College of ACES
College News


Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program (WGGP) Coffee Hour

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room 345 Armory Building

Learn more about the research and work of WGGP featured speakers and visit with faculty and graduate students.  Light refreshments will be served.

Click here for more information.



Changing Water Management in a Changing China

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1311 Newmark

Speaker: Ximing Cai (Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Sponsored by: Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

For more information, click here.


Forest as a Sublime Power: Reconsidering the Non-Human in Brazilian Struggles for Recognition

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
International Studies Building Room 101

As part of the Lemann Lecture Series, Fall 2017.


70 Years of US-Pakistan Relations

All Day Event
Conference Room 210, Levis Faculty Center

Sponsored by the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. Click here for more information.

Corn supply a burden to prices

Published November 15, 2017

URBANA, Ill. – The USDA’s Crop Production report released on Nov. 9 described an unexpectedly large corn yield increase for the 2017 crop. Corn prices suffered a moderate decline following the report’s release, considering the magnitude of the yield increase. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, corn prices will struggle to find support due to the ample supply available during the 2017-18 marketing year.

“The United States corn production forecast increased to 14.6 billion bushels, up almost 300 million bushels over the October forecast,” Hubbs says. “At 175.4 bushels per acre, the yield increase of 3.6 bushels came in well above pre-report estimates and set a new yield record.”

An increase in yield close to this magnitude between the October and November production reports last occurred in 1996 (3.5 bushels) and 1992 (5.5 bushels).

“In each of those instances, the final yield estimate increased from the November forecast, which does not bode well for current supply scenarios,” Hubbs says. “Yield increases were particularly strong through the heart of the Corn Belt. Iowa and Illinois corn yield projections were increased by three bushels per acre and Indiana projections up by eight bushels per acre. North Dakota also saw an eight-bushel-per-acre increase in projected yield. In total, the yield increases in the four states over the October projections increased corn production by 211 million bushels. 

“Despite the increase in corn consumption by 150 million bushels to 14.4 billion bushels, the 2017 corn crop pushed projected ending stocks for the 2017-18 marketing year to 2.487 billion bushels, an ending-stocks level not seen since the 1987-88 marketing year. A closer consideration of corn consumption may help in clarifying the prospective uses for this crop and the price implications moving forward,” Hubbs says.

The November World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects 2017-18 marketing-year corn exports at 1,925 million bushels, compared to 2,293 million bushels for last marketing year. The current export projection is increased 75 million bushels from the October projection on the expectation of increased Mexican demand and U.S. competitiveness in global markets.

“Thus far, no indication of strengthening export levels has materialized this marketing year,” Hubbs says. Census Bureau estimates of corn exports for September were 139 million bushels, 45 percent lower than last year’s export total during September. Weekly export inspections have lagged /compared to last year’s pace as well. During the first nine weeks of the marketing year, export inspections totaled 218 million bushels, 182 million bushels less than the same time last year. 

“To reach the USDA’s current projection, export inspections need to increase from the 24 million bushels per week thus far this marketing year to 36 million bushels,” Hubbs says. 

In the November WASDE report, the 2017-18 marketing year corn use for ethanol was projected at 5,475 million bushels. The projection is 36 million bushels larger than last year.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration weekly estimates indicate September production was up around 3 percent year-over-year. The USDA’s Grain Crushing and Co-Products Production report also showed that 3 percent more corn was used for ethanol production in September relative to last year. Weekly EIA estimates of ethanol production in October indicated a 3.4 percent increase over last year.

“The pace of ethanol production currently is running slightly ahead of USDA projections,” Hubbs says. “Ethanol production during the rest of the marketing year will be influenced by numerous factors. These include the pace of gasoline consumption and ethanol exports.”

Weekly gasoline demand thus far in the marketing year averaged 1.6 percent higher than last year through Nov. 3. After a slow start in early September, gasoline demand picked up through October and into early November.

“Recent increases in gasoline prices and seasonal factors may place a damper on gasoline usage in the coming weeks,” Hubbs says. “Ethanol exports were down 16 percent in September from August levels and down 12 percent year over year. Lower Brazilian exports contributed tremendously to the drop-off and bring into question the ability of ethanol exports to repeat the impressive performance seen the 2016-17 marketing year.”

USDA projects feed and residual use of corn during this marketing year to be 5,575 million bushels, up 75 million bushels from October and 112 million bushels over last marketing year. The change in feed and residual usage is a 2 percent increase over the previous marketing year.

“Although livestock inventory numbers strengthened in 2017, little direct information is available to assess the pace of feed and residual consumption,” Hubbs says. “New information will arrive with the Grain Stocks report to be released during the second week of January.

“The current pace of corn consumption suggests the December WASDE report will not contain significant changes to use projections to lower the current 2.487 billion bushel ending stocks total for 2017-18,” Hubbs says. “Barring a surprise for the 2017 corn production estimate or Dec.1 corn stocks estimate to be released in January, low prices look to continue into the spring when weather and acreage become significant elements in corn price movements.”






Illini Foresters Christmas Tree Sale 2017

Published November 14, 2017
Tree Sale December 1 - December 3, 2017

Illini Foresters Annual Christmas Tree Sale!

