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Asmark Signature Training Courses

The Asmark Insittute Signature Training Program offers “one-of-a-kind” ag specific courses developed to facilitate the learning process by immersing participants in real-life situations.  The following courses are available:   Applicator Training Ammonia Technician DOT/EPA AG-30 Hour Emergency Response to Agricultural Incidents Grain Handling Safety & Operations Nurse Tank Inspection “CT” OSHA AG-30 Hour   These courses are open to anyone to attend and fill up fast.  Click here for more information on each course, the schedule of courses, and to register on-line.  This link will take you directly to the Asmark website ...

Entry Level Driver Training Extension, Anhydrous Ammonia Spring Safety Schools & IFCA Convention Regulatory Workshop

Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)   The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made notice of proposed rulemaking in order to extend the deadline from February 07, 2020 to February 07, 2022 for Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).  This extension would allow more time for FMCSA to develop an electronic interface that will receive and store training certificates as well as allowing State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) to modify their (IT) systems in order to receive driver-specific ELDT data from the Training Provider Registry (TPR).  Click here to read the Extension of Compliance Date for Entry-Level ...

2016 Fall Applied N and Early Spring Applied N: Results Support Stabilization

As a late Friday follow-up to our story today encouraging the use of N-Serve for early spring applied anhydrous ammonia, we have more to share to back this up, and this comes from the University of Illinois based on research currently being funded by the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC).   After reviewing nitrate soil samples from nitrogen tracking studies performed at University research sites and in farmer's fields, Dr. Emerson Nafziger reports that the soil samples taken in January 2017 by UI and by Dan Schaefer of the IFCA show that there has been little loss ...

2017 IFCA Board

At the annual meeting last week, IFCA announced three new board members:  Bryan Fairfull with M & M Service, Mike Harriss with Winfield United and Nate Todd with West Central FS.  Thanks to Jim McNelly, Travis Weaver and Jim Lillyman who have retired from the board after providing many years of leadership.  The IFCA Executive Committee for 2017 is: Eric Gordon, Chairman (Brandt); Regan Wear, Vice Chairman (CHS); Carl Kessler, Finance Officer (Syngenta); Jeremy Maloney, Secretary (Tri-County Chemical), Jason Wesslund (Heritage FS) and Ryan Heldt as Past Chair (Dow Agrosciences).  For a complete roster of IFCA ...

2017 N Rate Trial Results Available at IFCA.com

IFCA works with NREC and the University of Illinois to implement nitrogen rate trials throughout Illinois, generating important date to ensure that the nitrogen recommendation system in Illinois reflects what is actually occuring with nitrogen use and uptake on corn acres throughout Illinois.  We have all the 2017 N Rate Trial results posted under our Keep it 4R Crop menu at www.ifca.com, click here to be sent directly to the N Rate Trial Results page.  On this page we also have a summary of the 2014-2017 yield responses compared to the MRTN.  Following the MRTN ...

2018 Pesticide Container Recycling Schedule

The Illinois Department of Ag has announced the dates and locations for the annual pesticide container recycling program.  Click here to see the schedule and information about the program.  The first recycling event is July 24 in Griggsville.  Thanks to all the IFCA members who volunteer their locations for these collection events.  

4R Field Day on Oct 23 & New MRTN Guide

On Tuesday, October 23 IFCA is hosting a 4R Field Day in Auburn, Illinois.  The agenda includes the latest nutrient research outcomes from the 2018 season, an update from the City of Springfield on the health of Lake Springfield and water quality, and an in-field demonstration of fall fertility and tillage recommendations.  There is no cost to attend the event thanks to the sponsors, who are listed on the agenda here.  To RSVP, please email jeanp@ifca.com or call our office at 309.827.2774.  The event runs from 8:30 to 2:00 pm with lunch included, and CEU credits in nutrient management ...

4R Field Day Video

This week IFCA hosted a 4R Field Day in Hammond, IL.  At this tool shed event, researchers presented the most recent and relevant findings from numerous on-farm NREC funded projects on N P K management, as well as discussions on the role of cover crops and drainage in an overall management approach to reduce nutrient losses in tile drained fields.  Our ag retail members made up the majority of the 80 people in attendance and were joined by farmers, agency personnel and other industry professionals.  To see a short video that highlights the 4R Field Day, click ...

4R Nitrogen Update

With the recent cool and wet weather, some are quick to jump to conclusions about the fate of nitrogen, the level of suspected loss and what to do.  IFCA's work with the University of Illinois enables us to take an approach that looks at multiple factors including on-farm N-WATCH testing and also assisting the UI in soil sampling at several nitrogen tracking research sites.  Sampling can be difficult and the results uncertain in extremely wet soils, so patience is important to assure good data and evaluation of that data.     In addition to applied nitrogen, we ...

4R Updates

IFCA thanks our retail members for your great response to our spring 2020 4R survey!   We nearly doubled the number of acres reporting on fertilizer use trends and how these applications align with the IFCA 4R Code of Practice relating to rate, timing, soil testing and split applications of nitrogen.  We are compiling the results and will share the report soon, showing 4R trends in Illinois for two full crop years (2019 and 2020).  Thank you again IFCA members for continuing your proactive commitment to the 4Rs.     On a related 4R note, TFI is accepting applications ...

90,000 Overweight Allowance Has Ended & Sec of State Offices are Reopening

The emergency oversize and overweight waiver granted by Illinois DOT on April 12 for essential industries during the pandemic expired on May 29, 2020.  All loads without a permit must return to their normal allowances (80,000 lbs) and axle limits.     Also, the Secretary of State offices are re-opening this week statewide but are going to focus on expired drivers licenses and vehicle transactions.  CDL drivers can go to the offices again as well to obtain what you need for your CDL.  Be sure to get your medical cards updated if they had expired, as most DOT doctors are now ...

Accessing DNR Nature Preserve Site Locations

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Nature Preserve Commission Sites are considered "sensitive areas" for the purpose of dicamba application to soybean.  Therefore it is vital that applicators identify if any of these DNR sites are located near soybean fields where Engenia, Xtendimax, FeXapan or Tavium may be applied.  IFCA worked with DNR to gain access to files of these sites that you can download into your spray application software.  We have an icon for DNR sites featured on the IFCA hompage at www.ifca.com or you can go directly to the feature on the ...

Ag Input & Machinery Tax is Still Out There....

Illinois lawmakers continue to work to agree upon on a state budget, something that has eluded them for almost two years.  The major issues include school funding reform, pension changes, a higher minimum wage and other matters that were part of the Senate's "grand bargain."  Efforts to pass the Senate plan included a dozen interconnected bills but the bargain suffered a major setback this week when support evaporated.   Three of the biggest sticking points between the Governor and the leaders are workers compensation reform, a tax increase and cuts to the budget.  Senate ...

Air Not Allowed in Ammonia Tanks

It's cold out and that slows down the ammonia application process.  But please keep in mind that utilizing an air compressor to pump air into ammonia tanks to increase tank pressure is strictly prohibited in the Illinois ammonia regulations.    Air is the primary cause of stress corrosion cracking of steel in ammonia tanks.  With ammonia being a closed loop system, it is also likely you would contaminate your storage tanks, the cargo tanks that deliver product into your facility as well as the supply terminals.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture rules specifically state “...

Ammonia Compliance Issues

Thursday, October 5 is the LAST opportunity for you to attend a IFCA/IDA class and receive a competent attendant ammonia training certificate.  The class is being offered the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington.  You can register at www.ifca.com or call our office.  Any person working in the industry who makes or breaks ammonia connections or works on ammonia equipment must be certified by attending an IDA approved ammonia training course.     As you prepare for the fall ammonia season, now is a good time to inspect all of your ammonia hoses for ...

Ammonia Facility Compliance Dates

Updates to the Illinois Anhydrous Ammonia regulations went into effect on July 1, 2016 (two years ago already!).  These rules help ensure that ammonia facilities meet the national standards that govern the industry, and also take into consideration particular needs of the Illinois ammonia industry.  For many of the major areas, IFCA worked with IDA to enact compliance dates that enable the industry time to plan and conduct the necessary work to replace excess flow valves, install emergency shut-off systems, and work to obtain the necessary documentation for storage tanks that are missing or illegible data plates.     IFCA ...

Ammonia Facility Upgrades - December 31, 2020

With ammonia side-dress wrapping up, now is a good time to make sure you have made all the necessary upgrades to your ammonia facility as well as your nurse tanks and or application equipment.  The final deadline to have all ammonia upgrades in place is December 31, 2020.  To assist our members in understanding the changes in the current ammonia rules, IFCA prepared a compliance guide to assist you in understanding what upgrades are needed.  If you have not reached out to an ammonia contractor, don’t hold off as they are booking up fast.  With approximately 28,000 ...

Ammonia Nurse Tank Compliance Reminders

Here are a few reminders to ensure your ammonia nurse tanks are in compliance with various laws:   1.  All nurse tanks in Illinois must have a "FT" license plate and current sticker to operate on Illinois public roads. 2.  The "Special Permit" for testing nurse tanks that have missed or illegible data plates expired in February 2011.  The five year testing requirement is now a permanent part of the federal ammonia rules, so the "special permit" no longer applies.  Please remove all NTIP and SP-13554 stickers from ammonia nurse tanks and click ...

Ammonia Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams Required by PSM

As the October 1, 2016 compliance deadline for the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) rules nears, one of the things that you must have in place is a Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) of your ammonia storage system.  The P&ID as well as a block flow diagram of your installation benefits your employees as well as contractors in understanding your ammonia process.  The Asmark Institute offers a service that can create P&IDs as well as a block flow diagram for your specific ammonia location.  The process starts by you taking detailed pictures of ...

Ammonia Reminders: Tank Testing & Competent Attendant Training

If your ammonia nurse tanks have missing or illegible data plates, they must be initially tested and then retested and reinspected every 5 years in the Nurse Tank Inspection Program in order to remain a legal hazardous material package in accordance with USDOT regulations.  Illinois Dept of Ag ammonia inspectors also check the tanks to assure they are in compliance with these rules and can red tag a tank that is not kept current on testing.     Many tanks that were originally enrolled in the program are up for their five year renewal and must be re-tested to ...

Ammonia School Registration

IFCA, in partnership with the IL Dept of Ag, is offering eight ammonia safety classes throughout the state of Illinois beginning on February 21.  Anyone who works with ammonia as part of their job duties must be certified as a competent attendant in Illinois and you can achieve this certification by attending one of these classes.  The certification must be renewed every three years, so check your records and be sure not to miss the opportunity if your certificate is about to expire or if you have new employees at your facility.  This training required for anyone ...

Ammonia Schools Started This Week

IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag kicked off the week with the first anhydrous ammonia safety school at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington today.  But there are plenty of other opportunities to sign up for the upcoming schools the remainder of this week.  This course provides important safety and ammonia facility regulatory information and enables the attendee to achieve a 3 year certificate as a "competent attendant" in order to handle ammonia and comply with the IDA regulations.     To see the list of upcoming ammonia classes and to register on-line go to https://...

Ammonia Training & Ammonia Application

The IFCA & IDA ammonia training schools are underway, and there are still opportunities next week to get your 3 year training certificate.  During the week of Feb 27 classes will be held in Marion, Effingham, Charleston and Bloomington.  Go to www.ifca.com to register or call our office at 309.827.2774.     Also, if you are applying ammonia early this spring, please follow the 4Rs and use N-Serve.  A new bulletin from the University of Illinois explains how this product has protected fall applied ammonia and the same logic holds true for early applied spring ammonia.  Click ...

Another Successful IFCA Convention!

Last week at the IFCA show the temperatures were well below zero but the attendance at the IFCA convention was awesome!  Thanks to all of our members (1,283) who came out to support IFCA and to visit with our exhibitors and colleagues within the industry.  Attendance exceeded last year's numbers despite the record cold.  We have posted all of the presentations from the convention on our website, click here.     The dates for the 2020 IFCA Convention are January 21-23 at the Peoria Civic Center.  Mark your calendars for MAGIE as well which is August 21 & 22, 2019 ...

Applicator Licensing & Dicamba, Paraquat Questions

As the pesticide training and testing season is now underway, with nearly 400 people attending the general standards training yesterday in Champaign, IL, there remains some confusion over the operator/applicator/dicamba/paraquat certifications.  We will try to make it clear below.   1.  In 2020, if you apply Xtendimax, Engenia, FeXapan or Tavium for any crop use, including post-emerge on soybean, you must be a certified applicator.  That means you must have a current general standards plus field crop certification from the IL Dept of Ag.  Those who mix and load these four dicamba products are also required ...

Applicator Training

PAQ Potential Services for Farm Management Companies Farm Mapping Show locations of fields Thematic map of crops Thematic map of land ownership Thematic map of farm operator acres Types of ownership Land values Years managed

Applicator Training and Other Industry Training Classes Available

The Applicator Training Center located in Bloomington, IL has published the training schedule for 2018.  This new training center focuses on all aspects of successful pesticide and fertilizer application, including the hand's on operation of application equipment.  There are classes for brand new applicators (those with no experience up to 3 years of experience) and classes for those with more than 3 years of experience.  Click here to be directed to the website featuring more information on the Applicator Training Course, as well as other Signature Training Courses offered by the Asmark Institute, including Ammonia Technician Training and ...

Applicator Training Center Open; Next Classes Start June 27

Thanks to our partnership with the Asmark Institute, Illinois now has another specialized training center focused on assisting ag retailers with education, safety and compliance needs.  A special launch event was held on June 12 for the new training center, which features many hands-on training exercises plus a training track for application equipment.  Click here to see a short story on the Training Center, which includes a birds-eye view of a pesticide applicator navigating the obstacle course.  Special thanks to our friends at Illinois Farm Bureau for producing this story to share.     The Training Center ...

Applicator Training Course Filling Up

The next Asmark Institute Applicator Training Course on August 27-30 at the training facility in Bloomington is full!  But there are still some seats available for the next two upcoming courses, which are September 3-6 and September 10-13.  To see more on the course and to register, click here:  https://www.asmark.org/TrainingCourses/applicator-training.cgi

Applicator Training Courses Begin Soon

The first applicator training course of the season will begin the week of June 18, and there are several scheduled throughout the summer.  There are courses for applicators with 0-3 years experience and a course for applicators with more than 3 years of experience.     The applicator training program is packed with hand's on exercise too numerous to mention here.  Click here for a 2-page synopsis of the course content and photos depicting the activities.  You can see the schedule for this course, along with other industry training programs available by clicking here.  We are extremely ...

Applicator Training Courses Filling Up

The next round of training classes at the new Applicator Training Center in Bloomington, IL will begin in August.  There is only one seat remaining in the class the week of August 3rd, but there are still a few seats available in the September classes.  Don't pass up this opportunity to get valuable  hands-on, fully comprehensive applicator training this summer and fall ahead of next year's application season.  Click here to see what the course has to offer, the available training dates, and to register on-line.  

Applicator Training This Summer

The Asmark Institute Applicator Training Center will be busy next week with the first applicator training class of the season.  This one-of-a-kind training center features 4 days of hands-on training on everything a professional applicator needs to know to be effective, safe and present a professional image for your company.  There are courses for beginning applicators and a refresher course for experienced applicators.  To see details on the Applicator Training course, as well as all Asmark training courses including ammonia, OSHA, emergency response, etc., and to register,  click https://www.asmark.org/signature-training.cgi   ...

Applicator Training Underway

The first applicator training class of 2018 was held this week at the Applicator Training Center in Bloomington, IL.  We had students from Minnesota, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois attend.  If you have new applicators, even those who have never been in a sprayer or floater in their lives but want to learn, this is the course for them.  The 3 1/2 day course covers the gamut on everything you need to know to be an effective and safe applicator.  The next class begins next week (June 26-29) and there are still a few open seats.  Click here to ...

August 26 IFCA Golf Outing - Pontiac

We have rescheduled the July 30 golf outing in Pontiac, which was rained out.  We are now holding this event on August 26 at the Pontiac Elks Golf Course.  We will be teeing off at 8 am in a scramble format.  Many of the originally scheduled golfers are able to make this work but we still have room for a few more!  Please email Leslie Forrest at leslief@ifca.com or call our office at 309.827.2774 if you would like to join us.  Cost is $100 per golfer or $400 for a foursome; the revenue helps support IFCA and ...

Avoid Common Dicamba Recordkeeping Mistakes

In 2019, IDA issued 100 monetary penalty notices to applicators for dicamba misuse.  Some of the errors uncovered in the investigations had to do with misses on the recordkeeping requirements.  To help our members avoid common recordkeeping mistakes and better understand what IDA expects when reviewing your records, we have prepared a simple guidance document to help you better document critical items such as wind speed and direction and the required buffers.  Click here to see the IFCA guidance document.  IFCA appreciates IDA's input on this document and we also appreciate Dr. Aaron Hager's help in ...

Bader Ag & Ag View 4R Advocate Press Releases

IFCA Congratulates Bader Ag & Ag View FS for being named national 4R Advocates!  Click on press releases below for details. 

Be Sure to Train Your Pesticide Handlers

Last week IFCA informed our members of the new USEPA law which has expanded some aspects of the Worker Protection Standard (WPS).  It is now a federal requirement that pesticide employers train all employees who handle pesticides such as mixing, loading, repackaging or applying pesticides.  If you are only handling unopened pesticide containers, you are not a handler and the training requirement does not apply.     In the past, ag retail employees were mostly exempt from this training requirement.  But now, only licensed commercial applicators are exempt.  Licensed pesticide operators are NOT ...

Bill to Remove Plates on Fertilizer Wagons & Floaters Heads to Governor

In a year when good news has been in short supply, we have some welcome news for our members today.      Yesterday, HB 2669 passed the Senate unanimously, removing the requirement for license plates on fertilizer wagons (nurse tanks & buggies) and self-propelled fertilizer and pesticide application equipment when laden with load.  The bill is now on its way to the Governor's Desk.    The bill was an initiative of IFCA, and passed unanimously thanks to the hard work of KJ Johnson, IFCA's Director of Government & Industry Affairs, and with ...

CDL Exams

If any of your employees are needing to take CDL exams including the endorsement exams, the Illinois Secretary of State offices in Springfield, Marion and West Chicago are open to assist.  We understand that the Springfield office is not experiencing any kind of lengthy delays in providing tests, especially in the afternoons.  Click here for a fact sheet on the CDL offices and their hours of operation.     If you happen to receive a cancellation letter from the Secretary of State because you have not been able to renew your medical card during this time, you can ...

CDL Expirations Extended to September 2020

The FMCSA has extended the waiver for expiring CDL licenses and endorsements until September 30, 2020 to provide additional time for drivers and state motor vehicles offices to handle the backlog in CDL license and endorsement expirations that occurred during the pandemic.  The extension was previously set to expire on June 30, 2020.  To see the letter from FMCSA announcing the extension click here.     Illinois Secretary of State driver service offices are now open, and we encourage all CDL drivers to go about getting your medical cards, endorsements and licenses renewed as soon as practical.  Many doctors are now ...

CEU Opportunities

There continue to be opportunities for Certified Crop Advisors to pick up CEUs despite not going to in-person meetings.  Below are several free, upcoming webinars and you don't have to be a CCA to join in.    September 3, 10 - 11:45 am:  Managing Phosphorus in Conservation Cropping Systems - 1.5 CEU NM Speakers are Dr. Heidi Peterson (Sand County Foundation); Dr. Fabian Fernandez (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Nathan Nelson (Kansas State University).  Click here to see more details and to access the registration link.     The InfoAg Learning Exchange continues to offer free webinars on ...

CFATS Affecting More Ammonia Facilities

This past year, the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) required re-registration in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program. In the ag industry, this impacts mostly ammonia facilities.  Now that most IIFCA members have completed the re-registration process, they are learning that their facility may be bumped into a higher risk category, requiring additional secuirty measurers at the facility.  Given the sensitive nature of the CFATS rule, IFCA has asked DHS to make a presentation at the IFCA convention on January 16 to explain the program and what is expected if you require additional security measures.  If you have ...

Check for Compliance on Pesticide Dealer, Applicator and Operator Licenses

It's now officially spring.  Before pesticide sales and application season is upon us, now is a good time to ensure that your business has the correct licenses to sell and apply pesticides.  Persons who purchase restricted use pesticides must also have a current license to buy these products.  Let's review the Illinois Department of Agriculture rules:      1.  If you sell packaged agricultural pesticides your facility must be a Pesticide Dealer.  This includes both restricted use pesticides and all other pesticides labeled for agricultural use.  You can take the dealer exam ...

Chemical Safety Board Releases Final Report and Video on West Fertilizer

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a final report and a video on their findings regarding the explosion at West Fertilizer in April 2013.  Their findings are interesting and the video provides an animation of the event as it occurred.  We encourage our members to take 12 minutes of your day to watch the video.  Among the CSB findings are that communities establish zoning to keep houses, businesses, schools and institutions from building next to a fertilizer plant (what we refer to as reverse setbacks).  They also recommend that ammonium nitrate be added to the list of ...

Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT)

Anhydrous ammonia is a Chemical of Interest (COI) under Department of Homeland of Security rules.  The Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) was developed years ago to help DHS identify facilities that meet certain risk factors. At that time, facilities with ammonia had to register with DHS to determine what security methods they needed to have in place.      In the fall of 2016, DHS updated their methodology system and created a new CSAT tool.  IFCA members have been receiving a letter from DHS asking them to resubmit their "Top Screen" to DHS using this new ...

Clarification on Tier 2 Updates

This week, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency sent out an email to companies who file annual Tier 2 chemical inventory reports.  The reason for the email is to let everyone know that the hazard categories for the chemicals you report have been expanded to comply with new USEPA requirements, and it will take a while to enter the new hazard categories when you do your Tier 2 report for your 2017 inventories.  That report must be filed by March 1, 2018.  The Illinois Tier 2 system is updated and includes all the new hazard classifications; IEMA is letting you know that you are ...

Classroom Dicamba Training

There are some classroom trainings scheduled in Illinois to fulfill the annual dicamba specific training requirement on the labels.  Please help communicate to your grower customers that last year's dicamba training does not count!  The applicator training that UI offers for both private and commercial applicators also does not count toward the dicamba training requirement.     Because on-line training will also be accepted at some point when the registrants make it available, there will likely be far fewer classroom events compared to last year.  But classroom training is still the preferred method particularly ...

