Dr. Shalamar Armstrong with Purdue University leads this multi-institute research project that closely examines the impact that cereal rye cover crop has on nutrient loss.
A woodchip bioreactors is just one edge-of-field nitrogen management tools that farmers can use to reduce the amount of runoff of lost nutrients.
The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council recently awarded $4,037,640 in research grants for the 2021 Fiscal Year. Research focused on various practices and processes related to nutrient efficiency are the focus of the 34 newly funded projects.
Each year, Illinois farmers are assessed $.75/ton on bulk fertilizer sold in the state. Agricultural retailers work with Illinois NREC to collect the funds which are then invested in research and outreach activities. The Council was formed in 2012 and since that time has invested nearly $27M into this important research. The Council is funding 9 new projects and 25 projects that are ongoing and build on previous years of work. Proposals were submitted to the Council based on an RFP (Request for Proposal) that was developed by the Council and Research Committee. The Council and Research Committee then work with staff and outside peer reviewers to evaluate each project, review the objectives and methodology and then award the funding. NREC Research projects typically fall into four major categories: 4R’s – applying the right source of fertilizer, at the right rate, right time, and right place, Cover Crops, Edge of Field Practices, and Novel/Innovative approaches to nutrient utilization.
You can find a full listing of the 2021 funded projects here: 2021 Research Projects
Lowell Gentry, Dan Schaefer and Eric Miller are studying how installing a woodchip bioreactor at the edge of a field, along with planting cover crops might limit nutrient loss.
Can drainage depth and spacing be optimized to minimize the nutrient losses and maximize crop production?
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. DNRA conserves Nitrogen within the system. Since DNRA takes nitrate and converts it to ammonium, it does not produce N2 or N2O.
Dr. Laura Christianson, along with her colleagues from the University of Illinois, are exploring various options of drainage water management. “Drain only what is necessary for good trafficability and crop growth — and not a drop more?
Dr. Amir Sadeghpour and research collaborators at SIU and UK are developing regionally-specific algorithms fro Illinois farmers to use GreenSeeker sensor tools.
This study supports the premise that concentrating N fertilizer below ground near the crop row can increase grain yield and N removal.