Over 100 area farmers, land owners, and agribusiness professionals turned out in Clinton Thursday morning to learn about the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices and the Illinois Farm Bureau co-hosted the event Thursday at the Warner Library in Clinton. Jennifer Tirey (Ty - ree), Executive Director of the Council on Best Management Practices, explains the goal of the event was to introduce the forthcoming Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy to those operating in the Clinton Lake Watershed. She says the high turnout for Thursday's meeting...and similar meetings being held across the state...shows producers want to know more about the Strategy.
The goal of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is to promote voluntary efforts to reduce the amount of nutrient runoff within Illinois. Lauren Lurkins, of the Illinois Farm Bureau, explains the impact of implementing conservation practices aimed at reducing runoff have both environmental and financial benefits for farmers.
DeWitt County farmer Dave Steward was among those in attendance. He sees the Strategy as a way agriculture can show voluntary efforts can have a positive impact rather than the need for increased government regulations. He says the discussion of incorporating cover crops to reduce runoff caught his attention.
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is a collaborative effort between the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and numerous farmer led organizations in the state. The final document is expected to be released to the public in July. In order to spur interest and education about the Strategy, the Council on Best Management Practices is hosting several "roadshows" across Illinois. In fact, meetings are also scheduled for June 22nd in Decatur and June 24 in Bloomington.
To learn more about the Strategy or the upcoming meetings, visit www.illinoiscbmp.org.