Cleaning Spray Equipment

With pesticide application season still underway in terms of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide treatments, we'd like to remind everyone that cleaning your spray equipment must be done over operational area containment.....it is a violation of the Part 255 containment rules to wash application equipment over gravel or any other area of your facility.  The rules state:   Cleaning and washing of agrichemical residue from handling, processing and application equipment at an agrichemical facility or non-commercial agrichemical facility shall be done utilizing an operational containment system or structure.  Cleaning and washing containment may be accomplished at the loading ...

Clearing Up Questions on Dicamba Training

As of this week, over 1,100 Illinois applicators have received the required dicamba training and there are many more classes scheduled throughout the state. In fielding calls about dicamba training, here are answers to some of the most common questions.    1.  Reciprocity.  At this point, there is no reciprocity on training between the states.  If you plan to apply dicamba in more than one state, you should plan to attend dicamba training in the state(s) where you will apply the product.  If the reciprocity situation changes, we will let you know.  But for now, ...

Common Questions about General Standards & Field Crops Exams & Licensing

As ag retailers are working hard to get their spray operators upgraded to certified applicators by attending the field crop training and taking the test, and some questions have come up with regard to this process.  We have worked with IDA to provide guidance on the commonly asked questions below.    Bear in mind that you must have a current general standards (GS) certification in order to achieve the status of commercial applicator, which passage of the field crop (FC) exam will provide.  But there are some nuances to this process that we will try to address ...

Condolences to the Dan Schaefer Family

Helen Schaefer passed away last week at the age of 90.  She lived her life on the family farm and supported her family and local community in many ways.  Helen was the mother of Dan Schaefer, IFCA's Director of Nutrient Stewardship.  Visitation is tonight in Villa Grove with services tomorrow at St. Mary's Church in rural Pesotum.  Helen's obituary is located here.  We express our condolences to Dan, his family and siblings.

Congratulations Dan Schaefer!

Last week, Dan Schaefer, IFCA's Director of Nutrient Stewardship, was honored as the 2018 Ag Leader of the Year at a banquet hosted by the Champaign News Gazette.  Dan was nominated by a committee of Champaign County farmers who have previously won this award.  Dan is the first non-farmer to earn this recognition.  The committee of farmers selected him to recognize the leadership he has provided to the industry in his 30 year career with Illini FS as a respected crop adviser, for his work ethic, and in recognition of his current role with IFCA implementing nutrient ...

Contact IFCA on Regulatory Issues

IFCA is a resource for you on all compliance issues.  So if you receive an inspection directive, have a release, or get a violation letter or ticket from a state or federal agency and you are unsure of whether its accurate or correct, please call our office.  We understand all of the state and federal regulations that impact ag retailers, and can assess your situation and advise you on the compliance process.  Not every violation or citation our members receive is correct; inspectors and regulatory officials are human too, and the regulations are complex for everyone involved.&...

Container Recycling Underway - PRCs Can Be Accepted

Today is the first day for the annual pesticide container recycling program.  IFCA thanks IDA for organizing this program and all of our retail members who host the recycling events.  To see the list of locations and the schedule, click here.  There is no charge to bring clean, triple-rinsed non-bulk pesticide containers to these events.    If you have portable refillable containers (PRCs) that also need to be recycled, IDA and the recycling company can accept certain containers provided they are triple-rinse, all metal is removed and the plastic is cut up into manageable pieces.&...

Court Denies Rehearing on Process Safety Management

This week, the District Court in Washington D.C. ruled unanimously to deny the petition by OSHA to revisit the Court's earlier decision that stopped OSHA from moving forward with the Process Safety Management (PSM) rule on ag retailers who store anhydrous ammonia.  This decision by the court ends the appeal process for OSHA, unless they Agency decides to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.  One possible thing OSHA could still consider is repealing their original letter in 1992 that removed ag retail facilities from the original PSM rule.  IFCA thanks the Ag Retailers Association ...

December 12 4R Meeting

On December 12, IFCA is hosting our 3rd annual 4R meeting to provide an update on research and policy developments related to nutrient issues in Illinois.  The meeting, from 9:00 to 1:30 pm, will be held on December 12 at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington and is free to attend.  You can pick up 3.5 hours of CEUs in Soil & Water and Nutrient Management.  There are some very interesting findings in the latest NREC research projects that reveal a lot more about nutrient loss than we have previously considered, and you can also find out what kind of progress we are ...

Des Moines Waterworks Will Not Appeal Ruling

The Des Moines Waterworks board voted last week to NOT appeal the federal ruling that dismissed their nutrient lawsuit against three drainage districts in Iowa for nitrate pollution.  The federal court determined that the Iowa Legislature, not the federal court, is the better place to resolve the issue based on current Iowa law.     Bill Stowe, the CEO of the Waterworks, said "This lawsuit was an attempt to protect our ratepayers, whose public health and quality of life continue to be impacted by unregulated industrial agriculture" and added "we hope that our legislators can create ...

Dicamba & Paraquat Label Training

Dicamba Training:  Last week was the end of classroom training for dicamba label training in Illinois.  Anyone who still needs training is now limited to the on-line training being offered by Bayer and BASF.  The links to the training websites are listed at http://www.ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining.  These on-line training programs are also a great refresher if you took the training months ago and want to review the label requirements prior to application season.  Illinois has enacted an application cut-off date of June 30, 2019 along with several other requirements to ensure protection ...

Dicamba Application Deadline - June 25; Temperature Restriction

After last week's headlines on dicamba, this week it is nice to only report that USEPA is sticking to their commitment to allow commercial applicators and farmers to use existing inventory of the dicamba products Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan.  In Illinois, applicators have until June 25, 2020 to apply these products to soybean.  Tavium, while not affected by the USEPA cancellation order, must also comply with the June 25 deadline for application.  USEPA has provided information to the US Circuit Court in California explaining the reasons why cancellation does align with the Court's decision to vacate the use ...

Dicamba Classes Complete; On-Line Training Now an Option

The final dicamba classroom event was March 28 in Rockford.  At its conclusion, IFCA estimates that nearly 11,000 people attended the classroom training that we organized throughout the state.  The IL Dept of Ag issued a press release regarding the training, complimenting the high turnout and directing people to additional resources to receive training ahead of the application season, see the press release here.     For people who missed the training, change their minds about applying dicamba, get hired just prior to season as an applicator, or who want a refresher of what was covered in the ...

Dicamba Complaint Update & IFCA Dicamba Survey

As of July 27, 2018 the Illinois Department of Ag has received 275 formal misuse complaints attributed to suspected misuse and/or off-target movement of dicamba.  While the majority are complaints related to symptoms in soybeans, there are also a growing number of complaints where symptoms on trees will be investigated.  Last year, the dicamba complaints in Illinois topped out at 246 at the end of August.  IFCA stays in weekly contact with IDA on the issue.    Our observation this year is that many farmers who have called IDA to file a complaint did so without talking first to ...

Dicamba Complaints Update

As of July 6, 2018 the Illinois Department of Agriculture has received 142 formal complaints on alleged dicamba misuse.  Calls this week continue to come in to IDA, predominantly from farmers who are requesting investigations regarding symptoms in soybeans.  All but 5 of the 142 complaints are suspected dicamba impacts on soybean.  This brings the total number of pesticide complaints in Illinois to 259 since January.  Historically pesticide use complaints in Illinois have tracked around 100-120 total complaints in any given calendar year ever since IDA began keeping records in the early 1990s.     As IDA investigators begin gathering information on ...

Dicamba Cut-off Dates: Guidance on 45 Days & Replanted Soybean

This week we asked the Illinois Department of Agriculture for guidance on how the 45-day after planting dicamba cut-off date works if only part of a field is replanted.  Here is the guidance IDA provided:     If only a portion of the field is replanted, that does not reset the 45-day application restriction for the entire field.  If the replanted areas can be clearly delineated and applications to those specific replanted areas are specifically documented, then it could be possible to apply to the replanted portions after the 45-days had expired from original planting date.  If ...

Dicamba Cutoff Date & Options After June 25

We wanted to offer some final clarity on the important dates involved in the Illinois Special Local Needs labels for Engenia, Xtendimax, FeXapan and Tavium as well as the USEPA cancellation order of July 31, 2020 for Engenia, Xtendimax and FeXapan.     1.  June 25, 2020 Illinois Cutoff Date:  For Engenia, Xtendimax, FeXapan and Tavium, private and commercial applicators in Illinois cannot apply these products over the top of soybean after June 25, 2020.  Applications must also follow all other labeled requirements including no application on days when the forecast high for the zip code of the field in question on www.weather....

Dicamba Label - Coming Soon?

It was on Friday, October 13, 2017 when USEPA issued the revised dicamba labels for the 2018 application season.  So you could wager that it might be around the same time in 2018 that the next dicamba labels may be released.  It is generally expected that there will be a label for use on soybean and it may contain changes in the use instructions.  It is also expected that all applicators who apply dicamba in 2019 will need to undergo auxin specific training again.     IDA is now about 55% finished with the 2018 pesticide misuse investigations.  There was a ...

Dicamba Misuse Update

IFCA continues to stay in touch with the Illinois Dept of Ag regarding complaints reported on alleged pesticide misuse.  As of Wednesday this week, IDA has received only two formal complaints regarding dicamba.  The number of complaints continues to grow in states to the south (Arkansas has 437 complaints; click here to see a map illustrating the counties in Arkansas where complaints have been registered).     Please remain vigilant on the dicamba label requirements; BASF just released a technical bulletin with guidance on how to recognize and avoid temperature inversions.  Click here for the guidance document.  ...

Dicamba News

With new dicamba and 2,4-D post-application use on soybeans coming to the marketplace, there is a lot of activity occurring.  With at least one post-application dicamba formulation now registered for use in 2017 on soybeans, several states are taking actions to ensure judicious use in light of the misuse that occurred in Missouri and Arkansas last year.  Indiana is proposing rules to require that all dicamba products be classified as Restricted Use for the sale and use of these products in Indiana.  Arkansas is also seeking RUP status, prohibiting application after April 15 for some formulations and banning ...

Dicamba Penalties

Not only has the number of  pesticide misuse complaints with the Illinois Department of Agriculture dramatically increased each year, but there is a now shift from IDA issuing warning letters, which was mostly the case in 2017 and 2018, to IDA issuing violation notices to applicators that also include monetary penalties of $750 or $1000 for misuse findings in 2019 dicamba investigations.       For comparison, in 2018 IDA issued a total of 233 warning letters and 14 notices of fines. In 2019, there have been 62 warning letters and 98 notices of fines.  Fines are pretty evenly split 50/50 between commercial applicators and private ...

Dicamba Relabeling

If you have Engenia, Xtendimax or FeXapan product remaining in inventory from the 2017 season, you will be asked by the manufacturers of the product to relabel the containers with the new Restricted Use Pesticide labels.  Please be sure that your facility is a registered USEPA Pesticide Producing Establishment if you plan to relabel any of your inventory.     If you do relabel, you must ensure that you apply the new label to each individual pesticide container, as well as the outside box that contains the individual jugs.  Minibulks must also be relabeled if they will be ...

Dicamba Reminders

Under the Illinois Special Local Needs label for dicamba use on soybean this year, don't forget that you are required to check the location of DNR Nature Preserve Commission sites, which are sensitive areas and must be protected accordingly as a sensitive area.  IFCA has a feature on our website to help you identify these DNR sites, and you can download location maps to your application software.  Also there is a DO NOT SPRAY requirement if a residential area is downwind and neighboring or adjacent to the intended field of application.  The updated Special Local ...

Dicamba Stewardship

The IFCA is taking a very proactive approach to dicamba stewardship ahead of the 2017 application season.  This week we had a commentary in Prairie Farmer (click here) and another story in Ag Professional (click here).  Please share these messages and help us steward this new technology.  Please pay special attention to the "sensitive areas" on the supplemental labels--it will take a lot of preparation to identify these areas and comply with the downwind buffers that are required on the label.  IFCA also prepared a "Do and Don't" poster for dicamba use ...

Dicamba Stewardship

Accounts of dicamba drift in Arkansas this year remind us that stewardship of this new herbicide technology is paramount. We can't stress enough the importance of fully understanding and complying with the intricacies of the supplemental labels for Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan.  Things are fairly quiet right now in Illinois regarding any reports of dicamba misuse, so let's try to keep it that way and demonstrate that this new technology can be used effectively without off-target consequences.  If you have questions or concerns about the new dicamba uses, please contact IFCA.  

Dicamba Stewardship

This week, Doug Owens, Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs at IL Dept of Ag, provided an interview with Brownfield Network, discussing the June 30 dicamba application cut-off date.  Click here to listen to the interview.    IFCA, IDA and Illinois Farm Bureau were among the organizations that worked in partnership with the dicamba registrants (Bayer, BASF, Corteva and Syngenta) to amend the dicamba labels in Illinois, to specify a cut-off date and protections for sensitive areas. Everyone recognizes that the late planting season is not welcome for many reasons and the cut-off date will challenge weed ...

Dicamba Stewardship - Flagging Sensitive Crops

IFCA still has a limited number of 5 foot, sturdy red flags to help identify dicamba sensitive commercial crops.  If you have areas in your territory where you feel growers would appreciate being able to flag their fields to help indicate the presence of these fields, give us a call at (309) 827.2774.  We will deliver the flags to you and explain how to use them.  We appreciate everything our members are doing to prepare for a successful season utilizing this new technology.  If we can help you in any way, please let us know.    

Dicamba Stewardship Poster

IFCA gave away about 250 dicamba "Do's and Dont's" posters at the convention last week, and we still have some available if you weren't able to attend, or didn't pick up one to take back and display at your office.  Click here to see the poster.  We encourage retailers, sales representatives and all of our members to help communicate this stewardship message ahead of the 2017 application season to assure compliance with the pesticide regulations by all pesticide applicators, and prevent off-target incidents relative to application of this new technology.  Thanks for your help in ...

Dicamba Stewardship: Sensitive Crops and Sensitive Areas Are Not the Same Thing

IFCA has been contributing articles to ag industry publications including Prairie Farmer, Illinois Farmer Today, Farmweek and Illinois Agrinews stressing the importance of understanding the new labels for dicamba use on soybeans.     One of the items on these labels that seems to get misunderstood is the difference between sensitive crops and sensitive areas.  According to the labels for XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia, there is a DO NOT APPLY statement if there is a sensitive commercial crop growing adjacent and downwind of the field of application.  This means you cannot "buffer" the adjacent sensitive crop&...

Dicamba Training

IFCA is laying the groundwork to ensure that our members have ample opportunity to receive dicamba label training, which is now a requirement for every private, commercial and certified operator who intends to apply Engenia, XtendiMax or FeXapan on soybeans.  No other formulations of dicamba can be used on soybeans--that is a willful violation of the Pesticide Act and carries substantial penalties up to $10,000.  IFCA has developed a Dicamba BMP guide that provides helpful recommendations on how to improve dicamba application in 2018, based on lessons learned in 2017.  Click here for the BMP guide and please share it ...

Dicamba Training & Resource Website

IFCA manages the Illinois Dicamba Training website, and we have updated the site with new information on the Special Local Needs labels for Xtendimax, Engenia, FeXapan and Tavium.  To see the SLN labels that include the June 20, 2020 cutoff date, 85 degree temperature restriction and other protective measures for using these products in Illinois, go to the "Resources" section of the website.     We have also posted several classroom training events, taught by Dr. Bill Simmons on behalf of BASF.  Most of these events follow the UI/IDA private applicator clinics and the first event is ...

Dicamba Training - State Reciprocity

A commonly asked question about the required dicamba training is whether the states will recognize training that an applicator may attend in another state, especially when the applicator might apply product in more than one state.   We have an answer for you.  At the IFCA convention last week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that they WILL accept training that an Illinois applicator receives from attending another state's approved dicamba training program.  For example, if an Illinois applicator attends a dicamba training class in Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri or Kentucky, and the program he or ...

Dicamba Training Begins This Week in Illinois

The first dicamba training class in Illinois begins this afternoon at 3:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, IL, following the private applicator clinic that is also offered there today.  Most of the registrants for this event are farmers, and as of today 80 have signed up for the training.   There are many future opportunities for training listed on the Illinois Dicamba Training website that was developed by IFCA.  For our members, we have training scheduled on all 3 days of the IFCA convention on January 16-18, 2018 at the Peoria Civic Center.  The CCA convention and the University ...

Dicamba Training Certificates

After attending an Illinois dicamba training class, you will receive a certificate from the company that taught the class (i.e. Monsanto, BASF or DowDuPont).  Monsanto is generating certificates via email within a few days of attending the class, and BASF is working diligently to get the certificates out very soon to those who attended a BASF class.     If you attended a class taught by Monsanto and do not receive your certificate within a week or so of attending a class, call their Xtend hotline at 1-844-779-8363 and they can assist you.  If ...

Dicamba Training Classes

Attendance at the first four dicamba training classes has been outstanding.  In just the first four classes offered, over 500 private and commercial applicators have been trained and now comply with the training mandate of the new labels for Engenia, Xtendimax and FeXapan.   Go to www.ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining to see the classes being offered.  The classes on this website are open to anyone to attend.  We also know that many IFCA ag retail members will be holding internal training classes for their employees or farmer customers and that is also encouraged.  When scheduling or ...

Dicamba Training in Illinois - Coming Soon

The new labels for Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan have been accepted for use in Illinois with no additional restrictions.  The major changes regarding use of these products on soybeans are:   1.  The products are Restricted Use Pesticides 2.  The application parameters are different including wind speed restrictions and do not spray restrictions 3.  A record of application, including 20 items, must be kept on all applications 4.  All applicators of the product must receive dicamba specific training   IFCA has been working with the IL Dept of Ag and our fellow ag groups to organize dicamba training opportunities for ...

Dicamba Training Today in Utica and More Classes Posted

Today, Dec 4, there is a diamba training class following the private applicator clinic in Utica, IL at Celebrations 150.  The class runs from 3-4:30 pm.  IFCA would like to thank BASF for providing a trainer; we worked with UI and IDA to coordinate training events at all the upcoming private applicator clinics.     To see the list of available classroom training events, go to the IFCA Dicamba Training website.  Anyone can attend these classes free of charge, and there is no exam.   Please help spread the word.  Many applicators incorrectly believe that last year's ...

Dicamba Training: Classes and On-Line Training

Classroom training is well underway for the upcoming dicamba application season.  On-line training modules are also now available from BASF and Bayer.  You can attend any class or take any of the on-line training programs in order to receive a 2020 dicamba application training certificate.  To see the list of upcoming classroom events and to find the links to on-line training programs click on IFCA's Illinois Dicamba Training Website.  Links to the on-line training are featured in the "Home" section of the website.  

Dicamba Update

As of today, June 27, the Illinois Department of Agriculture continues to field many calls on alledged dicamba misuse, and is up to 66 formal complaints to be investigated by the department.  Total pesticide misuse complaints in both ag and lawncare have now exceeded 160 (a "normal" year used to be around 110 total complaints).  The number of official dicamba complaints have doubled in the last few days.  At this point the majority of the complaints are stemming from central and east-central Illinois where symptoms in non-dicamba soybeans are evident as are symptoms in other plants, although the majority ...

Dicamba Update

As of today, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reports that they have received a total of 211 formal pesticide related complaints since January 2019.  Of those 211 complaints, 171 are agricultural related, and 59 of the 171 ag complaints are dicamba related.  However, today is IDA is processing an additional 20 dicamba-related complaints that came in over the weekend.  To put this in perspective, prior to advent of dicamba application on soybean, the number of agriculture pesticide related complaints rarely exceeded 100-120 complaints per year.     There have been a few unofficial reports of applicators suspected of applying dicamba after the July 15 ...

Dicamba Update

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is still dealing with a record setting number of pesticide misuse complaints.  There are 853 total ag related complaints, 648 of which are attributed to suspected dicamba symptoms (mostly in non DT soybeans but also in other plants).     IFCA would like to thank all of our retail members who completed the IFCA 2019 dicamba use survey--we had 238 responses, more than double the response rate of our surveys in 2017 and 2018.  The information that our commercial applicator members provided will help the IFCA Board develop policy on dicamba use in 2020.  The discussions with our fellow ...

Dicamba Update

As of this week, the number of formal pesticide misuse complaints filed with the IL Dept of Ag has exceeded 900. Of the 900 complaints, 893 are attributed to agricultural pesticides and of the 893 ag related complaints, 708 are attributed to dicamba.  One interesting fact that IFCA learned is that 488 individuals filed the dicamba complaints this year, and only 46 of those had also filed a complaint last year.  By far, those who filed a complaint this year had never before done so, and it is still mostly farmers who are filing the complaints reporting dicamba symptomology in their non DT soybean fields.&...

Dicamba Update

The IL Dept of Ag reports they have received 125 pesticide misuse complaints attributed to dicamba applications this season.  Some of these complaints are directed at application that occurred after the June 25 cut-off date in Illinois.  USEPA has indicated they hope to reach a decision soon on the registration of the 4 dicamba products that have been approved in the past for over the top applications on soybean.  Ag groups are urging a decision on the labels soon in order for retailers and farmers to plan for the upcoming 2021 season.  Last week environmental groups, including the Prairie Rivers ...

Dicamba Update

Last week the IL Dept of Ag gave an update on the dicamba misuse complaints in 2020.  Here are the highlights:   IDA has received a total of 334 pesticide misuse complaints.  305 of those complaints are agriculture-related.  149 of the 305 ag related complaints were attributed to dicamba. To IDA's knowledge there were no complaints filed that were attributed to over the top use of 2,4-D on Enlist soybeans.   The total number of ag-related complaints (305) is down significantly from 2019, however it is still nearly 3 times higher than the average number of complaints made from the years 1989-2016, when ...

Dicamba Update - IDA Receiving Many Calls

In the last week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture staff has been fielding 40-50 calls a day regarding pesticide misuse, mostly attributed to symptoms in soybeans.  As of today (June 22, 2018) there are 25 formal misuse complaints filed alleging dicamba misuse, and the IDA has sent out dozens of complaint forms for those who are calling in, but who have not yet submitted a signed complaint.  So far, most cases are related to symptoms in soybeans but there are several cases related to injury to trees.  IDA has to complete a full investigation before much can be said about ...

Dicamba Update - Survey Report

IFCA thanks our ag retail members who completed the IFCA Dicamba Management Survey that we made available to our retail members this past month.  We had great response and we've compiled a report illustrating the feedback we received. CLICK HERE to access the report.  Many retailers provided written comments as well as answering the survey questions, which were also very helpful.  We will be sharing this report with the manufacturers of the new dicamba products and with other key stakeholders as we work to determine practical ways to improve this situation.  We also ...

