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S.T.A.R.

Brought to you through collaboration with the
Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District

S.T.A.R. 2020  
Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources

A FREE SERVICE TO ILLINOIS FARMERS

S.T.A.R. is a FREE tool to assist farm operators and land owners in evaluating their nutrient and soil loss management practices on individual fields. The purpose of S.T.A.R. is to motivate those making cropping decisions to use the “best management practices” that will ultimately meet the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

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Potential Benefits & Value To S.T.A.R. Program Participants

1

Decreased nutrient loss

2

Increased net farm income

3

Gain new farms to lease

4

Reduce crop insurance premiums

5

Land owners can evaluate tenants’ contributions to conservation

6

Assist in securing local conservation cost share (when available)

7

Assist producers in obtaining documentation to support potential water quality issues

8

Assist producers to obtain potential market premiums for conservation cropping practices

9

Signage to support community awareness and acknowledgement of conservation efforts

For more detailed info, download the S.T.A.R. PDF Brochure or contact your local SWCD to see if they offer the S.T.A.R. Program.

COMMUNITY PRIDE IN SUSTAINABILITY

Raise awareness with every S.T.A.R. field sign you display. Your conservation practices become an opportunity to share and inspire your neighbors.

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Why Register via PCM?
It’s Fast. Free. And Trusted.

YES! LET’S DO THIS!

The S.T.A.R. collaboration with PCM allows farmers to easily enter S.T.A.R. data on-line and save it in the PCM system. Together, we hope to grow and support our respective programs and expand to meet future needs of farmers and farm businesses in our communities.

STAR APPLICATION VIA PCM

No Thanks.

I PREFER A PAPER FORM

We understand. But before you default to the traditional method, we hope you take a closer look at PCM.

We are farmer-led, and a trusted custodian of your data – which we guarantee will remain yours. Always. More on PCM’s data & security policies here.

STAR FIELD FORM 2020

S.T.A.R. Field Forms

3 Minutes To Complete One Field Form (on average) – 17 Questions
Submit the digital form through the PCM Farmer Portal (FREE) and easily access your information/data later on
Complete one form for each field you want to evaluate – get a S.T.A.R. rating and physical sign for each field
Your local S.T.A.R. facilitator will contact you directly. If your county does not have a S.T.A.R. program yet, that’s okay! Staff from the Champaign County SWCD will contact you directly.

HOW TO EARN YOUR CONSERVATION STARS

The S.T.A.R. evaluation system assigns points for each cropping, tillage, nutrient application and soil conservation activity used on individual fields. Those point values were determined by a “science” committee based on their analysis of recommended practices contribution to the goals. The total points are used in a scale to determine a rating of 1 to 5 Stars for each individual field.
Below are some practices used in the rating system and the points that may be assigned. Note: Some practices reduce total points.

5-7 Points

Use of winter hardy cover crop, no tillage in fall or spring, rotation that includes small grain or forage

4 Points

No nitrogen applied in fall or spring, low nitrogen rate, at least 50% of phosphorus applied banded subsurface

3 Points

Strip tillage on non-HEL and/or shank type fertilizer bar if no other tillage

2 Points

At least 75% of nitrogen was sptring applied, winter kill cover crop, VRT, filter strips, waterways, etc.

1 Point

MAP or DAP applied before Dec 1, full width tillage if shallow, written nutrient plan

Endorsed by the
Illinois Department of Agriculture

The following was included in a letter from John Sullivan, Director, Illinois Department of agriculture, dated Novermber 5, 2019:

“The IDOA has reviewed the goals and purposes of the “Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resourdces” or S.T.A.R. program. We have found the program’s goals to be very consistent with that of the Department. Specifically, the Department is supportive of programs and projects that further the appropriate stewardship of agricultureal resources includeing crop production inputs like nutrients. The S.T.A.R. program is well suited to help accomplish this mission. We believe this program can provide a solid foundation for the future of Illinois agriculture. S.T.A.R. kis not only an easy to use and economical tool for participants to evaluate their practices, it is a model that can be replicated in many geographic locations both inside an doutside of Illinois. As a result, this letter shall serve as a formal endorsement of the S.T.A.R. program by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.”

Supported Nation-Wide by
The National Association of Conservation Districts

The NACD passed the following resolution a their annual meeting in February 2020:

“NACD supports Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (S.T.A.R.) by helping make the S.T.A.R. initiative available to conservation districts nation-wide through education and promotion.

Brought To You By

Help Bring S.T.A.R. To Your County

S.T.A.R. is supported by the Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District. The program is rolling out throughout Illinois. But some counties are not yet on-board. Contact your local county Soil & Water Conservation District to find out if they are participating. If they aren’t, but want to, please have them contact CCSWCD directly. We’re happy to advise.

MORE ABOUT PCM

We are Farmer-Led – A Sustainability Program. Dedicated to Help & Protect Farmers.
We are Mission Driven – Supports Farmer’s Efforts to Adopt Voluntary and Economical Conservation Best Practices.
Your Data Is Yours. Always. And Your Data Is Secure. – Read Our Data Licensing & Protection Agreement. Crystal Clear. No Loopholes. No Nonsense.
Free Farmer Portal Tools – Integrate Precision Ag, Conservation, Economic Data & Conservation Management Best-Practices to Inform Sound Business Decisions.
Consolidated Farm Management & Conservation Data – Easy Access. Detailed Analysis.

QUESTIONS? CONCERNS?

The Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District can assist.
Call (217) 352-3536 Ext. 3 or email.