(background chattering) – [Nancy] Crowded hecklers So good afternoon, everyone Welcome to today’s sustainability seminar My name’s Nancy Holm I’m assistant director here at ICC and organizer of the seminars with Beth Meschewski who’s here And today’s the last seminar in our sustainability series for this fall And we’ll begin our seminars again in February So then stay tuned And you’re probably all on our email list to get those announcements But if you’re not, we have a sign up sheet out in the hall there that you can sign up to receive the notices And anyone listening online can contact me at naholm@illinois.edu to be on our list So in case you haven’t, sometimes cannot attend the seminars in person, we do our broadcast live each of our seminars and they’re also recorded and archived on our website So we have over 120 seminars from the past eight years on the website on different sustainability topics As we begin today, I’d like everyone here in attendance please silence your cell phones And I also wanted to mention that we’re gonna hold the questions to the end for the speaker And then also for those listening online, we’d like you to type in your questions and will answer those also at the end of our presentation today So we’re very pleased to have with our speaker, Dr. Mark David, who’s a professor in the natural resources and environmental sciences department here at the UI He’s been on the faculty here since 1985 His primary research interests are in the areas of water quality biogeochemistry, in particular the biogeochemistry of nutrients in agricultural forested and aquatic ecosystems, including transformation, transport and effects of nutrients in the agricultural and aquatic systems Mark received his bachelor’s degree in forest science from Penn State University, his master’s degree in forest biogeochemistry from the University of Maine and his PhD in environmental science from the State University of New York Today Mark we’ll be discussing the nutrient loss reduction strategies for Illinois Please join me in welcoming Mark (clapping) – [Mark] Thanks very much Nancy Well, thanks for attending So I can make this really short, the answer is improvement, we hope, so any questions We’ll move right up I’m gonna talk about, some of you are maybe familiar with this, but I’ll give you a little background This has been a big thing going on in the state is developing a new what’s called a nutrient loss reduction strategy It’s something that’s been going on for about three years now And this is something that all the States along the main stem of the Mississippi River have had to develop during that time period And in our state, it was led by the Department of Ag and Illinois EPA I led a group at the on campus here who did the science assessment which is about half the document And this was a very open process over a several year process period And it was a public draft release, January 24th I’m sorry, it was released last November about a year ago And there were 60 days for comment or about a thousand comments, but most of those were form letters and then it’s been revised and it was officially released on July 21st of this year So we’re now operating as a state under this strategy I wanna back up a little and talk about why we had to develop it and how we got there And then I’ll go through the science assessment and then talk about what we’re actually doing as a state So water does this driven by Local Water Quality? And that means either the nutrients in streams and rivers in Illinois or lakes, reservoirs, and also the biology, fish macroinvertebrates impacts And so it was always good You’re always gonna hear two parts of this, again the local and also local involves drinking water supplies And of course, a lot of drinking water supplies

across the upper Midwest have nitrate problems, see Danville, Decatur nd Danville are the two places that have nitrate removal facilities in Illinois The big one right now is in Des Moines and the Des Moines is suing drainage districts in Iowa That’s caused quite a lot of attention, I would say But the local is both quality in rivers and streams, but also from a drinking water perspective The other big one of course is the hypoxic zone that forms each summer and the call for Mexico This was the measurement that was done the last week of July in 2015 And this is a problem that we’ve known about for some time, it’s monitored this one week period usually at the very end of July And I’ll show you how that compares to past measurements, it’s a little hard This is the Mississippi is coming out here and the current trans poured the water and the nutrients to the west And so that’s the Texas-Louisiana border We’ll come back to how big that was this year We’ve known about this since the ’90s And in 2001, we had an action plan and action plan said we’re gonna go we’re at this, we’ve gotta reduce nitrate down the Mississippi by 30%, we’re gonna get the hypoxic zone size down to 5,000 square kilometers And this is how we’re gonna do it, of course, this was how we were gonna do it, Is a voluntary approach And so that went on for a few years and didn’t get very far So we had new action plan 2008 It said, nah, 30% is not enough We need 45% reduction in nitrate plus the 45% reduction in phosphorus So we up the ante and also said that we would do this by oh, 2015 right now So we didn’t make it So federally APA who directs all this said, “Well, we didn’t make it “We’re not gonna make it this year.” So on February 12th, they extended it for another 20 years So that gives us a little more time and we should, in the meantime and these are their exact words to track progress and spur action, “We should aim for a 20% reduction “in nutrient loads by 2025.” And so that’s what we’re operating under right now So it’s pretty interesting to me as the environmental scientist to have a problem that clearly was identified in 2000 and now we’re giving ourselves 35 years to try to reduce it or to something maybe about, maybe how severe the problem is This is the size of the hypoxic zone, it started being measured in 1985 It bounces around depending on how much flow there is in the spring, down the Mississippi river, how much fresh water, how much of the nutrients are transported There’s our goal Here’s what 2015 was, was on the larger size, it wasn’t the largest, but it was on the larger side These are the five-year