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Awareness of Nutrient Loss Among Illinois Corn Farmers

Nutrient runoff in the Mississippi River Basin has caused a hypoxic “dead” zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy provides a framework for farmers to voluntarily reduce nutrient runoff in a coordinated and cost-effective manner to improve water quality. Farmers are being challenged to voluntarily change production practices to limit the amount of N lost from their fields through runoff. Best management practices currently recommended to reduce nutrient loss include cover crops, optimal application timing, bioreactors, wetlands, and buffers. The purpose of this study is to assess Illinois farmers’ knowledge of the Illinois NLRS and to measure how they are addressing nutrient loss on the farmland they operate.

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