You belong to IFCA because you want us to watch out for your best interests to secure a prosperous future. That is what this message is all about.
This year more than ever, we are under the microscope from activist groups who are pressuring USEPA through lawsuits to develop nutrient standards in all water bodies. They have been successful in Florida and the Chesapeake Bay, and they are threatening to sue Illinois next. The threat is very real and will be very costly to Illinois agriculture.
If we cannot police ourselves with regard to the proper timing of fall applied nitrogen then lawsuits may force USEPA and Illinois EPA to create regulations limiting or even banning fall N application. Dealers and farmers could be subjected to lawsuits regarding the decisions you make on fertilizer application.
IFCA will take a strong leadership role in defending the judicious use of fall N. We must have the backing of our members, and your customers, to do this. No one wants to have a finger pointed at them for putting on N too early, so let's all stick to our agronomic guns. The future of fall N in Illinois depends on it.
IFCA recommends the use of nitrogen stabilizers for all fall applied N to better assure protection against late fall warm weather spikes and also to protect the nitrogen into the spring. It behooves everyone to wait until after October 15 before you think applying N, and then only if the soil temperatures are in the low 50 degree range with the weather forecast looking like it will remain cool. If your customers will not use a stabilizer, you should wait until the soil temps are below 50 degrees and will stay that way.
These recommendations are not as tough as a possible future that doesn't include fall N at all. That could cost Illinois agriculture billions, including lost jobs in our industry. Unless you relish a future where all nitrogen must be applied in the spring, let's all be good stewards of fall applied N. Please share this message with your employees and your customers; the stakes could not be higher.
Daily 4 inch soil temperatures are posted at www.ifca.com.