Nutrient Management Overview
Illinois Corn is addressing concerns related to nutrient runoff by participating in several coalitions and groups that invest in research and education to help farmers better manage their farms, soil, and fertilizers.
Corn and soybean production have steadily increased over time. This increase can be attributed to the combined effort of University researchers, an industry that has developed new products to improve the efficiency of crop production, and ingenuity of farmers that have found ways to use the newest technology profitably for their own operation.
As new products or practices were introduced into production agriculture, new problems or opportunities often developed requiring new research to find solutions, often solutions that required new products or practices. In virtually every one of these situations, it has been the cooperative work of public scientists (University-based researchers and educators), industry scientists, and farmers and their advisors that developed solutions for problems.
All of these efforts are part of an organized effort put forth by the standards of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The NLRS is:
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (Illinois NLRS or the strategy) is a framework for using science, technology, and industry experience to assess and reduce nutrient loss to Illinois waters and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy will direct efforts to reduce nutrients from point and non-point sources in a coordinated, primarily voluntary, and cost-effective manner.
Nutrient loss and runoff is a major threat to water quality in Illinois. State and local efforts over the decades to control nutrients have yielded positive results, but new and expanded strategies are needed to secure the future health of our water throughout Illinois and the Mississippi River Basin.
The Illinois NLRS builds upon existing programs to optimize nutrient loss reduction while promoting increased collaboration, research, and innovation among the private sector, academia, non-profits, wastewater agencies, and state and local government. It does not call for new regulations for either point or non-point sources.
The plan will be introduced and followed throughout the state with leadership from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois NLRS policy working group, and newly formed committees. Emerging science, new technology, and practical experience will continue to identify the financial benefits and costs of the strategy’s recommendations and inform future policy. Success will require that stakeholders closely collaborate and acknowledge their evolving and increasing mutual dependency.