average Clearly the goal is to have that five-year average be below down below this bar And so we obviously haven’t made much progress on that So that’s that So again, setting up these nutrient reductions are two things Again, the local biotic integrity of streams and rivers drinking water and then this downstream Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone So something came out in 2011 called the stoner memo Nancy Stoner who’s since moved on from EPA but was the acting system administrator came up with this guideline that said States need to come up with clear plans on how they’re gonna meet these targets of 45% You don’t have to read this but it has eight points that had to be developed That’s what’s in the strategy, if you read our strategy it meets all eight of these points It is from monitoring to what you’re gonna do for point sources, Ag areas, you name it, it’s covered everything So that’s what really forced the States to develop these strategies So again, as part of the strategy we did what we can call the science-based assessment which was do three things What are the current conditions? What are the nutrient sources in Illinois and how much of the nutrients are leaving the state? How could we reduce them? What methods are available, how effective are they? And then the third one, how much would it cost to do this? And so we had an economist on our So, this is three figures, the top one here is this, if you add up, what we did is we use data for all the major rivers in the state, there’s eight of them And then we could expand that to include the whole state And if you, in the USDS gauges the flow on those

and if you add up the flow that’s how much water leaves the state each year And of course it’s variable There’s a 1993 flood year that everybody remembers, that a lot of people remember 1988 drought in here, but it bounces around And that’s a really important factor because that’s the number one thing that determines the nutrient loss is how much water there is And so then the bottom two are what we’re up against This is the total amount of nitrate It’s average is about 400 million pounds of nitrates leaving the state each year That is a large amount You’ll see it in perspective in a little bit, and about 36 million pounds of total phosphorus And you can see how they’re bouncing around There’s no real trend here through time You can’t say it’s getting worse These go back again, this is 1980 through 2011, but that’s the backdrop of is there like leaving the state of Illinois and what the 45% would be measured against In terms of the sources, if you look at the whole state it’s, we’re different than many of the States, one hand it’s dominant, nitrate is dominated by agriculture It’s about 80% Ag The rest is mostly point sources which are again, sewage treatment plants, primarily it’s not all sewage treatment plants, but it’s mostly and then a little bit of urban runoff Phosphorous is actually split evenly, half prob We have a, we’re a big Ag state but we’re one of the most populous States in the country So because of Chicago area we have a lot of phosphorous and sewage effluent And so that leads phosphorus to be about half and half of agriculture versus point sources Of course the point sources dominate the Illinois river because of Chicago was 8 million people on the other end of it So it’s not evenly distributed across the state These are the eight rivers, just to show that variation And you can see for phosphorus, particularly this is nitrate phosphorous, again, the total, this is the average over a multi-year period And you can see how phosphorus has really dominates the load in much smaller in the other rivers But of course, the Illinois is the dominant part of Illinois and has most of the nutrients For the nitrate, it’s still, it’s most, it’s still mostly agriculture One of the things that’s unique, I mean not a great word but we have really high concentrations compared to most states outside the Mississippi, outside the Ag belt If you had to take the average concentration of nutrients leaving the state three, four milligrams of nitrate and 0.3 to 0.4 milligrams of phosphorus that’s a lot If you go to a state that’s mostly forested these numbers would be 100 times lower So we have lots of nutrients in most of our rivers which is part of the challenge If you take our load and compare how much actually goes to the Gulf of Mexico, this is what you would get for nitrate And on average, 20% and as John pointed out in The News-Gazette the new president of the Farm Bureau or the Corn Growers pointed that out He actually used that number and used it correctly 20% of the nitrate go into the golf on average is from Illinois The other big state is Iowa And then the other states, Minnesota, Ohio, and Indiana And about 11% of the phosphorus you can see how it bounces around each year, some years were almost a third and a dry year for us We may be less than 10% I was right up there with us and who’s first each year we’re probably one and two each year depends where it rains more, which one of us is gonna be the winner, if you wanna say that We’re a big part of the nitrate story for the Mississippi River basin And again, so that’s 20% and we’re only a small part, think of the size of the Mississippi, It’s huge 42% of the United States And we’re only a small part of it, but yet we’re 20% of the nitrate So this is going back to the earlier figure just to point out that’s the reduction 15 year average or so, that’s our target It’s gonna be hard to get to that Nobody expects it to happen quickly The idea with, down and then on, oh, on average over time that we’d be bellow those lines That’s the goal of this strategy We also did things on the finer scale That was all at the state level We also looked at about the 50 small watersheds there These are hot gates, but this is nitrate both point source, non-point source This is to get an idea per acre of land

