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Remote Sensing Documents Conservation Practices

Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS), a tool that analyzes remotely sensed images of the landscape, provides conservation-practice adoption data on a regional scale. Developed by Applied GeoSolutions, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), OpTIS identifies and quantifies the proportion of cropland that is managed with various types of conservation tillage practices and winter cover crops each year. An initial data release in early July provided information on conservation practice adoption in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa from 2005 to 2018, with data for the entire Corn Belt to be released soon. The first release showed that adoption of winter cover crops in the region is growing, and use of conservation tillage practices for corn and soybeans remained fairly steady at around 45% through the period.