Conservation Hotspot Analysis: Expanded Findings in Northeast Illinois

Photo by Henry Be

In 2021, Delta Institute released a report titled Conservation in Illinois: Hotspot Analysis and Implications for Program Design which identified conservation hotspots, defined as Illinois counties with high uptake of specific conservation programs, and evaluated the impact of relevant factors. Our team produced an interactive map of findings alongside the report and hosted a webinar to present said findings. Using feedback on the report, map, and webinar, Delta investigated some key questions on factors influencing conservation practice adoption.

One year later, we are pleased to provide an overview of our team’s expanded findings. We have also included more in-depth analyses of agricultural conservation hotspots in Northeastern Illinois, specifically for Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. Click here to read our expanded findings on:

  • Resource Distribution through U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS);
  • Factors impacting consistently above-average counties;
  • The role of winter wheat in cover crop values; and
  • Detailed information for land usage, cover crop acreage percentage, and federal conservation incentive spending for counties in Northeast Illinois.

Click here to download the PDF and read more. We thank the Oberweiler Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation for generously sponsoring this work to protect the environment, increase adoption of regenerative agriculture and conservation, and improve soil health in Illinois. Support from the Oberweiler Foundation advanced more in-depth analyses of agricultural conservation in Northeastern Illinois.

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