Illinois Council on Best Management Practices
The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP) was formed in 1999 to focus on promoting programs to enhance water quality in the agricultural sector. Members of the Illinois CBMP include the Illinois Corn Growers Association, the Illinois Soybean Association, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, the Illinois Pork Producers and Syngenta Crop Protection.
As a significant agricultural state with 22 million acres in crop production and a major corn producer, CBMP recognizes the importance of playing a strong leadership role in the development of a statewide strategy to reduce nutrient losses from the agricultural sector. As a result of Illinois’ extensive tile drainage systems and naturally organic soils reducing nutrient losses is a big challenge. Illinois agriculture is often cited as a leading contributor not only to nutrient impairments in Illinois’ rivers and streams, but also as a contributor to the Hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico. CBMP knows that there needs to be a scientific and pragmatic approach to educate farmers and agricultural retailers on proven methods to reduce nutrient losses in the agricultural sector while enhancing crop production. 4R nutrient stewardship is the perfect framework to accomplish this goal.
The 4R system serves as the framework for the Illinois “Keep it for the Crop by 2025” enhanced nutrient stewardship strategy. CBMP developed the “KIC by 2025” program using the framework established by the 4R system, and will work to promote, implement and measure adoption of the 4R system in Illinois starting in Fall 2011. Those efforts will be built upon and continued through 2025, when CBMP hopes to measure and demonstrate that the majority of Illinois farmers are implementing enhanced nutrient stewardship practices in their farming operations. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked CBMP to begin its KIC by 2025 work in six priority watersheds that also serve as drinking water supplies.
KIC by 2025 is supported by all the major Illinois agricultural organizations as well as the Illinois EPA, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network and the Environmental Law Policy Center have also reviewed the KIC by 2025 program and indicated their support for this approach.