IEPA and IDA Release IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Agriculture have released the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy for a 60 day public comment period. A policy group that included agriculture groups (including IFCA), environmental groups, wastewater treatment representatives and universities all worked together to create this document. There are significant opportunities for the agricultural industry to reduce nutrient losses and they are defined in the document. The IFCA Agronomy Committee and the IFCA Board of Directors will review the document and prepare comments on behalf of our industry and we will provide suggestions for IFCA members to comment as well. Please click here to be directed to the IFCA website where we have posted the press release; IFCA is quoted in the press release. Click here to download the strategy document; it is approximately 150 pages. On the IFCA website we have also posted talking points for our members, the IFCA 4R Code of Practice, the latest Keep it for the Crop newsletter featuring the 4R efforts of IFCA members and a joint IFCA/CCA press release announcing the 4R Code of Practice and the 4R Specialty CCA Certification.
As you educate your employees and your farmer customers on this very important issue, please focus on the fact that the document is entitled the Nutrient Loss REDUCTION Strategy, not the nutrient reduction strategy. It is agriculture's collective responsibility to reduce losses of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural lands to improve water quality, nutrient utilization and crop production. It is also vitally important to support NREC and the fertilizer tonnage assessment which is funding critical research to determine economically feasible methods to reduce nutrient losses and to produce published, peer reviewed scientific findings to enhance the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy framework. Go to www.illinoisnrec.org to see descriptions of NREC funded research.
If you have questions about the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, please contact Jean Payne or KJ Johnson. Have a happy Thanksgiving!