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Knox County Illinois Soil and Water Conservation District

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Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy

The document was approved by U.S. EPA and released on July 21, 2015.


The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (Illinois NLRS or the strategy) is a framework for using science, technology and industry experience to assess and reduce nutrient loss to Illinois waters and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy will direct efforts to reduce nutrients from point and nonpoint sources in a coordinated, primarily voluntary, and cost-effective manner.

Nutrient loss and runoff is a major threat to water quality in Illinois. State and local efforts over the decades to control nutrients have yielded positive results, but new and expanded strategies are needed to secure the future health of our water throughout Illinois and the Mississippi River Basin.

The Illinois NLRS builds upon existing programs to optimize nutrient loss reduction while promoting increased collaboration, research, and innovation among the private sector, academia, nonprofits, waste water agencies, and state and local government. It does not call for new regulations for either point or nonpoint sources.

The plan will be introduced and followed throughout the state with leadership from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois NLRS policy working group, and newly formed committees. Emerging science, new technology, and practical experience will continue to identify the financial benefits and costs of the strategy’s recommendations and inform future policy. Success will require that stakeholders closely collaborate and acknowledge their evolving and increasing mutual dependency.

For more information, visit

The Science of the Strategy
Spoon River Watershed

Tips for better soil health

Soil Health NRCS

Become a Soil Health Champion!

Odette Menard’s simple rules for improving soil health

  1. Cover and feed the soil at all times.
  2. Keep organic layer on top for macrofauna to feed on.
  3. Keep roots in the soil.
  4. Rethink and redesign rotations.
  5. Reduce or eliminate tillage.
  6. Plan a strategy.
  7. Understand your system and know the impact of what you are doing to the soil.
  8. Get into cover crops.
  9. Remember that brown is bad, gold is good, and green is great.
  10. Look at things differently and don’t be afraid to have crazy ideas.

Knox County SWCD
233 S. Soangetaha Rd.
Galesburg, IL  61401

Phone: (309) 342-5138 ext. 3 
Fax: (855) 288-1480

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8- 4:30 p.m.

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