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updated: 2/5/2014 8:15 AM

Illinois research council awards grants for agricultural research

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Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON -- The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council is awarding $2.6 million in grants to help farmers maximize harvest yields.

Illinois Department of Agriculture spokesman Jeff Squibb said in an emailed statement that there are 15 total projects. The idea is to look at the efficient use of nutrients while protecting the environment.

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The projects including examining how nitrogen management systems utilized by farmers might help increase crop yields. Others include looking at the agronomic and environmental benefits of cover crops.

Dale Hadden is a farmer and council member. In a statement, he says the efforts are critical to farmers.

The council is a private-public partnership created by the Illinois Fertilizer Act. It's funded by a 75-cents fee on all fertilizer sold in the state.

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