The Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources (STAR) program will soon be entering it’s 3rd year, and with endorsements and support from the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and a number of industry groups, the program is growing fast. 78 farmers from 15 counties in Illinois participated the first year. In it’s second year – the first year Coles County participated – 179 famers from 29 counties submitted at least one field!
An exact date hasn’t been announced yet, but the new field forms and online portal for the current crop year are expected to be released in July. Among the changes to this year’s “field form” we are expecting a few modifications for different practices such as manure application and tillage operations. We also anticipate that the “scoring” for various practices will be modified to better reflect reductions in runoff and nutrient loss in order to align more closely with the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
The Coles County SWCD is looking forward to increased participation in the free and confidential scoring portion of the program when the forms are released. If you’re interested in participating, would like more information, or would like help filling out the form, please give our office a call and schedule an appointment with Lauren.