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The Illinois Statewide Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) is designed to improve Illinois water quality and the quality of water leaving the state. ISA strongly supports the use of voluntary, incentive-based programs focused on the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to address nutrient losses from Illinois farm fields. To achieve the loss reduction goals outlined in this strategy, we all need to continue working to reduce losses from all sources. This simple BMP Getting Started Guide will help farmers identify new management practices for every acre of their operations.

Ten Ways to Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland in the Midwest

While there are a number of practices now being promoted as a part of state nutrient strategies, no one practice will be suitable for every acre—yet every acre needs at least one new practice. A newly funded North Central Region Water Network Seed Grant project, led by the University of Illinois, is underway to develop a comprehensive package of information about these drainage water quality-improvement practices. This effort is leading off with the release of a booklet “Ten Ways to Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland in the Midwest,” and will include presentations for educators, online modules for additional audiences, and a Ten Ways summary factsheet.

Nutrient Loss Reduction: Using Science to Find the Right Practices for Your Field

Click here to see how science can help you find the right practices for your field. Developed by: Dr. Laura Christianson, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Water Resources Center.

Denitrifying ‘Woodchip’ Bioreactor Projects

While in-field practices such as 4Rs nitrogen management and cover crops will be vital to meeting agricultural water quality goals, as substantial investments in drainage systems continue to be made, edge-of-field practices like bioreactors will also be a necessary part of the solution. Inside a bioreactor, provision of a solid organic carbon source in addition to maintenance of anoxic conditions allows the natural process of denitrification to be enhanced, meaning waters leaving these treatment systems have significantly reduced nitrate loads.

Dissolving Uncertainty: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Dissolved P in Tile Drainage

As major phosphorus-related water impairments continue to generate headlines and stir regulatory interest, there is an increasing need to better understand factors impacting phosphorus (P) transported from areas where agriculture is heavily underpinned by tile drainage. Substantial opportunities to reduce Illinois’ point-source P loads exist, but the agricultural sector will nevertheless need to play a role in meeting P reduction targets.