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 width=The University of Illinois plans to reduce off-campus crop research and may shut down several agricultural centers as part of a cost-cutting move tied to flagging state support.

The budget cuts will affect the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center near Vandalia; the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois; the St. Charles Horticulture Research Center west of Chicago; and the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near DeKalb.

Associate dean for research Neal Merchen of the university's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences says that nine jobs will be lost, with only the Dixon Springs center likely remaining open.

University-sponsored crop research will continue on campus and at locations in northwestern Illinois and in Pike County.

Merchen said the agricultural college expects nearly $4 million less in state money this year.

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