A Free Service To Illinois Farmers
Brought To You Through Collaboration With
Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District
Saving Tomorrow's Agricultural Resources
S.T.A.R. is a FREE
tool to assist farm operators and land owners in evaluating their nutrient and soil loss
practices on individual fields. The purpose of S.T.A.R. is to motivate those making cropping
to use the “best management practices” that will ultimately meet the goals of the Illinois
Loss Reduction Strategy.
Potential Benefits & Value To Program Participants
- Decreased nutrient loss
- Increased net farm income
- Gain new farms to lease
- Reduce crop insurance premiums
- 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
- Assist producers to obtain potential market premiums for conservation cropping practices
- Signage to support community awareness and acknowledgement of conservation efforts
Get Started Now
Yes! Let's Do This
Why Join PCM?
It's Fast. Free. And Trusted.
The S.T.A.R. collaboration with PCM allows farmers to easily enter S.T.A.R. data on-line and
save it in the PCM system. Together, we hope to grow and support our respective programs and
expand to meet future needs of farmers and farm businesses in our communities.
We understand. But before you default to the traditional method, we hope you take a close look
at PCM. We are farmer-led, and a trusted custodian of your data -
which we guarantee will
remains yours. Always.
More on PCM's data & security policies here.
How to Earn Your Conservation Stars
The S.T.A.R. evaluation system assigns points for each
cropping, tillage, nutrient
application and soil
conservation activity used on individual fields. Those point values were determined by a “science”
committee based on their analysis of recommended practices contribution to the goals. The total points are
used in a scale to determine a rating of 1 to 5 Stars for each individual field.
Below are some practices used in the rating system and the points that may be
assigned. Note: Some practices reduce total points.
No Nitrogen applied in fall or spring, use of a winter hardy cover crop, no
tillage in fall or spring
Soil sampling every 3 years or less, a crop rotation that includes a small
At least 75% of Nitrogen applied in Spring/Summer, total Nitrogen minimized,
at least 50% of Phosphorus applied was
At least 25% of Nitrogen side-dressed, winter kill cover crop, use of Triple
Super, VRT, filter strips, waterways,
Continuous soybeans, written nutrient plan, limited tillage
Endorsed by the
Illinois Department of Agriculture
"We believe the [S.T.A.R.] program provides farmers and
farmland owners with an evaluation of their production
practices to help them reduce nutrient and soil losses and is consistent with the goals and objectives
the States's Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. We believe this program can provide a solid foundation
the future of Illinois agriculture."
"Through it's objectives and goals, S.T.A.R. inspires
farmers and farmland owners to enhance their farming practices
that produce food, fiber, and fuel with minimal impact on the environment. S.T.A.R. is not only an easy
use and economical tool for participants to evaluate their practices, it is a model that can be
in many geographic locations both inside an outside of Illinois."
“This letter serves as a formal endorsement of the S.T.A.R. Program
by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.”
We are Farmer-Led – A Sustainability Program. Dedicated to Help &
We are Mission Driven – Supports Farmer’s Efforts to Adopt Voluntary
and Economical Conservation Best Practices.
Your Data Is Yours. Always. And Your Data Is Secure. Read Our Data Licensing & Protection Agreement.
Crystal Clear. No Loopholes. No Nonsense.
Free Farmer Portal Tools – Integrate Precision Ag, Conservation,
Economic Data & Conservation Management Best-Practices to Inform Sound Business Decisions.
Consolidated Farm Management & Conservation Data – Easy Access.
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