At the Farm Progress Show last week, Governor Pat Quinn announced the start of a three-year demonstration project by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to encourage the planting of environmentally-beneficial cover crops. The initiative’s goal is to improve water quality in Illinois lakes and streams by reducing soil erosion and nutrient run-off from farm fields.
“Illinois is a leading agricultural state because of its ability to adopt sustainable farming practices that protect our valuable soil and water resources without sacrificing productivity,” Governor Quinn said. “This project is a good example of the industry’s commitment to our environment.”
Beginning this fall, 14 plots throughout the state will be planted in such crops either by aerially seeding into a standing crop of corn or soybeans or by drilling a cover crop seed mix into the soil after harvest. All of the plots are located adjacent to an interstate or state highway and were specifically chosen because of their high visibility.
Signs at each of the plots will direct passers-by to covercrops.illinois.gov, a website established as a “one-stop shop” for information about cover crops. The site will include a link to the Midwest Cover Crops Decision Tool, an interactive resource that provides specific information on which varieties of cover crops are best suited to meet a grower’s objectives as well as the best dates for planting and management advice.
Listen to Governor Quinn explain more in this Q&A with reporters at the show: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/farm-progress/fps13-quinn-press-2.mp3″ text=”Illinois Governor Pat Quinn”]Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Growmark, Ag Leader and John Deere