The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council has published its first annual report, summarizing seven projects that NREC funded in the calendar year 2013.
The report is available here at the IFCA website or you can go to www.illinoisnrec.org to view the report and additional information about NREC, including a summary of 15 projects that the Council funded in 2014.
NREC is fundamental to helping to ensure that Illinois agriculture can reduce losses of nutrients and increase yields, both of which are serious challenges for our industry.
EPA is requiring that many states, including Illinois, formally adopt a nutrient reduction strategy to reduce losses of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Gulf of Mexico by 45%. To do this, we must find profitable and feasible ways to keep our nutrients for the crop and ensure that we reduce losses to our streams, lakes and rivers.
Point sources are also being asked to reduce nutrient losses significantly. NREC is funding a broad array of research and outreach projects in 2014 that directly address the demands of the Illinois Nutrient Reduction Strategy, which will be published this summer.
Only scientific, peer reviewed and published findings on methods to reduce nutrient losses can be acknowledged by the strategy document, and NREC is filling that void with projects that seek to increase crop yields by determining methods to increase nutrient utilization using the 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time, right place).
NREC is funded by a 75 cent fee on each ton of bulk fertilizer sold in Illinois, and the funds are held outside of state government.