Farmer Baker Brewer Summit highlights local grains

It sounds like the setup to a joke, but earlier this month 50 farmers, bakers, brewers and distillers all walked into an historic Alton bakery (now the Old Bakery Beer Company) to talk about something they all have in common – grain – and how they can use and source more local and specialty grains [...]

IL Farm Bureau commits money to reduce nutrient pollution

The Illinois Farm Bureau is committing $100,000 to a new grant program to help county Farm Bureaus implement strategies next year that will improve soil health and water quality and reduce fertilizer runoff in their area. The grant program is designed to engage county Farm Bureaus in the effort to increase nutrient stewardship practices by [...]

Livestock waste spill into Stony Creek results in fish kill

Last week, concentrated livestock waste from a nearby cattle operation spilled into Stony Creek and the Vermilion River. Inspectors observed pollution impacts several miles downstream from the site of the spill, including in the Salt Fork of the Vermilion River. The Oakwood public water supply, located seven miles from the livestock facility, was identified as [...]

Funding Crisis for Illinois’ Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Due to Illinois’ budget impasse, the future of Illinois' Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) and their equally important partners in the Illinois Department of Agriculture is in jeopardy. Illinois has some of the richest and most productive soils in the world along with abundant fresh water, yet instead of investing in the long term foundation of our state’s [...]

State Strategy Falls Flat as Overload of Nutrients Harms Illinois Waters

CHAMPAIGN, IL — Yesterday’s release of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture importantly recognizes one of the state’s most serious water pollution problems: Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from farms and sewage treatment plants harming Illinois waters and contributing to the dead zone in the Gulf of [...]