Agriculture diversifying in southern Illinois

US Congressman Mike Bost says agriculture is becoming more diverse in his district.

Bost, who represents 34 counties in southern Illinois tells Brownfield it is already one of the most agriculturally diverse districts in the US.

“When a lot of people think of Illinois, they only think of row crops, but we have a lot of specialty crops. We’re the largest producer of horseradish and we have melons. As you go south, we have apples and peaches and we have a lot of vineyards and wineries.”

He says farmers in the southernmost counties along the Mississippi River grow rice and opportunities are opening for cotton production.

“There is a gin across the interstate bridge into Sikeston from Cairo, so in Alexander County, where Cairo is located, a couple of farmers there are looking into growing cotton for the first time since the 1940’s.”

Brownfield interviewed Bost at the 2023 Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

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