The Significance of Stewardship
It is nice to see the soil temperature site colored green today. Thank you to so many IFCA members who worked with your customers to encourage them to wait until the soil temperatures reached 50 degrees before applying nitrogen, in adherence with the recommendations in the IL Agronomy Handbook (click on this link to see the revised chapter on fall N) www.ifca.com/show_file.php
Even with the soil temps at 50 degrees, we strongly encourage the use of nitrogen stabilizers for all fall applied nitrogen to better protect the nitrogen until the soils freeze and into the late winter and spring when they begin to warm up. Stabilized nitrogen is going to be a key component in future nitrogen management strategies to reduce nutrient losses.
Having the industry prove that we can adhere to best management practices is the best example we can set to avoid a state-wide ban of fall nitrogen. There are many groups setting the stage for such a battle and we're going to have to be very proactive to protect this important fertility tool. So again, thank you to all the good stewards out there. Each year brings an opportunity to recognize good stewardship and to hone in and educate in areas where we need to improve. We have come a long way on improving N management and will continue these efforts.
Please remember your gloves, goggles and the emergency response procedures for reporting a release of ammonia. When in doubt, make the phone calls to IEMA, NRC and your LEPC. If in the end a RQ isn't reached, making the phone calls does no harm. Not making them results in substantial penalties and mounds of paperwork. Click here for the emergency notification fact sheet. www.ifca.com/show_file.php
Be prepared and be safe!