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JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — When Liam Condon talks, people listen. The president of Bayer’s Crop Science Division has done a lot of talking – and a lot of listening – in the 14 months since the Bayer purchase of Monsanto became final and official in June 2018.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If buildings could smile, this one was. During the two years it was closed during the Illinois State Fair, the Coliseum, far and away the main venue and the most visible one at the Springfield fairgrounds, always seemed a little embarrassed, a once-grand dame trying to cover her face during the very public times of the State Fair.

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If you ate overall fewer calories, you may have lost a few pounds, and sometimes that can have a big beneficial effect on cholesterol. It also may be the case that you ate more fiber from vegetables, nuts and fruits, which in itself can help reduce cholesterol.

On March 2, 2018, President Trump said, “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” On the same day in my weekly column entitled “Trump Tariffs” I quoted Robert Shiller, Nobel Prize winner in Economics in 2013. Mr. Shiller said, “I’d wonder if this isn’t just a first step, that Trump has in mind raising other tariffs.”

In 1951, the Christian Mission at Glasgow Christian Church in Glasgow, Illinois, sponsored the printing of a spiral-bound booklet featuring 1,001 helpful household hints.

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the yellow roses along the primrose path are dazzling distractions from what, in a matter of days, has already been a long month for farmers and ranchers.

HILLSBORO, Ill. – Timing is important when it comes to treatment of caterpillar pests in trees. The earlier you find these insects, the easier it is to control them. Summer is a nice time to take a cruise in the car and you may notice some webs in the roadside trees.

DECATUR, Ill. – Discover and celebrate the power of pollinators and the monarch butterfly as they migrate across central Illinois in September at the fifth-annual Monarch Madness co-sponsored by the Macon County Master Gardeners and Rock Springs Nature Center.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois Rural Health Association will host its 30th annual Educational Conference Aug. 7-8 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. The theme of this year’s conference is “30 Years of Improving Rural Health.”

School gardens offer so much more than beautifying school grounds. Imagine being able to dig in the soil to explore its make-up instead of looking at pictures, observe firsthand the act of pollination and the life cycle of plants from seed to seeds, or be inspired by the garden while writing an essay or painting a picture.

MACOMB, Ill. – Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture’s 2019 Agronomy Field Day will be held Aug. 8, at the Agricultural Field Laboratory. This year’s event will feature information on weed management in corn and soybeans.

BRYANT, Ill. — Sonja Wright, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties, created a sensory garden in her hometown of Bryant, Illinois. Through her professional career as a speech pathologist, Sonja understands the value of using all five senses as a means of skills recovery.

SPRING GROVE, Ill. — Richardson Adventure Farm’s annual corn maze will salute the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. Richardson Adventure Farm, 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove, has been in the family since 1840, and opened the first corn maze in 2001. Over the years, it has become an annual destination for family fun, with a new 28-acre maze every year, plus more than 30 activities.

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Agricultural research, whether it’s conducted in the United States or abroad, has forever transformed the landscape of farming. From the hybridization of plant species and the production of biofuels to the utilization of precision-agricultural technologies, when countries invest in agricultural research the world benefits. Providing economic-development programs to developing countries reduces poverty rates and increases purchasing power, which expands market opportunities for U.S. farmers.

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There will be several baking contests hosted at this year’s Sheboygan County Fair. Don’t miss the daily entertainment! Look daily for Granpa Cratchet, the Wisconsin Dockdogs, and Pleasure Valley Pig and Duck Races. The fair will be held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 at the Sheboygan County Fair Association, 229 Fairview Drive, Plymouth, Wisconsin. Visit www.shebcofair.com for more information. Visit bit.ly/countyfairs2019 for more information on all Wisconsin fairs.

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It was a down day for grains as traders see a decent amount of rain in the upcoming forecasts, Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said. “First blush crop reports, from the annual corn/soybean tour this week, suggest the corn and bean crops are lagging in development,” she said.

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Profit-taking was to blame for much of corn’s turn in the red today, Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said. “Prices drew additional pressure from lack of fresh supportive news, slowing demand as evidenced in this morning’s inspection figure,” she said.

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In weighted average negotiated prices for barrows and gilts, USDA reported;

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Wheat’s market traded “in sympathy with the row crops,” Ami L. Heesch of CHS Hedging said. Harvest is expected to begin this week, after rains delayed movement last week. Export inspections were reported in line with expectations.

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“The hog market has been about as bi-polar as it possibly can get,” Oliver Sloup of Blue Line Futures said, adding that swings can be overblown. In the near-term, he said he thinks today’s movement in the lean hog market is more indicative of a relief rally.

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A drop in currency has slowed down Argentina farmers’ selling of soybeans, Steve Freed of ADM Investor Services said. Meanwhile, traders are starting to accept the USDA acreage and yield numbers, ahead of the crop tour results this week.

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Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were firm to higher on moderate demand and light offerings, USDA said.

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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently confirmed that a horse and a mule on the same premises in Taylor County, Wisconsin, have tested positive for equine infectious anemia. Those are Wisconsin’s first confirmed cases of equine infectious anemia in almost 15 years. There's no treatment for equine infectious anemia. To prevent transmitting it, infected animals are humanely euthanized.

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Due to several Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) outbreaks in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Nebraska all susceptible livestock (beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, llamas, and alpacas) including horses coming to the Nebraska State Fair from Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Nebraska need a 48 hour Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) to enter the fairgrounds. That CVI must also contain the federal VS statement: "The animals represented on the CVI have not originated from premises or area under quarantine for Vesicular Stomatitis or a premises on which Vesicular Stomatitis has been diagnosed in the last (30) days. I have examined the animals and found no signs of Vesicular Stomatitis." Animals will be observed once on the grounds. All horses will be examined daily by a veterinarian.

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According to Allendale, China’s top soybean buyer said they “can do without soybean supplies from the U.S. in the fourth quarter,” relying solely on South American imports.

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“Not much news,” CHS Hedging’s Steve Hyde said. “Hopefully weather will cooperate with producers this week to allow for better spring wheat harvest. World stocks continue to grow, demand is slack, but U. S. should be in better shape to compete for business given price levels at this time.”

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The slaughter number coming in higher last week may assuage fears that there will be an oversupply of cattle, The Hightower Report said. A surge in beef prices has also boosted packer margins, which may have helped the slaughter on Saturday.

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Despite weak technical action and lower pork prices, downside in the market may be limited if exports pick up steam, The Hightower Report said.

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Coming into this week, “there is no technical sign of a low” in cattle, The Hightower report said. “If there is a sense that the industry can deal with the plant fire issue without building a massive supply of market-ready cattle, cattle futures look undervalued.”

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“Timely weekend rains over dry areas are pressuring prices overnight and early this morning,” Steve Hyde of CHS Hedging said. The rains are expected to improve crop conditions across the Midwest, as farmers turn their attention to a possibly late harvest.

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Large supply numbers and favorable weather helped drag down overnight markets entering Monday, Allendale said. “Traders will be paying attention to various crop tours and survey's beginning this week searching for clearer answers on what we can expect in the fields this yea,” Allendale said.