Water Quality & Edge-of-Field Practices

Water Quality

ISAP’s Water Quality and Edge-of-Field programs highlight practices like saturated buffers, constructed wetlands, controlled drainage, and bioreactors, which are designed to capture and treat high levels of nitrate-nitrogen from tile flow. Conservation drainage training and related resources provide participants with knowledge and tools to scale up practice adoption by making conservation drainage practices a standard part of tile installation and farm management. 

Advanced Conservation Drainage Training

ISAP’s Advanced Conservation Drainage Training (ACDT) workshops are designed for multiple audiences, including farmers and landowners, drainage industry professionals, farm managers, drainage district commissioners, conservation professionals, and watershed coordinators. The ACDT program seeks to establish a community of practitioners for edge-of-field tile treatment practices that incorporates the following elements:

  • Research demonstrating the effectiveness of conservation drainage practices on real farms.
  • Conservation professionals committed to working with landowners to address resource concerns.
  • Drainage contractors dedicated to professional practice installation and continued learning.
  • Landowners and operators who care about clean water and healthy soil.
  • Comprehensive planning tools to enable practice prioritization at the watershed scale.

Workshops provide participants with knowledge and tools to make conservation drainage practices a standard part of tile installation and farm management. Workshop content includes: 

  • Expert-led presentations on the science behind each conservation drainage practice
  • Small group exercises and hands-on field experiences
  • Overviews of conservation practice standards
  • In-field demonstrations, site visits, and experiences from real landowners
  • Discussions of barriers to edge of field practice adoption
  • Tips for communicating with landowners
  • Discussions on economics and cost share opportunities

Interested in attending an Advanced Conservation Drainage Training? For more information, contact ilsustainableag@gmail.com

Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework Cohort

In 2021, ISAP launched an Illinois Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) cohort, providing training on how best to utilize an ACPF as a watershed planning tool. The framework, which is being used in hundreds of watersheds throughout the Corn Belt, is based on a set of conservation practices that, used in combination, improve watershed health. ISAP provided an Illinois context for all training content and continues to grow the peer network of ACPF users in Illinois watersheds.

Interested in joining the Agriculture Conservation Planning Framework Cohort? For more information, contact ilsustainableag@gmail.com


Access a variety of program related resources.

Advanced Conservation Drainage Training graduates and trainees can access course materials here.