Agriculture is a big deal in Illinois, and at its flagship university.
But off-campus plots where important crop research is done may be the latest budget casualty. Associate dean Neal Merchen oversees the Illinois Agriculture Experiment Station, which has four locations around the state. All but one would cease crop production research under the latest plan, says Merchen.
“We will continue to have some very active programs of research,” says Merchen, “and some of the locations where we are discontinuing crop production research will see continued research in the fields of animal sciences and forestry.”
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What's also important to note, says Merchen, is that the problem is not a new one; he says funding has slid for both the university and for the College of ACES (Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences) for more than a decade.”
The three crop research locations to be closed are near Vandalia, DeKalb, and St Charles. The Dixon Springs site in far southern Illinois, at Simpson, would remain.