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Annual Ag Lime Producer Information Booklet Now Available

The application of lime to Illinois cropland is a time-tested method for controlling soil acidity.  It can help maintain optimum nutrient availability and consequently, crop production.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers work together to publish the Illinois Voluntary Limestone Program Producer Information booklet detailing the latest testing results for ag lime available from various sources in Illinois and surrounding states.  This year's ag lime info can be found here.   With this information at hand you can make the best possible decisions for proper use of ag lime ...

As we approach the middle of October, thoughts begin to turn to the yearly question "When Can I Start to Apply Fall Ammonia?"

The following best management practices reflect what we have learned in 10 years of NREC funded research, performed on actual farmer fields over tile drainage.  These BMPs are also part of both the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS) and the University of Illinois recommendations.  The BMPs are as follows:   1.  Use the Right Nitrogen Rate and do not apply the full rate in the fall.  We recommend saving 30-40% of the rate to be applied pre-plant or side-dress.  This helps to manage both environmental and agronomic risk since we do not know what the ...

Bulk Pesticide Inspection Program Webinar

The American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is hosting a 30-minute webinar on March 2, 2023 from 10-10:30 AM Central Time. In the webinar, Jean Payne and Dave Powers from AASA will review the AASA bulk pesticide facility inspection program and the key USEPA requirements for bulk pesticide containment, transfer areas, repackaging and labeling, and share the resources available for in-depth understanding of the rules governing bulk pesticides. Ag retailers, industry EHS personnel and crop protection salespersons are the target audience.   To register for the webinar go to AASA's website at   This webinar offers .5 CEU in Integrated ...

Clarification: Ban on Transporting Chlorpyrifos

To offer clarifying information on transporting chlorpyrifos, a representative with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated: "FIFRA prohibits distribution and sale of misbranded pesticides. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have not identified an exception for distribution of misbranded pesticides for the purposes of disposal. EPA’s regulations allow for distribution of pesticides that are unregistered, cancelled, or suspended, as long as certain conditions are met. For chlorpyrifos products that are cancelled, EPA expects to address the movement of products for disposal purposes in cancellation orders. For products that are not cancelled, a Stop Sale, ...

COVID Resources

COVID Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

With the rollout of the COVID vaccines, the Illinois Department of Public Health created a "Frequently Asked Questions" document.  Within the document you will find answers to questions regarding vaccine availability, requirements/mandates, safety, and other common questions.  Please click the PDF below to learn more.

ELDT Webinar Recording

Miss the ELDT Webinar? View the Webinar Recording On Tuesday, July 13th, IFCA held a public webinar to address the many calls and in person conversations with our members regarding FMCSA's Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT). In an effort to educate our members, we asked Kevin Duesterhaus from the Illinois Secretary of State and Dan Meyer from FMCSA to discuss the upcoming ELDT requirement. FMCSA has made available the Slideshow Presentation from the webinar. DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION  

Emergency Response Reporting Instructions

EPA Registration Amendment: June 12 Dicamba Cutoff Date for Soybean

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that no over-the-top (OTT) application of dicamba to dicamba trait soybean can be made after June 12 or the V4 stage. This is a federal ruling and must be observed for all OTT dicamba applications to soybean in Illinois. IFCA has been in communication with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) on this issue, and they do not anticipate additional state restrictions to the recent federal changes ahead of the 2023 season. It is important to note that the additional existing restrictions for OTT dicamba applications still apply ...

EPA Rejects Petition on Treated Seeds

On Wednesday, EPA rejected a 2017 petition to regulate treated seed, telling environmental groups the agency already "fully assesses" pesticides registered for treating seed, including effects on human health and the environment. In September, the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California in San Francisco approved a consent decree between the EPA and the Center for Food Safety and the Pesticide Action Network North America. The court gave the agency until the end of the month to act on the petition. Though the EPA rejected the petition, the agency also announced on Wednesday plans to ...

Fall Ammonia Safety Reminders

As we prepare for the upcoming ammonia season, here are 12 key safety reminders to keep foremost in your mind when working with ammonia:   1.  Remember to always utilize your ammonia gloves and chemical splash goggles when working around ammonia.  Never wear contact lenses when working around anhydrous ammonia.   2.  Always assume ammonia is present in all equipment or hoses and thoroughly purge the ammonia prior to inspection or maintenance.    3.  Inspect those ammonia hoses for any nicks, cuts, soft spots, and coupler slippage.   4.  Follow the replace by date indicated by the hose manufacturer ...