where are the nutrients coming from? So the unit here is nitrate in pounds per acre, per year And this is point source So you see that it’s the Chicago area, the highest ones for the non-point source, our agriculture it’s the upper two thirds Southern Illinois contributes very little nitrate because it’s not tile drained And if you don’t know what tile drainage is I’ll explain that, most of you probably do But you really see that this upper part of Illinois is the high, and right here where we are are some of the highest nitrate concentrations we’re up over 25 pounds per acre, per year on average This is phosphorus, it’s a little more distributed, phosphorus has different transport, but again the Chicago area, this is downstream of Decatur, because of the ADM food waste that gets into the Decatur sewage treatment plan has some of the highest phosphorous content It has the highest phosphorus discharge by far in the state of Illinois Let’s get back to that But, and then here’s the non-point, so can you see it’s shifted, it’s more of a hillier area, because sediment contribute phosphorous So it’s when you get down to the Western parts of Illinois and Southern Illinois become more important Down here it’s a little less cause as far as did, but in here the flatter areas tend to be lower in phosphorus The other challenge with phosphorus, whoops, oh, I’m sorry Yeah, sure (mumbles) Okay, when you get up, the challenge for phosphorus is we’re talking about very little loss per acre and nitrate maybe 20 or 30 pounds per acre, we’re only talking about a pound or so which is really hard to reduce that amount So we are able to rank these watersheds with the nutrient loss, and then the state use that and other information like watershed groups, general interests where data’s available And these are now the priority watersheds in the state of Illinois for both the Ag groups, the point source community, everybody focusing on to say, these are where we’re gonna start and put the major, most the largest efforts initially And so they include some that are phosphorus driven, some that are nitrate and you can see that that’s what this, the legend says Some that are both, but that’s, instead of tackling the whole state right off this is where it’s subdivided in a little bit So again, just the backup, Illinois is a very modified state We channelized all the ditches, we’ve put tile drainage in everywhere We put new tiles in all the time We have now, where we used to have people with a shovel you can put in a whole field in a day with some of these very expensive machines We used to put in tile what we call random that went to wet spot, the wet spot now we put in patterns, it may be 60 feet apart, 80 feet apart, the laterals, and you can see them here That’s a newly tiled field Drive around this time of year, you’ll see lots of fields that have gotten tile drainage It works, tiling a field, draining the water table, draining it more than it was, improves yield There’s no question about it, but, and what you see in a ditch then is just the pipe, the solid pipe, the pipe in the field that obviously perforated to allow the water to get in But if you walk in any of the ditches around here, you’ll see the outlets And of course, that’s a really nice transfer We put fertilizer off and on as ammonium, sometimes as a nitrate, but it all ends up as nitrate and nitrate if the water’s moving in the nitrates’ there it tends to go with it And so that’s why the tile drain region has the greatest losses of nitrate anywhere in the US And these are the really big losses and that’s the method So it does a good job for water but it does neatly good job for nitrate Surface runoff, the other problem, we have a lot of bare soil at this time of year, probably more fall plowing that just occurred than we’d like to see And surface runoff carries sediment And when you have sediment being carried off you also have phosphorus found with it Phosphorous can also move through tiles That’s actually a big problem in the Lake Erie, Ohio watersheds right now, we don’t have quite as high concentration in tiles, but tiles are apart But I thought by overall the surface runoff is the major way that phosphorus is lost Especially on days like this, tourist time, it was January a few years ago where the soil has been partially frozen There’ve been lots of fall fertilizer put on of what’s called DAP diammonium phosphate, which is often broadcast on the surface

and hadn’t really been incorporated And when the water ran off on this, we called it actually the day of the DAP And we published a paper on it because we saw ammonium phosphate concentrations in every river around here at some of the highest concentrations we’ve ever seen So one of the problems is the on condition is anything thing you put on can end up in the river So the other thing we did is we had to look at all the agricultural practices in the state and we did this by using the NRCS’ major land resource areas There’s a bunch of these for Illinois, a lot of them are pretty minor And so we grouped them into nine of them And it’s a way of looking at areas that have the same kind of topography and soils and farming practices in different parts of the state And this was a way of compiling all the data that we were gonna use little simpler than, better than the count using individual counties, but not being too finally broken up And so these are the nine that we ended up with That’s the description of them And we look first at how many acres, where are the corn and soybean, we have a little bit of wheat but we’re really a two crop state We also had an estimate of how many acres were drained So about, we have about 22 million acres of corn and soybeans in Illinois, about 10 million acres are tile drained That’s our best, estimate of those And you can see it’s just a few of these that are really tile drained We’re in this one, right in here A little other information there, we also, one of the big things that comes up is this is just an over fertilization problem And one of the things we’ve tried to do then is estimate how much fertilizer was being used plus manure and also made manure estimates This is the row crop acres and then this is the nitrate loss We were able to estimate how much nitrate and was lost per acre of row crops You can see these vary from Southern Illinois being pretty small, three or four pounds per acre all the way up to, this is a weird one This does contacted me multiple times That’s the driftless area up around Galena and that’s the karst limestone area And they have a lot of animals And so that’s, but it’s pretty unimportant in the scale of the state, but it’s a unique area Finally we went through this whole analysis, we did this whole corn fertilizer kind of thing And the bottom line is if you look at what the current recommendation system says for the most part we’re, and