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Serving: IL

Quick Take: PCM program expands, virtual events and more

Austin Keating people talking in front of cover crop plots
PRECISION: The Precision Conservation Management program compares anonymized bottom lines of farmers who have adopted conservation practices and those who are just starting to adopt them.
Precision Conservation Management program to double in size. Wheat and soybean associations hold virtual events. IDOA makes ammonia safety training mandatory.

ISA joins Precision Conservation Management

The Illinois Soybean Association is joining IL Corn in sponsoring the Precision Conservation Management program, an anonymized data service that shows the return on investment of conservation practices on farms in a particular area. PCM pays new members $750 over a two-year period for sharing data and provides farmers with an annual report comparing their numbers to anonymized neighbors.

The growth in sponsorship will support IL Corn President Randy DeSutter’s vision of growing PCM’s coverage area from 16 counties in the central and east-central parts of the state to the “Rockford and Cairo” reaches. Immediately, PCM is going to double in size, adding 15 more counties to the program. PCM is also used in a handful of counties in Kentucky, with support for conservation incentives in both states from major buyers of food- and feed-grade commodities like ADM.

Elliott Uphoff, ISA District 10 director, describes this effort as the association “throwing some money at corn to help make this a bigger and better program.” He says this will help fix a problem he saw when he joined PCM in fall 2020.

“There weren’t enough field staff to meet with all the farmers in a timely manner. So now we’re going to be able to meet with more farmers with more field staff and get more information,” Uphoff says.

He’s willing to share his data since it’ll help him improve his bottom line, but says the program needs more contributors as it grows its presence to the north, west and south in Illinois.

Wheat association to host virtual double-crop forum

The Illinois Wheat Association is holding a virtual double-crop forum with the Illinois Soybean Association. A series of hour-long Zoom webinars will take place at 11 a.m. on Jan. 19, 21, 26 and 28.

Topics for the four seminars include updates on wheat diseases, yield maximization, USDA programs, crop markets and other aspects of maximizing returns to a wheat double-crop farming system.

Register online at

  • January 19. Wheat diseases and an update on head blight management with University of Illinois Extension
  • January 21. Illinois Wheat Association 2020 yield winners panel
  • January 26. Wheat market dynamics and 2021 market outlook with Kansas State University Extension
  • January 28. Update on government programs with USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Farm Service Agency

For more information and an agenda, go to the Illinois Wheat Association website or call Executive Director Mike Doherty at 309-557-3268.

Registration open for Soybean Summit

The Illinois Soybean Association is hosting a three-morning virtual summit experience Feb. 10, 14 and 24. Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, this event provides a lineup of expert speakers sharing the latest agronomic insights, sustainable production and agribusiness management advice, along with actionable recommendations to improve farmer yields sustainably and boost bottom lines.

Some of this year’s Soybean Summit speakers include Shawn Conley, University of Wisconsin soybean and wheat specialist; Molly Stalker, east region specialty grains leader at Cargill; Laurie Bedord, executive editor of ag technology at Meredith Agrimedia; and Mike Wilson, director of content at Farm Futures.

To register for the 2021 Soybean Summit, or to keep current on event updates, visit It is free to register for the event. Certified crop advisers can earn continuing education credits.

IDOA now requires anhydrous training

Following an accident in the northern suburbs of Chicago in 2019, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is now requiring all handlers of anhydrous ammonia to undergo training.

Farmers and others working with anhydrous ammonia have until April 1, 2022, to obtain their initial certification. They will have to recertify once every three years.

Retailers are not required by law to document the farmer’s certification status in order to sell ammonia to the farmer, but IDOA is seeking the ag retail community’s assistance in helping to inform farmers of this new law, and to also help offer training to farmers.

IDOA plans to offer an online program starting in January. If you’re interested in becoming a trainer for Illinois growers, contact Jeff Squibb at IDOA at 217-785-8212 or


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