American Farmland Trust Collaborates with Partners to Host Virtual Phosphorus Management Workshop for Illinois Farmers and Advisors - American Farmland Trust

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August 21st, 2020

Join the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership, American Farmland Trust, and the Upper Macoupin Creek Watershed Partnership for an informative webinar focused on managing phosphorus in conservation cropping systems. 


August 21, 2020, DEKALB, Illinois – Today, American Farmland Trust, the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, announced it will collaborate with the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership and the Upper Macoupin Creek Watershed Partnership to host an informative webinar on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 11:45 AM. The free webinar will focus on managing phosphorus in conservation cropping systems. Presentations will highlight current research and management tips for farmers and their advisors on cover crops and other best management practices that reduce non-point source phosphorus loading in Illinois. Participants will be offered one and a half hours of Continuing Education Credits in nutrient management.

The Illinois Upper Macoupin Creek Watershed is listed by the Illinois Science Assessment and the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy as one of the highest non-point source phosphorus loading watersheds in Illinois. The adoption of a well-managed conservation cropping system leads to improvements in water quality and soil health.

“We are excited to be hosting this webinar as a partnership,” states Jean Brokish, AFT programs and outreach manager. “Planting cover crops and reducing tillage are some of the most efficient management options for increasing soil health while decreasing nutrient and soil loss from fields. We hope that this webinar and our well-respected speakers will give Illinois farmers and advisors new tools to implement in the field.”

Speakers at the webinar include:

  • Heidi M. Peterson, vice president of agricultural research and conservation at the Sand County Foundation where she leads the Foundation’s agricultural conservation team and sets its strategic direction in research and farmer and rancher engagement. Dr. Peterson will summarize the 4R’s for phosphorus.
  • Fabian Fernandez, associate professor in the department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Fernandez will discuss phosphorus application and placement techniques.
  • Nathan Nelson, associate professor of agronomy at Kansas State, where he focuses primarily on finding ways to increase the efficiency of phosphorus applications in agriculture. Dr. Nelson will examine phosphorus cycling with cover crops.

The UMC partnership includes a 17-member steering committee comprised of eight farmers, two representatives of M&M Service Company, two representatives from CHS Shipman, two representatives from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service office in Macoupin County, one representative from the Macoupin County Soil and Water Conservation District, one representative from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and one representative from AFT.

The Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership is a 12-member group focused on messaging, outreach, training and education for farmers and their trusted advisors to bring together and disseminate new information and lessons learned in plain, practical language. Members work collaboratively to amplify the programs of each organization, share resources to gain efficiencies and identify synergies in achieving soil health and nutrient goals. ISAP’s mission is to create a network to support a systems approach on agriculture lands to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss.



American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on a half million additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.