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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The number of acres Illinois farmers devote to corn crops this year is expected to dip slightly amid growers' plans to plant more soybeans statewide.
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual forecast released Monday shows Illinois will have roughly 11.9 million acres of corn. That's down about 1 percent from the 12 million acres planted last year. In 2012, the acreage was 12.8 million.
   The USDA says soybeans will make up the difference, with the 9.5 million acres expected to be planted in Illinois coming in 1 percent higher than last year's 9.45 million acres.
   Nationwide, the USDA expects 91.7 million acres of corn to be sown this year, down about 4 percent from last year. Soybean acreage is expected to rise about 6 percent to 81.5 million acres.
 
Published in Local News
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Creve Coeur-based Monsanto's soybean patent claim. The biotech giant will argue that the patent for Roundup Ready soybeans extends to the offspring of the beans.

The case dates back to 2007, when Monsanto sued an Indiana farmer for planting the progeny of the patented beans. Monsanto won in U.S. District Court, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals. But that farmer, 75 year old Vernon Hugh Bowman has appealed to the high court.

Court watchers say this case has implications beyond genetically modified seeds, extending to other new technologies.

Briefs from Monsanto supporters, like the University of Missouri and Microsoft argue that a decision against Monsanto would have a chilling effect on innovation. Bowman's supporters argue that that would extend patent claims to an unreasonable length.
Published in Local News

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