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Nutrient Management (NM)


Non-point pollution from agriculture is the principal source of water quality impairment throughout the Midwestern states. Nutrients and pesticides applied to agricultural lands are considered to be non-point source pollutants and may have adverse effects on surface and ground waters if applied improperly or in excess of crop needs. These detrimental effects include potential contamination of drinking water supplies and recreation waters, imposing health risks on humans, wildlife, and aquatic ecosystems.

The Heartland Nutrient Management (NM) team seeks to facilitate multi-state and inter-agency communication and education to promote the use of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) that aid in reducing non-point source pollution. Increasing communication and sharing of research findings throughout the region promotes regional collaboration on BMP implementation for existing and future projects as well as reducing the duplication of research efforts. The efficient development, evaluation and dissemination of this research-based information on nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticide priority pollutants will also contribute to the implementation of TMDLs and on-farm nutrient management plans.


Improve the availability of technical and educational resources on Nutrient and Pesticide Management to:

  • Meet the needs of watershed planners, technical service providers and producers and
  • Address quantitative nutrient and pesticide reduction goals, including goals related to TMDL implementation, nutrient criteria and nutrient trading proposals.

Improve tools available for developing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP).

Provide input to states concerning nutrient criteria.

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National Water Program

A cooperative program consisting of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and the Land Grant Colleges and Universities.

- a Regionally-Based National Network -

The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Partners in the Heartland Regional Initiative are also equal opportunity providers and employers.

- This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2008-51130-19526.

Photograph by Tom Schultz, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University

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