"Nitrogen loss is an economic loss to the farmer
and degrades the water quality of the receiving stream."
The Iowa Water Quality Initiative was established during the 2013 Iowa legislative session to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS). The NRS provides a roadmap to achieve 45% reduction in nitrogen and phosphorous losses to our water using an integrated approach that includes point and non-point sources working together for improvement.
Most agriculture in Iowa releases non-point contributions to the receiving stream. Nitrogen promotes rapid growth as an essential part of protein and chlorophyll. Nitrate ions move freely in the soild and diffuse easily through the soil.
Phosphorus spurs plant growth to a lesser extent than nitrogen. Phosphorus tends to be tied up in the soild and acts to balance nitrogen.
Here are 10 ways to help you Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland:
- Improve nitrogen management
- Plant winter cover crops
- Increase perennials in the rotation
- Control Drainage water
- Reduce drainage intensity
- Recycle drainage water
- Incorporate a bioreactor
- Treat water in wetlands
- Use an open-ditch design
- Plant saturated buffers
Source: University of Illinois Extension Publication C1400