ISAP Publishes Cover Crop Incentive Directory

The Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP) brings together diverse member organizations who work collaboratively to encourage the adoption of sustainable and profitable production practices that improve soil health and restore local waters.

Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership (ISAP) is excited to announce the publication of the first Cover Crop Incentive Directory for Illinois. The directory aims to provide a clear comparison of several programs that offer payment incentives to Illinois farmers for growing cover crops.

The directory includes information on 15 incentive opportunities, including publicly funded programs at the federal, state, and county levels, as well as privately funded programs throughout Illinois. The three-page document includes a brief description, relevant geography, contract length, payment details, and contact information for each program. By viewing the programs side by side, farmers will be able to compare programs and select the option that is best for their operation.

The Directory also includes a “Stacking Matrix” to help farmers understand which programs can be combined to receive multiple incentives. With so many programs to choose from, and many programs having exceptions or exclusions for stacking, the Stacking Matrix provides a program-by-program guide to stacking opportunities.

“We’ve heard from farmers and farm advisors in our network that this would be a valuable resource as they promote the adoption of cover crops or consider implementing cover crops on their farm,” said Jean Brokish, Midwest Deputy Director for American Farmland Trust, a founding member of ISAP. “Our goal is to spread awareness of the many opportunities available to farmers, and to increase the adoption of cover crops throughout Illinois.”

Inclusion on the directory does not constitute an endorsement of any particular program by ISAP or its members. The intent of the Partnership is to facilitate data sharing among ISAP’s farmer network and advance the adoption of conservation cropping systems to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss.

The Cover Crop Incentive Directory and Stacking Matrix is available to view on ISAP’s website. The Partnership encourages farmers, conservation specialists, extension agents, and other farm advisors to share the directory with their networks and to get in touch with any suggested updates to the directory as programs continue to develop and evolve.


As a coordinated and consistent group, Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership focuses on messaging, outreach, training and education for farmers and their trusted advisers to bring together and disseminate new information and lessons learned in plain, practical language. Members work collaboratively to amplify the programs of each organization, share resources to gain efficiencies and identify synergies in achieving soil health and nutrient goals. ISAP’s mission is to create a network to support a systems approach on agriculture lands to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss. 

ISAP’s members include: The Nature ConservancyAmerican Farmland Trust, Precision Conservation ManagementIllinois CornIllinois Central CollegeThe Wetlands InitiativeThe Zea Mays Foundation, Illinois Land Improvement Contractors AssociationAssociation of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation DistrictsIllinois Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, University of Illinois Extension, Agriculture Drainage Management Coalition, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Certified Crop Advisers, and Midwest Dairy.  

ISAP Coordinator