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Online information systems specifically for agriculture were relatively new in 1999, when the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign released the first version of farmdoc (then known as Illinois Grain Risk Outreach, or I-GRO). With initial funding from the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, UI agricultural economists created the project as a comprehensive system to aid in decision-making for farms under risk.

The I-GRO website initially focused on marketing and outlook information, market advisory services evaluation, and financial management. Providing around-the-clock access to information and analysis along with the realization that the site needed a professional look were key to developing the next iteration, called farm.doc (for Farm Decision Outreach Central), which launched in 2000. The redesigned site added new content and functionality, offering decision tools; information on agricultural finance, law and taxation, farm management, and agricultural policy; and a broad portfolio of agricultural publications.

The overall goal of the farmdoc project is the same today as in 1999 — to provide U.S. Corn Belt crop and livestock producers with constant access to integrated information and expertise to better manage their farm businesses. But, as technology has changed, so too has farmdoc.   Spurred on by the mobile device and the social media revolution, busy people began to desire multi-platform accessibility to information and have it presented in a condensed format.  In response, the farmdoc daily site was created in 2011.  This site has the ambitious goal of publishing one new article of research-based analysis each business day.  The articles on farmdoc daily have quickly earned a place on the must-read list of farmers, educators, journalists, traders, market analysts, and policy-makers around the globe.

In 2016, the Farm Policy News site was added to the farmdoc family of websites in order to provide updates on current developments relating to the farm economy and U.S. farm policy.  The social media component of the project was upgraded at the same time.  There are now multiple ways to connect with farmdoc through email updates, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. You’ll find these links on our homepage and social media page.

Along the way, the farmdoc project has been honored with numerous awards, including the Team Award from the College of ACES at the UI (three times) and the Distinguished Group Extension Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (three times).  We are grateful to everyone that has supported us over the years.

Thanks for visiting. We hope you will come back to farmdoc daily often.

Scott Irwin
farmdoc Team Leader

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