Lindsay Mitchell

Jul 20, 2016  |  Today's News

Many Illinois farmers have already received a bright yellow survey from the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) in the mail regarding their crop production practices.

IL Corn encourages any IL farmers that received the survey to complete it promptly.

The NASS survey will ask a variety of questions to gauge farmer adoption and use of various management practices like nutrient application strategies, tillage strategies, and cover crops.  The information will be used to create a baseline of farmer activity in Illinois within the scope of the IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. 

Without a baseline, we will not be able to measure any progress made on water quality and eliminate the need for mandatory regulations.

If you are one of the farmers selected for the survey, and you do not complete the written survey promptly, NASS will be following up with phone calls, additional letters, and more outreach.  Their goal is to get all randomly selected farmers to complete the survey in order to obtain a statistically significant sample.

Because additional outreach to selected farmers will cost more taxpayer dollars, it is definitely in your best interest – both as a farmer and a tax payer – to complete the survey promptly upon receipt.

A copy of the letter accompanying the survey follows:

Congratulations, you have been randomly selected to provide important information that could help change the future of Illinois agriculture.  As Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, I want to personally convey to you how important your participation in this survey is to our state.

This Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) survey will ask you about some of your crop production practices, including: use of cover crops, tillage strategies and nutrient application strategies.  The survey will also ask some questions about fields with tiling.   A high-participation rate will help us prove to authorities in Washington that Illinois does not need additional mandates; that our state’s farmers and ranchers can make a difference through voluntary involvement; and that our producers have taken ownership of the issue and are willing and able to meet the challenge.

The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) is a joint effort by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Water Resources Center, and several public and private stakeholders. 

The Illinois effort is one of 31 other state strategies developed and implemented across the Mississippi River basin, intended to improve our nation’s water quality. 

Illinois’ strategy provides a framework for reducing both point and non-point nutrient losses to improve our state’s overall water quality, as well as the quality of the water leaving the state and making its way down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.

Please take a moment to fill out this survey.  Share with us your best management practices.  Your responses will help us build a bi-annual report that showcases the voluntary efforts that are being conducted across our great state. 

On behalf of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and the organizations listed below that are involved in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, I want to thank you for your time and commitment to Illinois agriculture. 

Raymond Poe
Director, Illinois Department of Agriculture