The Project by County Outcomes Calculator (PCOC) is a simple, coarse water and climate outcomes estimation tool. In the early stages of development, it is currently designed to work in the state of Illinois and to analyze cover crops and no-till/strip-till practices. Conservation professionals in Illinois can use the tool to estimate project-level outcomes in any county in the state to quickly and easily estimate the total nitrate-nitrogen, total phosphorus, sediment, and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions associated with the adoption of cover crops and no-till in their project.
American Farmland Trust developed the methods on which the PCOC Tool is based for reporting outcomes in the Upper Macoupin Creek Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Project (RCPP) (2017-2022). Those methods were then applied at the state-level to estimate outcomes of the Illinois Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources (STAR) Program.
To use the 2023 working version of the PCOC Tool, download it to your computer, then input county and practice quantity data. Results are provided in both tabular and graphical formats for the four resource concerns and presented per practice as well as combined practices. Note that if the two practices are adopted on the same acres in the project, the tool will overestimate those benefits.
AFT hopes to expand this tool to other states to enable other conservation professionals to have a quick and easy, “plug-and-chug” tool to estimate the outcomes of their farm conservation projects. If you are interested in collaborating with AFT to expand the tool to another state, or to add more conservation practices, and to improve the veracity and functionality of the tool, please contact Jean Brokish, AFT’s Midwest Deputy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.