Recent News

Probing Into Soil Health Tests: Soil Health Test Parameters to Guide Management Decisions

In the most recent session of the Illinois Cover Crop On-Farm Network (ICCON) presentation, ICCON had the pleasure of hosting Robert (Bob) Schindelbeck, Director of the Cornell Soil Health Laboratory at Cornell University. Bob shared insights into his groundbreaking work with the Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health (CASH) test, a sophisticated tool designed for a wide range of users, including...

Probing Into Soil Health Tests: Dr. Patrick Freeze Recaps the Haney Soil Health Test

To kick off the first call of ICCON's Probing Into Soil Health Tests: Which Test is Best? series, ICCON hosted Dr. Patrick Freeze from Ward Laboratories, Inc. to delve into the intricacies of the Haney Soil Health Test. While soil health testing is a relatively novel concept for many farmers and agricultural professionals, there's a growing interest in understanding its...

ICCON Discusses NLRS Challenges and Feasibility of Achieving Interim Goals

During the January ICCON call, the network had the pleasure of hosting Adrienne Marino, Water Quality Program Manager at the Nature Conservancy in Illinois. Marino shared a comprehensive overview of the 2023 Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) Biennial Report, shedding light on the state's progress and challenges. The NLRS was initiated in response to the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action...

ICCON Recaps The 2023 National Cover Crop Survey

On December 13, ICCON welcomed Dr. Rob Meyers, the Director for the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at the University of Missouri, for an insightful discussion on the outcomes of the 2023 National Cover Crop Survey. Conducted in March of 2023, the survey provides a comprehensive reflection of cover cropping data from the 2022 agricultural season.  The online survey, comprising 110...

Using Citizen Science to Understand Cover Crop Performance in the Great Lakes Region

On November 9th, 2023, ICCON was joined by Etienne Sutton, a PhD candidate and National Institute of Food and Agriculture fellow from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. Etienne shared her research on cover crop performance in the Great Lakes Region which used citizen science, participation by the public in the scientific process, to gather field data...

Cover Crop Mixes for Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity

On September 13, 2023, ICCON was joined by Tyson Seirer from STAR Seed, an independent seed supplier based in Osborne, Kansas. Tyson helps growers access the unique seed resources at Star Seed Inc., including custom native grass mixes, CRP, wetlands, and wildlife planting such as pollinator, cover crops, and food plots. He has previous experience with the USFWS, Kansas Dept....