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The Iowa Senate has approved an appropriation of $2.4 million as requested by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to begin a long term project to reduce the load of nutrients entering streams and rivers.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrients to Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to direct efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint sources in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner.

The senate panel also approved $10 million in start up funds for the program.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US Environmental Protection Agency are also involved in the project.

Iowa farmers and agribusiness want to show that voluntary management practices are reducing the loss of fertilizer from fields.  Their goal is to better manage nutrients to make them available for plant growth rather than drainage into streams.