FMCSA Seasonal Ag CDL Reforms

FMCSA has published reforms to the Farm-Related Restricted Ag Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program.  The changes allow states to issue farm-related or seasonal licenses to farm related industries for up to 210 days during a calendar year.  This is up from 180 days.  The second major reform is the change to a calendar year rotation for the program to prevent any overlaps from season to season from one year to the next.  Click here to view the federal register of the announcement.

Glyphosate Interim Decision Withdrawn; EPA Anticipates Final Registration in 2026

The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an interim decision for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, and says it will complete its registration review in 2026.   The agency announced its latest decision Friday in response to a June opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that vacated the human health portion of EPA’s interim decision after finding the cancer analysis was flawed. It also remanded, but did not vacate, the agency’s ecological risk assessment after finding that the interim decision should not have been issued without an “effects determination” ...

Gov Pritzker Signs Paid Leave Legislation (All Seasonal Workers Will Be Exempt)

Illinois recently became one of three states to require employers to offer paid time off for any reason.  This will take effect next year.   Beginning Jan. 1st, 2024, Illinois employers must offer workers paid time off based on hours worked, with no need to explain the reason for their absence if they provide notice in accordance with reasonable employer standards.   Currently only Maine and Nevada mandate earned paid time off and allot employees the freedom to decide how to use it, but Illinois’ new law is further reaching, unencumbered by limits based on business size. Similarly structured ...

IDOA Files Rules for Dicamba on Soybeans in 2022

On December 3rd, 2021, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) filed rules with the Illinois Secretary of State on dicamba application to soybeans. The restrictions for dicamba use on soybeans filed by IDOA are the same restrictions required in 2021. The rules were published in the Secretary of State's Illinois Register December 17th, 2021.  IDOA provided a press release detailing the proposed rules.  The additional restirctions for dicamba application on soybeans in Illinois are listed below: A pesticide containing dicamba shall not be applied on soybeans if the air temperature at the field at the ...

IDOA Pesticide Registration Tool

Need to check the registration status of a particular pesticide product?  Simply click the title heading to be redirected to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website.  There you can type in the name of a product into the search feature to view results such as the registration number/status, active ingredients, expiration date, as well as other important information.  

IFCA Comments on EPA's Proposed Rodenticide Mitigation Measures

Following proposed mitigation measures announced last year by the U.S. EPA, the deadline to submit comments supporting the continued use of rodenticide products was Monday, February 13th, 2023. IFCA submitted comments opposing EPA’s most recent proposals, which included mitigation measures for eleven rodenticides. These measures involved adding additional requirements to labels, reclassifying some products as Restricted Use Pesticides, as well as resulting in the cancellation of certain products and uses.   Click here to learn more about the issue in an article by The Scoop. Click here to read IFCA's comments.

IFCA Fall 2022 Newsletter

Click the attachment to view the Fall 2022 Newsletter. Stories in this newsletter include: Illinois Ag Retail Survey Registration now open for the IFCA Annual Meeting and Tradeshow Spring 2023 Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Schools NTSB Publishes Final Report on Beach Park Ammonia Release “News Under the Dome” 2022 Election Recap IDOA Provides IFCA Update on Dicamba Before the 2023 Growing Season Pesticide Training and Testing 4R Program Update IFCA Member Spotlight – Curt Eddington / Augusta Farmers COOP From the IFCA President’s Desk IFCA Holds Monthly Meeting with Director Costello and IDOA Regulatory Alert Low Water Levels on the ...

IFCA Scholarship Application

At the IFCA annual meeting on January 18th, 2023 in Peoria we will announce four $1,000 scholarships to 4-year or Jr College students who are pursuing their education for a career in our industry.  We always encourage students who are the sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of our IFCA members to apply!  Applications need to be returned to IFCA by December 16, 2022.  

