High commodity prices, seed corn companies spur rise in irrigation in Illinois

Since the 2012 drought, the number of irrigation pivots in Champaign County has more than doubled. Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, said that one of the driving factors behind the recent growth in irrigation has been seed corn companies moving toward growers that have installed pivots to help reduce the risk of losing their crops in a drought.

Five stories that revealed the impact of big agribusiness

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting relocated to Champaign, Illinois, in 2012 to turn its investigative lens to one focus — agribusiness and its related issues. Below are five ways we’ve done that. If you like what you read, then please donate today to support our nonprofit, non-partisan journalism.