Another major function of the department is selling Illinois’ agricultural products and commodities to the world, typically done in-person through trade missions, shows and expositions.
But with business travel screeching to a halt, this task too went online. And it went better than anyone could have expected, Costello said.
“So what I can tell you is the virtual trade show that we did, believe it or not, was almost identical in sales to the one that we did the year before,” Costello said. “So I do think that it generated as much revenue obviously as the year before, but it probably generated as much interest as in times before.”
Costello also highlighted some positives from 2020. Once again, Illinois led the nation in soybean production, raising 605 million bushels, a 14% increase from 2019. McLean County lead all U.S. counties in soybean production.
The state was also second in corn production, fourth in livestock and, among specialty products, Illinois was tops in horseradish and pumpkins.
“I hope you’re all aware of the fact that agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Illinois, and I don’t think that everyone in the state knows that, although everyone should,” Costello said.
Costello also mentioned the noted drop in complaints over the use of the pesticide dicamba, which went from 720 to just 148.
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March 16, 2021 at 07:00PM