Proposed Illinois FY2022 budget is conservation friendly

The Illinois General Assembly adopted a state budget this week that prioritizes conservation funding.

Max Webster, Midwest Policy Manager with American Farmland Trust tells Brownfield there is an increase in funding for the Partners for Conservation Fund which supports cost share programs through the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Soil and Water Conservation Districts. It also doubles funding for the Fall Cover for Spring Savings program.

“Previously they had been able to provide a $5 premium discount on crop insurance per acre for 50,000 acres of cover crops across the state and now they will be able to provide that same benefit for 100,000 acres next planting season.”

He says this is the first time the state has allocated additional resources to implement the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

“That is a good outcome for conservation work on farm fields especially considering there had been basically two decades where conservation funding has been cut.”

Webster says this is a step in the right direction, but the challenge will be securing the same or additional conservation funding year after year.

Governor JB Pritzker has shown support for the adopted state budget for fiscal year 2022 and is expected to sign it soon.

Interview with Max Webster

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