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November 16, 2018



Seven states, from Nebraska to Massachusetts, will soon build enough wind turbines to more than double their capacity to generate clean and reliable wind energy, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2018 Market Report released today. The report also reveals the first firm orders for 4-megawatt (MW) land-based wind turbines, nearly twice as powerful as the average wind turbine installed in 2017. Nationally, the low cost and reliability of wind power continued to drive strong industry growth in the third quarter. Significantly, seven states now have enough wind projects under construction or in advanced stages of development to more than double their capacity to generate electricity from the wind when they are completed. Those include heartland states with land-based wind under development—Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming—as well as coastal states Maryland and Massachusetts, where offshore wind is poised to scale up. “The wind is always blowing in the U.S. and the latest wind turbine technology helps affordably and reliably put more of that natural resource to work,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “With projects underway in over 30 states, wind is rapidly expanding as a major source of American energy, good jobs and clean air.”



Business succession planning is a community issue. Businesses anchoring our communities and economies for the past 25 to 40 years have owners wanting to retire, in record numbers. For the founding generations, some earned rest . . .  For emerging generations . . . opportunities to shine. Logic demands that generational differences be understood as part of the succession planning process. Owner challenges such as planning, communicating and timing are daunting. So how does this looming, large scale handoff occur successfully? Reminders such as, "start planning now," "set personal goals," and "define your business without you" cover common sense basics. Factor in our human tendency to prioritize urgent tasks, however, and we are right back to why less than one third of business owners have a formal transition plan. There will always be pressing and urgent tasks, but few elements of business management will have the same long term impact as planning for your exit. For more, read The future of your business.



The story of Illinois agriculture will continue to be one of managing volatility and financial stress. The stress has been brought on by low corn, soybean, and wheat prices, and especially the ongoing trade war with China. Producers and landowners face difficult management challenges as they adjust to this highly volatile economic environment. What is the prospect for a recovery in grain prices? Should cash rents be lower? And if so, how much? What strategies can be used to weather the current tough times? During the week of December 17, University of Illinois Extension and members of the farmdoc team from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics will hold five Farm Economics Summit meetings to help producers navigate these difficult times. Speakers will explore the 2019 outlook for crop and livestock prices the short- and long-term outlook for grain prices, farm profitability outlook and management challenges, the next farm bill, long-term trends in grain prices, and prospects for farmland values. Locations are Mt. Vernon, Springfield, Peoria, Dekalb, and Champaign. Register here.



University of Illinois Extension’s Community and Economic Development team will host a free webinar on Thursday, December 6, at Noon, entitled Stormwater 101: How to Address Local Flooding and Water Quality Issues, presented by Amy Ando, PhD. (Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Eliana Brown, Outreach Specialist (Illinois Water Resource Center). The webinar will cover pertinent information relevant to local officials in regards to storm water management policies and best practices.  REGISTER NOW



November 13 - Rural Partners Board Meeting and Discussion

December 6 (Webinar) - Stormwater 101: How to Address Local Flooding and Water Quality Issues

December17 - 2018 Illinois Farm Economics Summit