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Earn Big Bucks By Protecting Drinking Water

How would you like to earn $212.48 per acre simply by adopting four conservation practices already used by many no-tillers?

If you’re an Illinois farmer located in the 590,000-acre Lake Decatur watershed, there’s a great opportunity to earn these incentives. It means adopting no-till or strip-till, cover crops, tile drainage and nutrient management. 

Despite investing millions of dollars, pollution is still a serious problem in Lake Decatur, which is the source of drinking water for 80,000 people. It’s estimated that $1 million of polluted topsoil and fertilizer sediment enters the lake each year. 

Climate-Smart Funding

The city of Decatur, the federal government, the Illinois Farm Bureau and 53 partners are involved in this program. A $9.88 million grant from the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is funding the goal of reducing 50% of the sediment and 20% of the nitrate nitrogen flowing each year into Lake Decatur. 

These four practices qualify for the “high-return” payments:

  1. For adopting no-till or strip-till, a grower can earn up to $22.74 per acre.
  2. Growers can earn up to $103.80 per acre for utilizing overwintering, multi-species cover crop mixes. As an example, the per-acre cost might include seeding or application ($22.74), cover crop seed ($57.24) and termination ($23.10).
  3. Growers can be paid up to 100% of the cost of adopting a nutrient management plan and $85.94 per acre for deep placement of nutrients, along with soil and stalk testing.
  4. With a tile drainage management program, growers can earn 100% cost sharing for water control…
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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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