Skip Navigation


Economics is an essential part of conservation. Economics provides a method to measure how costs and benefits can accrue from different conservation programs and practices. This information is valuable to producers, landowners and planners. Without economics, individuals are deprived of an important measure regarding the recommendation of effective conservation practice(s) to be applied to the landscape. Economic tools and training are available to support the efforts of Agency employees to provide technically sound and cost effective information to producers and landowners so that they may make informed decisions.

Economic data and information is not created in a vacuum. In order to measure costs and benefits or provide an economic analysis, an economist will use data from a number of public and private sources. Public information sources are often preferred (when available) because of transparency concerns, and consistency in the data and its collection. The following lists a number of economic resources used by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois and available to you if you have an interest in the information.

Agriculture Census Information
U.S. Census of Agriculture

National Agriculture Economics References
Office of the Chief Economist (USDA)
National Agricultural Statistics Service
       NASS QuickStats
Economic Research Service
Risk Management Agency
National Agriculture Library
Agricultural Research Service

Public Agriculture Economics/Business Colleges in Illinois
University of Illinois, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Southern Illinois University Department of Agribusiness Economics
Illinois State University at Normal/Bloomington, Department of Agriculture
School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University

Extension References
Illinois Cooperative Extension System
FarmDoc, University of Illinois Farm Management Tools
Management Decision Outreach Central
      Farm Decision Outreach Central (FARMdoc)
      Historic Crop Costs and Current Crop Budgets from Illinois FBFM Farms
      Estimated and Actual Cost for Livestock Production for Illinois
      Machinery Cost Estimates
      Farmland Values and Rents
      Pricing & Yields
Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM)

Farm Management
North Central Regional Risk Management Education Center
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, AgLetter
Illinois Department of Agriculture

Illinois Specific Reference
U.S. Census of Agriculture—Illinois
National Agricultural Statistics Service – Illinois Office
Risk Management Agency, Illinois Office
NRCS Illinois State Office
      NRCS Illinois Field Office Tech Guide


For more information contact:

Bryon Kirwan, State Economist,