Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/27/2013 4:26 PM

Illinois launches sustainable farming effort

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois agriculture officials on Tuesday announced a three-year pilot project aimed at encouraging farmers to plant environmentally friendly cover crops as part of an effort to boost sustainable farming around the state.

The project is slated to begin later this year when 14 corn and soybean fields around the state will be seeded with cover crops. According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the fields were selected because they are visible along interstates or state highways.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The idea is that cover crops reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff from farm fields, which in turn improves water and soil quality.

State officials said there also is evidence that cover crops may improve production. They cite a federal study that surveyed Midwest farmers last year, showing 10 percent higher yields for corn and 12 percent for fields where cover crops had been planted.

"The time is right for this initiative," Steve Chard, the head of land and water resources at the agriculture department, said in a statement. "New plant varieties and new production techniques have been discovered that eliminate many of the problems that farmers who planted cover crops in the 1980s and 90s experienced."

Quinn touted the idea Tuesday at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

"We can learn from these pilot programs to help our farmers increase their productivity and save the land," he told reporters.

The cover crops state officials will plant include types of grasses and legumes. Each plot will be accompanied by a sign directing people to a state website with more details.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here