Documents & Websites

ISAP’s Cover Crop Incentives Directory

ISAP’s Cover Crop Incentives Directory provides an overview of cover crop incentive payment opportunities for farmers in Illinois. The directory includes both publicly and privately funded programs as well as a “Stacking Matrix” so farmers can easily determine if they may be eligible to stack payments from multiple programs. If there is information in the directory that needs to be updated, please contact ISAP at

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ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentive Directory

ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentives Directory provides an overview of edge-of-field (EoF) incentive payment opportunities for farmers in Illinois. EoF practices are defined as those practices which intercept, capture, and treat subsurface drainage (conservation drainage practices) or surface runoff at the field level. The conservation drainage practices include bioreactors, constructed wetlands for tile-drainage treatment, drainage water management, drainage water recycling, and saturated buffers. Surface runoff practices include vegetated riparian buffers, filter strips, prairie strips, and restored wetlands. The directory also includes a “Stacking Matrix” so farmers can easily determine if they may be eligible to stack payments from multiple programs.

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ISAP’s Ecosystem Market Information Fact Sheet

ISAP’s Ecosystem Market Information fact sheet provides a brief overview of carbon and water quality credits, a list of planning resources to assist in evaluating market potential, and tabular overviews of ten different market and program opportunities.

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How to Grow and Sell Carbon Credits in US Agriculture

From Iowa State University Extension, this report compares the requirements to grow and sell carbon credits across 13 private voluntary agricultural programs in the United States.

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Illinois Climate Smart Agriculture Brief – AFT

This Illinois specific brief, developed by American Farmland Trust (AFT), demonstrates the scale of potentially achievable reductions in estimated state-level greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for cropland and grazing land through the adoption of soil health management practices. They are intended to provide a snapshot of how much Illinois’ agricultural sector can contribute to state climate mitigation goals with a subset of practices. Accompanying these briefs is an updated Carbon Reduction Potential Evaluation Tool (CaRPE Tool™) and upcoming full reports that states can use to estimate climate mitigation potential from the agriculture sector.

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Illinois Solar Siting Overview

In the last year there has been a noticeable increase in the development of commercial and utility scale solar in the Midwest. The rapid expansion creates opportunities for farmers and landowners, but also poses threats to farmland. Illinois must find a way to produce more renewable energy while protecting farmland and serving rural communities. To better understand farmer engagement with solar development, American Farmland Trust (AFT) conducted a survey and in-person interviews with landowners and operators throughout the Midwest. In these conversations, participants described various benefits and drawbacks of solar energy deployment. This summary identifies the most important issues that participants raised, alongside AFT’s research to inform Illinois’ renewable energy strategy.

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Conservation Effects Assessment Project: Publications

USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project, CEAP, provides a suite of publications highlighting the effects of voluntary conservation across the nation’s working lands. The site compiles reports, articles fact sheets, and webinars on topics including crop lands, grazing lands, wetlands, wildlife, and watersheds.

Actively Managing Your Farm’s Climate Footprint

The Nature Conservancy, American Farmland Trust, Wisconsin Land & Water, and the Wisconsin Department of Ag and Consumer Trade Protection (WI-DACTP) collaborated to create a resource to assist farmers and landowners in understanding their farm’s climate footprint. This succinct handout details the types of emissions typically found on midwestern row crop farms and possible pathways to reduce those emissions. This resource underscores how sustainability on the farm connects to the Paris Agreement, the global accord that seeks to avoid the worst effects of climate change by cutting global CO2 emissions 45% by 2030.

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A Guide to USDA Resources for Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers

This guide can help you get started with USDA, whether you are new to farming, ranching, or forestry management, or just new to working with USDA.

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“Cover Crops Economics” Report – SARE

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s “Cover Crop Economics: Opportunities to Improve Your Bottom Line in Row Crops” looks at the economics of cover crops in corn and soybean rotations to help farmers answer that big question, when do cover crops pay?

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