Illinois Department of Agriculture

Washington State Department of Agriculture

The Illinois Department of Agriculture plans to spray about 37,000 acres of farmland Wednesday to combat gypsy moths.

Gypsy Moths are a non-native species that feed on over 250 varieties of plants, but are particularly attracted to oak and willow trees.  Large numbers of the moths can defoliate plants, leaving them much more vulnerable to environmental stress.

WNIJ / WNIJ

Two Illinois lawmakers have proposed a plan to offer tax credits to biotechnology businesses in hopes of boosting agricultural jobs in central Illinois.

The Decatur Herald & Review reports the legislation, introduced by state senators Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), would provide incentives to produce and sell new renewable products made from biomass and other renewable sources.

Manar says the state is strategically poised to lead the development of new renewable products.

Scott Schirmer / Illinois Department of Agriculture

Corn may be ubiquitous in DeKalb County, but it isn't immune to external threats.

A sample from a corn field recently tested positive for bacterial leaf streak. DeKalb is the first county in Illinois to have a USDA-verified case of the disease.

It’s similar to symptoms of gray leaf spots – which farmers come across frequently – except bacterial leaf streak cannot be treated with fungicides.

Illinois To Drop Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

Oct 26, 2015
USDA

Illinois is joining several Midwest states in lifting an internal quarantine of the Emerald Ash Borer. It is an invasive beetle native to Asia that has been destroying ash trees around the state.

Restriction of firewood movement helped contain the pest, but the number of affected Illinois counties still increased.

Scott Schirmer is the Plant and Pesticide Specialist Supervisor for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. He says discovery of the beetle in 10 new counties led to the decision.

Illinois officials say the threat of bird flu required limits on poultry at this year’s Illinois State Fair.

This strain of avian influenza entered the U.S. last December. So far it’s infected flocks in all the states surrounding Illinois.

State Department of Agriculture Director Philip Nelson says it’s resulted in 48 million birds either dying or being killed. Because of that, he says bird exhibitions at the state fair will be limited to Illinois birds.

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