Illinois NREC works closely with our funded researchers to identify the most advanced tools available to help us better understand the fate of nitrogen fertilizers. Learn more about this important tool and see preliminary results.
In a field-size study area, Dr. Williard and his team are in the middle of a multi-year project at Southern Illinois University farms to look at relationships between cover crops and N availability to corn. What they have learned so far is that cereal rye is an effective scavenger of nitrogen, reducing the amount of nitrate that leached via soil water. Click here for the latest. Cover Crops and Water Quality – Williard
Building upon past research, Dr. Schoonover and his team are demonstrating an alternative design of saturated buffers that address commonly encountered issues with the Best Management Practices (BMP) of saturated buffers. This new research will look at the alternative designs, as well as installation requirements and effectiveness under various field and climatic conditions. The research is taking place in Moultrie County. Saturated Buffers – Schoonover
Current N management guidelines in Illinois are not adjusted for inclusion of cover crops especially with different cover crop termination dates. The termination date can influence the decomposition rate of cover crops in a corn cropping system and change the dynamics of N release to the crop. Dr. Amir Sadeghpour of Southern Illinois University leads this project. Click here for the latest. cover crops and termination dates – Sadeghpour
Understanding the influence of tile depth and spacing on nutrient loss – does depth or distance count for something? Research under way by Dr. Rabin Bhattarai from the University of Illinois leads a study investigating how tile depth and spacing variations impact nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) losses. The study evaluates current tile drainage design and assesses negative impacts on tile drainage and N and P losses. Click here to download a summary of his current research. How wide, how deep – Bhattarai
Using cover crops shows the potential to reduce nutrient loss, but most of this research has been done at the plot or field scale levels. This project explores whether the use of cover crops can effectively be scaled up to the watershed – not just a field – and whether the addition of cover crops alone, with no other changes in farm management, can improve surface water quality. An overview of Dr. O’Reilly’s research can be found here: Catherine O’Reilly
Dr. Andrew Margenot at the University of Illinois and his team are looking at the possibilities of recycling P for use on agricultural fields. This new research is an enhancement of research by Dr. Margenot
where he is looking at slow release P fertilizers to increase crop production and environmental quality. Click here to download his Investment Insight: Can it work – Magenot