Water quality, nutrient research focus of field day

Fulton County event to include information on installing bioreactors, interseeding cover crops, managing and reusing drainage water and more.

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(Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

Compiled by staff

The latest research on water quality and practices to reduce nutrient losses will be showcased June 13 at a field day hosted by the Fulton County Farm Bureau, along with Illinois Farm Bureau, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago and the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The event is free, but reservations are required for meal planning.

Activities start at 9 a.m. and will end at 1 p.m. The event will occur rain or shine at 15779 County Road 5, also known as the Cuba Canton blacktop, near Cuba. To register, contact the Fulton County Farm Bureau by calling 309-547-3011 or emailing fultonfb@att.net. 

“This project began as part of a grant from IFB to highlight nutrient loss reduction research and practices and grew thanks to research funds from the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council,” said Fulton County Farm Bureau President William Carlberg. “Today, it’s a full-fledged, mutually beneficial partnership with the MWRD that we’re happy to continue.” 

Field day topics will include woodchip bioreactor installation, drainage water management and runoff reuse, vegetative buffer strips, cover crop interseeding and soil health.

“Our work with the Fulton County Farm Bureau and area farmers will prove to be a beneficial partnership, one that will be extremely important in supporting our effort to gather and disseminate research to the agricultural community,” said Mariyana Spyropoulos, MWRD Board of Commissioners president. “Water quality is not just the responsibility of area farmers or municipalities; it’s a burden we all need to shoulder, and projects like this one help to ensure we’re working together and using resources to do just that.” 

Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of natural and environmental resources, noted MWRD has been working to reduce nutrient losses and improve water quality from the beginning. “Their willingness to continue funding research and working with farmers and the Illinois Farm Bureau proves how committed they are – how committed we all are – to preserving our natural resources for the generations to come,” she said.

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