Phosphorus Load-Reduction Stimulus Program:



The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) is leading a new effort to pilot a phosphorus load reduction market in the Western Lake Erie Basin (Maumee, Sandusky, and Cedar-Portage watersheds, see map). Growers within the indicated watersheds are now being sought to participate in this pilot market. The “Phosphorus Load-Reduction Stimulation Program” (PLUS-UP) payments now being offered to growers are intended to help offset their costs for the use of in-field practices—cover crops and no-till—which yield quantifiable reductions in the amount of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) delivered to the adjacent surface water bodies that drain to Lake Erie. CTIC’s partner in the program, Heidelberg University, is quantifying the reductions for each participating grower using the Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT) model and reporting this to CTIC. CTIC will provide cash payments to the grower using funds collected from purchasers of these credits. In the pilot program, Bayer CropScience  purchased credits at a rate of $100 per pound of DRP. DRP runoff in the basin averages 0.3 pounds per acre; reductions are expected to be in the range of 0.05 to 0.1 pounds per acre. Based on those estimates, payments for practices in the PLUS-UP pilot program will be $5 per acre for cover crops, $3 per acre for no-till, or $10 for both practices employed together.

Western Lake Erie Basin Map

Explore the Program

This interactive story map, created by the Geospatial Services team at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, provides more details on the challenge, the program, and some of the farmers in the pilot program.
Questions? Contact CTIC’s PLUS-UP Program Director:
Hans Kok
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement GL-00E02797 to the Conservation Technology Information Center. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.