Just in time for harvest season when farmers are in their combines, WILL agriculture has crafted a website for mobile devices, m.willag.org, providing access to WILL's on-air agricultural programming and other agricultural news.
The Pre-Opening Market Report, Opening Market Report and Closing Market Report are available on the site each weekday minutes after they air on WILL-AM 580 radio. Commodity Week is available on the site by 6 p.m. Fridays before its 11:30 a.m. Saturday radio broadcast.
"We know producers can't always be near a computer or pick up a good radio signal when they're working, especially this time of year. We're glad we could launch the site this fall," says Illinois Public Media agricultural director Dave Dickey. "It has the information farmers care most about, such as our analysis and discussion of the weather."
On the mobile site, users can also access agricultural news from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences including farmdocdaily, The Bulletin and ACES News, and sign up to receive the WILL Ag enewsletter.
The mobile site also has a QR-Code that can be scanned by a smart phone to take a user directly to the mobile website.
The site will also be useful in the next couple of weeks when WILL-AM 580 will significantly lower its power so work can be done on its transmission tower. People who are unable to hear the signal can access ag programming through a live stream on the regular willag.org website, archives on the regular willag.org website and the new mobile site m.willag.org.
University of Illinois Extension's Todd Gleason, host of the Closing Market Report and Commodity Week, designed the mobile website. "We strive to be on the leading edge of farm broadcasting and are happy we're able to bring our agricultural analysis to a new platform," he adds.
WILL radio's agricultural staff works hard to keep up with the changing communications technology, while maintaining a strong ease of use mindset. The new mobile website is the second delivery format aimed at farmers' cell phones. The station introduced an old fashioned phone messaging system several years ago. Farmers without a smart phone can call (217) 333-3434 at 10:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m daily to hear the market numbers and bit of analysis.
Illinois Public Media is a not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media at the University of Illinois, educating, entertaining, inspiring and empowering by airing the best of public television and radio programs, producing local content for broadcast and the Web, and working with community partners to address needs and concerns.
WILL-AM 580 offers a comprehensive alternative to quick-fix news through local and regional coverage as well as a local talk show, weather and agricultural news, and coverage from NPR and the BBC.
WILL-FM 90.9 offers programming to nourish the spirit and the mind, with classical music along with local news and NPR's news magazines, "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."
WILL-TV blends a core of PBS programming with locally produced documentaries and programs such as "Mid-American Gardener" that focus on central Illinois.
WILL Online at will.illinois.edu provides live streaming of the WILL-AM signal; downloads and archives of news stories, local talk shows and agricultural market reports; weather maps and forecasts; an education site for parents, teachers and child care providers; and more information about WILL programs, services and projects.