IFCA Winter 2021 Newsletter

Please click the attachment below to read IFCA's winter newsletter.  Stories in this newsletter include:   Illinois Department of Agriculture Files Rules for Use of Dicamba on Soybeans, USEPA Still Mulling Dicamba Decision Spring 2022 Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Schools Growers must be certified by April 1, 2022 to handle Anhydrous Ammonia IFCA Veto Session Roundup Exempting COVID Mandates from Healthcare Right of Conscience Act New Congressional District Maps, Other New Map Information Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Reminder IFCA Member Spotlight Update on Pesticide Training and Testing 4R Program Update 4R Field days Is Chlorpyrifos Still Legal to Apply and Other Frequently ...

IFCA Working Capitol Hill

IFCA visited Washington DC this week along with our national organization, the Ag Retailers Association. While there, we informed Members of Congress of issues that affect the ag retail industry.  Several good conversations took place with the Illinois congressional delegation, ranging from entry-level driving training, labor shortages, the farm bill and the H2A program.     IFCA also thanked members of congress for passing the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) towards the end of last year.  PRIA creates a registration service fee system for applications for specified pesticide registration, amended registration, and associated tolerance actions, ...

IFCA's "News Under the Dome"

IFCA is actively watching and working over 70 pieces of legislation at the state capitol. Click on IFCA's “News Under the Dome” to see what IFCA is monitoring this spring session at the Illinois General Assembly.   IFCA will inform our membership if any of these pieces of legislation start to move in the senate or in the house. As always, if you have any question regarding any piece of legislation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to KJ Johnson at or 309-827-2774.

IFCA’s Best Management Practices (BMP) to Reduce Spray Drift This Spring Season

Spray drift accounts for most of all misuse pesticide cases investigated by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Drift can never be eliminated; however, it can be minimized if pesticides are applied under favorable weather conditions and by adopting proven drift reduction strategies.  Drift reduction strategies include: Always read and follow label directions.   Use nozzles that produce coarser droplets when applying pesticides on targets that do not require small, uniformly sized droplets. When feasible, increase application volume (gpa) and use nozzles with larger orifices. Switch to "low-drift" nozzles when buying new ones. Have more than one ...

Illinois Attorney General Files Suit Against PFAS Makers

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit last week in Cook County against several manufacturers of PFAS products sold in the State of Illinois as consumer goods and for use in industrial processes. The suit alleges that these manufacturers have known for decades that PFAS are toxic and pose substantial health and environmental risks, yet continue to actively promote the chemicals as safe to manufacture and use. The lawsuit also alleges PFAS manufacturers distort scientific evidence concerning potential harms associated with PFAS, and that PFAS manufacturers have caused widespread contamination and injuries to Illinois’ natural resources.   ...

Illinois Centennial Soil Archive Project

NREC is supporting a project led by Dr. Andrew Margenot of UI that is focused on sampling soil locations throughout Illinois that had previously been sampled dating back to 1899. The goal of the project is to compare modern soil samples with the original samples to gain insight on how Illinois soils have changed over the last 120 years. This will ultimately enable improvements in soil fertility management and conservation as well as updating the Illinois Agronomy Handbook.   The 450 locations to be sampled are largely located on private land. Click the attachments for more details on the project. Scan the ...

Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council

Mandatory Annual Dicamba Training

Prior to applying dicamba over the top of soybeans this year, applicators in Illinois must once again complete the required annual dicamba label training.  Please click the heading to be redirected to our dicamba webpage where you will find links to the Engenia, Xtend, and Tavium online trainings.  All trainings have been updated for the 2022 season.  Completing any of the three dicamba training will satisfy the annual requirement.  

Mark Your Calendars, IFCA Legislative Reception on March 22nd

Everyone is invited to join the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and Illinois Soybean Association legislative reception on March 22nd at the Lincoln Hotel in Springfield.  This year's reception will be held in the evening from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.  This is a great opportunity to meet local legislators and also hear IFCA and ILSoy discuss issues pertaining to the needs of the ag input industry and Illinois agriculture. All IFCA members are welcome to come. Please RVSP by contacting Leslie at if you interested in attending.

New IL Ammonia Rules & Compliance Guide

There are several important compliance requirements for Illinois ammonia facilities and nurse tanks that go into effect on December 31, 2020. Click below to view the NH3 Rules Compliance Guide or to download the regulations (8 IL Adm Code Part 215).