that’s this maximum return to nitrogen system, we’re not that far off In other words, there was no evidence based on the best data we could get that fertilizer, it’s not to say fertilizer couldn’t be caught by some people And in fact, we included that, but there’s no evidence of gross over application event that a lot of people often wanna point to Again, we were able to break the nitrate losses even further into, that’s the total parol crop acre but we were able to look at tile drain versus non tile drain because this becomes really important when we started applying the practices If you apply the practice to a non tile drained acre that doesn’t lose very much, you’re gonna have, it’s 30% of a small numbers of small number, three time a bigger number is gonna be, you’re gonna get a better effect And so we’re able to separate them and you can see that some of these are pretty big, for the nitrate per tile drain acre is all in the 20 to 40 range And we’ve measured these tiles We know that is pretty accurate And the non tile drains it’s much lower generally less than 10 with the exception of that Galena area So that’s the basis that lays out by these nine areas what the loss is per acre We know how many acres there are Next thing is then we’ll, how do we I just wanted to emphasize these three are the big so and where we place most of the effort We also did look at phosphorous management and fertilizer application, the manure application of phosphorus We, have fairly large hog population or production in Illinois, but overall we’re not a big animal state We’re nothing like Iowa Our animals are more on the Western side of the state And manure turns out to not be very important in Illinois It’s tib What’s really important in Illinois is corn and soybeans on tile drain land for the most part or sloping land in Southern Illinois And we use some data to look at erosion losses We have a transect survey that’s done on,

I think 10,000 points each every two years in the state, we were able to get that data And what we find is that despite all our efforts and remember NRCS and before that the Soil Conservation Service was all formed in the ’30s to help reduce erosion We’ve gone a long way at reducing erosion, but if you drive around Illinois in the spring what color are the rivers, and that’s due to erosion And so there’s still a lot of erosions particularly in Southern Illinois And we were able to estimate how many acres were eroding above the sort of the sort of the T, which is the theoretical replacement rate which is typically about five tons per acre We use, some work that we had done earlier on like Bloomington, we looked at Iowa, which was ahead of us in doing the strategy to come up with Basically we have to pick a number So if we take a practice like constructed wetlands and say we put a wetland at the end of a tile how much nitrate does it remove? Well, we know it’s variable It’s gotta vary depending on how the flow is that year, what the load is, temperature by in the end to make this work, we have to pick a number And so a lot of us were doing this, have worked in this area, we looked at what Iowa picked We looked at what we’ve used before and we came up and you’ll see the numbers for wetlands We came up with 50% and we know that’s gonna be an average but to do this kind of analysis, that’s what you gotta do You gotta make, at some point you gotta say, right, this is effective We did the same thing for phosphorus These are the different strategies I’ll come back to the strategies here in a second So the way we broke the strategy are three groups You can think about with fertilizers manure in the field The industry calls that the 4Rs right now which is the right source rate time in place They’re really pushing that program with dealers, with farmers to try and get that message out that there’s a right way to do all that So that’s actually tinkering with fertilizer in the field, but that’s not gonna do it that can help, but that’s not nearly enough The other is other infield management techniques cover crops are the one everybody talks about that That’s one of the ones we looked at, drainage water management is stopping up raising the water level on the tile when you’re not growing something to basically backing up the water and holding it Buffer strips are just that along streams having grasped or forested buffers, and then actually just changing the cropping system to a perennial That would be another method Then there’s the either edge of field or offsite measures So bioreactors are wood-chip, beds of wood-chip at the end of the tiles that can help remove nitrate very quickly Again, constructed wetlands, a saturated layer or a buffer is where you take the end of the tile and you put a T in it and you direct flow of a new tile line along the ditch so that the water flows out through a buffer area then and then two stage ditches is actually reconstructing ditches These are, and they get progressively more expensive as you go through these That’s really re-engineering the ditches in tile drained areas It’s been tried in a few places, but again, that’s the range of things that are out there right now So again, we took the practices and applied those to each of those MLRAs, again, that’s a bioreactor being built where the water will come in, flow out run down the bed and then come flow back out again But you’re trying to get rid of it, the nitrate by denitrification put it back to end to in the atmosphere and which helps stimulate microbial activity, so you try and do it really fast Another way again, is constructed wetland where the water flows in and in the sediment that you get denitrification as well And then here’s a picture of a cover crop just on the field to the Northeast of here Again, that’s just some of the aspects of it The economist came up with how much each of these costs per acre to do some of these kinds of things Some of it is, if you’re gonna switch to fall to spring a lot of our nitrogen is applied in the fall in Illinois So if we were to switch it to the spring there’s costs to that, he estimated $18 an acre You can see some of these other costs we’ll come back to these And these are all posted if anybody’s really interested, the only negative class here is reducing your rate So if you had less fertilizer, you save money So that’s a negative cost And that’s, we made up, we just said, look 10% of the acres is probably why too much That’s just the gas and cause this, again the data didn’t show any systematic large-scale

