A woodchip bioreactor removes nitrates from tile drainage. The woodchips act as a carbon source for denitrifying bacteria, and as they become saturated, low oxygen conditions promote denitrification.

Good Idea Mini-Grant Opportunity – Deadline Jan 15!

This mini-grant program will expand farmer-led edge-of-field conservation practice implementation in the Mississippi River Basin. We are seeking pairs of farmers and farm advisors (e.g. county agents/Extension professionals, conservation professionals, crop consultants, agronomic advisors, etc.) that meet eligibility requirements to compete for grants in the amount of up to $8,000. Additional partners beyond the farmer and advisor pair are welcomed. Online applications deadline is January 15, 2024!

Successful applicants will demonstrate strong potential to complete the following deliverables:

  1. implement a low-cost edge-of-field practice (e.g. vegetated buffers, prairie strips, grade control structures, water control structures, controlled drainage, grassed waterways, 2-stage ditches, drainage water management, saturated buffers, constructed or restored wetlands, phosphorous filter, bioreactor, drainage water recycling, tailwater recovery system, vegetated drainage ditch, buffered drain pipe, winter water holding) on the farmer’s operations
  2. attend training to strengthen their capacities as opinion leaders for conservation, and
  3. create a video or podcast about the farmer’s experiences to communicate practical advice to other farmers about implementing an edge-of-field practice. The video or podcast will be shared on One Good Idea, a clearinghouse of videos and podcasts that feature farmers sharing their experiences implementing soil and water conservation practices.
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Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy & Agricultural Conservation Practices

This 1-pager created by Illinois Extension, gives a brief overview of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), highlights nutrient loss in Illinois, impacts of nutrient loss, and conservation practices that can address in-field and edge of field nutrient loss.

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ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentive Directory

ISAP’s Edge-of-Field Incentives Directory provides an overview of edge-of-field (EoF) incentive payment opportunities for farmers in Illinois. EoF practices are defined as those practices which intercept, capture, and treat subsurface drainage (conservation drainage practices) or surface runoff at the field level. The conservation drainage practices include bioreactors, constructed wetlands for tile-drainage treatment, drainage water management, drainage water recycling, and saturated buffers. Surface runoff practices include vegetated riparian buffers, filter strips, prairie strips, and restored wetlands. The directory also includes a “Stacking Matrix” so farmers can easily determine if they may be eligible to stack payments from multiple programs.

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Michigan State University Drainage Resources

This Michigan State University Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering website provides education and practical solutions to address drainage issues.

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University of Illinois Woodchip Bioreactor

Simple woodchip-filled trenches called bioreactors can clean nitrogen pollution from water. Find out more from Dr. Laura Christianson of the University of Illinois as she talks about one of her favorite ideas.

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ADMC Bioreactor

This ADMC webpage provides information on bioreactors including considerations for installation and financial impacts.

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