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renovated food processing plant University of Illinois College of ACES
RENOVATED: Several College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences facilities have undergone various renovations over the past few years, including the food science and human nutrition pilot food-processing plant.

Quick Take: ACES open house, forest funds, Illinois land values

University of Illinois’ College of ACES will open new facilities to tours; NRCS announces funds for forest health; and Illinois farm values continue to decline.

ACES open house to display renovations, facilities

New facilities and renovations to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois will be on full display Sept. 28 during an open house at the college.

A newly renovated Turner Hall will be open for touring, as will the college’s new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, which aims to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial commercialization with renewable chemicals and fuels.

The college also has a newly renovated food science and human nutrition pilot food-processing plant on display.

“We are grateful to the dedicated alumni, donors and legislative representatives whose unwavering support made these projects happen,” says Kim Kidwell, dean of the College of ACES.


New funding for improving oak-hickory forest stands

Applications for improving oak and hickory forest stands in Illinois are available until Oct. 19, announces State Conservationist Ivan Dozier.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is allowing 37 counties to apply for funding to help improve water quality and reduce soil erosion. Landowners can apply for assistance to implement tree and shrub establishment practices, weed control, and brush management to make forest stands healthier.

Landowners from the following counties can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program: Adams, Alexander, Brown, Calhoun, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Edwards, Effingham, Fulton, Gallatin, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Lawrence, Lee, Massac, McDonough, Ogle, Pike, Pope, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Schuyler, Stephenson, Union, Wabash, Whiteside and Williamson. 

Illinois farmland values declining, study finds

The value of farmland in 60 central and southern Illinois counties declined an average of 3.5% from last year, according to Farm Credit Illinois’ 2018 benchmark study.

In 2017, results showed value declined by an average of 4.1%. 2016 showed an average decline of 6.3%. Of 20 benchmark farms in 2018, 15 decreased in value, three remained unchanged and two slightly increased.

“Currently in Illinois, 1% or less of farmland changes ownership in a year,” says Kent Reid, Farm Credit Illinois chief appraiser. “Due to that limited supply, demand remains strong, which contributes to the moderate decline in values.”

The market expects land values to continue declining moderately in correlation with lower commodity prices, rising interest rates and lower net farm incomes.

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