This free tool was designed by the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to motivate those making cropping decisions to use the “best management practices” that will ultimately meet the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy by evaluating their nutrient and soil loss management practices. In 2018, 180 farmers used the program on an accumulated 438 fields for a total of 27,418 acres. STAR has been adopted in 43 counties and three states by farmers that are curious to rate their conservation practices to see how many stars their fields score.
Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has endorsed the innovative new program that rewards farmers with up to five stars for sustainability practices that protect our drinking water and prevent erosion and nutrient pollution. Farmers applying for IDOA conservation programs are now required to participate in S.T.A.R. (Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources), although no specific S.T.A.R. rating is currently required.
The Coles County SWCD is looking forward to increased participation in the free and confidential scoring portion of the program for the 2019 crop year. 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.