Current Research Projects

In 2018, NREC funded 26 projects – 18 projects continued from previous years and 8 new projects. The $3.6 Million available for funding these projects comes from an assessment of 75 cents per ton of fertilizer sold in Illinois. Additional funds have been earmarked for communications and outreach projects to ensure that farmers and fertilizer industry professionals are receiving timely updates from the research projects. Council-funded projects fall into three main categories with emphasis on the 4R’s – applying the right source of fertilizer, at the right rate, right time, and right place, looking at ways to capture nutrients within the field using cover crops, and finally exploring methods of capturing nutrients before they are lost in a way that could potentially impact the environment. The last category focuses on methods such as buffer strips, bio-reactors, and wetlands.

2019 Research projects will be announced soon.

2018 NREC Projects


2018 New Projects

InstitutionPIProject Title
SIUWilliardManaging Phosphorus Loss from Midwest Agroecosystems: State of Knowledge Review
UIKentTowards Management of Dissimilatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium for Nitrate Retention in Agricultural Soils

UIGuanAssessing Suitability and Benefits of Cover Crops in Illinois
UIBhattaraiAssessing tile depth and spacing impact on nutrient losses and crop production
SIUWilliardWater quality and agronomic impacts of gypsum applications in Southern Illinois
UIR. ChristiansonReducing P Loss in Southern Illinois: Producers, Practices, and Productivity
UICookeOn-Farm Evaluation and Demonstration of Reduced Off-Farm Nutrient Transport through Drainage Water Recycling
UIMargenotEvaluating slow‐release P fertilizers to increase crop production and environmental quality

2018 Ongoing Projects

InstitutionPIProject Title
UINafzigerA comprehensive corn nitrogen research program for Illinois
ISUO'ReillyThe effect of cover crops on surface water quality: A paired watershed experiment in the Lake Bloomington watershed
UILovellMultifunctional buffers on marginal farmland to improve the environmental profile of agriculture and diversify production opportunities
UIDavid/GentryNitrogen management systems in tile-drained fields: Optimizing yields while minimizing losses
SIUSchoonoverNitrate leaching in cover crops and corn/soybean systems in Southern Illinois With N15
UINafzigerTracking soil nitrogen loss and availability
TWIKostelDemonstration and monitoring of nutrient-removal wetlands in the Big Bureau Creek watershed (Northern/Central Illinois)
UIGentryEvaluating nutrient loss reduction strategies: longer rotation with cover crops and bioreactor
IFCASchaeferInd./University Partnership & KIC 4R Programs
SIUSchoonoverThe two stage saturated buffer: Integrating the use of cover crops into saturated buffer designs for nitrogen mitigation
UIPittelkowAssessing synergies and tradeoffs of recommended BMPs to reduce nutrient loss
UIL. ChristiansonDissolving uncertainty: A comprehensive evaluation of dissolved P in tile drainage
UIAraiUnderstanding mechanisms and processes of dissolved reactive phosphate (DRP) loss in Illinois tile-drained fields
UIGentryCereal Rye Ahead of Corn: N Catch and Release
UICoppessWeb-based Decision Support Tool for Cover Crop Management
ISUArmstrongA Long-term Evaluation of Nitrogen Application Timing and Cover Crops Impacts on the Fate and Availability of Nitrogen Fertilizer and Crop Production on Tile Drained Fields
UIL. ChristiansonDrainage water management and saturated buffers for achieving NLRS goals
UIL ChristiansonBioreactors for Illinois: Smaller, Better, Faster