over application, but we know some people do And so we just picked that as a And so that comes out to reducing an rate by 20 pounds and saves about $8 So you can see some and the cost can get pretty high depending on what you’re doing but then they may have a bigger effect We also had things with phosphorus that really saved money And two of those are reducing tillage If you till wash, you have less erosion, so if you till that’s money because that’s less diesel fuel, less equipment costs Another one, this one, surprisingly to me, came out to be one of the more controversial things Everybody in the industry, everybody would say, farmers, you’ve gotta do soil test, particularly for phosphorus And one thing, soil test show is probably half the acres in Illinois based on a soil test, don’t need phosphorous fertilizer Unless the Phosphorus tests says you got plenty So we figured, well, for at least three rotations you could probably eliminate a P application on those acres, draw it down the reserves And that ended up being at minus $15 an acre This is not a lot of pushback, surprisingly And because a lot of land is leased And a lot of the leases say, “If buyers gotta lease my land, “I want him to put back everything he takes off.” And so if he takes off, 60 pounds of phosphorus even if my soil test says, I got plenty I want him to put it back And that’s some of the, you get into those dynamics and that’s what you get to the real world to try and implement some of these And then a lot of phosphorus has just spread on the field over the surface and this would be to incorporate it So these are just some examples of those We also looked at point sources, we didn’t just do agriculture And in fact, I sort of became a, I guess a junior economist that Gary Schnitkey, who is our economist, taught me how to do the analysis And one of the things you would do, this is the first time you’re gonna see this, well, we ended up doing, put all the costs on the same basis We figured out how many dollars it took per pound of N or P reduced amortized over 20 year period, because you gotta remember some of the practices like a wetland, you build a wetland it costs a lot the first year but it’s gonna work for 20 years With nothing else then, you do a cover crop, where you gotta pay for that every year So this treatment plant, they’re gonna have to build, spend a hundred million, maybe the first year depending on the side, if it’s the one in the Chicago ones but then they may not pay anything after that or there may just be some operating costs So by doing this cost analysis we put everything on this dollars per pound Again, think of that spread over 20 years So for example, the class for phosphorous, most sewage treatment plants in the state average close to three milligrams of phosphorus in their effluent to get them below one would cost approximately $13 per pound of phosphorous removed Phosphorous is always gonna be more expensive because we’re talking about a smaller amount For nitrogen the cost was $3 and 30 cents to get nitrogen down to 10, it probably averages 15 or 16 right now in affluent So these are, so your implant is going to zero, these are just some reductions So this gets a little complicated but I spend a few minutes here So this is the way we built our analysis So we start with infield and here’s the practice Here’s our baseline Again, 410 million that’s how much nitrate we’re losing First we assign what’s the reduction per acre Remember I said, we have to pick a number So for example, we assume cover crops were 30% effective at reducing nitrate loss Reducing the end rate is maybe 10%, going from fall to spring varies from 15 to 20, depending, Nitrate in Illinois is 15 around here is 20 cause it’s warmer So that’s the first thing Then we can say, well, we did on 10% of the acres or if we got rid of all the fall the spring in the state that we know of, how much would each practice individually reduce the nitrate loss? And you can see some of these are, they’re all millions, but 2 million, 4 million So if we put a cover crop on 10 million acres of tile drain land, we get an $84 million or 84 million pounds reduction which is 20% of the baseline So again, remember our goal is 45% These are individual you can’t send them here because you do one and they affect another But this analysis was to say, well how much of these, how well, how effective are they? And some of these are pretty small in nature putting an inhibitor, which reduces ammonium going to nitrate and in fall apply in

while it’s maybe 1% if we could get the rate, ’cause a lot of the falling already gets inhibitor and not all acres get fall in And so when you start taking all of that into account, that’s what they how effective or that’s the reduction you get And then this is then the cost in dollars per pound And you can see they vary from negative all the way up to maybe 11 Here’s a big difference, the cover crops on a tile drain versus non tile drain very different because there’s much less to reduce on the non tile drain So that’s the infield This is the edge of field So and here we just making up, we said, well we put a bioreactor on half of all the tile during the outlets in the state, just as an example Whoops, there maybe 25% effective So that’s 8.5% reduction, it’s pretty cheap Wetlands on 35%, another one that’s pretty effective And then buffers, buffers don’t really work for tile drain regions, but buffers are on here because buffers really work for phosphorous And there is some nitrate reduction for some water, not the tile water but so that’s why this says reduction only for water that interacts with the active area it actually becomes pretty cheap We looked at well, we knew a perennials worked really well, we probably underestimated We gave them a 90% reduction, I actually now think they’re more like 99 But if we used to have a lot more pasture and hay acres about 1.3 million acres more in the ’80s if we put that back So it’s like the last in two row crop, if we took that back out, what difference would that make And you can see that’s 3% or so So expensive because Mark, you don’t make as much money from hay or a pasture And then if we just put perennials on 10% just to show that that makes even a bigger effect And then finally, here’s the