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  • No-till soybean fields give (even some rare) birds a foothold in Illinois

    American robins (top) and vesper sparrows (bottom) were found nesting in greater abundance in no-till than in tilled soybean fields. A rare grassland species, the upland sandpiper was found nesting in a no-till field.

    American robins (top) and vesper sparrows (bottom) were found nesting in greater abundance in no-till than in tilled soybean fields. A rare grassland species, the upland sandpiper was found nesting in a no-till field.

    Photo of nest by Kelly VanBeek; of sandpiper by Mary Kay Rubey

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      American robins (top) and vesper sparrows (bottom) were found nesting in greater abundance in no-till than in tilled soybean fields. A rare grassland species, the upland sandpiper was found nesting in a no-till field.

      Photo of nest by Kelly VanBeek; of sandpiper by Mary Kay Rubey

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      Former U. of I. graduate student Kelly VanBeek discovered that no-till soybean fields are contributing more to bird diversity, survival and nesting success than previously appreciated.

      Photo courtesy Kelly VanBeek

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      Natural resources and environmental sciences professors Jeffrey Brawn, left, and Michael Ward conducted a study of bird abundance and diversity on soybean fields in Central Illinois.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • To reach Kelly VanBeek, call 262-574-2116; email Kelly.VanBeek@Wisconsin.gov.
    To reach Jeffrey Brawn, call 217-333-2770; email jbrawn@illinois.edu.
    To reach Michael Ward, call 217-244-4089; email mpward@illinois.edu. The paper, “Does No-Till Soybean Farming Provide Any Benefits for Birds?” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.