New Law Removes License Plates on Fertilizer Trailers, Floaters on Jan 1, 2020

New Nitrogen Rate Trial Protocol

The link below details the new nitrogen rate trial protocol developed by Dr. Nafiger for trials within Illinois. The plan involves easier to implement, low-cost trials to produce more data that will help build more confidence in the MRTN. If you know of anyone interested in participating, please reach out to Dan Schaefer, or 217-202-5173.

New Version of Cover Crop Guide

NREC recently updated its Cover Crop Guide, including more guidance based on research performed on Illinois farms.  Please click on the link provided to read over the new version of the cover crop guide, "Considering Cover Crops? - Let this guide be your guide to success"

NH3 Grower Training

As of April 1, 2022, all growers or grower farm operators in Illinois who transport or apply anhydrous ammonia, or otherwise maintain anhydrous ammonia equipment, shall be certified.  Growers and grower farm operators handling anhydrous ammonia must participate in refresher training every three years.  Click here to be redirected to IDOA's online certified grower training website. IFCA has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document you can review and share with your growers.  We encourage retail members to print this FAQ document to display in your facility and/or distribute to your grower customers who utilize NH3. ...

NH3 Grower Training

As a reminder, as the spring season approaches, anyone that handles or transports ammonia is now also responsible for achieving anhydrous ammonia certification. The easiest way to ensure your grower-customers attain their annual ammonia certification is to have them visit the IDA website and sit through the online training. This can be found by clicking here. For anyone looking to host an in-person grower ammonia training, please reach out to the IFCA office at 309-827-2774.

NH3 Safety Checklist for Growers

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has an informative checklist for growers to serve as a reminder to keep safety in mind when handling anhydrous ammonia.

NTIP Markings for Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tanks

There may be some confusion on markings on nurse tanks that are enrolled into the NTIP program.  The DOT-SP 13554 is no longer required as a marking on the side of the nurse tanks.  Click below for examples of current markings that are acceptable and markings that would be considered a violation. 

NTSB Publishes Final Report on Beach Park Ammonia Release

As many in the industry remember, on April 25, 2019, there was an accidental release from a nurse tank in a Lake County neighborhood from two anhydrous ammonia tanks being transported by a farmer. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) initiated an investigation in 2019 regarding the incident that took place on a public roadway near Beach Park, Illinois. While there were no fatalities, NTSB reports that a total of 83 first responders and residents were treated for exposure.   On Wednesday, NTSB issued a final report. No safety recommendations were issued. The report identifies post-accident actions taken by various entities.  To read ...

On Farm Containment Required for Storage that Exceeds 45 Days

With the price of liquid nitrogen inching up, some farmers are expressing an interest in filling on-farm UAN tanks ahead of the 2023 season. Please be advised that in Illinois, farmers who store more than 5,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer in above ground tanks can only store it for 45 days unless they have an IDA permitted containment facility to protect against the accidental release of the product.  A farmer who does not have containment, and asks you to fill a UAN tank at this time, clearly will not use the product within 45 days.   IFCA recommends that if you receive ...

Pesticide Disposal Companies Resource

If you find that your company is in need of a company that offers pesticide or hazardous waste disposal, look no further.  IFCA recently updated a list of those companies that offer fee-based pesticide disposal.  Simply click the attachment below to view the current list.

Pesticide Recordkeeping Reminder

As spring is quickly approaching, a few reminders for record keeping when applying or selling pesticides to your customers.   Pesticide dealers shall retain a record of all sales of restricted use pesticides or pesticides that the Director has declared to be a pesticide requiring a permit for two (2) years. The record shall include, but is not limited to, the following for each individual sale of such a pesticide:   1) Quantity and kind of pesticide for individual sales.  2) Name and address of purchaser. 3) Purchaser's certification number and type of certification if appropriate. 4) Date of sale. &...

Pesticide Storage Containers, Plumbing & Appurtenances

As a seasonal reminder when storing bulk pesticides, it is always a good practice prior to placing pesticides into any type of storage container to determine the compatibility of the pesticide with the storage container, plumbing, valves, and other appurtenances. Some pesticide storage containers may be used to store more than one pesticide during a given year and the storage and handling equipment that was compatible with the last pesticide product may not be compatible with the most recently added pesticide.   Your best resource for guidance is the manufacturer/registrant of the pesticide. The manufacturer/registrant may have ...

