One industry that isn’t threatening to leave Illinois is farming. It’s not possible for farmers to pick up their land and leave, though they do have the same concerns about the state’s business climate that other industries have, says Philip Nelson, president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. But since they’re stuck here, they try to see the bright side, he said.
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“We recognize that this state has tremendous assets: Some of the best soils in the world, a great transportation infrastructure, central geographic location, and access to a large urban market such as Chicago,” Nelson said today (Monday), in addressing the Illinois Food and Agriculture Summit at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In particular, he mentioned the delay in getting permits to build an ethanol plant, which he said in 2008 took three or four times longer in Illinois vs. neighboring states. He says there has been progress in that area, but farmers are still concerned about soil and water regulations and tax policy.