Looking for more information on nutrient utilization, fall fertilizer best practices and considerations for first-time cover crop adopters?
The substantial rain that fell over central and northern Illinois between October 5 and 15 mostly soaked into the soil that was dried out by crop water use, and harvest has moved back to full speed in most areas. With harvest, thoughts turn to application of fall ammonia in central and northern Illinois. Almost everyone is on board with waiting until soil temperatures are at or below 50 degrees before applying ammonia. Cool soil (along with use of nitrification inhibitor) lowers the rate of nitrification, so helps preserve N in the ammonium form. Nitrogen present in the soil as ammonium is safe from loss.
Looking for a new cover crop guidance document? The document, published by NREC, outlines a step by step approach for planting cereal rye ahead of soybeans.
The Illinois Soybean Association along with Syngenta, Growmark and Limagrain Genetics sponsored a double-crop demonstration plots at the 2017 Farm Progress Show Aug. 29 to 30 in Decatur.
The weather has turned from cool and wet to warm and dry, with thoughts now turning to when it might rain next. The US Drought Monitor at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ shows no drought in the Corn Belt, and water use is still low, but some plants whose roots are not growing well or are in compacted soil are starting to show afternoon leaf curling, and water demand is increasing as plant growth rates increase. We hope rainfall returns soon.
Dr. Maria Villamil and Dr. Emerson Nafziger in the Crop Science Department at the University of Illinois collected some 2,300 corn and 2,600 soybean grain samples over the 2014 through 2016 seasons in Illinois in order to see if the crop removal numbers have changed since the currently-used numbers were generated some decades ago. As expected, they found a considerable amount of variability in grain P and K content, with the highest values as much as double the lowest values. In order to reduce the chances of having the number too low for a given field, they decided to use the 75th percentile – the number that is higher than 75 percent (and lower than 25 percent) of the values they found.
Nearly 45 were in Douglas County, Illinois for a meeting in the NRCS office. NREC-funded researchers Lowell Gentry of University of Illinois and Dan Schaefer with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association made presentations about their ongoing in-field trials on nutrient management and water quality. Jason Bleich, a biologist with Illinois Pheasants Forever, talked about the importance of pollinators.
More than 30 participants came out on June 27 to view the constructed wetland in Bureau County, Illinois and to learn updated research results from NREC-funded researchers. A number of farmers were in the audience to learn what they can do to held management nitrogen on their farms. Several NREC Council Members also attended, including Ted Mottaz, Jeff Kirwan, and Cindy Skrukrud.
On September 12, 2017, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) is hosting a 4R Field day on a farm in Piatt County, Illinois. The on-farm site is the location of several on-going NREC projects looking at effective ways to reduce nutrient loss while ensuring a profitable grain farming operation.
There is a concerted effort underway in Illinois agriculture to reduce nutrient losses and meet the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), and Illinois Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) are committed to playing in integral role in this effort.