Advancing Conservation and Water Quality Practices

Illinois farmers strive for continued improvement using new tools and technologies to reduce our enviornmental footprint. Cover Crops are a great example of best management practices that protect our water quality and prevent erosion, and more farmers are incorporating them into their rotation.

Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD)

The AISWCD is a grassroots organization dedicated to representing the interests of Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state, particularly issues related to land and water use.

BMP's for Water Quality

University of Illinois Livestock Extension Specialist Laura Pepple explains mechanisms for nutrient transport and types of best management practices.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The CREP is a federal, state and local partnership designed to retire frequently flooded and environmentally sensitive cropland to achieve restoration and long-term protection. In Illinois, landowners implement conservation practices in the eligible CREP watersheds to reduce sedimentation and nutrient loss, improve water quality, and create and enhance critical habitat for fish and wildlife populations.

Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC)

CTIC promotes and provides information on technologies and sustainable agricultural systems that conserve and enhance soil, water, air and wildlife resources and are productive and profitable.

Conservation Tillage Grows

Our farmers are practicing conservation tillage more than ever before, a trend that’s been taking shape over the last two decades.

Kaskaskia Watershed Water Quality Assessment

Janet Buchanan from Heartlands Conservancy shares an overview of the watershed project and future opportunities to implement best management practices for the project.


FieldRise recognizes farmer dedication to improving economics, strengthening communities, protecting natural resources and meeting the field-to-family need for continued sustainability progress.

Field to Market

Field To Market® is a diverse alliance working to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being. The group provides collaborative leadership that is engaged in industry-wide dialogue, grounded in science, and open to the full range of technology choices.

Illinois Council on Best Management Practices

The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (C-BMP) is working to assist and encourage adoption of best management practices (BMPs) to protect and enhance natural resources and the sustainability of agriculture in Illinois.

Illinois Department of Agriculture: Bureau of Land and Water Resources

The Bureau of Land and Water Resources distributes funds to all of the Illinois soil and water conservation districts for programs aimed at reducing soil loss and protecting water quality. It also helps to organize the state’s annual soil survey to track progress toward the goal of reducing soil loss on Illinois cropland to tolerable levels.

Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC)

Illinois NREC is proud to be a leading, dynamic voice for growers when it comes to land management issues such as nutrient loss and soil fertility.

International Soybean Growers Alliance (ISGA)

The ISGA is committed to meeting the rapidly increasing world demand for quality and healthy soy products produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The alliance communicates about the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the soybean chain.

Making the Most of Cover Crops

Ag Conservation Solutions Dan Towery shares how to improve nutrient deficiencies and soil health using cover crops in Illinois.

Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC)

The MCCC seeks to significantly increase the amount of continuous living cover on the Upper Midwestern agricultural landscape in order to improve air, soil and water quality. Adding living cover to our landscape can generate new sources of renewable energy, mitigate greenhouse gases, reduce the use of agricultural chemicals and provide novel income streams for rural communities.

National Sustainability Soybean Initiative (NSSI)

The National Sustainable Soybean Initiative’s (NSSI) mission is to develop a roadmap of soybean management systems. NSSI brings producers to the table to design sustainability assessments that are regionally- and soybean-appropriate, scaled to cause change at the field level, founded on the best available science, and balanced among the social, environmental and economic sustainability pillars.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages from flooding and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation and scenic beauty.

Nutrient Management

The Maschhoffs share how swine fertilizer can be used to improve water management, stimulate soil biology and enhance nutrient cycling.

Protecting Our Wetlands

Illinois farmer's voluntary conversion of cropland to wetlands is restoring an incredible amount of natural habitat acreage to the state.

Saving Our Soil

Changes in tillage practices, along with more efficient use of cropland, has led to a significant improvement in our soil health and reduction in erosion.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE)

SARE grants and education programs have advanced agricultural innovation that promotes profitability, stewardship of the land, air and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities.

What the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) Means to Farmers

Jen Tirey, Illinois Pork Producers, shares information about the NLRS strategy and stakeholder involvement.

World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH)

The WISHH program focuses on trade and long-term market development for U.S. soybean farmers while fueling economic growth and value chain development. WISHH understands that today’s developing nations are tomorrow’s customers for U.S. soy and soy protein.