Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR) is a FREE nationwide tool to assist farm operators and landowners in evaluating their nutrient and soil loss management practices on individual fields. The goal of STAR is to encourage the continued adoption of conservation practices, and recognize farmers for their commitment to sustainability.
The STAR evaluation system assigns points for management activities on an annual basis. Participants answer a series of simple questions about their crop rotation, tillage, nutrient applications, and use of conservation practices to generate their overall field score. Scores are converted to a STAR rating of 1 to 5 STARs, with 5 STARs indicating commitment to a suite of practices proven to improve soil health and water quality.
There are several ways to complete a STAR evaluation—Complete and return the PDF form via email, mail, or in-person, or use the STAR Web App that launched in 2021. The web app has the ability to work on both large and small screen devices, and is the fastest option for tech-savvy folks. It provides users with immediate, clear, concise evaluations of their field management. Additionally, it automatically identifies practices to increase a field’s STAR Rating, providing a clear path to improved STAR Ratings with resources and local technical assistance.
The Coles County SWCD is looking forward to increased participation in the free and confidential program for the 2023 crop year. If you’re interested in participating, would like more information, or would like help filling out the form, please visit https://starfreetool.com/ or give our office a call and schedule an appointment with Lauren.