In 2022, NREC is funding 28 projects with six new or expanded activities. The $3.3 Million available for funding these projects comes from an assessment of 75 cents per ton of fertilizer sold in Illinois. Additional funds have been earmarked for communications and outreach projects to ensure that farmers and fertilizer industry professionals are receiving timely updates from the research projects. Council-funded projects fall into three main categories with an emphasis on the 4R’s – applying the right source of fertilizer, at the right rate, right time, and right place, looking at ways to capture nutrients within the field using cover crops, and finally exploring methods of capturing nutrients before they are lost in a way that could potentially impact the environment. The last category focuses on methods such as buffer strips, woodchip bioreactors, and wetlands.

2022 NREC Projects

2022 NREC Funded Research Projects – Project Objectives

Project TitleInstitutionPrincipal Investigator2022 Project Budget
Intensification of corn-soybean rotation with wheat to improve water quality, soil health and farm profitSIUSadeghpour$ 176,430.00
Assessing Illinois WASCoB's - water quality, legacy P and sediment trappingSIUSchoonover$ 79,802.00
Double-Dipping P Loss Reductions: Integrating and stacking struvite in P BMP'sUIMargenot$ 83,027.00
Improve the N rate calculator and MRTN for Illinois farmers by leveraging NREC historical N trials and new computing toolsUIGuan$ 149,443.00
Evaluating streambank and in-stream erosion as a source of P and sediment in two agricultural watershedsSIUWilliard$ 99,854.00
Do Soil Caps Enhance Bioreactor Performance and Increase Woodchip Longevity?UIGentry$ 39,000.00
Integrating livestock grazing into the western Illinois corn-soybean cropping system to enhance farm profitability and reduce nutrient lossWIUBernards$ 84,242.00
Watershed-scale response of agricultural systems to drainage water management in Central IllinoisUIBhattarai$ 105,400.00
Knowledge is power: Powering up bioreactors and saturated buffers in IllinoisUIChristianson$ 83,871.00
Characterizing sub‐field variability for efficient phosphorus management: targeting hotspotsUIFraterrigo$ 48,997.00
Reducing Nutrient Loads in WASCOBs in Southern IllinoisUIGentry$ 112,237.00
Nitrogen Management Systems in Tile‐Drained Fields: 4R Plus – Rate, Source, Time, Place and Cover Crops (Douglas County)UIGentry$ 257,788.00

Integrating Tillage, Soil Carbon Dynamics, and Tile Nitrate Loss (Eric Miller)UIGentry$ 166,802.00
Managing the maize microbiome for sustainable nutrient retention in Illinois agricultural soilsUIKent$ 129,412.00

Precision Nitrogen Management of Corn for Improving Farm Profitability and Water Quality in Southern IllinoisSIUSadeghpour$ 216,733.00
Next Generation Cover Cropping in Corn-Soybean Rotation to Improve Farm Benefits and Decrease Environmental Losses in South and Central IllinoisSIUSadeghpour$ 183,522.00
Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCoBs) influence on Crop Yields and Water QualitySIUSchoonover$ 148,418.00
Modelling and Designing Saturated Buffers for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Mitigation in IllinoisSIUSchoonover$ 134,854.00
Minimizing phosphorus and nitrogen loss from agricultural systems with cover crops and tillage in Southern IllinoisSIUWilliard$ 179,436.00
Sources and cycling of nitrate in tile‐drained corn‐soybean rotation systems: A stable isotope approachUIYu$ 122,064.00
Designer Biochar to Capture and Recycle Phosphorous from Tile Drainage SystemsUIZheng$ 95,132.00
Capitalizing on 150 Years of Soil Samples to Determine Legacy P and Improve Water Quality in IllinoisUIMargenot$ 285,667.00
Nitrogen Rate Research & NREC Project PartnershipIFCASchaefer$ 335,210.00
A Long-term Evaluation of Nitrogen Application Timing and Cover Crops Impacts on the Fate and Availability of Nitrogen Fertilizer and Crop Production on Tile Drained FieldsPurdueArmstrong$ 215,082.00
The effect of cover crops on surface water quality: A paired watershed experiment in the Lake Bloomington watershedPurdueArmstrong$ 177,865.00
Nitrogen placement and application timing for best efficiency, growth, and yield of corn across IllinoisUIBelow$ 28,495.00
Evaluating nutrient loss reduction strategies: longer rotation with cover crops and bioreactor (Miller Project)UIGentry$ 135,890.00
Water quality and agronomic impacts of gypsum applications in Southern IllinoisSIUWilliard$ 37,826.00