Dicamba Use Pre-Plant & Tips for Successful Use

With field preparation underway, we remind everyone that the use of dicamba in a pre-plant burndown ahead of soybeans must adhere to all the label precautions on the product you are using; not all dicamba products are labeled for use ahead of soybeans.  Even when planting dicamba tolerant soybeans, only Engenia, Xtendimax and FeXapan can be used in an immediate pre-plant situation.  Other dicamba products that can be used have pre-plant precautions on the labels.  We advise our members to help reinforce this message, to ensure that pesticide labels are followed no matter what product is ...

Dicamba: Next Steps for IFCA

IFCA is utilizing the input of our retail members to determine the next steps to enhance the stewardship of this technology and improve the use of dicamba next year in Illinois.  One of those principles is to educate everyone who purchases a bag of Xtend soybeans and encourage a good plan of action as to where they are planted to successfully co-exist with sensitive soybeans and other sensitive crops.  With our own members, we will work to define principles of tank cleanout and application timings and methods that can also ensure a more successful experience for the ...

Don Schafer - Chebanse Ag

We just learned today that Don Schafer, owner of Chebanse Ag Service in Chebanse, IL passed away.  Don had been battling cancer and doing very well, but recently he became ill.  We don't have any details on his arrangements yet, but when we have them we will share the information with our members.   Don was a long standing member of both IFCA and the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois.  He was much beloved in our industries--a great businessman and a great man, all the time.  One can't think of Don without smiling.&...

Don’t Forget to Post OSHA Form 300A

OSHA requires you to complete and post in your workplace OSHA form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries & Illnesses) every year.  The notice must be displayed from February 1 to April 30 of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are generally posted.  Employers must post OSHA Form 300A even if they had no recordable injuries or illnesses.   Click here to access the 300A form along with the instructions. 

DOT Drug Testing Clearinghouse in Effect

Clearinghouse Set to Open January 6 - Are You Ready? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is set to become operational on January 6, 2020.  Employers who use CDL drivers in safety-sensitive functions, such as operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), are required to register in the Clearinghouse for the purpose of conducting pre-employment queries and annual queries. Employers that use a consortia or third-party administrator (C/TPA) to manage their drug and alcohol testing program will need to designate them in their account.  Employers also need to purchase a query plan that will enable ...

DOT Updates

If you have a CDL and received a cancellation letter from the Secretary of State because you were unable to renew your medical card, you can continue to operate at this time as part of an essential industry.  However, as more doctor offices are opening up, you should try to get your medical performed as soon as possible and be ready to get your updated medical to the Secretary of State when their offices open.     The FMCSA has also extended all Hours of Service related exemptions until June 14, 2020.  Click here for the update from FMCSA.  

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Site Crashes

If you employ CDL drivers, and they operate commercial motor vehicles on a public highway, you are required to register in the new Federal Motor Carrier Administration Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse as of January 6, 2020.  The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to conduct and manage pre-employment and annual drug & alcohol queries on your CDL employees.     HOWEVER, we just received word today that FMCSA is having many issues with their Clearinghouse website, which either crashes or is inaccessible.  To see for yourself here is the website:  https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/   Sometimes ...

Electronic Data Logs

We've gotten some questions from our members about the new Electronic Data Logging (EDL) regulation for CDL drivers.     The good news is that over the years, IFCA worked very hard to secure a full exemption from all of the Hours of Service regulations for the transport of ag inputs to and from all distribution points.  We worked with the Illinois legislature, our US congressional delegation, IDOT, the Illinois State Police and other organizations to accomplish this.  So, if you are transporting ammonia, fertilizers, seed, ag chemicals or feed, all of which are agricultural inputs, ...

Electronic Logbooks and Hours of Service

Our industry enjoys a very nice Hours of Service Exemption when we transport agricultural inputs to and from distribution points, within a 150 air mile radius.  The exemption is year-round in Illinois and the150 air miles applies within the state, or when crossing state lines.     The new rules for electronic log books do not apply when you are using the agriculture HOS exemption.  Click here for a fact sheet on the electronic logging rules and how they interact with the HOS exemption.  Bear in mind that fuel deliveries generally do not qualify for the agricultural ...

Emergency Response Procedures

Please take it slow and be safe this fall.  Ammonia nurse tanks should not exceed 25 mph when towed on a public highway.  If you do happen to have an accidental ammonia release, the reportable quantity is 18 gallons or 100 lbs of ammonia.  When it doubt, report the release to the proper authorities within 15 minutes of your knowledge of the release.  If the farmer is in control of the ammonia, they should make the phone calls.  If you determine later that less than 100 lbs was released, you can always send in a supplemental report that an RQ ...

Face Coverings for Ag Retail Employees

FEMA reached out to our national organizations, The Ag Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) last Friday to make us aware of an opportunity to secure facecoverings for essential industries.  FEMA has contracted with the Hanes Company to make the face coverings and ship them directly to ag retail and distribution locations, at no charge to the facilities.  These face coverings do not meet PPE standards, but they are meant to help provide some level of protection for essential employees as described in this CDC Guidance for Essential Industries.     This week, IFCA submitted a ...

Fall Ammonia Application Guidelines

The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) is now in its 7th year, and the projects that NREC has invested in relative to nitrogen management are resulting in a much greater understanding of nitrogen movement in the soil and uptake by the crop.     It has long been a challenge to assure widespread compliance with voluntary standards when it comes to the application of anhydrous ammonia in the fall.  But thanks to extensive research and tracking of nitrogen movement in the soil as well as agronomic response to various nitrogen timing and rate studies, we have a ...

Fall Ammonia Safety Classes

​Fall is just around the corner which means it's time to review the status of your employees' training and be sure that each person who works with ammonia is current on their required competent attendant training.  All employees who handle ammonia, work on ammonia equipment or transport ammonia nurse tanks are required to be have ammonia safety training at least once every three years.  You must attend a course approved by IDA to receive an ammonia training certificate.  This includes employees who work at farmer owned ammonia storage facilities.     IFCA and IDA are partnering ...

Fall Ammonia Safety Schools

The fall ammonia safety schools will begin the week of September 11.  This is your opportunity to get everyone trained and certified if they are working with ammonia risers, storage tanks, nurse tanks and ammonia equipment.  At the ammonia schools, IFCA partners with the IL Dept of Ag so that you also get a review from IDA of recent ammonia incidents or any compliance issues at ammonia storage facilities.  The sharing and discussion of those circumstances helps to improve safety and compliance for everyone involved with anhydrous ammonia.  Please go to www.ifca.com and view our ...

Fall Ammonia Safety Training

IFCA is on track to offer on-line training to anyone needing to renew their Competent Attendant Certificate to handle anhydrous ammonia or work on ammonia equipment this fall.  This training will also fulfill the certification requirement for any new hires.  We plan to have the program ready on September 1.  Click here for a flyer on the on-line program; there will be no classroom events offered this fall.  We hope to return to classroom training for the spring 2021 season, and also in 2021, farmers or any hired person or family member who applies, handles or transports ammonia ...

Fall Ammonia School Registration Open; IL Ammonia Rules in Full Effect

IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag have announced the dates and locations for the fall anhydrous ammonia training courses.  Attendance at this course will enable you to obtain a "Competent Attendant" certificate which is required by the State of Illinois for employees to work around ammonia storage tanks, nurse tanks, and tool bars.  We also encourage farmers to attend as well as other employees who want to improve their knowledge of safety when it comes to anhydrous ammonia.     Click here to be directed to the IFCA website to access the dates and locations ...

Fall Ammonia Schools - One Added Aug 17

Don't put off getting registered for the fall IFCA ammonia safety schools.  The full schedule of classes is available on our website at www.ifca.com, just click on the NH3 School tab on the IFCA hompage to see the dates and locations and to register.  We added an earlybird class on August 17 in Bloomington given the likelihood of an early harvest, to help our members who may be busy with grain in September.  

Fall Ammonia Schools-Early Registration Ends on September 10th

Please visit the IFCA website at www.ifca.com to sign up for the fall anhydrous ammonia safety classes.  The full schedule and on-line registration is easy to view and use on our website, but if you need assistance registering, call Leslie or John at the office at 309.827.2774.   We've also added a late class on October 12 at the Agricenter in Bloomington to accommodate our members who bring on additional employees prior to ammonia season. 

Fall Ammonia Season is Here

IFCA would like to send a BIG THANKS to our members who have diligently and voluntarily held off on applying ammonia until the cooler weather set in.  With near freezing temperatures expected this weekend, the season is now upon us and your stewardship efforts to wait until the "right time" are noticed!       As ammonia application begins, please contact us if we can be of any assistance.  We know everyone strives to have no ammonia releases, but if you do have a release, the person in charge of the product at the ...

Fall Ammonia: Safety Tips and 4R Stewardship

The fall ammonia season is fast approaching.  John Rebholz, IFCA's Director of Safety & Education, prepared the following points regarding safety and compliance as you prepare nurse tanks for transportation and application:   1.  If you still need anhydrous ammonia safety training for new or part-time employees, IFCA offers an online NH3 training certificate that is good for 90 days.  Go to http://nh3.ifca.com/form/   2.  When going from field to field, liquid transfer hose(s) cannot be joined between any nurse tank and any toolbar during transport upon a public right-of-way.   3.  ...

Fall Fertilizer Season

Here we are in October and thoughts are beginning to turn to fall ammonia season.  This year we received very welcome news from Illinois EPA:  nitrate levels in our rivers and streams have fallen nearly 10% in recent years.  Since we have a goal to reduce nitrogen losses by 15% by 2025, this means we are well on our way, and IEPA credits improved nutrient utilization in the ag sector as a major reason for this improvement.     With this momentum on our side, please do all you can to continue to promote best management practices for fall ...

Fall Fertilizer Stewardship

With good soil conditions and cool soil temperatures, the anhydrous ammonia application season is in full swing.  Please be sure to use N-Serve with all fall applied ammonia; this is part of the IFCA 4R Code of Practice.  This past year, the water supplies had very low levels of nitrate overall, so keep up the good work on fertilizer stewardship, and follow the MRTN for nitrogen rates.  IFCA just released our Fall 2017 Keep it 4R Crop Report, which we send to all nutrient stakeholders to keep them updated on our efforts.  To see the newsletter ...

Fall NH3 Schools - Early Class Added in August

Please visit the IFCA website at www.ifca.com to sign up for the fall anhydrous ammonia safety classes.  The full schedule and on-line registration is easy to view and use on our website, but if you need assistance registering, call Leslie or John at the office at 309.827.2774.  We've added an early class on August 17 at the Agricenter in Bloomington to accommodate our members who also have busy grain activities since harvest looks like it might be early this year.  Employees who are required to load or apply ammonia,  or work on NH3 tool bars ...

Families First Coronavirus Response Act for Small Businesses

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) goes into effect tomorrow, April 1, 2020.  Employers with less than 500 employees are covered by this Act.  It provides guidelines and financial assistance for employers who need to allow employees to be absent from work to care for children home from school, to care for sick family members, who are ill themselves, etc. due to the impacts of COVID-19.       Please go to www.ifca.com where we have posted several guidance documents and FAQs that explain the FFCRA provisions.  There is also a FFCRA Notice that you must post ...

Farmer Ammonia Training Rules Moving Forward

Ever since the unfortunate ammonia release in April 2019 in Beach Park, IL that resulted in injuries to emergency responders and citizens, IFCA has been working closely with the IL Dept of Ag, IL Farm Bureau and the Corn and Soybean Associations to develop rules that will require farmers and farm employees or family members who transport, apply or work on ammonia equipment to be trained and certified on the safe handling of ammonia and required emergency response actions.  After many meetings and discussions, this workgroup developed agreed-upon regulatory language and a process in which to provide high quality on-line ...

Feb 9 Spring 2018 Nitrogen Webinar - Register Today

In our on-going efforts to reduce nutrient losses, IFCA partners with NREC and the University of Illinois to facilitate research on the 4Rs, including studying various nitrogen rates, timing and treatments and how they perform in terms of crop utilization and impact on water quality.  The goal is to maximize nutrient utilization and minimize loss of nutrients to water.  This program is very successful and NREC is dedicated to delivering the research results to ag retailers, crop advisers and farmers to influence sound nutrient management decisions in the coming crop year.     On February 9, 2018 at 10:30 am ...

Fertilizer Product Registration

If your company name & address appears on a fertilizer invoice or delivery ticket, the Illinois Fertilizer Act requires you to register each individual fertilizer grade at $20 per product.  This is not a new requirement, but IDA is following up with retailers as they do fertilizer sampling, to ensure you have your products properly registered.  Even though you are not changing the guarantee or altering the product from the manufacturer or distributor, registration is still required if your company name appears on label or invoice when the product is distributed to the farmer.  This only applies to ...

Field Crop Clinics

This week, USEPA sent additional guidance to the State Departments of Agriculture, emphasizing that anyone who applies or mixes dicamba for application to soybean MUST be a certified applicator and no one can perform these activites under the supervision of a certified applicator--you must be a certified applicator.     To be a certified applicator in Illinois to apply dicamba in the commercial sector, you must take and pass both the General Standards Exam and the Field Crop Exam.  We applaud our member's dedication to getting their spray operators certified as applicators and this is evident in ...

Field Crop Training & Testing in Champaign Next Week

The last opportunity to attend training for the field crop exam is February 11 at the Illinois Conference Center in Champaign.  The February 7 class in Jacksonville is full.  Please go to https://web.extension.illinois.edu/psep/index.php to register for the class.  Our industry has done a tremedous job of getting their operators licensed as applicators to apply dicamba to soybean in 2019.  If you have any questions about the licensing or dicamba training requirements, please call our office.  To see upcoming dicamba training events click here.  

Final Month for Dicamba Training & Pesticide Misuse Update

With the weather starting to change, we know spring is just right around the corner.  That means spray season is coming quickly.  IFCA has been working very hard to make sure dicamba application in 2018 is an improvement over last year.  As of last week, the Illinois training classes facilitated by IFCA with trainers from BASF, Monsanto and Corteva (fomerly DowDuPont) have provided certified training to over 9,000 private and commercial applicators and operators.  March is the final month for classroom training so please help spread the word that the number of available classroom opportunities is ...

Fixed and Portable Scales Back in Operation

As a sure sign that life is slowly returning to normal, the Illinois State Police announced that fixed and portable scales are back into operation.  IFCA would like to thank the State Police for their assistance these past several months, they were extremely practical and pragmatic on enforcement issues and very helpful to the IFCA staff when we asked for their assistance on interpretations and other issues that impact our members.  To see the announcement on the return of fixed and portable scale operations, provided to us by our friends at the Midwest Truckers Association, click here.  

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Up and Running

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol encountered a rough start due to a system overload and technical issues when it was initially launched in early January, although seems to be running smoother now.  The clearinghouse is a secure online database that gives employers real time information about CDL holder’s drug and alcohol program violations.  As an employer of CDL drivers, make sure you have registered in the clearinghouse and have a process in place for conducting pre-employment queries prior to using a CDL driver.  Queries are required prior to employment and annually thereafter.  CDL drivers will ...

Foursomes Available for IFCA Golf Outings

Every year IFCA hosts two golf outings to help support the IFCA Scholarship fund. Given everything that has taken place in 2020, we are more than excited to host these events and visit personally with our members, all while enjoying a nice round of golf.   This year we will be hosting both golf outings at two new locations. This Thursday, July 30, we will be at the Pontiac Elk’s Lodge. The following Thursday, August 6, we will travel down to the Edgewood Golf Club in Auburn, IL. Both outings will start with lunch at 11:00 followed by a shotgun start at 12:00. ...

Frozen, Snow Covered Soils & the 4Rs

With snow blanketing much of Illinois, temperatures at freezing and winter officially beginning this Saturday, it is becoming more problematic to spread nutrients with the assurance that it is the "right time" to do so.      In the past decade, a constantly monitored river in east-central Illinois has revealed spikes in dissolved reactive phosphorus following snow-melt or major rain events on frozen soil.  The most recent of these events occurred last year in early March.  To see the slide of phosphorus spikes in the river monitoring chart, including the spike on March 10 last ...

Fuel Taxes Take Effect July 1

On July 1, the fuel taxes outlined in the state budget go into effect.  The gasoline tax will increase by 19 cents and diesel by 24 cents.  On a related note, IFCA is working with the Governor's office to expedite his signature on HB 2669 which removes the registration and license requirements for fertilizer trailers and self-propelled implements of husbandry.  While not many floaters or sprayers are registered, some desiring to be laden with load on the highway are, and the license plate then requires you to burn clear, taxable diesel fuel in these vehicles.  Once the bill is ...

Get Ready for On-Line Training & Testing for NH3, Pesticide Licenses

To help keep essential ag industry employees healthy and to comply with statewide COVID management policies, we are moving the fall ammonia competent attendant training classes to an on-line program only.  IFCA is working with the Dept of Ag to have the program ready by September 1, 2020.  Click here to see information on how the on-line NH3 training and certification program will work.     For pesticide license training and testing, IDA and the UI are working to make on-line training and testing possible this fall.  They are hopeful they can also offer opportunities for in-person testing ...

Golf Outings Dates and Locations Set for 2020

Even though the weather is still cold, it’s getting closer to dusting your golf clubs and stocking up on golf balls.  IFCA has scheduled our summer scholarship golf outings and picked two new locations for them.  We are excited to announce the golf outings will be in Pontiac and Auburn, IL.  Put together your foursomes now so when it’s time to register you will be all set.  The dates and locations are as follows, starting at 11 am with lunch and tee off at noon.     July 30 – Pontiac Elk’...

Good News on Soil Nitrate Levels

Thanks to NREC funded research, we know what is going on in the soil with nitrogen, and today's Bulletin from the University of Illinois is good news for both agriculture and the environment.  The report entitled "Positive Signs for Nitrogen" is available here.  What Dr. Nafziger @ UI is seeing in his research sites also mirrors what we are seeing in the NREC funded N-WATCH sites being utilized by our IFCA members.  Please discuss this latest news with your customers before adding "extra" nitrogen to the system.  Ag retailers and CCAs are ...

Gov. Pritzker Appoints Jerry Costello II to Lead the Illinois Department of Agriculture

This afternoon Gov. Pritzker appointed Jerry Costello II as the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture pending Senate approval.  Click here to read the press release.    IFCA has a long and positive working relationship with Jerry over the years.  He has served in he served in the Illinois House, and also as the Chairman of the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee.  We look forward to working with Jerry in the coming years on all the issues that are facing Illinois agriculture.

Graduated Income Tax Proposal Moves to IL House

This week the Illinois Senate passed legislation to set into motion a graduated income tax for Illinois.  The House of Representatives will now take up the bill.  Many ag groups including IL Farm Bureau are urging opposition to this legislation.  The fact sheet on the legislation and details on how to contact your state representative is here.  If you have questions about this or any other legislative issue please contact KJ Johnson.  

Guidance on Dicamba Symptoms in Soybeans

BASF has provided IFCA with a technical bulletin that explains the nature of dicamba symptoms in soybeans and impact on yield.  We felt that our members would appreciate being able to share this information with your farmer customers who may be reaching out to you for information.  Click here for the guidance document.  It is also available on the IFCA website at www.ifca.com under "In the News."     If a farmer contacts you about dicamba symptoms in soybeans, regardless of whether it was a private or commercial application, we encourage you ...

Hand Sanitizers for Ag Retailers/Distributors

In an effort to keep essential agriculture employees and customers safe and healthy during this pandemic, IFCA was part of an effort with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program to help supply sanitizer to the ag retailers and distributors.  Ethanol plants are transitioning to produce sanitizer, and IFCA helped to coordinate pallet shipments of the sanitizer to help streamline the distribution of the sanitzer to the retail facilities.  The sanitizer comes in one-gallon jugs and will be distributed by Winfield United and GROWMARK/FS as normal input supplies are distributed or ...

Happy Easter

IFCA wishes everyone a happy Easter weekend!  Our offices will be closed on the afternoon of Good Friday.  

Happy Fourth of July!

The IFCA office will be closed on July 3 and 4 to celebrate Independence Day.  Best wishes to you and your families this holiday weekend.  Living in a free country is something to cherish.  

Harry Peterson: A Life Dedicated to the Fertilizer Industry

We were sorry to learn of the passing of Harry Peterson, who died on February 12 at the age of 82.  Harry was born in Viola, Illinois and spent his career in the fertilizer industry in Western Illinois as a self-employed professional.  Peterson-Weaver Associates was how so many in the industry knew Harry, and he served on the IFCA Board of Directors from 1978-1980.  He was always jovial, remembered everyone's name and was one of the leaders in the industry who prospered in the good years as well as the difficult years.  He experienced ...

Hours of Service - Fuel Deliveries

Agriculture enjoys a very nice exemption from Hours of Service when our members deliver ag inputs between distribution points, within a 150 air mile radius of the point of distribution (i.e. terminal to retail, retail to farm, farm to farm).  This applies to any ag input essential in producing a crop and normally we think of this as meaning fertilizers, chemicals and seed.     Delivery of fuel to the farm can ONLY take advantage of the Ag Hours of Service Exemption if the fuel delivery driver is delivering the product exclusively to farms, for on-farm use.&...

How Much Nitrogen is Gone?

The reason IFCA led the way to create NREC back in 2012 (5 years ago already!) for was the very reason we write this bulletin.  To establish timely, science based, Illinois on-farm research to guide our nutrient stewardship efforts and meet the goals of improving nutrient utilization and minimizing environmental impact.  Thank you to all of the IFCA members who support NREC by explaining the value of this program to your farmer customers and remitting the fertilizer tonnage assessments that make the program possible.      Today, Dr. Emerson Nafziger at the University of Illinois Dept of ...

IDA Dicamba Postcards and IFCA Label Summary

This week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is mailing a postcard to every licensed private and commercial applicator, and every licensed pesticide dealer, to officially inform them of the new label requirements for using Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan on soybean in Illinois in 2019.  A violation of these new label provisions, including the June 30, 2019 application cut-off date, will be considered a violation of the Illinois Pesticide Act with serious repercussions that may include monetary penalty or revocation of the applicator's license.     IFCA has created a summary document that lists the new label provisions, details on application ...