point source for, if we went to that 10 milligrams per liter it’s only about 3% ’cause remember point sources aren’t that big of a source of nitrate So this gave us a couple of things, one, it shows different costs per practice It also says that there is is no one thing that gets you there at all We’re trying to get the 45% The biggest individual one is a 10 million acres of cover crops on the tile drained area and that’s only a 20% So this says, it’s gonna take a lot of these practices and it’s easy to see why most of these aren’t 45% effective There are less, so that means it’s gonna take multiple things to get us there So that was the nitrogen analysis We did the same thing for phosphorus Some of these are, again, this is reducing erosion the rate reduction, they’re actually pretty big and they’re pretty big negative costs So tilling less and adding less fertilizer could have big benefits and save money Cover crops become very expensive per pound reduce but something like cover crops helps for both N and P Something like a bioreactor only helps for nitrogen So we can take that into account in the final analysis The other one I wanna point out though here is the point source reduction That actually is big So if the major point sources in the state and there’s like 180 of those we are to reduce their phosphorus to just one that’s 22%, that’s almost half the goal right there And that’s probably the thing that’s gonna happen first, more than anything else So again, there’s no clearly no one thing other than that none of the Ag ones are, there’s some big ones, but in the class can be quite high it can be up to hundreds of dollars per acre So the last task then was to, and it might, this was with spreadsheets that got really complicated We just, and again we weren’t prescribing anything for the state, we’re saying, this is how it could be done If we combine all the practices and take into account that if you have less fertilizer you have less coming out the tile So if you’ve got a bioreactor at the end it has less to treat This is what we end up with, a whole range of practices It takes a lot to get to say 45%, and the class is about 800 million a year for 20 years So $16 billion to get us there for both N and P The one I left at 45% was just to show that getting that last 10% of nitrogen was really expensive, really, really expensive ‘Cause we used up all the cheap practices and we had to go to the more expensive ones to get that extra 10% We also did look at well what would it take to get

to the 20%? and it’s a lot less Again, this isn’t the cost of Ag, that’s about 200 million of the cost is for point sources the rest is agriculture You have to remember is this includes the negative costs And if we didn’t have those in there there’d be even higher yet So if you basically say it’s about a billion a year that’s actually the same number roughly that Iowa came up with So which they have comparable land areas to Illinois But again, it takes a lot, bioreactor, getting rid of everybody using the right rate of nitrogen in the spring, bioreactors on half the tile lines, no P fertilizer where the soil test says, you don’t need it, reduced tillage, cover crops on all acres, all 22 million acres Point source reductions, that’s what it takes to get there Oh, part of the difficulty of this is corn and soybeans are a leaky nutrient system And we’re trying to do this and keep in corn and soybeans And that’s one of the biggest challenges So just to summarize, we included all of these practices that I mentioned We didn’t include these two, we think there’s some problems with the strange order management And we think this is a really good one side dressing fertilizer, but there’s no real good data on how effective it is, so we didn’t include it But what we’ve been telling people, yeah, “You’re a farmer, you do any of these things “wherever you want.” So one part of this analysis that says there’s no one practice, it says everybody needs to do something Probably every acre needs some new practice and that nutrient reduction And you can get there any way you want So we’re at the point now where we need to do it And point sources I’ve already started, Chicago the reclamation district up there has voluntarily said they will reduce P to low one milligram Some of those plants up there, some of the largest in the world And so like Stickney, if anybody’s been in the Stickney plant, them reducing the one are some of the other big ones, that’s a big reduction I have to admit that the various groups like the Farm Bureau and Corn Growers Association Council Best Management Practices have really gotten behind this They like it ’cause it’s voluntary of course but they’ve embraced it where as little as 16 years ago basically they tried to run me out of the, state I guess you could say They now are embracing that, yes nitrate in particular is our problem and we have to do something about it So things have really changed They tax fertilizer and basically are funding projects to further evaluate these practices And the whole idea is strategy that this will be updated periodically Again, it was released on July 21st, so it’s just getting under way This is the farm, Illinois Farm Bureau website, they have a whole page on this I’m on two videos that they featured They had something called the road show in May and June or June and July where they went to, I think 15 different places in the state of roll out the strategy and say, yeah, they’re basically saying to farmers, “Now this is our chance to show “we can do this voluntarily.” And they say that right here, this is Illinois, what is it, Illinois agriculture’s opportunity to prove that voluntary conservation does work So and they’ve taken this pretty strongly This is mostly through Illinois APA but there’s all kinds of tracking that’s gonna be done Mostly, we don’t have good systems but these are obviously the point sources are tracked because everybody has a point source has to have a permit so they can be tracked These are grant programs that give out money for practices There’s different surveys they’re talking about what more information we need to know that things are changing There’s monitoring programs that are already, are monitoring programs, but we have something new I was really pleased to see this ’cause I first came up with using these eight rivers back in 2000 and I suggested, well why can’t we have continuous monitoring on those? And so we have something called the Statewide Nutrient Export Loadings Network, which is on the eight major rivers, that’s the Green, Rock, Illinois, Kaskaskia, Big Muddy, Little Wabash, Embarras and Vermilion, so those are, there’s eight of these red dots These are called super stations They now have continuous nitrate and phosphate sensors and anybody can go look at the data They also have continuous flow but Illinois EPA is paying several million dollars for a five-year contract So those are some of the best,

