A statewide partnership between Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois county Farm Bureaus, GROWMARK, and FS companies will demonstrate and investigate 4R nutrient stewardship practices at the local level. The 4R field demonstration program, entitled 4R4U (pronounced 4R for you), is a pilot program with hopes for a multi-year partnership to bring added use, awareness, and knowledge on nutrient stewardship via the 4R approach. The 4R approach involves using the right source of nutrient, at the right time, at the right rate, and in the right place.
“As a farmer, I am committed to managing nutrients sustainably,” says Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. “This partnership will utilize many assets and produce locally driven information. Farmers and the agriculture community continue to work diligently to maximize input utilization and focus on the nutrient loss reduction strategy (NLRS),” he adds.
Local plot tests will compare common practices to advanced practices on nutrient stewardship. Some of the types of tests include N-rate trials, use of multiple nitrogen applications, stabilizer utilizations, no-till planting, cover crops, and soil samples.
Illinois Farm Bureau and GROWMARK are providing funds for the project, while FS companies and county Farm Bureaus work together to carry out the 4R field demonstration strategy at a local level.
“This is a tangible commitment by all of us to sustainability,” says GROWMARK Chief Executive Officer Jim Spradlin. “Our teamwork will help elevate nutrient stewardship efforts and provide further information of 4R practices that can help meet the goals of the NLRS,” he added.
This winter, each partnership will put a strategy in place with field demonstration days in the spring and summer of 2017. Information will be compiled on an ongoing basis.
4R4U partnerships include:
• Gold Star FS, Inc. and Mercer County Farm Bureau
• M&M Service Company and Macoupin County Farm Bureau
• Prairieland FS, Inc., Scott County Farm Bureau, and Pike County Farm Bureau
• Heritage FS, Inc., Kankakee County Farm Bureau, and Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau
• Evergreen FS, Inc. and Macon County Farm Bureau
• Stephenson Service Company and Stephenson County Farm Bureau
• Southern FS, Inc. and Jackson County Farm Bureau
• Gateway FS, Inc. and Randolph County Farm Bureau
• Christian County Farmers Supply Co. and Christian County Farm Bureau
• South Central FS, Inc., Moultrie County Farm Bureau, and Bond County Farm Bureau
• Piatt County Service Company and Piatt County Farm Bureau
County Farm Bureaus involved in the partnerships will work with neighboring counties to publicize events.