Statewide efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses were discussed last week during a daylong virtual workshop. About 150 people participated and represented federal and state agencies, universities, local governments and a spectrum of organizations, including Illinois Farm Bureau.

Illinois’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy seeks to eventually reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses by 45% with interim goals of a 15% reduction in nitrogen losses and a 25% reduction in phosphorus losses by 2025.

To understand nutrient work in other states, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio leaders shared information about their respective states’ plans.

Matt Lechtenberg with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship described several state-funded programs with a goal to eventually reduce nitrogen and phosphorus by 45%. Dave Wall with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency explained state funding for his state plan has increased since its 2014 release. John Mathews with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Surface Water reported efforts gained long-term state water quality funding with an emphasis on reducing phosphorus losses, especially in Lake Erie.

Illinois updates were provided by Julie Hewitt, Nutrient Research and Education Council; Mark Schleusener, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service; Reid Christianson, University of Illinois Crop Sciences; Kristi Jones, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Trevor Sample, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Beth Falsey, DuPage County Stormwater Management; Cindy Skrukrud, Illinois Sierra Club; and Kate Gardiner, U of I Extension/Illinois Indiana Sea Grant.

Data collection and information has started on Illinois’ 2021 Biennial Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Report, according to Eliana Brown, U of I Extension Illinois Indiana Sea Grant. She reported information will be due from agencies and stakeholders by the end of January.