in fact, I just came from another meeting where this is being copied now by other States across the Mississippi, upper Mississippi basin So in other words, we have continuous monitoring so we can see if the loads are changed We’d be able to make better estimates of the loads leaving the state And over time we hope to see them going down So that eight, to have those kinds of there’s new monitors, the sensors are expensive they’re 15, $20,000 a piece, but they do allow for continuous monitoring of those two nutrients There’s all kinds of groups that came out of that This the Nutrient Monitoring Council is literally meeting right now, so that’s where I was earlier Their charge is to document the loads leaving the state, the conditions in the critical watershed There’s a, you can see some of the other names These are the Ag groups meeting, there’s an Urban Stormwater Group There’s a group that is to develop nutrient standards for Illinois So what the phosphorus or nitrate concentration limit should be And then the overall group is called the Policy Working Group And you can just see they’ve all been meeting So there isn’t quite an impressive level of activity going on right now The key is what that actually leads to So this is my last slide So we’re at work and that’s sort of the question, I guess Those reductions are large and to really do them there’s not a billion dollars a year, that’s coming from anybody that’s gonna be available And it’s voluntary I would say both point sources in the Ag need to make this happen And they have to make major changes I would say at this point everybody’s committed to doing this, more so than I probably would have ever expected to see at this time And monitoring will tell us, I’ve given a talk form to this talk more on the Ag side, to a lot of Ag groups And you can imagine the number one question one I get is, how long do we have? And it’s how long do we have till we’re regulated And they’re scared of that, the regulation And so ’cause right now, and I said, well this is your chance, this is a voluntary program This is the chime for Ag to show that, “Yeah we can make some changes.” I don’t know that anybody’s gonna hold everybody to if we didn’t, we got the 43%, that’s a failure I think if we just show that the line is trending down over time, that’s what we need to do but that’s where we’re at right now So this document has to be a almost a living document and be updated periodically There’s a bi-annual reports that are to come out that will talk about how we’re doing essentially, both in terms of the conservation practices, the point source permitting and what the water quality tells us So that’s where we’re at It’s been an interesting three years to see this get developed And like I said, it’s as much as I could ever imagine, I would say everybody is committed to doing it right now So with that, I’ll stop and I can take some questions – [Nancy] Thank you very much (clapping) I’m gonna go around the room here and take some questions first Then we’ll pick up the online ones, so yeah – [Man] Is there any information on how much the nitrogen and phosphorus are affected by the density of plants per acre and things of that nature where the farmers are trying to get more plants in a given area? – [Mark] No, I’ve never, I don’t know that anybody’s ever looked at that the number per acre, the plant population is steadily increased Fertilizer rates have an increase, they’ve been the same amount of fertilizer we use in the state for nitrogen has been the same for 35 years now So in one sense, agriculture is becoming more and more efficient through time because we’re producing tremendously higher crops right now on the same amount of nitrogen we were playing in 1980 So that’s one thing that’s for the better, without a doubt, I don’t know that bigger plants just mean nets can reduce the kernel size and things like that So it’s the yield in the end that matters not necessarily how many plants they’re there – [Man 2] Hi, so the climate change people tell us that the likelihood of heavy precipitation events is increasing, you pointed out in 1993 as a super bad year Does your analysis have any sensitivity in terms of strategies or results as to increasing likelihood of heavy precipitation? – [Mark] No, and you’re exactly right, in fact, our worst year for nutrient loss

was not ’93 was 2002 And that’s because it was a particularly a wet year but it generated, it was storm event after storm event That was just perfect for not generating surface runoff, but pile flow And that’s actually the biggest hypoxic zone too, it was 2002, but there’s no question, we have more intense and greater frequency of high rainfall events in the winter and spring That’s partially what masks that I think we have made some progress but the way for the state is so high because we’ve had some incredibly big storms in particularly up in Chicago area And so that’s a complicating factor, we acknowledge that, but that’s beyond our analysis, but that makes it worse That’s what start to make Ohio, that’s one of their big problems as well And partially why they think some of the problems have occurred in Lake Erie is because they’re getting all these late winter big storm events that they never used to get that generate tile flow and push all the phosphorus out but know that makes it much more difficult yet – [Man 3] I was curious about, you mentioned the cost to reduce strategies and the economics You mentioned a tax on fertilizer that currently fund some programs, but I was curious about comparing those and comparing that how much tax is collected on fertilizer versus that one billion per year type of idea And the idea that phosphorus comes from Ag plus humans but the end is just all from Ag and from the fertilizer load – So what– – Sort of the cost of how much we’re collecting in fertilizer