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Illinois Farmers Mailed Surveys to Get Information on Conservation Practice Use

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A tractor turns the cover crop into the soil in preperation for planting at Leafy Greens, in the Salinas Valley of California on Thursday, June 16, 2011.  Leafy Greens grows row crops of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower sweet peas and seed beans. He uses rotational crop plantings to control weeds and plant disease. When a plot of land is at rest, he plants a cover crop of barley and rye grass because the roots hold the topsoil reducing erosion of the soil. He is converting his irrigation system from conventio

Are you an Illinois Farmer? You might have received a survey from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) last month. Read below to find out more about how this survey can help you and your operation in the future.


Champaign, IL — Illinois farmers—about 500 statewide—received a survey from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) last month. If you got one, you may want to know a little more about it. The NASS survey will  assist staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) so they can better understand Illinois farmers and their use of conservation practices. Farmers can respond online at before the deadline August 19th, so don’t delay.

The survey is called the Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations Survey (CPAM). “This is a joint project between USDA’s NASS and NRCS. Your responses will help us learn why you select certain practices and how we can get you the information and the technical help you need to solve issues you face on the farm,” says Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier.

Surveys explore four different conservation practice categories—crops, grazing, confined livestock, and forestry. For 2022, farmers were sent surveys about two topics—crops and confined livestock practices. New surveys will be mailed out in 2024 for grazing and forestry. 

Did you receive one of the surveys? If so, and you haven’t yet responded online, you may get a phone call from NASS for a quick interview. Take some time, follow instructions and visit the website. Use the special survey code that was mailed to you.

“Gathering information about farmers’ motivation for and adoption of conservation practices allows USDA to understand the use and awareness of its programs,” says Mark Schleusener, NASS’s Illinois state statistician. 

According to Dozier, survey results will be used to guide the implementation of NRCS programs in the future. “We want to know what’s important to you and how USDA can make conservation solutions easier for you to implement,” Dozier adds. If you’ve received one of the NASS-NRCS surveys, respond and get your needs and opinions captured. Respond online at or mail back your completed questionnaires in the prepaid envelope provided. 

Results from both versions of the survey will be available Sept. 15, 2022, at and in NASS’s Quick Stats database at All information reported by individuals will be kept confidential, as required by federal law.