Watch now: ‘Wonder weed’ research at Illinois State University called a ‘game changer’ | Local Education

Heartland Community College students are able to access their online classes again, but the institution has not yet recovered from the cyberattack launched against it last week. 

Michaela McGinn of CoverCress said planting cover crops is a good practice for the environment, but it costs money, including wear and tear on machinery.

The advantage of pennycress, as it is being developed, is that not only does its growing season fit well between corn and soybeans but it provides nutrients for animal feed as well as oil for biofuels, she said.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, said, “We’re looking ahead to the future,” adding that the research will “benefit the country, not just Illinois.”

Pennycress is not the only biofuels-related research being done at ISU.

David Kopsell, professor of horticulture, and LC Yang, assistant professor of environmental health, recently received a two-year, nearly $150,000 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to continue their work on anaerobic digestion of plant wastes in small to medium-sized conventional and organic farming composting operations.

Photos: ISU professor John Sedbrook’s lab engineers pennycress plant

Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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