IDA Inspectors - Like a Family

We were very sorry to learn this week that Steve Smothers, an ammonia/fertilizer/seed/feed inspector in Western Illinois, passed away at the age of 64.  Steve's obituary is here.  We send our condolences to his wife and family and appreciate his work and dedication to the ag industry.       Also recently, John Zook who performed ammonia/fertilizer/seed/feed inspections in Central Illinois retired from IDA and we wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.  Tom Waller, who was the man behind the scenes in all the fertilizer, soil amendment and ...

IDOA Pesticde Misuse Complaint Update & Warning Letters

As of yesterday, the IL Dept of Ag has received a total of 517 pesticide misuse cases in 2018.   Of the 517, 469 are agriculture related:  dicamba complaints make up 328 of the 469 ag related cases.  There are 48 cases attributed to lawncare.     The number of complaints officially filed with IDA vastly exceeds any other year on record, going back to the beginning of the misuse reporting system.  In an average year, IDA fields 110-130 misuse reports, and that includes pesticide use in both lawn care and agriculture.  The leadership at IFCA is dedicated to working with all stakeholders ...

IFCA & ARA addressing Lights on Ammonia Trailers

The Illinois Vehicle Code does not require either lights or brakes on agricultural implements of husbandry trailers including ammonia nurse wagons.  However, a recent change in federal law requires manufacturers of ag trailers to include lights on any trailer manufactured after June 2017.  We are already seeing retailers have many issues with lights on new nurse tank trailers with obvious maintenance issues that occur when these trailers are used in the field of application, and with the inability to hook the light terminals up to older toolbars or when nurse tanks are pulled in combinations.     IFCA has ...

IFCA & IDA Ammonia Training Classes Start Soon

Once every three years, everyone who works in our industry and is involved in making or breaking any ammonia connections, either at the storage tank, nurse tank or toolbars, must be certified by IDA as a competent attendant.  IFCA and IDA are offering many classes beginning later this month to provide this certification training.  To see the list of classes and to register on-line, click here.  You can also call our office to register.     There are several important compliance requirements for Illinois ammonia facilities and nurse tanks that go into effect on December 31, 2020.  That'...

IFCA 2019 Convention: SAVE THE DATE

The IFCA winter convention will be held January 28-30, 2019 at the Peoria Civic Center.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS ONE WEEK LATER THAN OUR USUAL CONVENTION WEEK.  There was a mix-up years ago on the Civic Center calendar and we had to deal with it, so please make note of the dates. We will start with the CCA session on January 28 and the trade show will be January 29 & 30.   In 2020 the IFCA Convention is January 21-23, returning to our normal week.  Thanks for your understanding!  

IFCA 4R Field Day on September 12

We have a great 4R learning experience planned on September 12 in Central Illinois.  Updates from several NREC funded research projects that encompass phosphorus management, nitrogen management and a review of the key management considerations for those experimenting with cover crops will be featured.  Click here to see the agenda and logistics.  This event is free thanks to several sponsors, and CCA credits will be available in Soil & Water and Nutrient Management.  Space is limited to if you want to secure a spot for the event, please email jeanp@ifca.com; as the date approaches we ...

IFCA Accepting Scholarship Applications

At the IFCA Annual Meeting on January 22, 2020 we will award five $1,000 scholarships to students in either junior college or a four-year university who are studying for a career in the agribusiness sector.  We encourage IFCA members with students in college to submit an application.  Go to www.ifca.com to download the scholarship application. 

IFCA Adds August Ammonia Safety School

Several of our members who also serve the grain industry have expressed a desire for an earlier fall ammonia safety school in order to avoid conflicts with grain harvest.  We have added a class on August 17 at the Agricenter in Bloomington to the current fall schedule of ammonia classes.  You can register on-line for the class, and for any of the fall ammonia classes, by clicking here.  

IFCA Announces Schedule of Spring Ammonia Safety Classes

John Rebholz, IFCA's Director of Safety & Education, has set the schedule for the Spring 2018 anhydrous ammonia safety classes.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture partners with IFCA to provide the training and issue a competent attendant certificate good for three years to anyone who attends.  Persons who work with ammonia and ammonia equipment as part of their job duties are required by law to have this training once every three years, as are farmers who own their own ammonia storage systems.     Click here to be directed to the Ammonia School Registration page.  ...

IFCA Board Election

Every IFCA member should have received the board election ballot in the mail prior to Christmas.  This year we are electing four new members of the IFCA Board:  two retailer representatives, a pesticide manufacturer representative, and an equipment representative.  Ballots are due back to IFCA by January 10 and the new board members will be named at the IFCA annual meeting on January 29, 2019.     To see the IFCA convention program, our exhibitors, and to register for the convention, go to www.ifca.com and click on the "Convention" tab.  

IFCA Board Nominations

IFCA is currently accepting nominations to fill two seats on the IFCA Board.  Carl Kessler with Syngenta and John Musser with Stephenson Service Co. are retiring from the board in January 2020 after serving two full 4-year terms.  The board nomination form was included in your 2019 Fall IFCA newsletter.  Any member of IFCA can nominate a fellow IFCA member to serve on the board.  We are seeking retailers in NW Illinois to fill John's seat and we are seeking any qualified member in any category of membership from any region of the state to fill Carl'...

IFCA Convention - Training Opportunities

The IFCA Convention is January 28-30 at the Peoria Civic Center.  If you need CEUs, we are offering 1.5 in NM, 2.5 in SW, 3.5 in PM, 2 in CM and 3.5 in PD at the educational sessions.  We are also offering Ammonia Training and Field Crop training.    In addition to many training opportunities, we have a great trade show lined up and the Ag-Solve auction on January 29 promises to be another tremendous and fun event for everyone on the trade show floor.  To see the program, exhibitors and to register go to www.ifca.com and click on "...

IFCA Convention Features Regulatory Workshop, CCA Session, Weed Session, Training and Insurance Update

At the IFCA Convention on January 16, we are offering a regulatory workshop from 1:30-3:15 that features experts on several very important compliance topics:   The Illinois State Police will discuss compliance with fuel trailers and other highway transportation rules IEMA will review the Tier 2 reporting requirements and changes in the reporting requirements DHS will review the CFATS rules for ammonia facilities; several IFCA members have been upgraded to a higher security level when they renewed their CFATS this year, and the DHS experts in charge of this program will be there to explain what this means and provide compliance assistance ...

IFCA Convention January 16-18, 2018

Please mark your calendar for the IFCA Convention and Trade Show which is January 16-18, 2018 at the Peoria Civic Center.  Watch for the registration program in mid November; we are going to have a great trade show and slate of education sessions covering all of the current issues in our industry.     In 2019, the IFCA convention dates are slightly different than in the past.  The dates for 2019 will be a week later in the calendar, on January 28-30, 2019 in Peoria.  So please make a note of that as well.  

IFCA Convention Next Week

As is often the case, the IFCA convention coincides with cold weather, but all the more reason to come indoors to the Peoria Civic Center and enjoy warm hospitality at the IFCA convention.  On-line registration is now closed but you can register at the door during the show, which begins on Monday morning with the CCA session all day.  We have more education sessions on Tuesday morning, a full trade show on Tuesday afternoon and the popular Ag Solve Auction also on Tuesday.  The show ends at noon on Wednesday.  To see the schedule, click here.&...

IFCA Convention Presentations Available

Thank you to the 1,000+ plus IFCA members who attended our annual convention last week in Peoria!  You helped make this another successful event for our industry.  The educational programs featured at the convention are now available for download on the IFCA Convention website, click here:  https://ifca.com/convention/presentations   

IFCA Convention Presentations Posted

Thanks to all of our members who attended the IFCA Convention last week in Peoria, we had a very successful event!  Many of you have asked about getting access to the presentations made on nutrient research projects and dicamba management.  Go to www.ifca.com and click on "Convention" then "Presentations" to access the powerpoint slides from the various presentations.  

IFCA Convention: One Month Away!

Please take time to check out the IFCA Convention website here and get registered for the convention.  Your Convention Committee strives to bring you relevant and timely educational sessions, plus we have a great trade show planned, and an awesome silent and live auction to benefit Ag-Solve.  Thanks to the many IFCA members who are contributing items to the auction.  Contact KJ Johnson at our office if you would like to donate an item to the auction. Thank you!    

IFCA Convention: The Governor, the Sierra Club, Increased Attendance!

Thanks to all of the IFCA members and supporters who attended the IFCA convention last week.  We increased our attendance from 2017, with 1,248 attending the 2018 show....THANK YOU!     Highlights of the convention included a personal visit from Governor Bruce Rauner, who spoke at both the Ag-Solve breakfast and the general session on January 17.  He thanked our members for their leadership on the IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and for keeping agriculture a vibrant contributor to the Illinois economy.     Also at the Convention, Illinois Sierra Club members Jack Darin and Cindy Skrukrud, and State ...

IFCA Declares August 2020 MAGIE Virtual Month

Because of ongoing COVID restrictions on large gatherings, IFCA had to make the difficult decision to cancel MAGIE 2020.  To keep the spirit of MAGIE going strong, we’ve asked our exhibitors to create short, fun videos for IFCA to share with you throughout the month of August.  Even through these unique times, the MAGIE exhibitors have continued to give tremendous support to IFCA.  Please check out the MAGIE home page to see a list of exhibitors who voluntarily donated their booth fees back to your Association, so that IFCA can continue our mission to support and ...

IFCA Dicamba Management Survey

This week, IFCA sent a survey to our ag retail members, asking for input on their experience with dicamba use on soybeans.  So far the response rate has been tremendous!  If you are an IFCA ag retail member and did not receive the email asking you to participate in the survey, please call our office at (309) 827-2774 and we will walk you through the process.     The purpose of this survey is to determine the factors and conditions that led to success, as well as potential factors that resulted in challenges keeping these products on target.  ...

IFCA Dicamba Stewardship Poster

IFCA is taking a proactive approach to stewardship on the use of dicamba on soybeans in 2017.  At the IFCA Convention, we will have several sessions on this topic and we will distribute a new poster that we've developed for our members to raise awareness of the "do's and don'ts" to successfully manage this new technology.  To access the poster click here.  IFCA worked with BASF, Monsanto, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Dept of Ag on the development of this stewardship poster.  We will also develop this in a flyer format if ...

IFCA Dicamba Survey Closed, IDA Update on Misuse Complaints

As of last Friday (August 11), the Illinois Department of Ag had 214 official misuse complaints related to suspected symptoms or damage from dicamba application.  It will take some time for IDA to fully investigate all the cases.  IFCA stays in contact with IDA and as we learn of any trends or commonalities from the investigations we will keep you informed.  For our ag retail members, if you have questions about the misuse investigation process, please give us a call and we can assist you.  Bear in mind it can take weeks before IDA makes any final determinations ...

IFCA Dicamba Survey Results

Thank you IFCA retail members for responding to the IFCA dicamba survey; your input is extremely valuable as IFCA engages with registrants, ag groups and state and federal agencies on the future of this herbicide use.  August is a critical month for these discussions and your feedback as professional applicators is essential.  A report of the survey results is available on our website at www.ifca.com or click here to access the report.     We saw an article today written by Dr. Larry Steckel at the University of Tennessee; it reflects upon the role of the ...

IFCA Golf Outing This Thursday- Still Time to Sign Up

The second IFCA scholarship fund golf outing is this Thursday (Aug 2) at the Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor, IL.  We had great turnout at the outing last week in Seneca, thanks everyone!  The weather looks promising for this week as well and there is still time to sign up a foursome or as an individual and be paired with other IFCA members.  Please contact Leslie Forrest if you can join us.  Call 309.827.2774.  Who doesn't need a day out of the office on a nice summer day?

IFCA Golf Outing Tomorrow

IFCA is hosting a golf outing at Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor, Illinois tomorrow (July 30).  We can still fit in some additional golfers if you can join us!  Lunch begins at 11:00 am with shot-gun start at noon.  If you need a break from the stressful spring and summer season, this is your chance!  To register last-minute for the outing, please call our office at 309.827.2774.  

IFCA Golf Outings

Please take the time to join us on July 27 or August 3 for the IFCA Golf Outings.  They are always fun and also support the IFCA scholarship program for students who are studying for a career in our industry.  Go to www.ifca.com to access the registration form or call Leslie to register.  

IFCA Golf Outings

Please join us for a day to relax and have fun at the upcoming IFCA Golf Outings:  July 26 at LaSalle Senica's Oak Ridge Course and August 2 at Windsor Fox Prairie Course.  Both events start at 11 am with lunch and shotgun start at noon.  Click here for the registration form.  

IFCA Golf Outings

We know everyone has been super busy this late spring and summer, but if you happen to be ready to start parking your sprayers for a day or two, come join us at the IFCA Golf outings!  The first outing is July 23 at the Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley, and the second outing is August 30 at Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor.  To see the registration form and details click here.  

IFCA Golf Outings; Join Us for Some Fun & Support Scholarships

The IFCA summer golf outings are a great way to enjoy the company of your peers in the industry and support the IFCA Scholarship Program.  This year the golf outings are July 27 at Senica's Oak Ridge Course in LaSalle and on August 3 at the Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor.  Click here to be directed to our website for the registration form.  

IFCA Has Limited Number of Red Flags for Flagging Sensitive Crops

Thanks to an anonymous donor, IFCA has a limited supply of tall red flags with fiberglass poles, designed to flag fields that contain dicamba sensitive crops.  We are trying to prioritize the distribution of the flags to our members who have customers with organic or non-GMO soybeans, in order to assist farmers and applicators in identifying fields that are not tolerant to dicamba. Along with the flags we developed a simple post card that has instructions on how to use the flags.    If you would like some of these flags and postcards, please call IFCA or email ...

IFCA Honors Bill Whitworth

  Today we ask that everyone take a moment to smile and remember Bill Whitworth, who passed away on Sunday.   Bill embodied the best of the fertilizer industry.  In his role at Potash Corp, he was a salesman extraordinaire but more than that, he was an authentic, reliable, deeply charismatic man who embraced every day with vigor both in his professional career and his personal life.    Bill served on the IFCA board of directors, and his son Paul currently also serves on the Board.  Bill enjoyed his years of retirement but he remained close with ...

IFCA Hosting 4R Field Day on September 12

On September 12, IFCA is helping to organize a 4R Field day to showcase the most recent findings of on-farm 4R work funded by the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC).     Managing phosphorus losses in Illinois will be one of NREC's first publications, and you can get a preview of the research that has resulted in specific practices to reduce phosphorus losses, even from very flat fields.  You will also get to see first hand the work performed at an on-farm site in Piatt County that involves N Rate Trials, cover crops and even a ...

IFCA Legislative Breakfast April 19

If the weather keeps you out of the field on April 19, please feel free to join us for the IFCA Legislative Breakfast at the Sangamo Club in downtown Springfield.  This event is always well attended by legislators and we partner with the Grain & Feed Association and the Seed Trade Association to share agribusiness priorities with our legislators and regulatory officials.  The breakfast begins at 7:30 am.  If you would like to attend, please send KJ Johnson an email at kj@ifca.com.  

IFCA Legislative Breakfast February 15

Each year, IFCA, the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois and the IL Seed Trade Association host a legislative breakfast where we share the agribusiness industry's legislative priorities with legislators and agency officials.  A grant from CropLife America helps to support this breakfast (thank you CLA)!   If you would like to attend the legislative breakfast on February 15 at 7:00 am at the Sangamo Club in Springfield as a member of the IFCA, please contact Leslie Forrest at 309.827.2774 and RSVP.  Space is limited but we'd love to have a great showing from our IFCA membership.  

IFCA Legislative Breakfast on Feb 15 Postponed

The Illinois legislature is often unpredictable and this week that was true, as the House cancelled their weekly session early and legislators went back to their home districts.  Thus, IFCA is postponing our Legislative Breakfast which was scheduled on the morning of February 15 at the Sangamo Club in Springfield.  We will re-book the event in April, and will let you know the new date.  Thanks for your understanding!  

IFCA Legislative Committee

With a new Governor and lots of new members of the Illinois legislature, IFCA has several legislative initiatives in mind as well as issues that we are concerned about pertaining to laws that can help or harm our members.  KJ Johnson is IFCA's Director of Government Relations and will be holding an upcoming IFCA Legislative Committee meeting soon to go over IFCA legislative initiatives.     Any member of the IFCA can serve on the legislative committee.  If you are interested in being on the committee, please email KJ at kj@ifca.com or call ...

IFCA Membership & Spring Newsletter

You should have received the annual IFCA dues renewal information in the mail, as well as the IFCA Spring 2018 newsletter.  Thanks to everyone for renewing your membership in the IFCA and keeping our Association strong and effective for the industry we love.  To see a digital version of the IFCA Spring newsletter which includes many helpful compliance reminders and industry updates, click here or go to www.ifca.com where the newsletter is also posted.  

IFCA Partners with Agrible on 4R Metrics

IFCA has partnered with Agrible to develop an on-line platform for IFCA ag retail members to report progress on the 4Rs on custom-applied acres in Illinois.  The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS) has definitive benchmarks for progress on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus losses by the year 2025.  Therefore, we have to establish a method to illustrate the progress that agriculture is making in our voluntary efforts to use the right source, right rate, right time and right place for nutrients in Illinois.  IFCA is eager to lead in this effort and be able to illustrate the number ...

IFCA Remembers Dave Junge

We were so saddened this week to learn of the passing of Dave Junge, the creator and owner of Junge Control.  Dave was battling pancreatic cancer; he was only 62.     We remember Dave not just for the innovation and improvements that he brought to our industry, but for his optimism, his great smile and laugh, and his passion for agriculture.  He never missed a MAGIE show or IFCA convention, and that was just in Illinois--he was a presence at industry events throughout the country, for so many years.  We were all happy for Dave when ...

IFCA Remembers Dennis McTaggart

Dennis McTaggart of Champaign, IL passed away Tuesday at the age of 65.  Dennis was the co-owner of Farmers Ag Service in Gifford and Royal, IL since 1983.  Dennis was an IFCA member and had a compassion for working in the Ag retail business.  Click here for his obituary  IFCA would like to send our condolences to his wife Carol.

IFCA Remembers Don Van Lyssel

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of IFCA member Don Van Lyssel.  Don passed away suddenly this past Saturday.     Don dedicated his career to the agribusiness industry and was a very active member of the IFCA, serving on our Convention Committee for many years.  He shared his ideas freely and was very creative, particulary when it came to developing our convention themes.  Don was a wealth of knowledge and knew so many people; he always had time to help you no matter what you needed.     Don ...

IFCA Remembers John Buerk

This week our industry lost a wonderful man, John Buerk.  John worked for 38 years for the Harbrand family of companies and lived in Pana, Illinois.  John lost a short and sudden battle with cancer on May 12.  We will miss his warm smile and his love for the fertilizer industry.  John was 84.  His obituary is here.  Please keep his wife, Carolyn, and his children and grandchildren in your prayers.  We extend our condolences as well to his employee family in the Harbrand group and all those in our industry who worked with John for ...

IFCA Remembers Wally Furrow

Wally Furrow of El Paso, IL passed away last Saturday at the age of 86.  Wally had a stellar career in Illinois agriculture and was active in many agricultural endeavors.  He was the owner of Sun Ag, Furrow Winery and also Furrow Trucking.  He served in the 1990's as the State Director of USDA Rural Development.  Wally was involved in both the IFCA and the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.  He served not only the ag industry but also his country--he was a US Army Veteran, serving in the 82nd Airborne during the Korean War.&...

IFCA Scholarship Application

At the IFCA annual meeting on January 29, 2019 in Peoria we will award five $1,000 scholarships to 4-year or Jr College students who are pursuing their education for a career in our industry.  The scholarship applications are posted on our home page at www.ifca.com and can be downloaded in either Word or PDF.  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 15, 2018.  

IFCA Scholarship Golf Outings

Great news!  IFCA will still host two annual golf outings this summer and we have moved them to different locations to keep things interesting.  After such a crazy and unpredictable year, it’s time to take a little break, grab your clubs and a group of friends/coworkers and help support future ag leaders.  By participating in the golf outing your donation makes it possible for IFCA to award five $1,000 scholarships annually to students studying agriculture.    The first golf outing is on July 30th in Pontiac at the Pontiac Elk’s Golf Course; ...

IFCA Spring Keep it 4R Crop Report & 2017 N Rate Trials

IFCA works in partnership NREC, the universities and with local partners on water quality programs.  This year we are assisting NREC with five projects, all of which are research oriented and look to determine the most effective and economically viable methods to reduce nutrient losses to water, through 4R practices and with cover crops.  To see the Spring 2018 4R update from IFCA click here.  We share these reports with all nutrient stakeholders.  So far this spring, water quality in the major lakes including Springfield, Decatur, Vermilion and Bloomington has been very good, but April-June are ...

IFCA Summer Newsletter

IFCA's Summer 2020 Newsletter is available now and features the following topics:   1.  Update on the 2020 pesticide misuse complaints as of July 6, plus the final tally on 2019 investigations 2.  Explanation of the forthcoming farmer anhydrous ammonia safety training requirement coming soon 3.  IFCA 4R report including summary of nitrate and atrazine levels in Lake Springfield in 2020 4.  IFCA Events:  MAGIE's silver lining thanks to exhibitors and IFCA Golf Outing registration underway 5.  Reminder on ammonia facility upgrades needed by end of 2020 6. Legislative update, Chairman's report and President's report 7.  IFCA member spotlight:  Pat Hodges ...

IFCA Welcomes John Rebholz as Director of Safety & Education

IFCA is very happy to announce that John Rebholz has joined our staff as Director of Safety and Education Programs.  John previously worked for the Asmark Institute as their Ammonia Technician and Nurse Tank Inspection Program instructor; prior to that he enjoyed a long career as an inspector with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  While at Asmark John also became well versed on OSHA regulations that impact agrichemical facilities and he will continue to teach the ammonia courses for Asmark.  If you have any questions about regulations please call John, and if you would like him to ...

IFCA's Legislative Breakfast is Now April 19

Due to calendar changes by the Illinois General Assembly, IFCA had to reschedule the IFCA Ag Legislative Breakfast.   The new date will be April 19th at the Sangamo Club in Springfield.  Breakfast will start at 7:15 am and a short legislative discussion will start at 7:45 am.  We apologize for having to reschedule this event but this sometimes happen trying to work around the Illinois General Assembly’s schedule. The IFCA Legislative Breakfast is a great chance to meet your state legislators and visit in an informal atmosphere.  ice be heard.   If ...

IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Progress Report

This week, Illinois EPA and the Illinois Dept of Ag released a Biennial Report that outlines the state of water quality in Illinois, the progress being made on implementation of the 2015 Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, and the challenges that remain in our goals to reduce N and P losses to water in Illinois.     IFCA joined with Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Sierra Club and the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies on a joint press release that highlights major findings in the report.  The on-going collaboration of agriculture, environmental groups, wastewater plants and the state agencies ...

Illinois Continues to Lead in 4R NMS; Sign Up Today to Take the Exam

At last week's 4R Summit in Minneapolis, IFCA was proud to be in the audience when Illinois was featured as the state with the most 4R Nutrient Management Specialists (4R NMS):  62 in all.  The entire USA has 269 Certified Crop Advisers with the 4R NMS designation; the state closest to Illinois is Iowa with 32 4R NMS.  We are more than double any other state which truly signifies that we take the 4Rs seriously.  On behalf of IFCA, we want you to know that environmental groups, IEPA and water suppliers all view the CCA program ...

Illinois Has Two More 4R Advocates

This is the sixth year of The Fertilizer Institute's 4R Advocate Program, and Illinois continues to be well represented with 4R Advocates.  This year, two IFCA members and their farmer customer will join the list of advocates, and attend the 2017 Commodity Classic to represent the 4R effort.  The winners from Illinois this year are: Jay Huebener of CHS in Shipman, Illinois and his customer Kyle Braase of Edwardsville. Adam Dexter of West Central FS in Williamsfield IL and his customer Grant Strom of Brimfield. Congratulations guys and thank you for leadership on the 4Rs!  

Illinois Issues Guidance for Reopening Businesses

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity released detailed guidance on how businesses may begin to reopen once the regions of the state reach "Phase 3" of the Restore Illinois plan.  To see the detailed guidance and procedures the State is asking businesses to follow for various sectors of the economy (offices, restaurants, salons, etc) click here.  Phase 3 is expected to begin on June 1 for all regions of the state.     Reminder:  As an essential industry, agriculture businesses may continue to follow the CDC guidance for essential workers, which differs from the State of ...

Illinois Legislature Eyeing Ag Sales Tax Exemptions

It may not come as a surprise in a state with 11 billion dollars in unpaid bills, but once again legislation has been introduced to eliminate many sales tax exemptions, including the sales tax exemption for farm chemicals and ag machinery.  IFCA is watching this closely and we have talked to legislators about the value of these exemptions and why they exist.  Right now we are monitoring this issue to see how it develops, and if and when a call to action is in order, we will let our members know.  If you have questions please contact ...

Illinois Legislature Winds Down

KJ Johnson has been actively representing IFCA at the state capitol this spring.  As the session winds down with possible adjournment this weekend, most of the discussion has been centered around the state budget and the debate over making the temporary income and corporate tax increase permanent.  At this point, it appears that a vote on the tax issue will be delayed until the fall Veto session.  The state budget includes $1 billion in spending for roads and bridges.     With regard to issues that directly impact IFCA members, IFCA had a successful year at the Captiol. &...

Illinois MRTN Site is Updated with New Map & Data

A significant part of the IFCA Keep it 4R Crop Program is our work with retailers, farmers and the University of Illinois to conduct nitrogen rate trials and ensure the Illinois nitrogen recommendation system (MRTN) is current.  The first activity listed in the IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy to reduce nitrogen losses is to ensure that farmers are using the MRTN to determine their nitrogen rate.   This week, the Illinois MRTN was updated with data from 2016 N rate trials, and a new Illinois map is featured on the site.  The map also delineates the Lake Springfield Watershed (...

Illinois Pesticide License Renewals

Two years ago, IFCA supported legislation that eliminated the annual renewal requirement for pesticide applicator and operator licenses.  Instead, once you pass your certification exam, you will get a 3 year license and pay $180 instead of having to do renewal paperwork every year and paying 1/3 of that fee.     It does take a little while to transition everyone to the 3 year license depending on when you took your general standards and other license categories.  When you get your renewals this year, you may notice that some in your company will pay a different fee than others or have ...

Illinois River Closure in 2020 Will Impact Grain & Fertilizer

The bad news is that many locks and dams in Illinois are in need of serious repair.  The good news is that there is a plan to get this done, finally!  The bad news is that in order to truly repair the locks, the US Army Corps of Engineers is going to have to shut down the Illinois River From July 1 through October 30, 2020 2020 in order to complete significant repairs to many of the locks.  During that time period there will be a full closure of the locks at LaGrange, Starved Rock, Peoria and Marseilles.  The ultimate ...

Illinois Unemployment System Data Breach

In the process of revamping the State's unemployment insurance website to handle the increase in unemployment claims due to coronavirus, the State's website experienced a data breach in which approximately 32,000 people's names, social security numbers and addresses were made accessible.    At least one IFCA member reported receiving a letter this week from the IL Dept of Employment Security (IDES) notifying them of someone claiming unemployment on their business, even though the person named in the letter had not filed unemployment and was not unemployed.  Please be aware that this databreach can impact employers of ...

Important Safety Reminders

Please keep in mind, if you hire part time employees or growers to custom apply anhydrous ammonia on behalf of your business, they are required to complete anhydrous ammonia safety training.  IFCA offers a 90-day training certificate that would satisfy the requirement of a competent attendant, at least temporarily.  You can access this training by clicking on attached link:  http://nh3.ifca.com/form/   If you are planning customer meetings this winter, consider incorporating anhydrous ammonia safety training into your meetings.  IFCA is happy to assist with grower training; our members who have offered ...

Indiana Dicamba Training Offered

Thanks to IFCA's great working relationship with Purdue University and the Office of the State Chemist in Indiana, Purdue University has offered to teach several dicamba training classes along the Illinois/Indiana border to help Illinois applicators get their dicamba training certificates for both Indiana and Illinois, all by taking just one class.  The Illinois Department of Agriculture recognizes other state-approved classroom dicamba training programs as also meeting the requirements in Illinois, therefore the class taught by Purdue will enable applicators who apply in both states to get their required training to use dicamba on soybeans in 2018.  ...

InfoAg Offers Free CEU Opportunities

With so many industry meetings being cancelled, it may be a challenge for Certified Crop Advisors to find opportunities for CEUs.  Next week the InfoAg program is hosting several virtual CEU opportunities free of charge.  To see the listing of topics and speakers, click here.  The first session is July 28.  IFCA thanks The Fertilizer Institute and the InfoAg team for making these opportunities available!  

Invite to IFCA, GFAI, and ISTA Annual Legislative Breakfast on March 4th at the Sangamo Club in Springfield

Just a friendly reminder that IFCA, GFAI and ISTA annual legislative breakfast is March 4th(next Wednesday), 8:15am breakfast and 8:45am discussion, at the Sangamo Club in Springfield.  Click Here to see the invite.  Meet local legislators and hear IFCA discuss issues pertaining to the needs of ag inputs industry.  All IFCA members are welcome to come.  Please RVSP leslief@ifca.com if you would like to come.  See everyone next Wednesday!    

Iowa Nutrient Lawsuit Dismissed; IL Still has 2025 N & P Reduction Goals

Last week a federal judge in the Northern District of Iowa dismissed the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against three Iowa drainage districts; the DMWW has sought remedy through the courts for the regulation of water from agricultural drainage, specifically nitrogen levels in the water.     This is very welcome news.  The lawsuit, had it prevailed, would have set the stage for potential regulation of drainage tile as a point source of pollution, possibly leading to permit regulations for tile drainage.  A sigh of relief is in order, but we should follow that breath of relief with ...

Iowa Nutrient Lawsuit Ruling: What it is and What it isn't

There's been much talk about the Iowa Supreme Court ruling last week that ruled in favor of agricultural interests on a portion of the Des Moines Waterworks lawsuit.  As IFCA has been out making presentations on the 4Rs and nutrient stewardship, we've been surprised to find out that many believe that this lawsuit is now over and the case is closed with agriculture prevailing. That is only part of the story, this case is still on-going.       The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the Des Moines Waterworks (DMWW) cannot collect damages from the drainage ...

Is it the Right Time for Fall N?

With the recent cool temperatures, combined with memories of a miserable fall application season last year, many retailers are asking about the start date for fall ammonia applications.  IFCA began posting the previous day's 4 inch soil temp at noon on our homepage at www.ifca.com.     Last year, IFCA worked in concert with the University of Illinois to provide guidance on the appropriate timing for fall applied nitrogen.  Via a Bulletin from Dr. Nafziger, last year's start date was October 24.  And last year, IFCA's 4R metrics survey of our retail members revealed ...

Items of Interest

NH3 Emergency Response Wallet Cards   If you have a reportable quantity (RQ) release of anhydrous ammonia equal to or greater than 18 gallons/100 pounds, you have 15 minutes of knowledge of the release to contact the National Response Center, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, your LEPC and local emergency responders (fire department, police). Every year at both spring and fall NH3 safety schools IFCA and the DOA have provided “wallet cards” to attendees. These cards list all of the emergency contact numbers mentioned above (a blank space is provided for you to write down your local LEPC number). ...

Items of Interest

Pesticide Container Recycling & Unwanted Pesticides Disposal   IDA is again coordinating the annual pesticide container recycling program.  They will accept clean, triple rinsed containers and will also accept clean, cut-up minibulk containers.  BUT you must call IDA ahead of time if you plan to take minibulk containers to the collection sites.  Please contact Rick Severns at IDA at 217-558-4074 to inform him of what type and how many mini-bulk containers you would like to recycle.  The first collection is August 16 in Morgan County.  To see the list of all the collection sites ...

Items of Interest:

BASF Hosting Additional Dicamba-Specific Webinar Training   As in-classroom, label-required dicamba training wraps up and the new growing season approaches, you may find that yourself or one of your employees still has not gone through training. With this thought in mind, BASF has scheduled three additional dicamba-specific webinar trainings for those who have not yet attended training. The link to the webinars as well as the dates and times of the trainings are listed below:   Thursday, April 18th at 8:00am Monday, April 22nd at 3:00pm Monday, May 6th at 9:00am   https://www.engeniastewardship.com/#/...

Join us at the 4R Meeting December 12

This Thursday, December 12, IFCA is hosting a 4R meeting to bring to our members the latest developments on Illinois based 4R research as well as how our efforts have influenced the nitrate and phosphorus levels in Illinois rivers and streams.  Thanks to our sponsors, there is no charge to attend this event at the Asmark Agricenter from 8:30 to 1:30 pm and we are offering 2 CEUs in Soil & Water and 1.5 CEUs in Nutrient Management.  To see the agenda click here.  Lunch is included.  To register for this event just send an email to jeanp@ifca.com.  &...

Keep N for the Crop: Protect Early Spring Applied Nitrogen

Mother Nature is giving us an early taste of Spring, and this provides an opportunity to get spring anhydrous ammonia applied earlier than usual.  First of all, be safe out there and follow all the ammonia laws and regulations to ensure the safe storage, transport and application of ammonia.  Do not transport nurse tanks over 25 mph--failure to control the tanks due to excess speed is the major cause of most accidents with ammonia nurse tanks.     Next, follow the 4Rs.  The IFCA Keep it 4R Crop Program promotes the use of labeled nitrification inhibitors for all ...

Last Call for IFCA Scholarship Applications

If you have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew attending junior college or a four year college, and they are studying for a potential career in agriculture, please have them complete the IFCA Scholarship application and return it to our office.  The application is available on the homepage of our website at www.ifca.com.  

Last Day to Pre-Register for IFCA Convention

Today, January 6, is the last day you can pre-register for the IFCA convention and receive the $20 discount.  The cost to attend this 3 day event on January 17-19, 2017 at the Peoria Civic Center is $80 for IFCA members; after today the cost goes up to $100.  You can also register at the show, where the cost will be $100 to attend (still a bargain!)   Click here to see the Convention program.  We have very timely topics and 18.5 hours of CEU credits available at the conference.  Topics inlcude dicamba management, the latest nutrient research findings, an outlook on ag ...

Legislative Update

Well, there is talk of a budget proposal in the works after two years in Illinois without a budget.  Some of the things being proposed to raise new revenue include a "business opportunity" tax imposed on businesses based on the number of employees; raising the personal income tax to 4.99% and the corporate tax rate to 7%; establishing service taxes on storage services, amusements, repair and maintenance services, landscaping services, laundry and dry cleaning, and taxing cable and direct sallelite services.  IFCA is working with many other interests at the Capitol to evaluate the impact of these new taxes on ...

Legislative Update

KJ Johnson, IFCA's Director of Government Relations, has been working hard at the State Capitol during this spring session, and has been involved in many issues that impact our members.  We work across party lines and with other organizations on bills that impact our members, and offer reasonable solutions on contentious issues.  For a report on what IFCA has been working on at the Capitol this year, click here.  

Legislative Update

It's a rare event, but yesterday the Illinois legislature approved a budget and adjourned for the season on schedule.  IFCA has a strong presence at the State Capitol to ensure that legislators are aware of the issues that impact our members, and we also field many questions throughout the session on issues that pop up regarding pesticide and fertilizer use.  This year, there was once again no onerous legislation passed that would be detrimental to our industry.  That is not luck, it is proof of hard work and the trusted relationships with have built with legislators, ...

License Plates on Nurse Tanks & Floaters

On January 1, 2020 you will no longer be required to register your nurse wagons, fertilizer buggies, floaters or sprayers or display license plates to operate them on Illinois highways, thanks to legislation initiated by IFCA and that is now state law.     We have had a few questions come up related to this regulatory relief.     1.  You must still display the license plates this fall, since the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2020.  However, the Sec of State does not intend to mail out any renewal forms for currently registered wagons, buggies or floaters/sprayers ...

License Plates on Tanks and Floaters

The bill that removes the registration and license plate requirement for fertilizer wagons and self-propelled floaters and sprayers is on Governor Pritzker's desk.  We remain in contact with the Governor's office to encourage his signature on the bill as soon as possible.  Once he signs the bill it is effective immediately--we will keep you posted.  

Licensing, CDLs, Other COVID Issues

The on-line pesticide testing for commercial and private applicators is going very well and IFCA thanks the IL Dept of Ag for making this option available for those who need to become certified applicators ahead of the spray season.  IFCA has posted the instructions for requesting an on-line exam under our COVID 19 Resource section on the IFCA website.  This resource section has many helpful documents including a "Frequently Asked Questions" document that covers a variety of topics and answers to the questions we are asked the most.       We wish we would tell you ...

Lights on Ammonia Trailers

In the last IFCA Items of Interest we mentioned that any new trailer manufactured on or after June 22, 2017 will require lighting and reflective marking.  The lighting and markings must meet the American Society of Agricultural Biological Engineers Standard (ASABE) S279.14.  This new requirement will require additional upkeep of the lighting systems as well as challenges of adapting the new lighting to existing towing vehicles. The next ASABE lighting and marking committee meeting is scheduled for the end of July in Detroit, MI.  IFCA plans to attend this meeting in order to address our concerns with members of ...

MAGIE

MAGIE is less than one month away, so be sure to pre-register to enjoy the $12 entrance fee.  After August 11 the cost is $15.  You can register on-line, just go to www.ifca.com and click on the MAGIE Registration icon on our home page.  

MAGIE & IFCA Golf Outings

Be sure to join us at MAGIE on August 22-23, 2018 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL.  We have another great event planned--see the latest and best equipment, enjoy lots of exhibitor hospitality and be a part of a unique industry event.  Click here to register for MAGIE and to see information on exhibitors, hotels, etc.  If you pre-register by August 11 you can avoid lines in registration plus save money.     We also have two golf outings coming up:  July 26 at Senica's Oak Ridge in LaSalle and August 2 at Fox Prairie Golf Course ...

MAGIE 2019 Registration Open

Get ready to join us at MAGIE on August 21-22, 2019 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL.  You can register on-line by clicking here.  Lines at registration on the day of the show can get long, but if your badge is waiting for you it's a breeze.  

MAGIE 2020 Cancelled

The IFCA Board of Directors and staff has made the difficult decision to cancel MAGIE 2020.  The show was scheduled for August 26-27 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL.     There are a variety of reasons for cancelling the show, all of them due to the changes brought to our lives by COVID-19.  The main reason is we simply can't guarantee a safe environment for the "ride and drive" experience that only MAGIE offers--it's impossible to stay 6 feet apart in the cab of a sprayer or floater.  That fact, combined with ...

MAGIE Pre Registration

MAGIE is fast approaching!  If you are planning to attend we encourage you to pre-register to ease congestion in the registration lines during the show.  Just go to www.ifca.com and click on the big MAGIE icon on our homepage.  We look forward to seeing you at the show, August 23-24, 2017 at the McLean County Fairgrounds.  

MAGIE Pre-Registration Extended to August 19

Last year we had long lines at MAGIE registration, so we strongly encourage pre-registration at the lower price of $12 at the door vs. $15 at the show.  We have extended pre-registation to August 19, click here to register!  MAGIE is August 22-23 at the McLean County Fairgrounds.  

MAGIE Thank You Video

Please click here to see a 1 minute video from the IFCA staff expressing our appreciation to the exhibitors, IFCA members and everyone who participated in Virtual MAGIE.  We were very touched by the heart-felt messages, remembrances of past MAGIE shows and optimism for next year.     Please take out your phone right now and put MAGIE 2021 in your calendar:  MAGIE will be August 25 & 26, 2021 at the McLean County Illinois fairgrounds in Bloomington, Illinois.    Click Here to watch the video.

MAGIE Update

We have another great MAGIE show planned, so check out the exhibitors who will be in attendance and the layout of the grounds by clicking here.  You can also still register on-line for the show and we will have a name badge waiting for you.  Go to www.ifca.com and click on the link to the on-line MAGIE registration.  We look forward to seeing everyone on August 23-24 at MAGIE; several exhibitors will be showcasing new lines of equipment and debuting them at MAGIE; this is the event where we celebrate the ag retail industry and ...

MAGIE Wrap Up

MAGIE was a remarkable success last week with beautiful weather and fantastic displays of equipment and technology.  IFCA thanks our exhibitors for making MAGIE the platform to showcase new products for our industry to experience before anyone else sees them!  We had 2,952 people attend MAGIE 2017, from all over the country and even outside of the USA.  (A few probably sneaked in and brought us up to 3,000.)   A record 959 people walked in and registered at the door to attend the event.  Thanks everyone for making this show a success!

Managing COVID in the Ag Workplace - Sept 2 Webinar

On Tuesday, September 2, the Grain & Feed Association is extending an invite for IFCA members to join the grain industry on a free webinar designed to address the many questions ag employers have about managing COVID issues in the workplace, especially as contact tracing and COVID cases increase in rural Illinois at the same time a busy harvest and fertilizer season is in store.     The webinar is scheduled on September 2, 2020 at 10:00 am - 11:30 am Central Time.  Scott Cruz, Labor and Employment Attorney at Greenfelder, Hemker & Gale PC is the presenter for ...

March 1 Reporting Reminders

Don't forget that your Tier 2 Chemical Inventory reports are due to IEMA and to your local LEPCs by March 1, 2018.  This year the hazard classifications for each chemical you report on the Tier 2 are new, so be sure to refer to a new Safety Data Sheet and look for the new categories when completing your Tier 2 reports.  If you don't have a new SDS, request one from your suppliers.  Also due on March 1 are the Pesticide Producing Establishment Reports, which must be submitted to USEPA on time to avoid late penalties.  If you have questions ...

March 1 Reports

Every March 1, you are required to submit your Tier 2 chemical inventory reports to the IL Emergency Management Agency, your local emergency planning committee and your local fire departments. Also, pesticide production establishment reports are due to USEPA for all pesticides that you repackaged and distributed for sale in 2017.   Please contact IFCA if you have any questions. Being a little late is sometimes forgiveable but failing to submit reports at all can result in hefty monetary penalties, especially since both of these reports are federal requirements.   

March 1 Spring Fertilizer Management Webinar

On March 1 at 8:30 am Central Time, Dr. Emerson Nafziger will provide a one hour webinar entitled "Meeting the Challenges of Spring Fertilizer Management."  IFCA organized the webinar and extends thanks to GROWMARK for hosting.  Dr. Nafziger will discuss the results of 2018 research that provides an insight into proper management of nitrogen, P & K and starter fertilizer for the 2019 crop year, taking into account the fact that the disappointing fall season will make spring fertilizer application and management a big challenge for the industry.     To register for the webinar click on this link:  ...

March 1 Tier 2 & Pesticide Production Reports

March 1 will be here before we know it, and your Tier 2 chemical inventory reports and USEPA Pesticide Producing Establishment reports are due on March 1.  It's vital to get them in on time to avoid monetary penalties.  For the Tier 2 reports, you must list the expanded hazard categories for the chemicals you report.  These new hazard categories can be found on the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) but only on new SDS sheets.  For Asmark Institute clients, the Asmark SDS database will automatically populate the chemicals you report.  Otherwise, most SDS sheet can be found on ...

Marijuana Policies for Illinois Employers

With both recreational and medicinal use of marijuana now legal in Illinois, what do you need to do as an employer to protect your company and your employees in this new era?  At the IFCA convention last week, we had a great speaker (Jay Shattuck) explain the Illinois regulation and provisions available to employers to manage this issue.  We recommend that your company's drug use/drug testing/drug free workplace policies include the procedures and protections afforded by law to Illinois employers.  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce provides a compliance toolkit to help employers with these ...

Mark Tarter - Retailer, IFCA Board Leader, Father & Friend

It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that Mark Tarter, co-owner of Tarter Feed & Fertilizer in Canton, Illinois passed away on Sunday.  Mark was 59.  He had battled cancer for over a decade, many times overcoming serious setbacks but always keeping his sense of humor and zest for life.  We send our condolences and prayers to his mother Marilyn Tarter, brother and business partner Kevin (Tiffani) Tarter, his daughter Kayleen, nephew Austin and niece Cassidy, and the many friends whose lives he enriched with his presence in theirs.     Mark's obituary ...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from IFCA

IFCA wishes our members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Thank you for supporting your Association throughout the year and in the years to come.   Our office will be closed on December 22 and 25, and on December 29 and January 1 to celebrate the holidays.  We look forward to seeing you in January at the IFCA Convention, January 16-18, 2018 at the Peoria Civic Center.  Click on our Convention link at www.ifca.com to see the program and to register.  

