Precision Conservation Management Unveils Annual Data: Insights on Profitability and Sustainability

Rosalie Trump

Jun 12, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  ICMB |  Conservation |  Precision Conservation Management

Precision Conservation Management (PCM) – the premier conservation program of the IL Corn Growers Association and Illinois Soybean Association – will be publishing their annual data book The Business Case for Conservation in the June issue of Prairie Farmer Magazine. This report highlights data gleaned from farmers in Illinois regarding the financial, agronomic, and environmental impact of in-field conservation practices.

Takeaways include:

  • Higher yields do not always equal higher profitability.
  • More than two passes of heavy tillage is never profitable compared to lighter tillage systems. Strip tillage is also proving to be a profitable option.
  • The past 9 years of data have shown that nitrogen applications over MRTN rates are less profitable.
  • Cover crops are the most effective tool for improving water quality and soil health, although profitability remains a challenge. Several cost-share opportunities are available to farmers through PCM and other programs.

NEW: While their annual data book focuses on high SPR soil data, PCM has also published low SPR data on their website.   


Digital Version of PCM Book


Want to understand the book better?  PCM Launches Webinar Series

2024 Precision Conservation Management (PCM) Webinar Series Explaining Data in Book

Discover the latest insights from Precision Conservation Management (PCM) in our three-part webinar series. Join us as we dive into the newest data-driven findings on optimizing conservation practices for both profitability and sustainability.

Throughout the series, experts from PCM, the IL Corn Growers Association, and the University of Illinois farmdoc team will share valuable insights to help farmers make informed decisions. Don't miss this opportunity to learn how PCM's cutting-edge research can help you balance profitability and sustainability on your farm.


June 20: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Conservation Practices

New Data from PCM with Focus on Cover Crops and Tillage. Precision Conservation Management (PCM) works directly with farmers and uses data analysis to determine how farmers can implement conservation practices without sacrificing profits. This webinar from Greg Goodwin (IL Corn Growers Association) and Gary Schnitkey (University of Illinois farmdoc team) covers 9 years of data-driven insights. We will emphasize profitable practices using cover crops. Profitability and tillage practices will be examined.


August 1: Balancing Profitability and Sustainability: PCM's Latest Insights

Here we will take a deeper dive into nitrogen management relations to profitability and the environment. We will also look at the potential and issues associated with carbon markets.


September 5: Maximizing Returns on Challenging Soils: PCM's Low SPR Findings

We will look at environmental indicators from PCM farms and their relationship to farming practices. NEW this year: PCM has separate data available for high SPR and low SPR soils so you can better assess how conservation practices could impact your fields.