taxes– – Oh, the tax is absolutely tiny Yeah, it’s 75 cents per ton So it, that generates $3 million a year, so– – [Man 3] It’s insignificant in comparison to the 1 billion per year – [Mark] It is – [Man 3] So what’s the hope that’s really? – [Mark] That’s a good question because, and that gets into and I’ve written papers on this about why they probably won’t for some of these I think it depends on the practice If you’re talking about a wetland or a bio-reactor that’s just a straight cost that has no benefit That’s just, you got to pay for that to remove a nutrient Somebody else will have to pay for that Whether it’s federal government or state or something, nobody’s going to do those voluntarily on the other hand something like cover crop or reduce tillage or things that improve your slow, improve your yield, those have some hope, I think Because you might do those just because that’s gonna benefit you So I think that’s the challenge, there’s not enough money I don’t think the Ag feel whatever work on a broad scale because nobody, there’s not enough money to pay for it I think it has to be the infield kind of practices that people can feel like, I’m doing this Then you gain from this And people have pointed out that look all the progress we’ve made with sediment Well, we’ve made a lot of progress with sediment because nobody wants to see their field erode, because that isn’t lost, that is gonna reduce your productivity But nobody, losing a little bit of phosphorus or even some nitrate your tile line which number one you can’t see And number two may not have any effect on your bottom line That’s why it’s a much harder sell for a lot of these things So I think the infield practices have much, yeah, my hope would be that, and as it gets better that we’re applying all that fertilizer in the spring we put some on a planning we use a sensor to put on side dress just what the crop needs Well, fields are green most of the year with cover crops things like that would really change things and improve the bottom line (mumbles) – [Man 4] Quite the cost per acre, maybe offset by ecosystem services benefits such as soil productivity, climate resilience, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunity Has anyone calculated the value of these multiple benefits of water quality practices, recognizing that the design of the practice may need to be modified to achieve multi-sector benefits? – [Mark] Now that’s a common one of ecosystem services The problem for the farmer is nobody’s paying them for most of those ecosystem services That gets back to my previous question or comment that the things that yes, if the practice improves your soil, that is a benefit So may have increase the organic matter, may increase then the water holding capacity, maybe improves your yield That’s something that I think it can be a benefit but to say that, some of these more the other kinds of ecosystem services that are for this, that aren’t paid for, that’s nice but farmers are, they’re business people and you can’t blame them They’re doing, they’re growing a crop to make money

And if there’s no payment for those services I don’t think that that’s gonna work as an incentive – [Man 5] One of your first slides had the total phosphorus and nitrogen due to the flow Did you have a graph where you have what is the pounds per trillion gallons of water flow or something like that? Would that be a way to normalize– – [Mark] Well, that’s probably that concentration one I showed you and you can see those are pretty flat, all right Yeah, that’s essentially taking the load divide by the flow and you get a concentration And again, we’re four or five milligrams of nitrate and 0.3 of phosphorus And those are pretty steady through time – [Man 6] Yep, I’m interested in the relationship between the tiled lands and the non-title lands And a lot of what you were saying was that, let’s say you’re putting the same amount of fertilizer on non tiled lands You get very far less runoff from them Would it matter if you were holding up the water on tiled lands for a little bit longer in let’s say the winter, fall or spring Does it have to be a microbial active time of the year? Let’s say you blocked up the tile – [Mark] That’s the one practice, that’s called drainage water management – [Man 6] Okay, that’s what that is – [Mark] That is a practice where you hold the water back Part of the problem with that and we’ve tried it it’s hard to retrofit on existing systems And second, nobody really knows where the water goes because when you open that tile, you get less water out and you get less nitrate, but where did it go? And we know in the studies we’ve done it starts flowing all over the place And so there’s still, I think that’s a practice that could work but I think we still there’s still some unknowns about that – [Man 6] But increasing the time that water is on tiled lands definitely could? – [Mark] Yes, in theory, but it has a negative impact The higher you keep that water table the more you make it subject to surface runoff because you have less storage in the soil And so you can actually make surface rock ’cause some of the drains where management systems that are bringing water up within a foot of the soil surface you need to get a big rainstorm, you get more surface, so you can fix nitrate and make phosphorous and erosion works That’s part of the problem that some of these, no till a lot of people, a lot of administrators and and let’s say EPA federally would have said a few years ago And I’ve always tried to say that they’re wrong That the only two problems are that we don’t have enough no till and we just applied too much fertilizer, but no till actually makes things move to the tile even better And that’s what they think is happening in Ohio is that they put phosphorous on the surface, they really went to no till or reduce erosion It means phosphorus concentrations in that surface soil first few inches is really high You have no till and you have tiles and the big rainstorm put climate change on top of it And what the high phosphorous water at the surface just blast right through the tile And that’s why like, that’s one of the leading theories of what’s happening in the Lake Erie So there are things, these things are complicated, what you think is fixing one thing can actually make what’s coming up the tile worse – [Nancy] Are there any further questions here? Okay