Illinois Farm Bureau recently announced county Farm Bureau recipients of Nutrient Stewardship Grants and new Pollinator Conservation Grants.
Since 2015, the IFB Board has committed nearly $2.3 million to nutrient stewardship efforts. This includes $850,000 for the Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program. To support pollinator and Monarch butterfly work and in recognition of a need for more farmer-focused programs and materials, the board is launching a Pollinator Conservation Grant Program.
For the new fiscal year, IFB will distribute $150,000 in Nutrient Stewardship Grants and $25,000 in Pollinator Conservation Grants. Thirteen county Farm Bureaus will work together on nine pollinator projects, and 25 CFBs will collaborate on 21 nutrient stewardship projects.
Pollinator Conservation Grant recipient county Farm Bureaus and their projects include:
- Carroll and Stephenson will work with a local community college to plant a pollinator plot and distribute materials at a college field day.
- Clinton will establish a pollinator habitat near its cover crop plot and study its potential as a buffer for invasive species.
- Cook will add signs and register an existing pollinator garden as a Monarch waystation and distribute materials to farmers and partners with Lincoln Park Zoo to teach others what farmers are doing.
- DeWitt will plant a pollinator garden and involve community partners to raise interest and awareness.
- Kane will add to an existing pollinator plot and organize community outreach events at the site.
- LaSalle will establish a pollinator garden at the county Farm Bureau office.
- Lee, Bureau, Marshall- Putnam and Stark will develop a program to sell pollinator habitat seed at a subsidized cost to members and distribute pollinator field signs.
- McHenry will partner with a local community college to develop two types of pollinator habitat, a highly visible one and one less visible in strips. The types will be studied for different establishment and management strategies.
- Pike-Scott will design and construct permanent signs at the New Philadelphia pollinator site to promote plot sponsors and pollinator practices.
Nutrient Stewardship Grant recipient county Farm Bureaus and their projects include:
- Bureau will develop a new research partnership while continuing to collect data and develop tools to share preliminary results.
- Clinton will continue to implement its cover crop and manure management project, host education and outreach opportunities, including a field day, and produce a data booklet.
- Cook will help promote the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago’s EQ Biosolid and EQ Compost programs and develop a new research partnership on struvite applications on Cook County farms.
- Fulton will host a field day at MWRD’s Fulton County research site.
- Greene and Calhoun will partner with a local Certified Crop Adviser to develop a cover crop and strip-till plot with education and outreach. The focus will be answering farmers’ questions about soil function and weed and nutrient management.
- Hancock will host a Young Leader event on key environmental issues impacting Illinois agriculture and share opportunities for them to be engaged.
- Jo Daviess will continue hosting several research trials that include cover crops, nitrogen management and water quality. Information will be shared at several education and outreach events, including a field day.
- Knox will maintain a Young Leader-led cover crop program with the local FS to plant a 20-acre cover crop plot per township. The project includes a field day and development of a booklet with preliminary findings.
- Lake, with local stakeholder partners, will evaluate the effectiveness of biochar to reduce phosphorus in Catherine and Channel lakes. A future field day is planned.
- LaSalle will again host an event to provide local elected officials information on Illinois agriculture and conservation practices.
- Marshall-Putnam will implement the second year of a cover crop plot demonstrating differences between cover crop species. A field day will share information with farmers.
- McDonough will host a field day at the site of a woodchip bioreactor installed in 2021.
- McHenry will continue developing education and outreach about a woodchip bioreactor installed on McHenry County Conservation District land in 2020.
- McLean will develop a video on a new watershed plan and host a watershed education and outreach event at Lake Bloomington.
- Mercer and Knox will host more watershed meetings to support an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency 319 grant application in the Mississippi north central watershed.
- Piatt and Macon will partner on a field day and support other watershed planning efforts in the Lake Decatur area.
- Shelby will host a field day on drainage water management research in the county.
- Tazewell, Cass-Morgan and Mason will continue to collect data and develop a multifaceted groundwater monitoring project.
- Warren-Henderson will maintain a multi-year nitrogen management project and host a winter meeting to discuss results.
- Washington will continue developing a cover crop project with plans to develop educational materials and host a field day and summer tour.
- Wayne will continue field trials, demonstrating fertilizer efficiency and economic advantages compared to traditional applications. Results will be shared at a field day.
This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.