Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program

NLRS MapSince 2015, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) has contributed to an impressive statewide effort, the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). Through leadership and participation from our farmer members across the state, IFB has been able to make meaningful contributions toward water quality efforts in Illinois. From 2016 to present, IFB has committed approximately $2.4 million of its own funding to build and maintain its sustainability initiatives and programs.

For the past several years, IFB has made it an organizational priority to lead on environmental issues, most notably, the NLRS. IFB’s NLRS efforts focus in four priority areas: 1) education and outreach to farmers, landowners and the general public; 2) supporting research of best management practices to reduce nutrient loss from agricultural fields; 3) supporting farmer implementation efforts across the state; and 4) demonstrating progress toward the long-term goals of the NLRS.

With the first year of work being completed in 2016, the Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program has become a cornerstone of IFB’s work to implement the NLRS, serving as one example of the many ways IFB is creating lasting impacts in implementing the NLRS across Illinois. This program funds County Farm Bureau (CFB) projects focused on improving soil health and water quality throughout the state. Since 2015, IFB has dedicated over $850,000 to CFBs to complete a wide range of unique projects, including planting test plots of cover crops, watershed planning, water testing, hosting education and outreach activities.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021, virtual programs and resources were developed to accommodate for cancelled or capped-attendance field days.

All 2022 Nutrient Stewardship Field Days are being offered in-person. Navigate the links below to find event flyers, which contain important event details such as RSVP information.

2022 Nutrient Stewardship Field Days

Washington CFB Field DaysWashington County Farm Bureau (CFB)

Washington CFB and Gateway FS is hosted a spring field day as part of their multi-year cover crop project. The partners have been evaluating various cover crop practices and taking soil tests throughout the growing season to learn more about soil health and collecting tissue tests to evaluate crop health.

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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Knox CFB Field DayKnox CFB

Knox CFB, West Central FS, and other local partners hosted a spring field day to share details of their ongoing project and preliminary results. Through this partnership, leaders of this program have been able to plant 20-acre cover crop plots across the county for three years, allowing producers to try cover crops on a small scale to help meet their individual goals.

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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Clinton CFB Field daysClinton CFB

Clinton CFB hosted a spring field day as part of their multi-year NLRS project. The focus of this event was on their cover crop test plot, including information about manure application research, and more. Attendees also received an update on ongoing Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) manure management and cereal rye research taking place in the county.

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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Picture of Fulton CFB Field dayFulton CFB

Tuesday, June 7th, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
15779 West Hickory Road, Cuba, IL 61427

Research partners are once again joining at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago MWRD research site in Fulton County to learn more about new research taking place at the site and plans for the future. Partners for the field day include MWRD, Fulton and Cook CFB, University of Illinois (U of I) researchers, and the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC).

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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McDonough CFB

Tuesday, June 21st, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
95 North 1300th Rd, Blandinsville, IL, 61420

Partners involved in the Woodchip Bioreactor Partnership, including Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB), Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association (ILICA), Illinois NRCS, and U of I, are hosting a field day to discuss a woodchip bioreactor installed in 2021. The focus will be on demonstrating woodchip bioreactors and their influence on water quality.

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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Group of attendees in field listening to presentationMarshall-Putnam FB

Wednesday, June 29th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
½ mile North of 842 Yankee Lane, Sparland, IL 61565

Marshall-Putnam FB is entering year two of a multi-year cover crop project along the Illinois River. The field day will focus on teaching attendees about the benefits of cover crops in meeting soil health and water quality goals, including identifying the top six cover crop species in Illinois and their benefits.

Read the summary on FarmWeekNow by clicking the link below: 

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Shelby CFB

Thursday, June 30th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
From Windsor IL, go west on IL-16 to 2450 E Rd, south until you hit 1050 N Rd;

Shelby CFB is hosting a field day focused on drainage water management (DWM) research taking place at the site of the field day. Representatives from ILICA, NREC, and Illinois NRCS will provide background information on design and construction considerations. U of I researchers will discuss their findings and discuss improvements to water quality on the watershed-scale.

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McLean CFB

Tuesday, July 12th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Illinois State University Research Farm, 25578 ISU Farm Lane, Lexington, IL 61753

McLean CFB, McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), the City of Bloomington, and other partners are hosting a field day focused on Lake Bloomington Watershed planning efforts, as well as programs and practices that can help reach watershed goals.

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Lake CFB

Tuesday, July 19th, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Bob’s Marina, 25584 West Rt. 173, Antioch, IL 60002

Lake CFB and Friends of Catherine and Channel Lakes have partnered on a project focused on installing biochar bags into the lakes and evaluating phosphorus levels. The field day will include information about the partnership and practices that local attendees can use to improve water quality.

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Piatt and Macon CFBs

Tuesday, July 26th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Clarkson Grain North Plant, 924 IL-32, Cerro Gordo, IL, 61818
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As part of ongoing work in the Lake Decatur Watershed, Piatt and Macon CFBs, the City of Decatur, Northwater Consulting, local SWCDs and other partners are hosting a field day in the watershed, focused on recent nutrient stewardship efforts and other watershed planning updates.

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Jo Daviess CFB

Friday, July 29th, 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
First driveway south of 4629 IL-78 S., Stockton, IL
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Jo Daviess CFB is continuing their multi-year cover crop project, including continued surface water run-off and pond testing. Their project includes many partners focused on cover crop science, including AgNetic, Stephenson Service Company, and researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

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Wayne CFB

Thursday, August 25th, 5:00 - 7:30 p.m. 
Fred Blessing Farm, 3 Miles North of Fairfield on Enterprise Road and left at the NLID sign (County Road 1220N)

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Wayne CFB is continuing to sponsor a Nutrient Loss Inhibitor Demonstration (NLID) plot to demonstrate fertilizer efficiency and economics. This work takes place through an active partnership with Wabash Valley Service Company.

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Raelynn Parmely
IFB Environmental Program Manager