Illini Forest Plantations, SW corner of Windsor and Race in Urbana

3-11 pm Friday, December 1st; 8 am-11 pm Saturday, December 2nd; 8 am-12 pm Sunday, December 3rd
(or until they run out of trees)


News Source:

Illini Foresters

2017 Illinois Farm Economics Summit scheduled

Published November 14, 2017

URBANA, Ill. – This year’s Illinois Farm Economics Summit will address the profitability of Illinois agriculture and how to manage financial stress. The University of Illinois Extension and members of the farmdoc team from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in the College of ACES is offering a series of five Farm Economics Summit meetings to help producers with key issues they’re facing.

“Although very good crops in many parts of the state in 2016 helped incomes recover, the story of Illinois agriculture continued to be one of managing financial stress,” says U of I agricultural economist Scott Irwin. “The stress has been brought on by low corn, soybean, and wheat prices, and costs of production that have adjusted somewhat slowly to the new price realities. Producers and landowners continue to face a series of difficult management challenges as they grapple with adjusting to the current environment of low grain prices.”

Speakers from the U of I farmdoc team will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the 2018 outlook for crop and livestock prices, soybean yield trends, an update on the next farm bill, the financial position of Illinois farms, habits of financially resilient farm operations, and crop economics for 2018. The format for the meeting will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Irwin says farm owners, operators, ag lenders, and agribusiness professionals will benefit from the information presented at this year’s summit.

Sponsored by U of I Extension, the farm economics summit will be offered at five different locations during the month of December.

The dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, Dec. 18 - Dekalb, Faranda’s Banquet Center

Tuesday, Dec. 19 - Peoria, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino

Wednesday, Dec. 20 - Springfield, Crowne Plaza

Thursday, Dec. 21 – Carlyle, Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery

Friday, Dec. 22 - Champaign, iHotel and Conference Center

Registration and coffee will begin at 7:45 a.m.  Sessions will begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. The advance registration fee is $70 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, and all meeting materials. The online pre-registration deadline is Dec. 11, which includes a $5 discount. Registration at the door is $75 per person as space permits.

For questions about registration, contact Nancy Simpson (; 217-244-9687).

See the website for the complete  agenda and list of speakers.

Disease-resistant apples perform better than old favorites

Published November 14, 2017
WineCrisp apples
WineCrisp apples

URBANA, Ill. – You may not find them in the produce aisle yet, but it’s only a matter of time before new disease-resistant apple cultivars overtake favorites like Honeycrisp in popularity, according to a University of Illinois apple expert.

“I know everyone wants Honeycrisp, but they’re notoriously hard to grow. There are so many issues in producing the fruit: the tree might produce a lot one year, but none the next; the fruit doesn’t keep well and is susceptible to disease,” says Mosbah Kushad, an associate professor of horticulture in the Department of Crop Sciences and horticulture Extension specialist at U of I.

Apples are attacked by all sorts of pests, but apple scab, a fungus, is particularly nasty. It can cause yield losses up to 80 percent. For traditional apple cultivars and many newer ones, including Honeycrisp, combating apple scab and other diseases means applying multiple pesticides several times throughout the growing season.  

Fortunately, after the gene for scab resistance was discovered by a U of I scientist in 1944, a number of resistant cultivars have been developed. Kushad says the early cultivars weren’t particularly good, but more recent ones show a lot of promise.

“WineCrisp, for example, is a very attractive and flavorful apple,” he says. “It’s not very large, but who wants to buy an apple that weighs a pound?”

A new wave of scab-resistant apples has been developed and tested as part of a cooperative breeding program through U of I, Rutgers University, and Purdue University. So far, several cultivars have proven to be as nutritious or even better for you than older types, but until now, it wasn’t clear whether their quality held up over time.

In a new article published in the Journal of Food Quality, Kushad and several collaborators looked at whether scab-resistant GoldRush, WineCrisp, CrimsonCrisp, and Pixie Crunch retained their quality under standard post-harvest storage practices, and compared their performance to scab-susceptible Golden Delicious.

The researchers exposed the apples to 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), a gas now commonly used in the industry to inhibit ethylene production and slow ripening of stored fruit. “1-MCP could be the best invention for the fruit industry since apples were discovered,” Kushad says. Aspects of nutritional quality and commercial viability were tested in the fruits after 70 and 140 days of storage.

In general, the eating quality – flesh firmness, sugar content, and acidity – of the scab-resistant cultivars was as good or better than Golden Delicious, before and after storage. And two of the scab-resistant cultivars, GoldRush and CrimsonCrisp, had significantly more antioxidant capacity, even after 140 days. The cultivars varied in their responsiveness to 1-MCP, with CrimsonCrisp showing the most promise for long-term storage using the product.

“What the article is saying is that the quality of the scab-resistant cultivars is very comparable to standard varieties. In terms of nutrition, health benefit, aesthetic, and taste, these apples are competing very well. As an alternative to scab-susceptible types, they will be very attractive, especially for organic growers,” Kushad says.

And although you may not see WineCrisp on the grocery store shelves yet, Kushad points out that it and the other cultivars can be found in some local farmer’s markets and orchards. “You’ll see them in the smaller places first, but as volume builds in the top apple-growing states, they’ll start showing up in the big grocery stores. I have no doubt.”

The article, “Influence of 1-methylcyclopropene treatment on postharvest quality of four scab (Venturia inaequalis)-resistant apple cultivars,” is published in the Journal of Food Quality. The study is authored by Moises Zucoloto, Kang-Mo Ku, Moo Jung Kim, and Kushad.