This summer, Illinois EPA will release a draft of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy for public comment.
Illinois EPA must provide a finalized strategy to U.S. EPA outlining various strategies to reduce nutrient losses to Illinois rivers, lakes and streams as well as reduce Illinois' contribution to the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia zone.
IFCA, along with many ag groups and other nutrient stakeholders, has been participating in the development of this document for the past 18 months.
For agriculture, our biggest role will be to demonstrate that we can reduce losses of nitrogen and phosphorus by voluntarily adopting and accounting for nutrient management practices that will help achieve reductions in losses. It's important to note that IEPA is focusing on reducing losses--not to be confused with reducing rates of N and P.
This is where the "Keep it for the Crop 4R" (KIC) program comes into play. For the past 3 years, the KIC program has focused on providing retailers and their farmer customers with information and tools to help better educate and engage our industry on right source, right rate, right time and right place practices that can reduce losses and keep valuable nutrients for our crops, where they can be utilized by the plant to optimize yields and improve profitability.
The IL Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) funds the KIC program, and also supports critical university research aimed at discovering new and better ways to reduce nutrient losses to minimize environmental impact, optimize harvest yield and maximize input utilization (MOM).
To read the June 2014 KIC progress report click here.
The newsletter features an article by IFCA on how KIC and NREC are an instrumental part of agriculture's positive contribution toward the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
The newsletter also features a story on the many products and services donated to the KIC program in the last year by IFCA members to help support this 4R effort...a big thanks to all the IFCA members who have been supportive of our proactive efforts on nutrient issues.
We encourage you to share the KIC newsletter with your farmer customers, and to also direct them to the latest on NREC, which is available at www.illinoisnrec.org.