Hard to believe another year is almost in the books. Here is my annual look back at some of the biggest area agricultural stories of 2016.
Feb. 14: Landowners in northeastern McLean County have been approached with contracts for a new wind farm planned for the townships of Chenoa, Lawndale, Lexington and Yates. The company which had proposed the Pleasant Ridge Wind Farm for Livingston County, is apparently setting its sights on McLean County now.
Feb. 18: The move to a new venue for Illinois Pork Expo was considered a success. Those involved with the Illinois pork industry converged on the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield for the two-day event Tuesday and Wednesday. The show was formerly held in Peoria. This year’s show was one booth bigger than Peoria with 162 booths and 132 companies represented.
Apr. 7: A longtime ag teacher from Chenoa is being remembered for his contributions to local agriculture. Howard Zimmerman passed away last Saturday at his home. After accepting a teaching position at Chenoa High School many years ago, Zimmerman became very active with his students and their experiences in the ag world.
May 20: The weather may be sunny now, but that wasn’t the case in Central Illinois during the past two weeks. The recent cool wet spell wasn’t so great for crop emergence. Luckily, most of the corn has emerged and appears to be in good shape but soybeans are a different story as many are taking a “wait and see” approach.
June 23: It only took a matter of seconds to destroy a lifetime of work on a handful of Livingston County farmsteads Wednesday night. A tornado, which began three miles north of Graymont and made its way to Pontiac, resulted in major damage to sheds, grain bins, trees and even homes in the storm’s destructive path.
Aug. 31: For the first time in the show’s 67 year existence, organizers have called off the Threshermen’s Reunion at Pontiac due to saturated grounds with water still standing in places.
Oct. 18: Area farmers have seen the good, the bad and the ugly out in the fields this year. The area is about 90 percent done with the corn harvest and halfway done with soybeans. Some were lucky enough to miss some of the bigger rains last week and were waiting for conditions to dry out and warm up late in the week.