University of Illinois Extension September Newsletter


School is back in session, and summer events are coming to a close. But, our events calendar remains full of opportunities for all ages. Gardeners, nature lovers, community members, and youth, Extension has events for you! Our careers page also lists several open positions, please feel free to share with any friends or family who might be looking for a new career.

Deadline nears for Master Gardener training

If you’re considering becoming a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, registration for in-person and self-paced online training is open. The 2022 in-person training will run 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 14 to Dec. 14. Classes will be at the Macon County Extension office. Deadline to register is Sept. 5.

Suppose In-person training doesn’t fit into your schedule. Not a problem! A self-paced online training option runs from Oct. 3 to Dec. 31. Deadline to register is Sept. 12. Find more information about both of these opportunities on our Master Gardener page.

Master Gardener events near you

Master Gardeners are active in the community, and the Macon County Master Gardeners enjoy sharing the gardens that they maintain throughout the year. Here’s your opportunity to tour the south side gardens at the Decatur Public Library from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 12. The Decatur Public Library hosts various gardens around the exterior, and many are maintained by the Macon County Master Gardeners. Please register in advance using this link for the tour

Master Gardeners are always working to make their gardens better and more fruitful. Join the DeWitt and Piatt Master Gardeners for two Seed Saving Workshops in September. DeWitt’s workshop will be at Vespasian Warner Library from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 17. Piatt’s workshop will be from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Piatt County Extension Office. Find more information or register using this link.

University of Illinois Extension’s popular Four Seasons Gardening program begins its fall series with Dahlias: Digging, Dividing, and Diseases. Join DeWitt Master Gardeners at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the Vespasian Warner Library to view the webinar. Register with the library if planning to attend, 217-935-5174.

Deer donation program pilot seeks hunters

One in ten people struggle with hunger every day in Illinois, including one in eight children. The deer donation pilot program will provide lean protein to families in East Central Illinois, thanks to the generosity of local hunters and community members. If you are a hunter or a community member and would like to participate, more information can be found on the Illinois Deer Donation page.

Input from farmers and Ag professionals

needed for new forecasting tool

Scientists at the Universities of Illinois and Nebraska-Lincoln are looking to create a web-based application that would forecast localized soil moisture and temperature conditions up to 10 days in advance. Before taking on this task, the group is interested in knowing how beneficial a soil moisture and temperature forecasting tool might be to Illinois farmers and ag professionals.

Each day weather and climate data from the 19 Illinois Climate Network sites is collected and made available on the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program (WARM) website. Two apps developed in the past for the agricultural community - Growing Degree Day Calculator and Pest Degree Day Calculator are used extensively during the growing season by farmers, horticulturalists, and others.

The group has proposed developing web tools that will deliver updated soil moisture content and soil temperature 10-day forecasts for any location in Illinois down to a resolution of 0.4 square mile or roughly 250-acre grids using the extensive Illinois soil temperature and soil moisture data collection that is updated daily combined with the National Water Model and NOAA weather forecasts.

If you are an Illinois farmer or Ag professional, your participation in this five-question survey is appreciated. Use the link below to make sure your voice is heard:

https://go.illinois.edu/SoilForecastToolsSurvey

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