Today's News

  • Biomass crop assistance program signup is open

    The application period for the next round of Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas will be open until April 23.
     “BCAP provides incentives to farmers and forest landowners to grow non-food crops to be processed into biofuels – a critical element of our national energy strategy to address high fuel prices and reduce reliance on foreign oil,” said Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

  • USDA expects 75-year high in corn acres planted in nation this spring

    Driven by favorable prices, U.S. farmers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn in 2012, up 4 percent from 2011, according to the Prospective Plantings report released recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
    If realized, this will be the largest corn acreage in the United States since 1937, when producers planted 97.2 acres of corn.

  • Corn acres up, soybeans down

    Illinois farmers intend to plant 12.5 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2012, down 100,000 acres from 2011. Many farmers noted that corn on corn acres have not yielded as well as many had hoped for the past few years, leading to increased rotations of other crops.
    Planting got under way the middle of March in some locations around Illinois, and is progressing at an above-average pace this year.

  • Hog and pig numbers up 6%

    The Illinois Field Office of National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released the USDA’s March hogs and pigs report. State and national highlights of the report include:
    The number of hogs and pigs on March 1, 2012, was 4.65 million, 6 percent more than on March 1, 2011, and steady with what was on hand Dec. 1, 2011. Breeding hogs on hand on March 1, 2012, were estimated at 510,000 head, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and market hogs, at 4.14 million head, were up 5 percent.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: No photo this week. Photos are needed.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: No photo last week.
    This week’s Scrambler:  slarede tac vidsicyeel ni het casnebe fo trincyate.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: If I had known then what I know now, I would have made the same mistakes sooner. (Robert Half)

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – The Vandalia Community High School wrestling team captured fourth place at the IHSA dual team finals.
    The Vandalia City Council approved a $15,000 contribution to the Vandalia Main Street Program in each of the next three years.
    Rhet Spengel of Springfield was hired as a patrolman for the Vandalia Police Department.
    Harland Bartholomew & Associates of Chesterfield completed the update of the city’s lake ordinance. The work included pulling together several documents governing the lake.

  • Planting begins; share the roads

    If you’ve spent any time recently on the back roads of Fayette County, you know what it means to share the road.

  • Gen. Thomas Ransom 'one of the best'

    Thomas Ransom was born on Nov. 29, 1834, in Norwich, Vt., the son of Col. Truman B. Ransom, who, for a time, was president of Norwich University, a liberal arts college with instruction in civil engineering and military science.

  • Museum Open House

    Phil Shroyer (right), a member of the Historical Vandalia Inc. Board of Directors, explains to Todd McKellar the planned improvements for the old Presbyterian Church, which serves as the home of the Fayette County Museum and Artworks Gallery.

    An open house was held at the building on Sunday as part of Historical Vandalia's efforts to raise funds for new wiring, insulation, lights and fans.

  • Museum Visitors

    Betty and John David Greer, center and right, were among the visitors to the open house at the Fayette County Museum on Sunday afternoon.
    Steve Durbin, left, of the Historical Vandalia Inc. Board of Directors explained what has been done to the old Presbyterian Church, and what will be done in the future. John David Greer remembered going to Sunday school in the building as a child.