SHELBY COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Hundreds of Illinois farmers have quite an experiment underway on their farms. They’ve enrolled in the Precision Conservation Management program in Illinois, which has data on upwards of one million acres.

Elliott Uphoff farms in Shelby County and benefits from the data he gets from PCM.

“There’s a lot of really good minds working on different conservation practices and at the end of the year, I get a report with my yield data and some other farmers yield data,” Uphoff said. “Now it doesn’t show anybody’s personal information; they put it all together and give us a really good tool that shows us how no-till did compared to conventional till, compared to no till with cover crops, strip till, by soil type. It is a phenomenal tool with really good people that partner with it.”

“Abigail Peterson is our agronomy lead,” Uphoff continued. “She meets with most of the farmers and we have sit-down conversations and talk about talk about the fields that we have enrolled in it and what we are doing, either with our cover crops and how we want to terminate them and ease some growing pains we had last year in trying to move into no-till.”

What are you planning on for 2022 in regard to this and how is that change being considered?

“In 2021, I had an 80-acre field enrolled with PCM and it was split down the middle, 40 and 40. I had cover crops and no-till, compared to no-till, and then next to it was a conventional till field,” Uphoff responded. “We were able to look at all those practices and compare them apples to apples. It was interesting; my cover crop with no-till soybeans did better than my just no-till soybeans, but they were a little less than my conventional till. It gave me a lot of insight on how those practices compared to each other and how I can do better in the future.

Precision Conservation Management is a collaborative effort of Illinois Corn Growers and Illinois Soybean Association. Call either to find out more about PCM.