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Science

Illinois SARE program seeks trial fields

DECATUR, Ill. — The University of Illinois is seeking farmers willing to participate in a five-year paid cover crop demonstration trial in partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Since 1988, the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program has advanced profitable and environmentally sound farming systems through a nationwide research and education grants program.

The SARE program partners with university researchers and educators, agricultural professionals, and farmers to promote applied, on-farm research and education.

One of SARE’s initiatives is to increase cover crop use by Illinois farmers. The program is looking for eight to 10 Illinois farmers from across the state to designate a 20- to 80-acre field for the trial starting this fall.

The field will be planted with corn or soybeans. Following harvest, half of the field will be planted with cover crops and the other half left fallow.

To be eligible the land must not have a history of cover crop use. The project will last for five years and stipends for planting the cover crops will be provided annually. University researchers will need access to fields to collect samples and take measurements.

If you are interested in participating in this trial or would like more information, email Illinois SARE co-coordinator Doug Gucker at dgucker@illinois.edu.

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