NUTRIENT LOSS REDUCTION STRATEGY ON THE WAY

Tricia Braid

Jul, 08, 2015  |  Today's News

It is expected that the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy will be released by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Agriculture in the coming weeks. The Strategy seeks to inform all nutrient stakeholders of voluntary efforts that can reduce nutrient loss. Illinois Corn partnered in drafting the Strategy and we look forward to seeing the final document. Illinois Corn supports voluntary best management practices be adopted by farmers to reduce nutrient loss, not to reduce nutrient use. Find out more about the Strategy.

The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, to be released by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Agriculture, provides a framework for reducing nutrient losses to improve Illinois water quality and the quality of water leaving the state and entering the Gulf of Mexico. 

The strategy covers both point and non-point losses. A point source is a single, identifiable source of pollution, such as a pipe or a drain. A non-point source refers to those inputs and impacts which occur over a wide area and are not easily attributed to a single source. They are often associated with particular land uses, as opposed to individual point source discharges. Agriculture, defined as a nonpoint source, is working to address losses from our family farms, but everyone—whether from rural, suburban or urban areas—will have a role to play.

The focus is on reducing nutrient losses to the environment, not on reducing nutrient use for Illinois agriculture.

Illinois is building on current approaches and water quality monitoring programs. The goal is to better understand all that is being done currently and how to build on current successes.

For agricultural non-point sources, voluntary implementation of best management practices is expected to build on efforts already underway by farmers throughout the state and in watersheds with existing nutrient management plans. It is expected that the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) will increase with additional outreach, education and incentives.

The draft document is available here