This story originally appeared on ILCorn.org.
By Lindsay Mitchell
Precision Conservation Management (PCM) will be increasing conservation acres in Illinois through a partnership with PepsiCo extending through 2030, according to PCM Director Greg Goodwin.
“PCM will work with PepsiCo to allocate some of that $216 million announced in late March to Illinois farmers willing to plant cover crops, reduce tillage, or apply nitrogen according to the Maximum Return to Nitrogen rate,” said Goodwin.
Read more from PepsiCo’s announcement on March 21 here.
The partnership focuses on three priority conservation practices; planting cover crops, reducing tillage, and changing nitrogen application rates and timing are the three pillars of PCM’s on-farm conservation work in Illinois, Kentucky, and Nebraska.
In 2022, this partnership allowed PCM to support the new and continued use of conservation practices on over 150,000 acres throughout PCM regions in IL and NE.
“The value of this partnership can’t be overstated in terms of what this means for helping Illinois and our other partner states address our collective water quality goals, as well as giving us an opportunity to compensate and learn from early adopters who participate and include those learnings in our aggregated outreach. This allows us to condense the learning curve for others and there is tremendous value in that.”
“PepsiCo has promised their customers that the company will decrease their greenhouse gas emissions. One way they are achieving this reduction is by helping farmers implement conservation practices that reduce carbon emissions. PepsiCo is a valued partner that understands the need to help farmers minimize risk when experimenting with new practices to protect the family farm,” Goodwin explained.
PCM makes an excellent partner for PepsiCo because of the value of PCM specialists, who assist farmers in conservation practice implementation, provide guidance and expertise, and match farmers with dollars to offset the risk of conservation practice adoption. PCM’s partnerships between IL Corn, Illinois Soybean Association, and Heartland Science and Technology Group round out a great team, helping to be a trusted advisor to their farmer cooperators.
“This program with PepsiCo can easily work in partnership with other public-funded programs to give farmers the maximum potential for cost-sharing when implementing a new or continuing an existing conservation practice on their farm. We’re constantly thinking about new ways to combine funding to offset risk for farmers as they shift to conservation management approaches,” said Goodwin.
Precision Conservation Management is the premiere conservation program of IL Corn and Illinois Soybean Association. The program seeks to maximize farmer profitability while increasing conservation practice adoption in select counties in Illinois, Kentucky, and Nebraska.