In May 2013, a Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) was released by the State of Iowa to address nutrient loading from point and nonpoint sources to Iowa streams and rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. The full news release can be found here: Updated Nutrient Reduction Strategy. As part of the NRS development, a team of scientists from Iowa State University worked with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to compile and evaluate research relevant to practices that are capable of reducing nonpoint source nutrient delivery. A second team worked on the point source nutrient delivery problem. The two science assessments were used to develop a list of policy considerations and an extensive strategy to reduce nutrient delivery. The full, 204 page document can be accessed here: Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
While the NRS document is full of valuable information, two pages have drawn particular interest from water quality improvement professionals and farmers. These two pages include a list of practices that have the potential to reduce Nitrogen and Phosphorus losses. The most valuable aspects of the lists are the expected nutrient load reductions and potential impacts on corn yield. Farmers quickly grasp the nutrient reduction and yield potential values and can easily compare practices for their effectiveness.
The Iowa Strategy to Reduce Nutrient Loss: Nitrogen and Phosphorus Practices, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication SP 435, can be found at the Extension Online Store.
In August of 2103, as part of an Iowa Learning Farms webinar series, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship provided an update on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.