I L L I N O I S A G R I C U L T U R E : L E T ’ S G R O W | P R O T E C T I N G N A T U R A L R E S O U R C E S 0% 100% On tile-drained farmland. On non-tile drained farmland. COVER CROP ACREAGE INCREASE BETWEEN 2011 AND 20156 123% 66% WAS INVESTED BY ILLINOIS AGRICULTURE IN NLRS RESEARCH, OUTREACH, IMPLEMENTATION, AND MONITORING. $55 MILLION 16 COUNTIES each with a full-time PCM specialist to help farmers 4 REGIONS 200,000 ACRES in Illinois IN 2018, 200 FARMERS PARTICIPATED IN THE PROGRAM INCLUDING: Precision Conservation Management (PCM) helps farmers understand how the voluntary implementation of conservation practices that enhance soil health and protect water quality can also benefit the profitability of the farm. A team of specialists work with farmers to make recommendations to enhance their on-farm efforts. When scaled-up, this approach will provide real-world guidance to support the overall goals of the NLRS. Farmers protect land and water resources for their families and yours. Illinois farmers are committed to improving the sustainability of their farms by making measurable improvements in their environmental performance each year. As farmers continue to lead the way on environmental issues, they’re creating a sustainable resource for generations to come. Since 2015, Illinois farmers have been implementing the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) to improve the state’s water quality. In 2016 alone, $55 million was invested by Illinois agriculture groups in research, outreach, implementation, and monitoring.6 Farmers also contributed their own additional funds to support this important work. Farmers are making great strides in improving water quality. Nitrate-nitrogen loads in streams have decreased by 10% compared to baseline data, according to the NLRS Science Assessment. Between 2011 and 2015, cover crop acreage increased by 123% on tile-drained farmland and 66% on non-tile drained farmland.6 Voluntary, incentive-based programs that are based on science are working and are the long-term solution to improved soil health and water quality. covering priority watersheds 11 6  Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report, August 2017. Illinois EPA, Illinois Dept. of Agriculture. https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/Documents/iepa/water-quality/watershed-management/excess-nutrients/ NLRS-Biennial-Report/NLRS%20Biennial%20Report%20Summary.pdf