In 2020, NREC is funding 23 projects. The $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 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, bio-reactors, and wetlands.

2020 NREC Projects

2020 NREC Research Projects

InstitutionPIProject Title
UIGentryNitrogen management systems in tile-drained fields: Optimizing yields while minimizing losses
TWIKostelDemonstration and monitoring of nutrient-removal wetlands in the Big Bureau Creek watershed (Northern/Central Illinois)
UIGentryEvaluating nutrient loss reduction strategies: longer rotation with cover crops and bioreactor
IFCASchaeferNitrogen Rate Research & NREC Project Partnership
UIGentryCereal Rye Ahead of Corn: N Catch and Release
UICoppessWeb-based Decision Support Tool for Cover Crop Management
PurdueArmstrongA 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 Fields
UIL. ChristiansonDrainage water management and saturated buffers for achieving NLRS goals
UIL ChristiansonBioreactors for Illinois: Smaller, Better, Faster
UIGuanAssessing Suitability and Benefits of Cover Crops in Illinois
UIBhattaraiAssessing tile depth and spacing impact on nutrient losses and crop production
SIUWilliardWater quality and agronomic impacts of Gypsum applications in Southern Illinois
UIR ChristiansonReducing P Loss in Southern Illinois: Producers, Practices and Productivity
UIMargenotEvaluating slow-release P fertilizers to increase crop production and environmental quality
UICookeOn-Farm evaluation and demonstration of reduced off-farm nutrient transport through Drainage water recycling
UIKentTowards management of Dissililatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium for Nitrate Retention in Agricultural Soils
InstitutionPIProject Title
SIUSchoonoverWater and Sediment Control Basins (WASCoBs) influence on Crop Yields and Water Quality
UIZhengDesigner Biochar to Capture and Recycle Phosphorous from Tile Drainage Systems
UIGentryReducing Nutrient Loads in WASCOBs in Southern Illinois
SIUWilliardMinimizing phosphorus and nitrogen loss from agricultural systems with cover crops and tillage in Southern Illinois
UIBhattaraiWatershed-scale response of agricultural systems to drainage water management in Central Illinois
UISeiterInsect Management in Cover Crop Systems
SIUSchoonoverModelling and Designing Saturated Buffers for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Mitigation in Illinois
SIUSadeghpourPrecision Nitrogen Management of Corn for Improving Farm Profitability and Water Quality in Southern Illinois
UIBelowNitrogen placement and application timing for best efficiency, growth, and yield of corn across Illinois.