2020 Edge of Field

Partnership Bioreactor


In keeping with its goal to install at least five woodchip bioreactors across the state beginning in 2017, the Woodchip Bioreactor Partnership, formerly the Edge of Field Partnership, comprised of Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois LICA, IL Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the University of Illinois’ College of ACES, completed its third bioreactor installation on September 21st. Given the statewide COVID 19 restrictions, the planned field day event was closed to the public and instead transformed into a virtual field day through video documentation of the practice construction.


An 11’ x 44’ woodchip bioreactor was installed just east of Galva, IL on the Corkill family farm, treating approximately 18 acres of pattern tile drainage for nitrate removal. The project was completed over roughly two days under the lead of contractor member David Johnston, Johnston Land Improvement, on behalf of Illinois LICA. This particular NRCS designed bioreactor marked the first soil capped bioreactor installed by Illinois LICA. It also happens to be the fourth bioreactor in Henry County, of which two were installed through the Woodchip Bioreactor Partnership and two were installed by Johnston Land Improvement. While this partnership cost shares on these practices up to a certain percentage, this particular bioreactor was fully funded through the NRCS’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).


This event marked the ninth and final Nutrient Stewardship Virtual Field Day of 2020 for Illinois Farm Bureau, who has helped implement and document nutrient stewardship practices across the state this year including bioreactors, cover crops, nitrogen & manure management, and more.  Read more about this particular virtual field day, and the others on visit IFB’s website.

Illinois LICA would like to thank the Corkill Family, our partners, and Johnston Land Improvement for their efforts to implement this edge of field practice, improving water quality here in Illinois. We also would like to thank our Associate member donors that supported this project with their quality products and allowed us to continue to show in-kind support to our conservation partners: Agri Drain Corp.; Fratco, Inc.; Xylem, LTD.


THANK YOU to all the following involved with this great project.

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Thank you also to the Corkill Family and ILICA volunteers:

David Johnston, Johnston Land Improvement Crew

Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association, Inc.