Industry remains committed to NLRS

IFB, other organizations continue to be resources for farmers, helping them implement practices to reduce nutrient runoff.

Industry _remains _committed _nlrs _1_636559461362292013

Heavy rainfall serves as a reminder on the importance of managing nutrient runoff. (Photo by Mike Orso)

By DeLoss Jahkne

More than 130 farmers and ag professionals gathered Tuesday in Mt. Carmel for a Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy conference.

The strategy, first implemented in 2015, aims to reduce the state’s phosphorus load by 25 percent by 2025 and its nitrogen load by 15-percent. The strategy promotes farmland practices that reduce runoff and keep nutrients within fields.]

“Farmers are going to see how complicated this is,” said Mike Wilson, certified crop advisor for Wabash Valley FS. “But they’re also going to see who their partners are in this.”

Speakers included leaders from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Fertilizer Institute, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, Illinois Nutrient Research Education Council and Illinois Farm Bureau.

“Since summer of 2015, multiple people from our organization have been hard at work to implement what is on the books,” said Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of natural and environmental programs. “Over the three-year timeframe, our board of directors has committed more than half a million dollars to be able to implement this strategy across our state.”

Lurkins said those investments have been specific to farmers’ and landowners’ needs, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach. Different techniques to limit nutrient runoff include cover crops, buffer strips, saturated buffers and bioreactors, among others.

IFB has provided funds to support research and implementation for these and other projects, she added.

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