Restricted B Drivers Not Required to Take ELDT

IFCA is pleased to inform our members that Restricted B Drivers will not be required to complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).  Restricted B Drivers are considered restricted/seasonal and therefore not subject to the required training.  Click the heading above for a PDF that shows the issue being covered in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  More information on ELDT can be found on our homepage.

The Bulletin: Fall Nitrogen

Click the above heading to read Dr. Emerson Nafziger's recent bulletin on fall nitrogen timing this fall, what we learned about nitrogen rates from the 2022 corn season and what rates the nitrogen rate caluclator recommends for the 2023 season.

UI Bulletin: Fall Field Work Following a Wet October

With several inches of rainfall across the state of Illinois in the month of October, many decisions need to be made regarding any crop left to be harvested, nitrogen applciations and fall tillage.  Click the heading above to read Dr. Nafziger's latest FarmDoc Bulletin to learn more about the factors at play when making these decisions.

UI Bulletin: Fertilizer Decisions, Fall 2021

Dr. Emerson Nafziger recently posted a new Bulletin titled "Fertilizer Decisions, Fall 2021”.  This written article details the current state of fertilizer prices, the effect this has on the MRTN rate, as well as soil temperatures ahead of the fall anhydrous ammonia season.  

UI Bulletin: Notes as Fall Harvest Continues

Click the heading above to be redirected to Dr. Nafziger’s latest bulletin article, highlighting harvest losses, nitrogen application and tillage.

UI Crop Central Bulletin: Spring Nitrogen Management

Click the heading above to be redirected to Dr. Nafziger's most recent farmdoc article, Spring Nitrogen Management, that addresses ways to efficienctly manage N this spring with elevated fertilizer prices.

Understanding the New ELDT Requirements

IFCA has receieved many questions regarding the new ELDT requirements that recently went into effect. IFCA understands the impact this new requirement has on our industry and our members, and has created a document addressing many of the topics where confusion still exists. Click on the document below, reach out to the IFCA office or contact KJ Johnson at with any questions you may have on ELDT.

Uniform Carrier Registration

Updated Dicamba Guidance Document

If you are applying dicamba to soybean this year, we encourage you to click the attached dicamba guidance document below. The updated guidance document lists the additional requirements, details issues with recordkeeping , and provides several resources.

USDA Announces $500 Million for Domestic Fertilizer Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that $500 million in grants is available to increase domestic fertilizer production through the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program. The goal of the program is to promote competition in agricultural markets with the funds available through the Commodity Credit Corporation.   According to the USDA, “[g]rants will be used to support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers.” The funds will also “expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. and its territories.”   Guidelines indicate that ...

USEPA Releases Dicamba Summary and FAQ

December 21st, 2021, the USEPA provided a summary of dicamba-related incident, obtained from pesticide registrants, States, the general public, and non-governmental organizations, from the 2021 growing season.  Below in some of the language from the summary:   EPA is committed to helping states address issues related to incidents in their jurisdictions. If a state wishes to further restrict or narrow the over-the-top uses of dicamba, the Agency will work with them to support their goals. Additionally, due to the extent and severity of reported incidents from the 2021 growing season, EPA is unlikely to approve section 24(c) requests under the Federal Insecticide, ...

Vaccine Rollout for 1B Essential Workers - Steps to Follow

IFCA has been in contact with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) regarding the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to ag essential workers.  Ag essential workers are in Phase 1B of the state's plan.  IEMA informed IFCA that Phase 1B for essential workers will begin on January 25th.    Based on our conversations with IEMA, IFCA recommends you take these steps:     1.   Companies should start putting a list together of all employees that wish to receive the vaccine.  Companies should prioritize their lists by risk level; 65+ or individuals that have ...

Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

On November 2015 USEPA revised the worker protection standards to implement more protection for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. Most of the revised WPS standards became effective on January 2018.  The WPS requires commercial pesticide handler employers to provide specific information and protections to workers, handlers when WPS-labeled pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants.  Additional resources on Worker Protection Standards can be found on IFCA’s website under Regulations.  Feel free to contact IFCA with any questions.    Who is Included in WPS:   ●      &...