University News

Pennycress Field Day May 7 in Arenzville

April 29, 2021

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ARENZVILLE, IL – The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture, and corporate partner, CoverCress, Inc., will host a field day in Arenzville, IL, at the Burrus Seed Farm research plots, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, May 7.

The event is also a chance for U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis to visit the fields. It is dedicated solely to field pennycress and the efforts to begin commercialization.

This is the first of three field days scheduled for the Spring 2021 pennycress growing season. Additional field days are scheduled at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 and at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 20, both at the WIU research farm in Macomb.

In 2019, Western Illinois University Agriculture Professor Win Phippen was awarded a $10 million bio-fuel federal research grant to investigate pennycress as a new cash cover crop for the Midwest.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and is titled, "IPREFER" (Integrated Pennycress Research Enabling Farm and Energy Resilience project ( The project is addressing breeding, agronomics, ecosystems services, supply chain and outreach activities all associated with commercializing pennycress for the Midwest region. The goal is to produce billions of gallons of biofuel in the next 25 years.

The plot is located at the Burrus Seed production plant at 826 Arenzville Rd., and the event is north of the seed production plant. Producers from around the region are invited to attend.

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