The Aggregate – November 2020


The Aggregate

Combining research, resources, learning opportunities, and current events for agriculture and conservation professionals.

Tillage Benchmarks for Corn in Illinois

Although the farm income outlook has improved for 2020, it is still important to watch tillage costs for both financial and soil health purposes. 

A recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report posted to FarmdocDaily highlights the financial benefit of reducing tillage based on data gathered from the 300+ farmers enrolled in Illinois Corn Growers Precision Conservation Management Program. 

Learn More

Quantifying Economic and Environmental Benefits of Soil Health 

Many farmers believe the scientific evidence that soil health practices improve soil and water quality. Having access to economic data on the costs and benefits of soil health practices can accelerate their adoption.    

American Farmland Trust used partial budget analysis to estimate the net economic benefits eight farmers experienced by investing in soil health practices and has made the Soil Health Economic Calculator available for anyone to use.  Complete the request form using the button below.    

Calculator Request Form

Access the full project page for more information on project methods and links to the soil health case studies.

Join the Cover Crop Network

ISAP hosts monthly Zoom calls to share the latest information on cover crops in Illinois.  Join us @12pm on Monday November 23rd for a discussion with Dr. Kaiyu Guan and a look at his research modelling cover crop’s impacts on cash crop yield, and cover crop’s impacts on soil carbon sequestration. 
Click here to register.    


Illinois Department of Agriculture “Fall Covers for Spring Savings”
Cover Crop Premium Discount Program
Sign-up opens December of 2020

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Cover Crop Premium Discount Program is offered for acres of cover crops installed outside of state and federal program incentives (e.g., EQIP, CSP and state cost share). Interested participants may sign-up at for acres planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 and will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021.

Eligible applicants will receive a $5/acre insurance premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program. Applications are due to IDOA by January 15, 2020 and must be completed in full for eligibility. Application assistance is available through your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office or the IDOA Bureau of Land and Water Resources at 217-782-6297.

More Program Information

In Case You Missed It

Farmers needed for $4 million conservation innovation grant! 
A University of Illinois research team, led by 
Agricultural and Consumer Economics Professor David Bullock, received a $4 million grant to implement on-farm conservation practices.

Contact the research team through the Data-Intensive Farm Management Project website to express your interest. 

Events & Opportunities 

Join the Vermilion Headwaters Partnership 
“Farming for the Future: Farming in a Vertical System”
Webinar slated for December 10th from 12:00PM – 2:00PM CST. 

This webinar will focus on the trials and results of different conservation strategies that have been tested in the Vermilion Watershed of north central Illinois.  
Speakers include Chip Flory, host of Agritalk Radio and Outdoors on the Farm; Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist; and Craig Swartz, local farmer.

Email to be automatically registered.

Join the Illinois Monarch Project for a series of virtual engagement events to launch the implementation of the Illinois Monarch Action Plan.

Route 66 Corridor for Monarchs – November 18, 2020  @ 1 – 3pm
Resources for Monarch Action – January 19, 2021 @ 1 – 3pm
Engaging Monarch Ambassadors – February 17, 2021 @ 1 – 3pm
Spring into Action on the Ground – May 4, 2021 @ 1 – 3pm

Click here for more information and to register:

Join the Northeastern Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts for a Watershed Webinar on 
November 19, 2020 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm CST
Presentations and breakout discussions will feature watershed planning, innovative projects, and the role you play in the watershed where you live. 


National Cover Crop Summit | November 17-19, 2020 @ ALL DAY  |  Registration

Sustainable Agriculture Summit | November 18-19, 2020 @ 10:00-1:30PM  |  Registration

Soil Health Partnership Sessions Webinar: Nutrient Management – Looking at Farmer Experiences | November 24, 2020 @ 10:00-11:00AM  |  Registration

Additional events posted on ISAP’s Event Page


Illinois Soybean Association is looking for a Director of Conservation Agriculture

Email cover letter and resume to Deadline to apply is 12/4/2020.

Additional positions posted on ISAP’s Career Page

“The Aggregate” is a monthly newsletter brought to you by the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership.  We strive to share information important to the agriculture and conservation community.  If you have something you’d like to share, email us:  More information about the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership is available on our website.   

Visit ISAP Website

The Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership’s mission is to create a network to support a systems approach to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss.

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American Farmland Trust
C/O Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership
PO Box 270
Rochelle, IL 61068

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ISAP Coordinator