CFQ: Retailers Critical to Nutrient Management Plan Success
Breaking Down the Plan
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu) follows the framework provided in the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memorandum, "Recommended Elements of a State Framework for Managing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution." The memo outlines strategy for new and existing practices for both point and nonpoint nutrient sources.
"The approach to addressing the diverse and weather-driven nutrient transport from Iowa nonpoint sources must be different from the approach to address the controlled and relatively constant nutrient discharge from Iowa's major cities and industries," reads the report. "Accounting for the potential reduction from point sources, the target load reductions for nonpoint sources is 41 percent of the statewide total nitrogen and 29 percent of the total phosphorus to meet the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan goal. Iowa has nutrient-rich landscapes. Significant progress towards these large targets will take considerable time, effort and funding."
The Iowa strategy outlines action items stakeholders might consider for reducing N and P loads from nonpoint sources:
- Set priorities -- consider conservation programs, combination of in-field and off-field practices, small watershed pilot projects, nutrient trading and innovative approaches.
- Document progress -- look at new and expanded frameworks to document best management practices and collaborate with science assessment team to measure success.
- Utilize research and technology -- try new technologies and creative solutions, use private and public funding for science and technology and review hypoxia zone research.
- Strengthen outreach, education and collaboration -- establish new, enhanced private and public sector roles, assist local watershed groups with coordination of local nutrient reduction projects, expand agribusiness consulting and advisory services to farmers, broaden awareness and provide relevant information to farmers, achieve market-driven solutions, collaborate and share information with other states, increased public awareness and recognition, statewide marketing and education.
- Maximize funding -- extend effective resource use and benefits per amount expended.
"The scientific assessment demonstrates that a combination of practices will be needed to reach desired load reductions," says Lawrence. "Where appropriate, the science assessment and outcomes of the science assessment will be integrated into operational plans."