The Stewardship Committee of the Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District has developed a FREE tool to assist farm operators to evaluate their own nutrient loss management practices and to promote “best management practices” on individual fields.
The S.T.A.R. (Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources) evaluation system assigns points for each cropping, tillage, nutrient application and soil conservation activity used on individual fields. The total points are then used in a scale to determine a rating of 1 to 5 Stars for each individual field based on the management practices being used.
The benefits of using this program include:
Decreased nutrient loss, potential increased net farm income, potential to gain new farms to lease, land owners can evaluate tenants’ contributions to conservation, assist in securing local conservation cost share (when available), assist producers in obtaining documentation to support potential water quality issues, and assist producers to obtain potential market premiums for conservation cropping practices.