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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to recognize the 140th anniversary of the
4Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign;
6    WHEREAS, The Morrow Plots were established in 1876 and are
7located in the heart of the Urbana-Champaign campus of the
8University of Illinois; they are the oldest continuous
9agricultural research fields in the United States and are
10predated only by the Rothamsted Field in England, which were
11established in 1843; the site was designated a National
12Historical Landmark by the federal government on September 12,
131968; and
14    WHEREAS, George E. Morrow, the first dean of the College of
15Agriculture, and Manley Miles, a professor of agriculture, were
16the visionaries behind the Morrow Plots; they planned to
17conduct experiments that would yield results suggestive to the
18practical farmer; and
19    WHEREAS, When the Morrow Plots were established, the United
20States was celebrating its centennial; farm wage rates in
21Illinois were $15 a month and corn sold for 30 cents a bushel;



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1    WHEREAS, In 1876, the average corn yield in Illinois was 30
2bushels an acre, about one seventh of what corn yields are
3today, when fewer than 40 million people lived in the United
4States, over two-thirds of them on farms; and
5    WHEREAS, Only three of the original 10 plots remain in
6place today; however, the physical size and configuration of
7the three main plots have not changed since 1903; and
8    WHEREAS, Plot three has grown continuous corn since the
9original establishment of the Morrow Plots in 1876; and
10    WHEREAS, The two-year crop sequence study that started in
111876 continues today in plot four, with soybeans having
12replaced oats in rotation with corn during 1976; this rotation
13better reflected the change in farming practices taking place
14across the State of Illinois during that period; and
15    WHEREAS, Plot five was planted in a three-year rotation of
16corn, oats with alfalfa seeding, and a forage crop of alfalfa
17hay starting in 1904; and
18    WHEREAS, Data from the Morrow Plots represents more than
19100 years of accumulated knowledge on the effect of both sound
20and unsound crop management practices on corn yield; and



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1    WHEREAS, Most importantly, the plots have helped to
2establish the importance of crop rotation and fertilizer
3treatments in the modern agricultural system that has allowed
4increases in yields to feed an ever-increasing world
5population; and
6    WHEREAS, Important practices and the invaluable knowledge
7discovered at the Morrow Plots concerning crop rotation, good
8soil fertility, weed control, and much more have impacted
9agriculture across not only the State, but the country, and the
10entire world; and
11    WHEREAS, Respect for the historical significance of the
12Morrow Plots and their importance for future research was shown
13in 1966 by the University when the new undergraduate library
14was built underground to prevent the negative impact of a large
15shadow on the plots from a multilevel aboveground library
16building - "You can't throw shade on the corn"; and
17    WHEREAS, Future generations will benefit from the lessons
18learned at Morrow Plots and from the continuation of new,
19updated, and improved long-term experiments that the Morrow
20Plots have inspired; therefore, be it



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2commend the Morrow Plots for 140 years of continuous operation,
3and we look forward to the next 140 years; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
5presented to the Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois as
6a symbol of our esteem and respect.