Watch for NREC Invoices
Within the next few weeks, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will send invoices to fertilizer distributors listing the amount owed to the Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) for the spring fertilizer tons sold in Illinois. The NREC assessment remains at 75 cents per ton. Please do not send anything to NREC until you receive an invoice from IDA and use the return envelope provided. The Illinois Fertilizer Act also requires fertilizer distributors to remit an additional 25 cents per ton directly to the Illinois Department of Agriculture based on your tonnage reports. This amount ensure that IDA can continue to have a strong and capable fertilizer regulatory program. In the wake of the West, TX tragedy, we should all be grateful that IDA provides a respected and consistent facility inspection program which helps to assure public trust in our industry.
NREC is a critical part of Illinois agriculture's nutrient stewardship efforts. Although not quite a year old, NREC is already funding significant nutrient research and outreach programs. Click here for a brochure that lists projects funded in 2013. The mission of NREC is to fund nutrient research and programs that will minimize environmental impact, optimize harvest yields and maximize input utilization. NREC provides vital funding to the "Keep it for the Crop" nutrient stewardship program, as well as the N-WATCH soil nitrate inventory and tracking program. This past spring, there were high, sustained nitrate levels in many Illinois surface water supplies. As a member of the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, IFCA was very engaged in working with IEPA, IDA and water supply officials to ensure that everyone understood the circumstances that caused these nitrate loads, that being the drought followed by heavy spring rains. N-WATCH provided critical information that allowed us to track both residual nitrate and fall applied ammonium to ensure that fall application would not be blamed as the source of the nitrate losses. With NREC, we have the ability to be problem solvers and not punching bags. There are more great things to come with sustainable funding from NREC, we are just getting started! IFCA thanks all of our members for supporting this program. If you have questions about NREC, KIC or N-WATCH please contact Jean Payne.