More Ammonia Safety Schools Next Week

The first week of Spring Ammonia Safety Schools wrapped up today in Bloomington, IL at the Asmark Agricenter. The number of attendees for the first week was just over 300.  For anyone who is still interested in attending a class and is not currently registered, there are 4 more classes next week (listed below). Make sure to sign up here, as there will be no more classes offered in 2018 until the fall.  These classes will fulfill the IDA requirement for a competent attendant in order to handle ammonia in accordance with the Illinois ammonia regulations.     &...

More Classes & Webinars Added to Dicamba Training Website

Don't forget that you also have to attend mandatory dicamba training in order to apply dicamba to soybean in 2019.  IFCA's Illinois Dicamba Training website lists classes that are open to anyone to attend.  Today we also added two webinars to the list:  BASF is providing a webinar this Saturday morning and also on Monday morning.  You can also register for these webinars on the IFCA website.  Please note the webinars are posted in CENTRAL TIME on the IFCA website, but are listed in Eastern Time on the BASF registration link.  

More Dicamba Classes Added

Thanks to the involvement of our retail members and county farm bureau offices, we continue to add dicamba training classes to the Illinois Dicamba Training website.  Some of these classes fill up fast, so be sure to pre-register and ensure a seat in the class.  This training must be completed before using Xtendimax, Engenia or FeXapan on soybeans in 2018.  To see the list of classes and to register go to www.ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining  Please spread the word to your farmer customers.  Thank you!  

MRTN Explained!

The Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) Calculator is a key part of Illinois' nutrient recommendation system.  Ensuring we are not over applying nitrogen is essential to helping us reach the 2025 goal of reducing nitrogen losses by 15%.  We are making great progress toward that goal but we have to stay committed to the voluntary practices that will get us there.   Dr. Nafziger at the University of Illinois has prepared an explanation of the MRTN, and addresses the common questions asked about the N Rate Calculator.  Yes it is based on corn yield!  It also ...

Need a Speaker and Positive Message on the 4Rs at Winter Meetings?

If you are planning any winter meetings with your farmer customers, IFCA staff are available to present an update on the 4R research and accomplishments underway in the "Keep it 4R Crop Program" to keep your customers engaged in nutrient stewardship and working toward meeting the goals of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus losses by 2025. Just send an email to jeanp@ifca.com or dan@ifca.com or call us at 309.827.2774 and we are glad to provide a presentation on the many science based, on-farm trials and projects underway with our ag retail members and farmers to reduce losses and ...

Need Extra Regulatory Posters?

Each year, IFCA's partnership with the Asmark Institute enables us to send all of our members a set of regulatory posters that include a current listing of USEPA Registration Numbers for commonly used ag pesticides, USDOT shipping paper descriptions for common ag products, and the Worker Protection Standard classifications for agricultural pesticides.  These large, colorful posters are great resources to help keep you in compliance with federal recordkeeping regulations.     We have some extra 2017 posters available, so if you need an additional set or any one of the posters in particular, give us a call at (309) 827-2774 ...

New Apple App for Nitrogen Rate Calculator

Since 2013, the IFCA Nutrient Stewardship team of Dan Schaefer and Jason Solberg have implemented several hundred nitrogen rate trials throughout the state.  The results of the trials are analyzed by Dr. Nafziger at UI and he then updates the Nitrogen Rate Calculator for Illinois, to provide the Maximum Return to Nitrogen (MRTN) recommendation for nitrogen rates for corn.     Thanks to support from NREC and the work of Dennis Bowman at UI Extension, there is a newly updated app for all Apple Devices that makes it easy to use the Nitrogen Rate Calculator--you no longer have ...

New Applicator Training Center Coming to Bloomington, IL

IFCA is thrilled to announce that in 2017, there will be new Asmark Institute Applicator Training Center located nearby the Asmark Agricenter and IFCA office in Bloomington.  This training center will provide hands-on training for beginning and new pesticide and fertilizer applicators, including the opportunity to drive various models of application equipment and receiving instruction on all aspects of proper application, professionalism, decision-making, equipment mechanics and math and measurements just to name a few of the course topics.  Click here to see the press release on this new professional training course for our industry!  

New Applicator Training Course: Registration is Now Open

Here at IFCA, we have been enjoying the view outside our office as the Asmark Institute is finalizing the construction of the new Applicator Training Course.  A brand new RoGator along with a John Deere, HAGIE, Patriot and TerraGator are all poised to provide a hand's on experience for persons taking this course.  The new four day course will cover all aspects of applicator training for new operators and those with less than 5 years of experience.  Click here to learn more about what the course will cover, print the brochure, see the schedule and to register ...

New Dicamba Labels & Training Opportunities

The new labels for Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan require that certified applicators (both private and commercial) and certified operators must receive dicamba use training before they apply the product, and are required to keep a record of that training with every application record.   IFCA met last week with the IL Dept of Agriculture and with our fellow ag groups to discuss the best way to offer this required training to the10,000 private applicators, 2,000 commercial applicators and 5,000-6,000 licensed commercial operators in Illinois.  USEPA has given the States flexibility in how to accomplish this and each State may take ...

New UI Bulletin on Nitrogen Management Results of 2016; Thoughts on 2017

Dr. Emerson Nafziger of the University of Illinois has provided an update on nitrogen uptake and yield response for the 2016 crop.  This bulletin discusses Dr. Nafziger's analysis of on-farm nitrogen rate trials conducted throughout Illinois and made possible by funding from the Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC).  Dan Schaefer of IFCA provides support for this research, working in concert with many IFCA ag retail members and their farmer customers.  In this bulletin are observations on the performance of nitrogen timings, including fall 2015 N applications and applications made in-season in 2016.  The bulletin also features considerations ...

NH3 Compliance & Safety

Let's review the main points to keep in mind as fall ammonia season approaches.  A few minutes of preparation can prevent a lot of headaches and expense that occurs if accidents happen.   1.  For ag retailers, you need either a Class B CDL with hazmat endorsement to pull nurse tanks or a Class B Restricted Farm Service CDL.  You DO NOT need a Class A CDL or a tanker endorsement.  Nurse tanks are implements of husbandry and therefore the Illinois Vehicle Code does not count them as commercial units and their GVWR does not count ...

NH3 Schools This Week

The fall anhydrous ammonia schools are underway this week.  Check out the calendar on our website at www.ifca.com to see the remaining dates and locations.  We do take walk-ins at these schools, so feel free to join us if you want to gain valuable training on ammonia safety and obtain your competent attendant certificate to handle ammonia in Illinois.  

Nitrogen and Cool, Wet Weather: Update from NREC Research Sites

Today, Dr. Emerson Nafziger at UI posted a bulletin on the cool and wet conditions, the impact on planting and the status of nitrogen in the soil.  One sentence in the bulletin states:  "It would be premature to predict the loss of fall applied N at this point."  Click here to read the bulletin, which draws upon soil tests performed at numerous NREC funded research sites to evaluate and track the levels of applied nitrogen and mineralized nitrogen, and their levels in the soil profile.  Please utilize this current information to promote responsible ...

Nitrogen Rate Results - 2018

IFCA helped implement nearly 50 nitrogen rate trials throughout Illinois in the 2018 crop year.  Dr. Emerson Nafziger provided a short and informative summary of the results, click here.  All of these results will update the Illinois Nitrogen Rate Calculator.  The trial results were unique this year especially in Southern Illinois, so please take a look as you help your customers plan for 2019.  Emerson will provide more details on this research and also on results from N form and timing in his talk at the Convention on Monday, Jan 28.  

Nitrogen Webinar October 31

On October 31 at 9:00 am central time, Dr. Emerson Nafziger is conducting a webinar to provide results from the 2017 nitrogen research projects.  He will discuss the corn yield response to various nitrogen sources, rates and timings from many of the N rate trials funded by NREC, and also provide an insight into soil nitrogen levels and uptake throughout this past growing season.  You don't want to miss this webinar; this research continues to keep Illinois up to date on our N rate recommendations and our N management approaches to assure effective agronomic results and mitigate losses of ...

Nitrogen Webinar October 31

On Tuesday, Oct 31 at 9:00 am central time, Dr. Emerson Nafziger is the guest on our Keep it 4R Crop webinar and will discuss the results of nitrogen source, rate and timing research performed in the 2018 crop year and funded by NREC.  We realize that many of you may be in the field with ammonia application, so rest assured this webinar will be recorded and we will post the recording link on our website at www.ifca.com.  However, please go ahead and register for the webinar now, even if you are unsure of your plans on Tuesday.  ...

Notice of IFCA Annual Meeting: January 17, 2018

This serves as notice that the annual meeting of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association will be conducted at 9:45 am on January 17, 2018 in Room 400 of the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL.     This year, no IFCA Board members are up for election.  At the annual meeting, the Association will share its financial report, update on activities, introduce current Board members and award scholarships.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the IFCA annual meeting on January 17.  

NREC Cover Crop Guidance

The IL Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy lists the planting of cover crops as a significant way to reduce nutrient losses in tile drained fields.  NREC has been investing in cover crop research for the past five years, and the research has identified the steps that farmers can take to have a successful experience with cover crops.  Plant them ahead of soybeans!   If you have  customers that are wanting to try a cover crop but are hesitant to do so after hearing horror stories of emergence problems, not being able to kill the cover crop, ...

NREC Field Day in Northern Illinois

Next week, on June 27, NREC is hosting a field day in the Princeton area to provide an update on a wetland project located there, and will also feature updates on several other projects related to nutrient use and water quality.  We encourage our IFCA members in northern Illinois to attend.  Dan Schaefer, IFCA's Director of Nutrient Stewardship, will be there so bring your questions, comments and suggestions on the research and information you need to be successful in improving nutrient utilization and protecting water quality.  To register for the event, click here.  

NREC Forum Offers CEUs

On February 13, the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council is hosting a research forum at the I-Hotel in Champaign to provide updates on new and on-going nutrient research projects in Illinois.  The event is free to attend and provides 5 CEUs:  2.5 in NM, 2 in SW and .5 in PD.  To see the agenda and to register for this event, click here.  

NREC Releases 2019 Annual Report

This week NREC published its 2019 Annual Report.  The report provides a summary of the NREC projects and results from the research.  NREC is funded by a 75 cent per ton fee on bulk fertilizer sold to the end user, which is collected by the ag retailers and remitted to NREC for the program (thank you ag retailers and farmers for your support).  IFCA participates in several NREC projects, featured on pages 18 and 30.  Dan Schaefer and Jason Solberg on the IFCA staff also provide assistance at several NREC project sites to ensure implementation of fertility and cover crop ...

NREC: Nearly 5 Years of Successful Collaboration!

The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Counsel (NREC) is approaching its 5 year anniversary.  Can you believe it? Since 2012, NREC has identified and funded critical nutrient research and outreach programs to keep Illinois in the lead in addressing nutrient and water quality challenges.  Illinois is #1 in contributions of nitrogen and phosphorus losses to the Gulf of Mexico; agriculture is responsible for the majority of nitrogen losses, while point sources are the primary phosphorus contributor.  Unfortunately, Illinois is also the only state without a budget for the past several years, with very few resources being allocated to water ...

Nurse Tank Inspection Classes Available

Many IFCA members are interested in certifying their own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections to comply with the DOT regulations for pressure testing ammonia nurse tanks that have missing or illegible data plates, or for testing any nurse tanks to assure their integrity.  To respond to that interest, the Asmark Institute is offering classes at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL to provide the necessary training to qualify your employees to perform these tests in accordance with USDOT regulations.  The classes will be offered the last week of July and first week of August.  ...

Nutrient Stewardship in the Winter

IFCA, under our Board of Director leadership, always endeavors to promote stewardship and address all challenges proactively.  In the history of our organization there is no question that IFCA's proactive efforts have enabled us the freedom to operate and make good agronomic and business decisions.  IFCA's opinion and our approach to address issues is highly respected and our suggestions are often implemented instead of the state taking a heavy-handed approach.  It isn't easy, but our dedication to stewardship pays huge dividends especially when you look at other states in the US (or ...

Oct 19 Webinar: Guidance on Fall N Start Dates and N Management in 2019

Balancing logistics, weather, grain and nitrogen prices, stewardship, customer relations and public expectations is no easy task for IFCA ag retailers.  IFCA understands the challenges our retail members face!      If you are looking for guidance on when to begin Fall N applications given the current cold snap, nitrogen management and rate recommendations for 2019 and what NREC funded on-farm research revealed in 2018 on corn response to different sources, rates and timing of N, then register today for a free webinar this Friday, October 19 at 8:30 am central time.      Dr. Nafziger will ...

October 12 Anhydrous Ammonia School

There is one more opportunity this fall to secure your IDA issued competent attendant certificate to handle anhydrous ammonia and work on anhydrous ammonia equipment.  On Friday, October 12 the IFCA and IDA are offering a class at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington IL from 8:30 to noon.  Refreshments and lunch is included in the on-line registration price of $65.00  You can register on-line at the IFCA website at www.ifca.com.  We also welcome walk-ins the day of class for a fee of $75.00.  If you have questions about ammonia safety or regulations, please contact John Rebholz in ...

Ohio Governor Takes Action on Nutrient Use

Yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich issued an Executive Order requiring farmers to "figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and environmentally friendly way" said the Governor.  The order would trigger the writing of additional regulations affecting all nutrient sources.  Farm groups criticized the order, and while the Governor did say he believes agriculture has made progress, he doesn't feel current voluntary efforts by farmers to reduce nutrients losses will allow the state to meet its commitment with Michigan and Ontario to reduce phosphorus runoff by 40% by 2025.  To read the ...

On Farm Containment Required for Storage that Exceeds 45 Days

With the price of liquid nitrogen falling, some farmers are expressing an interest in filling on-farm UAN tanks ahead of the 2018 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 ...

On-Line Dicamba Training

This past week, Bayer, BASF and Corteva made on-line training modules available to fulfill the requirement for dicamba training prior to the 2019 application season.   IFCA recommends that our members and farmers attend classroom training as their first option, and consider the on-line training as a good refresher to take just prior to the start of season.  It is extremely important that we REDUCE the number of dicamba related complaints in Illinois in 2019.  Training is essential in that goal, so please encourage attendance at the remaining classroom events.  To see the schedule of training, go to www....

On-Line NH3 Training This Fall, Spring 2020 Certificates, Farmer Training

If any of your employees have anhydrous ammonia competent attendant certificates that have expired, or you have new hires who plan to work with ammonia this fall, IFCA has an IDA approved on-line training and testing program that will provide a competent attendant certificate that is good until December 31, 2020.     So far, over 200 people have successfully taken the on-line competent attendant training.  This training is for employees of ag retail or farmer-owned NH3 storage facilities.  To access the training, go to ifca.com and click on the "Training" menu or click here.  ...

One More Chance for Field Crop Training on March 11

The final University of Illinois field crop training clinic was this past Monday in Champaign.  IFCA recognizes that a need may still remain for those who are seeking additional opportunities for training and testing in order to apply dicamba to soybean in 2019.      On Monday, March 11, Dr. Bill Simmons (Emeritus Professor, UI) will teach a field crop training class for IFCA members at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington.  We will plan to begin at 9 am and provide lunch.  We are working with IDA to see if they will also provide testing after lunch.  The ...

Opportunities for Retailers to be Recognized

The 4R Advocate Program is currently taking applications to recognize farmers and their ag retailer for implementing the 4Rs in their business practices.  Those selected get a free trip to the Commodity Conference and are widely recognized for their 4R efforts.  We've had many 4R Advocates selected from Illinois so let's keep that track record!  Nominations are due to The Fertilizer Institute by October 31.  Click here to see the details on the program.  If you need assistance filling out the application for this program, contact IFCA and we'd be happy to help. &...

P & K Bulletin

An important role of NREC is to invest in research that keeps our nutrient recommendation system current and representative of the production systems we have in place.  NREC funded a multi-year project to collect grain samples and evaluate the grain content of P & K.  The bulletin is available here and is posted along with other UI nutrient bulletins that we've shared throughout this growing season.  IFCA's Keep it 4R Crop menu on our website hosts these bulletins and all are tied back to current research underway in Illinois.  

Pat Hodges Obituary

Earlier today we let our members know of the sudden passing of IFCA member and friend, Pat Hodges.  Pat's obituary is now available with information on services and links to send condolences to his family and friends.  Pat's obituary is here.  

Pat Hodges of Squibb Taylor

Our hearts were broken this past weekend when we learned of the sudden passing of Pat Hodges with Squibb Taylor.    Pat was larger than life in so many ways:  in his knowledge of the compressed gas industry, in his relationships with distributors, in his passion to help ag retailers and in his dedication to education and safety in the anhydrous ammonia and propane industry.  For IFCA this is a huge loss.  Pat was always assisting us on ammonia issues, whether it was safety training, reviewing proposed state regulations, trouble-shooting equipment issues and developing new ...

Pesticide Applicator Training

Dr. Robert Wolf teaches an excellent Pesticide Applicator Training class, and through our affiliation with the Asmark Institute, the IFCA can offer up to 3 classes in Illinois this year during August and September 2015, but we must book them soon.  IFCA can host one of the classes at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington, but if you have a minimum of 30 applicators in your company who desire to take the course, Dr. Wolf can travel to your location and offer the class at your shop or warehouse.  Click here for a description of the Pesticide Applicator Training Course.  Please ...

Pesticide Clean Sweep Program

We periodically get calls from IFCA members who have customers with unwanted or unknown pesticides in their barns or tool sheds.  This year, the IL Dept of Ag "Clean Sweep" program will take these unwanted pesticides from persons who reside in Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean, Piatt and Vermilion counties.  There is no charge to bring unwanted pesticides to the Clean Sweep event, but the person who has the pesticides MUST pre-register with the IDA before showing up at the waste disposal site.  Once they register, they will get a confirmation from IDA a ...

Pesticide Container Recycling

Each year, IDA works with our industry to coordinate the collection of clean, triple rinsed pesticide containers.  Click here for the schedule of locations and dates where containers will be collected free of charge from agrichemical facilities and farmers.  Remember, the containers must be triple rinsed and free of residue or they may be rejected.  Please participate to recycle this plastic into something useful rather than send it to a landfill.  

Pesticide Container Recycling

Click here to be directed to the IFCA home page where we have details posted on the 2018 Pesticide Container Recycling Program, including the dates and locations, what types of containers are accepted and how to prepare them.  This year the recycler will also accept caged mini-bulk containers if you call IDA ahead of time and let them know how many you will be bringing.  Please make sure all containers are triple rinsed and free of residue, or they will be rejected.  We appreciate IDA and our members working together to offer this program.  If you have ...

Pesticide Container Recycling & Unwanted Pesticides Disposal

IDA is again coordinating the annual pesticide container recycling program.  They will accept clean, triple rinsed containers and will also accept clean, cut-up minibulk containers.  BUT you must call IDA ahead of time if you plan to take minibulk containers to the collection sites.  Please contact Rick Severns at IDA at 217-558-4074 to inform him of what type and how many mini-bulk containers you would like to recycle.  The first collection is August 16 in Morgan County.  To see the list of all the collection sites and for details on the container recycling program ...

Pesticide Container Recycling - Jugs and Minibulks

Click here to be directed to the 2019 Pesticide Container Recycling Program, including the dates and locations, what types of containers are accepted and how to prepare them.  The recycler will also accept mini-bulk containers.  Minibulks can be taken to scheduled collection sites or possibly picked up at your facility.  Please provide Department personnel with the weight of mini-bulk containers to be recycled.  Please contact Richard Severns at the Department of Agriculture via phone at 217-558-4074 or email at Richard.Severns@illinois.gov to make arrangements to have your minibulks accepted during a recycling event.&...

Pesticide Container Recycling Can Include Minibulks

The annual pesticide container recycling program schedule is set, with the first event on July 23.  IFCA ag retail members host these locations throughout the state, working with IDA to ensure safe recycling of empty, triple-rinsed pesticide containers.  There is no charge to participate in this program.  To see the schedule and learn how to prepare to bring your containers to these sites, click here.     The program will also collect clean, cut-up portable refillable containers (PRCs) from the sites that are hosting the collections.  If you are not a host but still have PRCs to ...

Pesticide Container Recycling Wrap-up

IFCA thanks the Illinois Department of Agriculture, The Agricultural Container Recycling Council (ACRC) and all of our retail members who hosted this summer's pesticide container recycling events.  The program wrapped up last Friday.    We especially thank Rick Severns at IDA who organized the program and also fielded phone calls from retailers who desired to bring mini-bulks to recycle at these events.  The total amount of plastic that was accepted for recycling was 75,537 pounds.  Of that amount 8,340 pounds was plastic from mini-bulk containers.  The recycler, G. Phillips & Son, has been very accommodating ...

Pesticide License Training & Testing

You must be wondering how pesticide license training and testing will look like for the upcoming testing cycle.  Let us share with you what we know.   The Illinois Department of Ag and the University of Illinois Pesticide Safety & Education Program (PSEP) have been working very hard the past few months to ensure that operators and applicators can achieve 3-year certification and licenses, taking into account the health and safety guidelines for Covid.     IDA has been very gracious to share with IFCA the basics of how this will work.  Details will be coming soon ...

Pesticide Misuse Claims so Far This Year

The Illinois Department of Agriculture reports that since January 2017, there have been 48 complaints filed with IDA for alleged pesticide misuse.  Of those, 34 are ag related.  This about on par with most years; in 2016 at this time there were 44 complaints filed with 35 being ag related. As we head into the new over the top dicamba application season, please take all precautions and follow the supplemental pesticide labels for the new products; document your application carefully.  If you have any last minute questions about dicamba stewardship please call IFCA.  Use Driftwatch.com to identify sensitive specialty crops in ...

Pesticide Misuse Update

IFCA welcomes Jack Eck to his new role at the Illinois Department of Agriculture as the Environmental Bureau Section Manager.  Jack is responsible for overseeing pesticide misuse complaints and investigations as well as helping the industry with compliance.  Jack is taking over for Scott Frank, who retired last year.  Scott is also continuing to assist at the Department during this transition, so we are very fortunate to have two very knowledgeable professionals working at IDA to ensure fair regulatory oversight of our industry.     As of today, there are only a handful of misuse complaints called ...

Pesticide Recordkeeping & WPS Training

We know everyone has been extremely busy, but with the cool and rainy days ahead, now is a good time to assure you have your records in order when it comes to sales of pesticides and Worker Protection Standard training.     Please be sure that all sales of restricted use pesticides are linked to a person who has a current pesticide license.  One way to check is to go to the IL Dept of Ag website where you can search a person's name to see if they have a current license, or search a business name to ...

