought in the United States and the effect of the drought on world food prices. In this same article, they read that although the United States had adopted many conservation practices since the drought and extreme soil erosion problem during the dustbowl, the US had recently lost its focus and had begun to till and plant every available acre (even erodible land) due to high commodity prices.

Luckily, the reporters were skeptical enough about this take on American agriculture that they decided to travel to Monmouth to talk to citizens involved in agriculture personally or peripherally through extension education or government.

We spoke to them about recent and historic weather events, the rich soils of Western Illinois, and the monumental conservation efforts undertaken by individual landowners and conservation groups such as the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District. Mr. Terry Davis, a farmer that plants into no-till fields, invited the reporters to his farm, where he showed them many of his implements and some of his corn and soybean fields affected by the drought (Figure).

Needless to say, the reporters left with a much more accurate (and not coincidentally more positive) picture of conservation practices employed by many producers in Illinois and the United States.

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