Illinois farm bureau announces nutrient stewardship grant recipients

Manure Manager magazine
January 08, 2019
By Manure Manager magazine
Thirty Illinois county Farm Bureaus have been awarded grants under the Nutrient Stewardship Grant program. For the fourth consecutive year, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) has awarded the grants – totaling nearly $400,000 in the last four years – to help promote local nutrient stewardship, soil health, and water quality projects.

"It's encouraging to see new project ideas come forth and to see how projects are growing to meet farmer needs in local areas," said Lyndsey Ramsey, associate director, Natural and Environmental Resources, IFB. "Our farmer members continue to lead the effort in reducing nutrient losses through inventive projects across the state."

This year's grant projects include hosting field days to promote agricultural conservation practices, exploring the multiple benefits of Water And Sediment Control Basins (WASCoBs), conducting soil and water testing, installing a saturated buffer, and inviting experts to present to local farmers.

Additionally, some counties will continue projects which were started in previous years, including completing soil tests on fields utilizing several types of cover crops to determine nitrogen levels in the soil and determining how soil types, cover crop mixtures and other factors impact nitrogen utilization.

All projects will be conducted with the ultimate goal of achieving nutrient loss reduction under the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS).

The NLRS, which was released by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) in July 2015, calls for wastewater treatment plants, urban areas, and agricultural areas to reduce the state's phosphorous load by 25 percent and its nitrate-nitrogen load by 15 percent by 2025. The eventual target is a 45 percent reduction in the loss of these nutrients to the Mississippi River.

A complete list of county Farm Bureau receiving grants – along with partner organizations and project descriptions — are listed below.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of 394,742 and a voting membership of 78,999. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

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