Pesticide Stewardship Update

In 1993, IFCA was part of a coalition that passed legislation to ensure that the regulation of pesticides was solely the responsibility of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  This law is commonly referred to as "Pesticide Preemption."  At that time, the City of Chicago asked to be exempt and that was the compromise we made to ensure uniform pesticide regulation for the rest of the state.  This week, Chicago decided to exercise their right to regulate pesticides, and they have banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides by persons, organizations and community gardens.  They will still allow veterinarians, ...

Pesticide Update

Last Friday, the Illinois Department of Ag hit 100 official complaints of alleged dicamba misuse.  The "official" number of complaints only tells part of the story.  There are also a significant number of claims being filed by farmers with their farm policy insurance agents.  In an average year, IDA receives about 125 total misuse complaints for both ag applications and lawn care applications.  To hit 100 complaints on one specific herbicide activity is unprecedented.  Despite reports to the contrary, this is a big issue in Illinois.     IFCA continues to take calls from retailers ...

Pesticide Update & Guidance on Dicamba Issues

In our efforts to best assist and represent the industry, IFCA is here to listen to your feedback from the field, provide some guidance and share what we know related to pesticide use issues this application season.  Here is what we know and our assessment.  We hope it is helpful and we do not by any means have all the answers.     1.  As of today, July 19, the Illinois Department of Ag has logged a total of 210 formal misuse complaints, 83 of those attributed to dicamba related applications.  The majority of formal complaints are related to ...

Please Participate in March 30 Spring Nitrogen Webinar

  At 9:00 am central on Thursday, March 30, 2017 Dr. Emerson Nafziger of the University of Illinois will provide a Spring 2017 Nitrogen Management webinar for IFCA members and crop advisers.  The webinar will run to 10 am.     As we head into spring, the findings from several NREC funded nitrogen research projects are critical to help our industry make solid nitrogen recommendations to our customers to assure nutrient availability and mitigate nutrient loss.  Given the warm fall and winter, many are asking questions about the status of the fall applied nitrogen in the soil, and Dr. Nafziger's N Tracking ...

Pre-Registration for Convention Extended to Wednesday

If you have not yet pre-registered to attend the IFCA convention for the price of $80 per person, you still have time.  Click here to be directed to the IFCA website.  Click on the "Convention" tab where we have the schedule and on-line registration available.  Please register before the end of the day on Wednesday to get the pre-registration price and avoid lines at the on-site registration booth.     We have a great trade show, combined with anhydrous ammonia training, pesticide training, pesticide license testing in all categories, a regulatory workshop on transportation, security ...

Prediction on Lake Erie Algae Bloom

Experts are predicting another large algae bloom in Lake Erie in the coming weeks.  The International Plant Nutrition Institute has prepared a bulletin on phosphorus management efforts underway in this watershed, including results of soil sampling and crop uptake.  To see the bulletin and learn more about P management efforts in this critical watershed click here.     Closer to home, where nitrates are the predominant concern in Illinois, the water supply lakes of Decatur, Springfield, Bloomington/Evergreen and Vermilion have all been below 10 ppm nitrate for some time.  They all experienced some levels of concern in ...

Press Release on Illinois Dicamba Training

The Illinois Department of Agriculture and IFCA issued a joint press release yesterday discussing the progress on Illinois dicamba training and encouraging everyone to visit the dicamba training website to sign up for future classes.  Click here to see the press release, which is also posted at www.ifca.com.  Less than one month into the winter training schedule, we have already provided the mandatory dicamba training to over 1,200 applicators in Illinois.  Turnout at the meetings has been terrific!  IFCA has been working closely with Illinois Department of Ag, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Soybean Association and ...

Protecting Sensitive Crops

As the post-application season nears for the new dicamba herbicide technologies, please take all precautions to identify and protect sensitive crops; the labels require the applicator to do this ahead of applying the products.  One way to help identify sensitive crops is to utilize FieldWatch, which under the Driftwatch section, lists the locations of sensitive specialty crops in Illinois and other states.  Pesticide applicators can register on FieldWatch free of charge, and then be able to see the locations and types of specialty crops in your area.  You can also sign up to receive email notifications ...

PSM Compliance Tools Are Ready

Thanks to a tremendous amount of work by the staff at the Asmark Institute, a Process Safety Management compliance program is now available to help you comply with this new OSHA requirement.  Last week, OSHA announced they would be extending the compliance date for PSM at ag retail ammonia facilities from January 22, 2016 to July 22, 2016.  While this six month extension is welcome, it will still be extremely challenging given the complexity of this program.   Please mark your calendar for January 21, 2016--that is the date IFCA will be offering the first PSM training class to our members, on the ...

Records for Selling Ag Inputs as Sales Tax Exempt

There are many exemptions from sales tax for products purchased for use in agricultural production.  But although it is clear that farmers are exempt when purchasing seed, fertilizer and chemicals, it is always recommended by the IL Dept of Revenue that ag retailers maintain a document, signed by the farmer, that they are purchasing these items for use in their agricultural production operation.     IFCA developed a form that you can use to maintain this record.  The IDOR recommends that you have the farmer sign the document at least once every 3 years and that the retailer ...

Recycling Pesticide Containers & Minibulks

The annual pesticide container recycling program continues until September 13 at various locations throughout the state.    Did you know that you can take most triple-rinsed, cut-up minibulk containers to these collection sites as well?  The recycler cannot take the old "asset" tanks but most other minibulks such as caged tanks will be accepted.  However, you MUST call Rick Severns at the IDA at 217.558.4074 to pre-register your minibulk tanks so the recycler knows ahead of time what to expect.  For more information and to see the list of upcoming recycling events, click here.  

Register for 2019 MAGIE Show Today!

Don't forget to register for the 2019 MAGIE show on Aug 21 & 22 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL to avoid the long lines at the show.    Simply go to the MAGIE link on the IFCA website to see the layout, list of exhibitors, accommodations and to register on-line. Join us for another great show that is designed for the ag retailer industry, with lots of great exhibitor displays and hospitality.  We strongly encourage pre-registration at the lower price of $12 at the door vs. $15 at the show.  We have extended pre-registation to August 18, click here ...

Register for Classroom or Online Dicamba Label Training

Classroom training is well underway for the upcoming dicamba application season.  On-line training modules are also now available from BASF, Bayer and Corteva.  You can attend any class or take any of the on-line training programs in order to receive a 2020 dicamba application training certificate.  To see the list of upcoming classroom events and to find the links to on-line training programs click here to visit IFCA's Illinois Dicamba Training website.  Links to the on-line training are featured in the "Home" section of the website.

Register for February 9 Webinar: Responsible N Mgmt in 2018

This Friday, February 9 at 10:30 am Central Time, IFCA and NREC are hosting a webinar entitled "Responsible Nitrogen Management in 2018:  Rates, Treatment and Timings."   Dr. Emerson Nafziger will present information from several 2017 NREC funded projects that focused on nitrogen utilization by the crop, N movement in the soil throughout the growing season, and optimum economic return to nitrogen.  There is one CEU in Nutrient Management offered for this course.   To register for the webinar, click here.  Special thanks to the GROWMARK Agronomy Department for hosting this "Go to Webinar" session for the ...

Register for IFCA Convention

You should have received in the mail the registration program for the IFCA convention.  We look forward to seeing you at our convention in Peoria on January 28-30.    You can register on-line for the convention and for the programs being offered including ammonia training, field crop training, the CCA session and the Ag-Solve breakfast.  Click here to be directed to our home page, then click on the "Convention" tab for information including links to get hotel reservations.  

Register for IFCA Convention

You must pre-register by January 14, 2020 in order to get the discounted rate for the IFCA convention.  We are looking forward to another great trade show, informative educational sessions and warm hospitality thanks to our IFCA sponsors and members.  Go to www.ifca.com and click on "Convention" to see the program schedule, list of exhibitors, and to register.  For assistance with registration please contact our office.  

Register for MAGIE

MAGIE is now just a few weeks away!  The show dates are August 22-23 at the McLean County Fairgrounds.  We make it easy for you to pre-register so you don't have to register at the door.  Click here to register for MAGIE.  We also encourage anyone who is involved in environmental, health, safety or transportation issues for your company to attend the National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School which is held prior to MAGIE at the Asmark Agricenter.  To see the NAEHSS agenda and to register, click here.  

Register for MAGIE!

Don't forget to get registered for MAGIE and avoid the long lines at the show.  Simply go to the MAGIE link on the IFCA website to see the layout, list of exhibitors, accommodations and to register on-line.  MAGIE is August 21-22 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington.  Join us for another great show that is designed for the ag retailer industry, with lots of great exhibitor displays and hospitality.  

Register now for MAGIE

MAGIE will be here soon and you can register on-line to attend.  The cost to pre-register is only $10 and you can avoid the lengthy lines at registration.  Click here to be directed to the IFCA website and to register for MAGIE.     The National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School is also an important event that is held just prior to MAGIE at the Asmark Agricenter.  To see the agenda and to register for this well respected conference, go to www.naehss.org  

Register Now for Spring Ammonia Safety Schools

We continue to take on-line registration for the spring anhydrous ammonia safety schools.  We encourage you to pre-register to ensure a seat in the class.  Classes begin on February 27th in Southern Illinois and work their way north.  Click here to see the schedule of classes and to register.  Ag industry employees must attend an IL Dept of Ag approved ammonia safety class to be certified to work with ammonia or ammonia equipment in Illinois, and these classes meet that criteria.  IDA staff will be at all the IFCA classes to review ...

Registration Open for Fall Ammonia Safety Classes

Summer hasn't even officially started but we've gotten a head start on fall by posting the dates and locations for the IFCA/IDA fall anhydrous ammonia safety classes.  This fall IFCA will host six classes, beginning on September 14.  To see the dates and locations and to register on-line, click here or visit the ammonia training icon on IFCA's hompage at www.ifca.com.  John Rebholz, IFCA's Director of Safety & Education, is always available to answer any ammonia and compliance related so don't hesitate to call us for assistance, ...

Registration/License Plates Only On Laden Loads for Spreaders/Applicators

As planting progress finally starts moving forward please keep in mind that if Spreaders/Applicators are loaded with product dry/liquid upon the roadway on the way to the field, registration along with license plates are a Secretary of State requirement.  In order to avoid the SOS requirements of registration/license plates on Spreader/Applicators is to tender these units in the field of application from a licensed tender truck and or trailer.  Finally, Spreaders/Applicators are restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph, by maintaining a safe operating speed on the highway it is less likely to ...

Regulatory Compliance Posters in the Mail

Each year, IIFCA's partnership with the Asmark Institute enables our members to receive a free set of compliance posters featuring USEPA Registration Numbers, Worker Protection Requirements and USDOT Shipping Descriptions for Agrichemicals.  You should be getting your posters next week.  IFCA usually gets a few extras for our office, so if you determine you need additional posters, please give us a call at 309.827.2774 and we will send you an extra set(s).    

Regulatory Workshop at IFCA Convention

On January 21 at the IFCA Convention in Peoria, we are having a special regulatory workshop to bring you the latest federal and state compliance updates on CDLs, Drug Testing, Risk Management Plans, Homeland Security, OSHA enforcement, ammonia regulations and electrical safety.  Click here to see a flyer on the topics and speakers.  You can see the entire IFCA convention program and book your  hotel rooms by going to www.ifca.com/convention.  Watch your mail next week for a registration flyer as well.  This is IFCA's 55th year of successfully representing and ...

Relabeling Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan

Retailers may soon be receiving new labels from BASF, Monsanto and Dow-DuPont along with guidance on relabeling the 2017 inventory you may have of these products.  On October 13, 2017, USEPA reclassified these products to Restricted Use Pesticides and there are many other changes in the product labels.  These products cannot be sold until they are affixed with the new labels.   IMPORTANT:  If you receive the new labels, DO NOT relabel any of your inventory unless you first ensure that your facility is USEPA Registered Pesticide Producing Establishment.  Relabeling can only be performed at a USEPA Pesticide ...

Remembering Butch North of North Oil Company

Our sympathies are with the family of Edwin "Butch" North, who passed away on November 25.  Butch was the owner of North's Oil Company in Dixon, Illinois.  He was active in the ag retail industry, and served on the IFCA Board of Directors in the late 1990's.  He was a thoughtful leader, and was dedicated to his family, to his community and to his business.  We express our condolences to his wife Betty, and children Denise, Dave and Doug North.     Services are Friday, Nov 30 at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 1013 Franklin ...

Remembering Glen Brandt, Illinois and National Industry Leader

At a time of turmoil in our country and in our industry, it is even more meaningful today to remember and honor a man who embodied integrity, a strong sense of purpose in good times and bad, and an unwavering belief in all that is good about life, and especially agriculture.    Glen Brandt, the founder of Brandt Consolidated, died peacefully yesterday at the age of 94.  He did not just start a successful ag retail company, he gave his time and passion to the industry he loved to help give ag retailers a voice and strong presence in ...

Remembering IFCA Leaders

This past week we learned of the passing of Darrell Deverman, who owned Atlanta Ag Service in  Atlanta, IL and served as the Chairman of the IFCA Board of Directors in 1989.  We send our condolences to his family and remember his service and leadership in our industry.  His obituary is here.     Ralph Allen, who was the owner/operator of both Allerton Supply Company and Prairie States Warehouse also passed away recently.  He was also a pioneer in the industry and his family continues the tradition of service that he embodied for more ...

Remembering Lawrence Wagenbach - Akron Services

Lawrence Wagenbach passed away on September 7 at the age of 81.  He was a life-long farmer and also the founder of Akron Services, an IFCA ag retail member.  Our thoughts are with the Wagenbach family and son Tim, who manages Akron Services.  To read about Lawrence's remarkable life and faith in God, his obituary is here.  Please keep the Wagenbach family and the employees of Akron Services in your thoughts and prayers.  

Remembering Two Friends of IFCA

In the past several weeks, IFCA lost two wonderful gentlemen who were part of the IFCA family.  Please take a moment to remember them with us and keep their families in your prayers.     Larry Wenthold, who spent his 43-year career at River Valley Cooperative, passed away on July 10 at the young age of 69.  Larry was an active member of the IFCA, committed to his community, the industry, to the cooperative and its employees and especially to his family and faith.  Larry was active in the IFCA, especially when it came to involvement ...

Reminder on CDL Extensions

The USDOT has extended the deadlines to renew expired or expiring CDLs, endorsements and medical cards until September 30, 2020 to allow flexibility to the states, especially those states continuing to deal with COVID outbreaks.     In Illinois, all the driver service facilities are open for business, and most doctor's offices are accepting appointments for CDL medicals.  We encourage our members who have expired CDL licenses, endorsements or medicals to work to get them renewed as soon as practical and not to wait until the last minute when the extensions expire.  The IL Secretary of State ...

Responsible Ag

Please be a part of a national stewardship initiative to ensure safety and security at all bulk fertilizer storage facilities by registering your facility in the new Responsible Ag program.  Go to www.ResponsibleAg.org  to learn more about the program; if you wish to assess your level of regulatory compliance prior to a Responsible Ag auditor vising your location, there is a compliance assessment tool on the website that can help you prepare for a Responsible Ag audit.  There are thousands of bulk fertilizer facilities in the United States, and this program demonstrates to the ...

Restore Illinois Plan

Yesterday Governor Pritzker released the "Restore Illinois" plan outlining the circumstances under which Illinois citizens and businesses can start to resume normal operations.  As IFCA and many other organizations ponder whether or not we will be able to have our summer shows, including MAGIE on August 26-27, we will work closely with all of our exhibitors and members to keep you informed.  As you can see in the Illinois plan, large gatherings are contingent upon widely available and effective COVID treatments and/or a vaccine.  We continue to have a positive outlook and urge everyone ...

Roger Hinthorn of Evergreen FS

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of IFCA member Roger Hinthorn of Evergreen FS in Arrowsmith.  Roger passed away in his home on Tuesday, April 17th. Roger worked at FS in Arrowsmith for more than 40 years. He enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, and especially his grandchildren. He was a NASCAR and sprint racing fan. Roger cheered on his beloved Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at East Lawn Funeral Home, Bloomington. Burial will follow at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Visitation ...

Sadness Over Loss of Ag Retail Operator

IFCA was deeply saddened to learn of an accident on Thanksgiving morning that took the life of Drew Frese, an employee of Ag View FS in Bureau County, IL.  Drew was dedicated to his job as a custom ammonia applicator, and had returned to a field that morning to finish the remaining acres for his customer before the bad weather moved in.  As he was headed back to the plant, he crossed a private rail crossing in the field and his tractor was struck by a west-bound Amtrak train.  Drew was 25 years old; he was ...

Safe Operation of Equipment on the Road

Over the last couple of weeks there have been a couple incidents related to applicator/vehicle incidents on the roadway.  In one incident, the vehicle driver was not aware the applicator was making a left-hand turn, even though the applicator had signaled his turn.  According to statistics from the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, 70% of crashes occur in rural areas, while 30% of crashes occur in urban areas.  For additional information on staying safe on the roadway, the publication from Purdue Extension titled “Keep the Spray Rig on the Road & Out of Trouble” is ...

Scheduling a CDL driving/skills test

The Illinois Secretary of State opened up a hotline for people to call in order to schedule a CDL skills/driving test.  However, it is going slowly since the Sec of State is first re-scheduling hundreds of driving tests for those who had one scheduled before the offices shut down; they are calling those people directly to re-schedule their test.  It could take a little while for them to get to others.  The phone number to schedule a CDL driving/skills test is 217.785.3013.  You may not be able to get through right away, but as time ...

Scrutiny on Pesticide Application Increases

As the busy spray season continues, please be aware that scrutiny of pesticide applications is at a high level this year.  Examples of this include the Champaign, IL based Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting encouraging the installation of air sampling monitors to capture glyphosate, 2,4-D and dicamba in the air near schools and subdivisions.  At least four of these monitors have been installed in Champaign and Vermilion Counties according to the Center.  To read the story, click here.     As of today, the IL Dept of Ag has received 24 formal pesticide misuse complaints; 9 ...

Sec of State Offices to Reopen June 1 with Limited Services

Yesterday the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that driver service facilities will begin to reopen on June 1.     However, they will be limiting their services to licensing new drivers, assisting those with expired drivers licenses and ID cards and vehicle transactions.  You cannot get license plates at this time, that will still have to wait.  To see the full announcement including the guidelines for visiting the offices, click here.     For CDL drivers, the three offices in Springfield, Marion and West Chicago are still open this week to handle CDL issues.  But starting ...

Selling Dicamba after July 15

With the July 15 application cut-off date approaching, retailers may be curious about whether the "stop applying" provision on the labels for Extendimax, Engenia, FeXapan and Tavium also applies to sales of these products after July 15.     IFCA consulted with the IL Dept of Ag on this question.  There is no "stop sale" order on these products after July 15.  However, if you are asked to sell these products to an applicator after July 15, you should remind them of the label restriction for application to soybean, and warn them that knowingly violating the July 15 ...

Services For Don Schafer, Chebanse Ag

We are very sorry to learn of the passing of Don Schafer, who passed away on January 8 at the age of 85.  Don was a pioneer in both the fertilizer and grain industry, creating Chebanse Crop Service in 1970 and later adding the elevator business.  He was admired as a businessman and cherished as a friend to many in the ag industry and in his community.     Don's obituary, including visitation and services later this week, can be found here.  Don and his wife Elsie raised a large family and have 22 grandchildren.  Their children ...

Share Your Position on Illinois Progress Tax

The Illinois Farm Bureau has issued a state-wide Action Alert opposing SJRCA 1, the effort to establish a progressive income tax in Illinois.  This legislation proposes to amend the State Constitution to mandate a progressive tax structure; it does currently specify a tax rate but the Governor's proposal is to create six different levels of income tax rates between 4.75% and 7.95%, as follows:     If you would like to express your position on this legislation to your State Senator, call 888.200.3794.  You will then be asked to enter your zip code, and your call will be directed to ...

Soil Temperature Resources

Soil temperatures are the best guide to knowing when it's a good time to apply fall nitrogen.  At the 4R Field Day on October 23, Dr. Emerson Nafziger provided some perspective on fall nitrogen application.  There are several resources available at the State Water Survey's WARM website, which is located at:  https://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/soil/.   You do need to create a free account to use this website.  Soil temperatures that stay around or below 50 degrees is when bacterial activity in the soil slows; however it never completely stops ...

Some Good News on License Plates

KJ Johnson, IFCA's Director of Government & Industry Relations, has been doing a great job for IFCA at the State Capitol this year.  With over 6,000 bills introduced, it hasn't been easy!  Thanks to KJ, a bill is advancing in both the Illinois House and Senate to remove the license plates on fertilizer trailers and floaters/sprayers.  As you may know, all fertilizer trailers have been required to be registered with the Sec of State and display plates since the late 1970's.  Floaters and pesticide applicators are also supposed to register and display plates when ...

Spring 2019 Nitrogen Management

The University of Illinois has published a detailed guidance bulletin on spring nitrogen management, available both on FarmDoc and by clicking here.  With so many delays this spring, management of N will be very important to ensure agronomic return as well as protection of the environment.  Nitrate levels in several of the central Illinois drinking water supply lakes are already above 5 ppm which is concerning; this is the case even though the 2018 fall fertilizer season was only 30% of a "normal" year.  This spring, using the Right Rate will be vital to help protect water ...

Spring Ammonia Safety

Be sure to remind your customers who are picking up nurse tanks that implements of husbandry ARE NOT ALLOWED on interstate highways.  We've had several incidents of this in the past year.  We know the running gears underneath the double nurse tanks are nice, but they are still not designed for highway speeds, and Illinois law prohibits implements of husbandry on interstate highways.  Ammonia nurse tanks are implements of husbandry.  IFCA also discourages taking nurse tanks through heavily populated areas, so even if a road through a large town might be the shortest distance between ...

Spring Ammonia Safety - Proper Hose Management

There have been six ammonia releases reported this spring, and four of those were related to the ammonia hose.  Please follow the steps below to ensure proper hose management and safe ammonia transport and application:   1.  Always inspect all ammonia hoses for any nicks, cuts, soft spots or any slippage between the coupler and the hose itself.    2.  Follow the replace by date indicated by the hose manufacturer and remember ammonia hoses cannot be repaired.    3.  For applicator hoses, assure hoses are not rubbing on equipment, dragging or getting caught on the hitch or ...

