Cover photo for Colorado Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources Program

Colorado Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources Program (CO-STAR)

Colorado Department of Agriculture


The Colorado Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources (STAR) Program is a free and voluntary tool to inspire producers, give bragging rights, and structure conversations around soil health. STAR is a practice-based rating system that assigns points for the following soil health practices: cropping, tillage, nutrient application, and other best management practices based upon a 10-minute form that producers fill out about each field. As a result, the farmer or rancher receives a STAR rating from 1-5 stars that help them understand how well they are doing in promoting soil health and upholding the 5 principles of soil health:

  • Soil Armor

  • Minimize Soil Disturbance

  • Plant Diversity

  • Continual Live Plant/Root

  • Livestock Integration

STAR could become a market signal to pay producers more for products grown using healthy soils practices and provide an onramp to other opportunities.


Terms

Individual producers who have submitted a STAR field assessment form to CDA will be subject to random verification by a CDA employee. This verification process does not require a field visit, but rather will involve the submission of documentation showing the practices indicated in the STAR Form. Documentation may include receipts, invoices, dated photographs, harvest logs, FSA Form 578, NRCS records, harvest logs, and other commonly kept records.


Application Instructions

To begin the application process, complete a field assessment form for each of your fields for a given crop year. Find the appropriate field assessment for your farm on this page.

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Updated September 22, 2023

Image Credit: Lauren Lopes

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