Featured

EPA announces new restrictions on dicamba for 2018 growing season

Tougher restrictions will be coming to the label for the weed killer dicamba, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday, according to a report from Reuters.

A matching gift will double your donation

We are excited to announce a matching gift opportunity from News Match, a national campaign by independent foundations to encourage grassroots support for nonprofit news organizations like ours. Starting right now—and until the end of the year—News Match will match dollar for dollar any donation we receive - up to $1,000 per donation. 

Pesticide applicators report drift issues with dicamba, even when using brand names in good weather

In August, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association surveyed its 178 agriculture retail companies about their experience with dicamba this growing season. The association received 124 responses,  which were anonymous. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported issues with dicamba, even when following the label.

Report spotlights nitrate contamination in drinking water across the U.S.

A new report from the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, indicates that more than 1,700 water districts across the U.S. recorded nitrate levels that averaged 5 ppm or more in 2014-2015. The vast majority — 1,683 of the water districts — were rural systems  serving no more than 25,000 people and generally located in farming areas where fertilizer and manure in cropland runoff can seep into the public water supply. Included in those rural districts were 118 systems that matched or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limit of 10 ppm.

Help us investigate the growing number of pesticide drift complaints

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that the number of alleged pesticide misuse complaints in Illinois this year is already more than the previous three years combined. States across the Midwest have reported a similar spike. Experts say this sharp increase is due in large part to new formulations of the weed killer dicamba. Many farmers and homeowners are reporting damage to their non-dicamba-resistant plants, raising questions about how easily the product can drift off target, even when applied according to the directions on the label. The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has been following the story, and we want to hear from you (regardless of whether you filed a formal complaint).

Long-time housing for migrant farmworkers closes

Since 2001, the former hospital on Nightingale Court in Rantoul, Ilinois housed as many as 450 migrant farmworkers and their families to work in the fields in central Illinois.
But this year, its owner - Unique Storage Inc. - did not submit a migrant labor camp application for the site, known as Nightingale, according to the state public health department. Instead, housing for the farmworkers was moved elsewhere.