SPRINGFIELD — Illinois is the latest Midwestern state to earmark funding for a program to reduce nutrient runoff from farmland into waterways.

It’s the first time the state has dedicated money to its Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). Twelve states within the Mississippi River basin have similar strategies in place, and some, like Iowa, have already funded their programs. 

“It really is tremendous, especially during this really difficult past year and the budget challenges that the state has faced, to say, ‘Hey, we got some new funding here,’ is really huge,” says Max Webster, Midwest policy manager with the American Farmland Trust.

The basic goals of the Illinois NLRS are to cut nutrient loads almost in half and decrease the state’s contribution to the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. However, since its adoption in 2015, nutrient loads have increased. Webster says the additional $3.5 million could help reverse that trend.

… Read the full story at Illinois Newsroom

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