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Evening Edition | Thursday, June 16, 2022

In tonight’s Evening Edition, read about the latest news of drought across the Corn Belt, Russia shipping grain out of Ukraine, and farmers implementing conservation practices in Illinois.

Summer Drought

Editor Madelyn Ostendorf covers the Corn Belt states' recent weather and drought conditions.

South Dakota has reported a lessening in drought intensity last week.

Ostendorf writes, "Michael Cronin finished planting this week, along with about 97% of other South Dakota corn farmers. It was a long haul to get there, as severe drought conditions in April kept most farmers out of the field."

Ukraine Grain

Russian-flagged ships have been carrying grain harvested in Ukraine last season and transported it to Syria, U.S. satellite imagery company Maxar said on Thursday.

Maxar's images showed two Russian-flagged bulk carrier ships docked in the Russian-controlled Crimean port of Sevastopol in May and being loaded with grain, the company said.

Days later, Maxar satellites collected images of the same ships docked in Syria, with their hatches open and semi-trucks lined up ready to haul the grain away.

Conservation in Illinois

The Saving Tomorrow's Agriculture Resources (STAR) initiative educates and encourages farmers, ranchers, and landowners to employ conservation management practices that improve water quality and soil health.

In the past year, 472 participants utilized the STAR tool on 85,579 acres over 1,579 fields.

In Illinois, 69 Soil & Water Conservation Districts locally administered the program, providing one-on-one technical assistance to farmers and landowners interested in improving their STAR Rating.

Additionally, Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Conservation Districts of Iowa implemented Colorado STAR and Iowa STAR, respectively, for the first time in 2021.

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