Laura Orris at 309-798-4460; email@example.com
Bloomington, Ill. – August 24, 2023 – The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, a leading agricultural ecosystem services program, announced the addition of 34 Illinois counties to its area of eligible cropland for 2023, making all Illinois farmers now eligible for enrollment in the program. The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF) provides payment to farmers for environmental outcomes that result from implementing conservation practices.
In 2022, the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund provided an average of $34 per acre to farmers who transitioned to on-farm conservation practices that yield outcomes like carbon sequestration and water quality improvements. New conservation practices that qualify could include tillage reductions, implementing cover crops, and extending crop rotations. When implemented with another one of these practices, fertilization management can also yield environmental outcomes.
“The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund has been so helpful in getting this new phase of conservation practices off the ground through both the financial incentives and the agronomic support I have received,” said Joe Paulson, a participating Illinois farmer. “If you’re looking to get into cover crops or are curious about it, SWOF is a fantastic resource to help you get started. And you get paid! It’s a win-win.”
Adam Kiel, executive vice president of the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, added, “As the most farmer-friendly ecosystem services program in the industry today, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver practical and flexible conservation agronomy support to farmers to enhance the value of their land for years to come.”
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and program participants believe Illinois farmers will also see soil improvements.
USDA and several private companies, including PepsiCo, Cargill, Renewable Energy Group, Ingredion, Target, JBS, and Bartlett, are partnering with the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund to encourage farmer adoption of conservation practices that generate verifiable gains in carbon reduction and water quality.
“We are thrilled to work with our partners to provide new conservation incentives to even more Illinois farmers and to deliver greenhouse gas and water quality improvements on farms,” said Dan Yeoman, Soil and Water Outcomes Fund managing director.
Farmers or landowners interested in enrolling in the program can do so through the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund website, www.theoutcomesfund.com, or by contacting a member of their field program team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Farmers may also contact ISA Agronomy Programs Manager, Megan Miller, at email@example.com.
About the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund: The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund provides financial incentives to farmers for implementing on-farm conservation practices that yield positive environmental outcomes like carbon sequestration and water quality improvement. They provide new market opportunities and revenue streams for farmers by selling these environmental outcomes to the public and private beneficiaries. The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund is managed by AgOutcomes, a subsidiary of the Iowa Soybean Association.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations.