The Precision Conservation Management (PCM) initiative is a farmer-led effort addressing natural resource concerns on a field-by-field basis. PCM works to identify conservation farming practices that effectively address environmental issues in a financially viable way by analyzing financial metrics in the context of conservation adoption. The initiative takes a unique approach to precision farming by evaluating agricultural conservation practices through the lens of farmers (and directly with farmers). By prioritizing cost-benefit analyses for various conservation farming methods, PCM provides quantifiable metrics and meaningful practice comparisons assessing the impacts of conservation practices on both environmental and farm financial metrics.
Each year, working hand-in-hand with member farmers, the team produces a data-backed report on The Business Case for Conservation. This report provides clear, objectively analyzed, aggregated, and anonymized results for over 12,000 agricultural fields in Illinois, demonstrating the cost differences and environmental changes resulting from various tillage, nutrient management, and cover crop practices. The team applies real-world insights shared by farmers making their own farm enterprise decisions. This year’s report covers topics such as: farm incomes and environmental outcomes, achieving conservation goals, conservation farming data, nitrogen data, member farmer experiences, and field profitability.
Visit Precision Conservation Management’s website to learn more about the program and read the full publicly-available report.