An American Ethanol label is shown on a NASCAR race car gas tank at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo / Randy Holt, File)

The move reflects the importance of ethanol to agriculture. The fuel additive consumes roughly 40% of the nation’s corn crop, so higher sales of ethanol could mean greater profits for corn farmers.

Corn crops in Illinois are hampered by a June 2023 drought. (Catrina Rawson / Illinois Farm Bureau)

June is expected to go down as one of the 10 driest months in the state’s history. Farmers are already seeing an impact on their crops and consumers are likely to see an impact soon.

Students at work at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Mount Greenwood. (WTTW News)

The number of farmers in Illinois is declining and the most recent census data shows the average age of a farmer is nearly 60.

Soybeans and wheats are seen in Jeff O'Connor's farm, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Kankakee, Ill. A US Department of Agriculture move to change crop insurance rules to encourage farmers to grow two crops in a single year instead of one. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture instituted new policies to encourage American farmers to begin growing two crops on one piece of land, one after the other, a practice known as double-cropping.

Elvis Sanchez works in a produce farm program through Urban Autism Solutions. (WTTW News)

Urban Autism Solutions, an organization on the West Side, is working to empower young adults on the autism spectrum to learn life skills. The 1.2- acre produce farm is a hands-on program teaching young adults the basics of farming with a goal of enhancing their social and vocational skills.

Karen and Jim Belli say the secret ot their honey is the diversity of the local trees and plants in northeastern Illinois, making it in their view one of the best places to raise honeybees in the entire country. (WTTW News)

Illinois is known for growing corn and soybeans, but there’s another local crop some say is ready for its close up: honey. We visit a bee farm just north of Chicago that has become one of the most celebrated in the entire state.  

A scene from the documentary “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm.” (Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm / Facebook)

Ines Sommer’s documentary “Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm” shows that climate change is knocking on the door. But that’s not what the movie was supposed to be about. 

(Spike Stitch / Flickr)

Agriculture is one of Illinois’ main industries. But like many other sectors, it’s taking a beating because of the coronavirus.

They appear to be marbled, speckled, dipped and dyed, with names like “Red Glitter” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” We visit a poinsettia farm and learn what it takes to cultivate the crop in time for the holidays.

Al Westerman with three of the 124 apple varieties growing in his orchard. (Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

When Al Westerman’s grandparents bought a farm in Northern Illinois in 1911, it came with a house, a barn and an apple orchard. Now, he collects heirloom apple trees and grows more than 100 varieties. 

Joe Adkins of Wheaton, Illinois prepares to weigh a giant pumpkin he grew. At 1,258 pounds, the gourd took first place in a contest on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Inside a barn about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, six giant pumpkins are hoisted by forklift onto an industrial scale and weighed, one by one, so their growers can claim cash prizes for the heaviest – and bragging rights.

Illinois National Guard soldiers move sandbags through flood waters at East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, on June 12, 2019, as they construct a sandbag levee to control flooding in the community. (Barbara Wilson / Illinois National Guard)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking the federal government to reconsider its decision to deny monetary aid to residents and businesses affected by near-record levels of flooding that hit Illinois this spring.

Illinois National Guard soldiers move sandbags through flood waters at East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, on June 12, 2019, as they construct a sandbag levee to control flooding in the community. (Barbara Wilson / Illinois National Guard)

Steady rain throughout much of the spring led to the state’s worst flooding in more than 25 years, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. More than two dozen counties can now apply for federal funding to help with recovery efforts.

(Marco Verch / Flickr)

The new law is expected to help Illinois-based food producers and manufacturers compete for contracts that prioritize locally sourced foods.

(Jonathan Babb / Wikimedia Commons)

The move comes in the wake of near-record levels of flooding this spring that forced farmers to delay planting crops. 

(Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau)

Much of Illinois’ farmland is too wet to seed. Assessing the fallout from excessive rain – and what Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to do about it.