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USDA measuring nutrient loss reduction strategy techniques

Special to Illinois Extension
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will measure the techniques Illinois farmers use to preserve nutrients in their fields in its 2022 Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Survey.

The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in lakes, streams, and rivers. The strategy lays out best management practices for reducing nutrient loads from wastewater treatment plants and urban and agricultural runoff.

NASS was asked to design and conduct a survey that would establish a baseline set of statistics for some of those practices in the 2011 crop season. The initial survey was designed to measure those same cultural practices for the 2015 crop season. With funding from the Illinois Nutrient Research Education Council, NASS conducted the original survey and repeated it for 2017 and 2019.

“The earlier surveys have shown that Illinois farmers are already doing many things to preserve nutrients in farm fields,” says Mark Schleusener, Illinois state statistician. “This project will continue to measure utilization of cover crops and nitrification inhibitors, as well as split application and spring only nitrogen applications.”

“NASS will mail questionnaires to more than 1,000 producers in February and ask them to report on their practices for the 2021 crop season,” sys Schleusener. “I encourage everyone to return their completed survey in the postage-paid envelope. All individual responses are confidential and will only be used to measure state totals and averages.”

For more information, one may contact the NASS Heartland Regional Field Office at (800) 551-1014 or email

RELEASE PROVIDED: USDA, Mark Schleusener 314-681-3315.

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