Spring Ammonia Safety Classes

We are taking on-line registration for the Spring 2018 Anhydrous Ammonia Safety Schools.  Please go to www.ifca.com, you can't miss the registration box on our home page.  Click there to see the list of dates, locations, and to register on-line.  If you have questions about ammonia training please call John Rebholz at 309.827.2774.  

Spring Ammonia Safety Schools

We've set the dates and locations for the Spring 2017 anhydrous ammonia safety schools.  They are: February 21 at the Mendota Civic Center February 22 at the Holiday Inn, East Peoria February 23 at the Holiday Inn, Quincy February 24 at Poes Catering in Springfield February 27 at the Pavilion in Marion February 28 at the KC Hall in Effingham March 1 at Unique Suites in Charleston March 2 at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington The dates are posted on the calendar at www.ifca.com and on-line registration will also be availabe on our website later this week.  We will also mail registration brochures to ...

Spring Ammonia Safety Schools

The first ammonia safety school for spring 2019 will be held on January 29 at the IFCA convention.  We have a host of other classes posted on our website at www.ifca.com, so take a look and sign up for a class to be certified as a competent attendant to safely and legally handle anhydrous ammonia at your facility.  For questions related to ammonia or fertilizer regulations, please call John Rebholz at our office.  

Spring Ammonia Safety Schools

The spring anhydrous ammonia safety schools will begin on February 25.  There are nine upcoming classes available throughout the state.  These classes are taught by IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag, and those who attend will be certified as competent attendants.  To see the list of upcoming classes and to register on-line go to:  https://ifca.com/IFCA_Training

Spring Ammonia Safety Schools Begin In Two Weeks

Once every three years, everyone who works in our industry and is involved in making or breaking any ammonia connections, either at the storage tank, nurse tank or toolbars, must be certified by IDA as a competent attendant.  IFCA and IDA are offering many classes in the next couple weeks to provide this certification training. Pre-registration fee is $65 per person which includes continental breakfast & lunch.  Registration AFTER February 22, 2019 or at the door will be $75. To see the list of classes and to register on-line, click here  

Spring Ammonia Schools - Register On-Line

We are taking on-line registration for the spring 2018 anhydrous ammonia safety schools.  Any employee who works with ammonia and ammonia equipment must be certified at least once every three years to handle ammonia in Illinois, and this requirement is regularly checked and enforced by the IL Department of Agriculture.  Go to www.ifca.com and click on the box on "2018 NH3 Safety Schools" box to see the list of classes and to register.  If you need assistance registering, please call our office at 309.827.2774.  This year we are not mailing out brochures for registration, so&...

Spring Ammonia Training Classes

Beginning in February, IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag are offering eight opportunities for you to receive a competent attendant certificate from IDA, which is required of any person working with anhydrous ammonia.  The certificate is good for 3 years. Click here to access the IFCA website where you can select the month of February and March to see the classroom training opportunities, and then register on-line for the classes.  You can also contact our office at 309.827.2774.  The classes are: Feb 21 at Mendota Civic Center Feb 22 at Holiday Inn, East Peoria Feb 23 at Holiday Inn, Quincy Feb 24 ...

Spring Ammonia Training Classes

IFCA, in partnership with the IL Dept of Ag, is offering eight ammonia safety classes throughout the state of Illinois beginning on February 21.  Anyone who works with ammonia as part of their job duties must be certified as a competent attendant in Illinois and you can achieve this certification by attending one of these classes.  The certification must be renewed every three years, so check your records and be sure not to miss the opportunity if your certificate is about to expire or if you have new employees at your facility.  This training required for anyone ...

Spring NH3 Safety School Nearing

The spring anhydrous ammonia safety schools will begin on February 25.  There are nine upcoming classes available throughout the state.  These classes are taught by IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag, and those who attend will be certified as competent attendants.  Click here to see the list of upcoming classes and to register on-line.

Spring NH3 Safety Schools

The spring anhydrous ammonia safety schools are currently underway.  There are six classes remaining throughout the state, including one tomorrow at the Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington, IL.  These classes are taught by IFCA and the IL Dept of Ag, and those who attend will be certified as competent attendants.  Click here to see the list of upcoming classes and to register on-line.

Spring NH3 Safety Schools Starting Soon

The first spring ammonia safety school is February 27 in Marion, IL, followed by classes in Effingham, Charleston, Bloomington, Mendota, Galesburg, Quincy and Springfield.  To register for the classes go to www.ifca.com and click on the "2018 NH3 Safety Schools" link to register on-line.  

Spring Nitrogen Management Webinar: Recording Link

Thanks to everyone who listened to last Thursday's "Spring Nitrogen Management" webinar.  Dr. Nafziger with the University of Illinois presented new information on soil nitrate levels at fall applied nitrogen sites, as well as information on updates to the Illinois Maximum Return to Nitrogen recommendation system and yield results of many rate by timing nitrogen studies using various forms of nitrogen and inhibitor products.  The webinar was recorded and the link is here:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/5362271311330994179.  Please take the time to listen and help promote responsible nitrogen management recommendations this crop ...

Spring Nitrogen Webinar - March 20

On Friday, March 20 at 9:00 am Central Time, Dr. Emerson Nafziger will have a one-hour webinar focused on spring nitrogen management for the 2020 season.  We will offer 1 CEU in Nutrient Management.  The webinar will also be recorded and posted at www.ifca.com if you can't make it but want to listen later.  IFCA would like to thank NREC for funding the research that makes these updates possible, and GROWMARK for helping to host the webinar.     To register for the March 20 Webinar click here.  

Spring Nitrogen Webinar This Thursday, March 30

It's kind of a dreary week weather-wise, so why not dial in to a free webinar at 9:00 am CDT this Thursday, March 30 to participate in a Spring 2017 Nitrogen Management educational session.  Dr. Emerson Nafziger will review results from the 2016 nitrogen research studies as well as provide insight into the status of last fall's anhydrous ammonia applications and soil nitrate levels this spring.     To register for the webinar, click on this link:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8090182749410833409   This webinar provides 1 CEU in Nutrient Management.  Please join us for the latest updates on nitrogen ...

State Budget Contains Many Fee Increases

As the legislature completes their work this week on the state budget and spending plan, the plain truth is that there will be many fee increases set in motion to come up with funding to improve Illinois' road, bridges and other infrastructure.  The bills being debated are passing on mostly party-line votes, and while the business community is working diligently to balance the needs of the State with attempts to keep the business climate in Illinois reasonable, ultimately there will be many increased costs on businesses and citizens, including but not limited to:   Gasoline tax goes from 19 to 40 ...

State Listed Sensitive Areas & Stewardship

To help pesticide applicators with their obligation to identify sensitive areas when planning to apply dicamba, the Illinois Dept of Natural Resources developed a website that identifies all the designated state sensitive areas for things like nature preserves, protected land and water resources and areas where threatened and endangered species may exist.  All of these would be considered "sensitive areas" on the dicamba label, along with many other possible receptors.  According to the labels. everything but another dicamba tolerant crop, a paved road or the footprint of a building is a sensitive area.  Click here ...

Still time to pre-register for the 2018 MAGIE Show!

IFCA has another great MAGIE Show planned for this year. Next weeks weather forcast looks great and will be clear and in the mid 70's.  So come and check out the latest equipment in the industry.  To check out the exhibitors who will be in attendance and the layout of the grounds, click here.    There is still time to pre-register on-line for the show and we will have a name badge waiting for you.  The pre-registration reduced price of $12 will last until Sunday night.  You can still pre-register on Monday and ...

Students Fill New Applicator Training Course

The new Asmark Institute Applicator Training Course had its first full course two weeks ago and another full course taking place this week.  To see photos of the various hands-on exercises being featured at the 3 1/2 day course, click here to be directed to the Asmark website, where under "Current News" at the bottom of their home page you can see photos of the first course that are posted to the Asmark twitter account.   There are only a few seats remaining in the courses that will be offered in November.  To see the details and to ...

Successful Golf Outings

Thanks to all of our members who joined us for golf this year to support the IFCA scholarship program.  Each year we award five $1,000 scholarships to college students who are studying for a potential career in our industry.  We will release the scholarship applications in the fall, so watch our webpage and if you are an IFCA member with a child, grandchild, niece or nephew who would be eligible for this scholarship, be sure to have them apply.  

Summer NH3 To Do List

This summer, please make the necessary upgrades to your ammonia facilities to ensure compliance with the Illinois Anhydrous Ammonia Regulations.  A good place to start is here:   1.  Installation of an in-line strainer or strainer screen on the liquid unloading line at the bulkhead.  Compliance with this requirement is effective no later than December 31, 2017 for existing ammonia storage facilities.    2.  Place a "CAUTION: DRIVE MUST CHOCK WHEELS" at each bulkhead.  These signs must be permanently displayed as a reminder to the transport driver.  The signs shall be at least 8 1/2 inches high ...

Temporary Ammonia Training Certification Available

If you missed the spring IDA/IFCA anhydrous ammonia safety classes, or if you've just hired someone and they also missed the opportunity for classroom training, IFCA offers a temporary certification for the ammonia competent attendant.  The training is on-line and available here.  Once you complete the training it will issue a certificate that is good for 90 days and IFCA will submit your name to the IL Dept of Ag so they also know you have completed the temporary training.  Once you get through the season, be sure to attend the next available fall or spring ...

Thank you IFCA Sponsors!

IFCA would like to thank the many members who are participating in our annual sponsorship program for 2020.  Your extra support of IFCA is greatly appreciated, and helps us provide exceptional hospitality at the upcoming IFCA Convention (Jan 21-23 in Peoria) as well as at the MAGIE show, summer golf outings and IFCA training events.  To see the list of current sponsors in 2020, click here.  Anyone can sponsor our programs--we sent a letter about the sponsorship program to all members back in November.  If you misplaced your sponsorship invite, just give us a call at (309) 827...

The Fertilizer Industry Remembers Howard Freeland

We learned yesterday of the passing of Howard R. Freeland, an icon of the Illinois Fertilizer Industry who was known, respected and loved by many in our industry.  Howard was 80 years old.     Howard worked for Standard Oil and then as the Agronomic Sales Manager for Marco Fertilizer in Clinton, IL.  He was very active in the industry and served on many committees of the IFCA; he was also an IFCA Board Member, providing leadership to the Association during a time of rapid growth in the industry.     IFCA remembers Howard as a true professional with ...

The Latest Nitrogen Update

The promise of NREC is being realized in Illinois, with on-going evaluation of testing of soil nitrate levels and crop development providing frequent updates on the status of nitrogen and recommendations on management of N to assure both profitability and environmental responsibility.     The latest nitrogen update from the University of Illinois was published on June 11 and is posted on the IFCA website, click here.  It is entitled "The Crop Corn and Sidedress Nitrogen" and in the bulletin, Dr. Nafziger provides timely information and considerations for management of nitrogen at this point in the growing season. &...

Tier 2 and Pesticide Producing Establishment Reports

Every March 1, you are required to submit your Tier 2 chemical inventory reports to the IL Emergency Management Agency, your local emergency planning committee and your local fire departments.  Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to access the IEMA website to complete this report before March 1.  Sometimes the site gets busy towards the end of February so the earlier you can get it completed, the better.  Also, pesticide production establishment reports are due to USEPA for all pesticides that you repackaged and distributed for sale in 2016.  Don't miss the March 1 compliance date or you ...

Tier 2 Hazard Categories Expanding in 2018

When you file your Tier 2 chemical inventory reports this coming March 2018, there is a major change in the report you need to start preparing for now.  USEPA has expanded the physical and health hazard categories that you are required to enter from the Safety Data Sheets for each chemical you report.  The reason for doing this is to align with the Global Harmonization System (GHS).  There are now 23 categories within the physical and health hazards established by OSHA.     IFCA is on the Advisory Committee for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA)'s State Emergency Planning ...

Tier 2 Hazard Category Updates

The 2017 Tier 2 Chemical Inventory Reports will be due to IEMA, your LEPC and local fire departments by March 1, 2018.  This year there is a major change in this process.  The hazard categories for chemicals has been expanded.  There used to be 5 major hazard categories, and how there are 24.  This change was made to align the USEPA Right to Know laws with the OSHA Global Harmonization System.  Click here for a comparison of the old vs new hazard categories.     Even though you may not yet know your chemical inventories for 2017, you can get a ...

Tier 2 Reporting Update

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) informed us that the 2016 Tier 2 reporting process went very smoothly this year.  Next year, however, there are changes coming thanks to the United Nation's Global Harmonization System (GHS).     When you report your 2017 Tier 2 chemical inventories next year, the five hazard categories for are being substantially expanded.  ed from five to 

Tier II Reports and Pesticide Production Reports Due March 1st

The deadline of March 1 is looming for the annual Tier II chemical inventory reports and the USEPA Pesticide Production reports if you repackage pesticides for distribution or sale.  Be sure to get these reports in on time to avoid possible penalties.  If you need assistance please contact IFCA.  

Training Opportunities to Improve Safety and Compliance

IFCA's affiliation with the Asmark Institute helps us to offer professional, accessible safety and compliance training.  This summer there are plenty of opportunities to attend training in the following areas as outlined below.  Click here  to see a listing of the dates and locations of the classes.  Class space is limited so to ensure a seat you should register as soon as possible.  Click here to be directed to the Asmark Training Classes registration site.     Professional Applicator Training (1 day):  Classes will be held on September 28 and 30 at the Asmark ...

Two Year Delay on Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is extending the compliance date for Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from February 07, 2020 until February 07, 2022. This delay will allow FMCSA additional time to complete the development of the Training Provider Registry (TPR).  This extension will also allow State Drivers Licensing Agencies more time to modify their information technology (IT) systems in order to receive ELDT data from the TPR.  Click here to reach the official document.

UAN Storage Regulations

As the spring fertilizer and planting season remains on hold for much of the state, we've received questions at IFCA about the storage of UAN in light of growers pondering whether to switch from NH3 to UAN this spring.  Here is a summary of the rules for UAN storage in Illinois, as per the Illinois Department of Agriculture regulations:     1.  At agrichemical facilities, UAN storage is required be within containment and your containment permit updated to include any tanks added to existing or new containment.  This applies to stationary UAN tanks.  Mobile storage ...

UCR Registration Years Starts April 1, 2019

If you are an interstate motor carrier and have motorized commercial vehicles that cross state lines, you must register and pay the Uniform Carrier Registration Fee.  The fee is based upon the number of vehicles that operate in interstate commerce.  To register, go to https://icc.illinois.gov/motorcarrier/ucr.aspx  This website also has a handbook you can download that explains the UCR.  Enforcement will begin on April 1, so please be sure your UCR registration is current.  

UI Guidance on Dicamba Labels & Counties with Endangered Species

Dr. Aaron Hager at the University of Illinois issued a new Bulletin today that explains how to manage the new 57 foot omnidirectional buffers in counties where USEPA determines there is an endangered species that must be protected by a buffer when applying dicamba to soybean.     Click here to see the UI bulletin.  The bulletin also features an updated map of the counties where the 57 foot buffer applies to protect sensitive areas.  Click here to see the map of Endangered Species Counties in Illinois as of this time.  Applicators will need to  check the &...

UI Offers Guidance on Fall Fertilizer Applications Including Fall N

Today, Dr. Emerson Nafziger posted a new Bulletin titled "Notes on Fall Fertilization."  This written article follows up on the information Dr. Nafziger presented in a webinar on October 19, which focused on results from 2018 N rate trials and guidance on starting fall ammonia applications.  The UI Bulletin can be viewed at http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/?p=4364 or downloaded from the IFCA homepage at www.ifca.com.  On our homepage we have a link to the recorded webinar and we also post daily soil temps.  Soon we will have all the N rate ...

Uniform Carrier Registration

The Uniform Carrier Registration regulation, known as UCR, requires companies who are engaged in interstate commerce to register with the Illinois Commerce Commission and pay an annual fee based on the number of commercial motor vehicles that cross state lines.     An excellent fact sheet on the UCR and how it applies in agriculture is available here.  This fact sheet was developed by the Illinois Farm Bureau and we thank them for sharing this information with IFCA.  The IL Commerce Commission is now taking on-line registrations and fee payment for the 2018 year.  The UCR does ...

Unsolicited Packages of Seed from China

Residents from several states, including Illinois, have recently received unsolicited packages in the mail containing seed. Some of these packages are believed to be from China as they have Chinese writing on them. As of right now it is unknown if the seeds are those of an invasive species that could potentially impact our agricultural industry or environment. For this reason, it is recommended that anyone who received one of these unsolicited packages contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Ag Products Inspection 217-782-3817.   For more information, click HERE to see a short article and video ...

Upcoming CEU Opportunities

With so many conferences and field days cancelled, we know that CCAs are looking for opportunities to pick up continuing education credits.  Thanks to the efforts of The Fertilizer Institute, here are two upcoming, free on-line events:   August 20:   1 CEU in Soil & Water:  4Rs and Conservation Practices - Opening Carbon Credit Markets.  Click here to register.     August 26: "Is there enough time to use the data collected in 2020 for variable rate applications in 2020?”  Click here to register.  We are not sure what the CEU category ...

Upcoming Dicamba Training Classes

If you intend to apply to apply dicamba to soybean in 2020, you MUST receive your dicamba certification again this year.  As the winter winds down, so do the number of classes on the calendar.  There is no cost to attend the training, and you can register for a class by going to the IFCA Dicamba Training website.  On-line dicamba training will also be accepted this year, but we encourage anyone who can attend in-person training to do so.  

Upcoming Dicamba Training Classes - Mt. Vernon Today

IFCA has been organizing classroom dicamba training opportunities, similar to what we did last year.  So far, there are classroom events being offered following most of the UI Private Applicator Clinics, and several of our retail members have also arranged for events to be taught by one of the registrants, and are willing to allow additional people to come in to these classes.  The Dicamba Training Website at www.ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining features the currently available classes.     If your retail location is planning on having the registrants come in to train, and you are ...

Upcoming Events

Pesticide Applicator Training:  There are still a few open seats available for the Asmark Applicator Training Class the week of November 7.  The following week, the class is full.  This will be one of the last classes in 2017 so consider signing up your new operators for this program.  Register here.     IFCA Convention:  The IFCA Convention & Trade Show is January 16-18, 2018 at the Peoria Civic Center.  We are finalizing the program, so watch for registration information in mid November.    

Upcoming IFCA Events

Mark your calendars to attend one or all of the upcoming summer events IFCA will be hosting.   The 2014 MAGIE Show will be August 20 & 21 in Bloomington, IL at the McLean County Fairgrounds. On line registration will begin in July.   Golf Outings:    Thursday, July 24th we will be playing at Senica's Oak Ridge in LaSalle, IL    Thursday, July 31st we will be playing at a NEW location - Fox Prairie Golf Course in Windsor, IL   Registration forms for the golf outings will be mailed next week; proceeds go toward the IFCA scholarship ...

Upcoming IFCA Events

MAGIE is August 22-23 at the McLean County Fairgrounds.  Watch for a mailing and on-line registration later this summer.    The National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School is August 21-22 at the Asmark Agricenter.  Go to www.naehss.org to see the agenda and to register.     The IFCA Golf Outings are July 25 and LaSalle Senica's Oak Ridge Course and August 2 at Windsor Fox Creek Course.  Click here to access the brochure and send in your registration.     The Fall Anhydrous Ammonia courses are listed on the IFCA homepage at www.ifca....

Upcoming IFCA Events

Golf Outings:  This year we are having two golf outings to help support the IFCA scholarship fund.  You should have received a registration form in the mail.  The outings are July 23 at the Spring Creek golf course in Spring Valley and July 30 at the Fox Prairie course in Windsor.  Please send in your registration form to IFCA or call our office to register.     MAGIE:  MAGIE is August 21-22, 2019 at the McLean County Fairgrounds.  Watch for a flyer in the mail in early July, or go ahead and ...

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Dicamba Label Training:   If you intend to apply to apply dicamba to soybean in 2020, you MUST attend dicamba label training again this year.  Today the first classroom event is at 2:00 pm in Mt. Vernon following the private applicator clinic.  There is also a class on Friday (Dec 13) in Champaign and a class next week in Springfield.  All of these classes are taught by Dr. Bill Simmons on behalf of BASF.  There is no cost to attend the training.  To register for dicamba training go to the IFCA Dicamba Training website.  On-line ...

Upcoming Training: Field Crop, Ammonia, Spring Nutrient Webinar, Watershed Meeting

There are several training opportunities available for our members, to help you prepare you for spring 2019.  They are:   IFCA & IDA Anhydrous Ammonia Training:  Classes begin this week, with the first class in Marion tomorrow (Feb 26).  There are still openings in many of the classes in order for you to receive your Competent Attendant Certification to safely handle anhydrous ammonia.  Click here to see the list of available classes and to register:  https://ifca.com/IFCA_Training   Meeting the Challenge of Spring Fertilizer Management - March 1 Webinar:  Click here to ...

Update on COVID Regulatory Issues

IFCA continues to update our "Frequently Asked Questions" document and we also post all the pertinent regulatory relief announcements under our COVID Resource Section under "In the News" on the IFCA website.  The list grows longer each week, and if you have any questions about the various relief provisions please do not hesitate to contact our staff.     The one area where relief has not been forthcoming yet is for persons needing new CDLs or endorsements.  With the Secretary of State offices closed during this important "stay in place" timeframe, testing ...

Update on Dicamba Certified Applicator Requirement

We know that our retail members are in limbo regarding the final determination of what steps need to be taken to enable licensed operators to apply dicamba in 2019.  IFCA has asked the registrants of the products as well as the Ag Retailers Association to inquire with USEPA this week as to whether or not an individual who has taken and passed the general standards exam would be considered "certified" to apply dicamba.     As we wait for an answer, the clock is ticking.  It may very well be that all licensed operators will also ...

Update on Dicamba Training

IFCA continues to add classes to the dicamba training website.  Thanks to the IFCA members who have contacted us and helped arrange for training events that will be open to anyone to attend.  We recently added many classes in southern Illinois as well as other geographies, so please check the site regularly.  We've already trained over 1,300 people and classes are averaging over 100 people per class.  There is no charge to attend the training, and there is no exam, just your attendance and attention is required.     Last week a postcard was mailed ...

Update on Dicamba Training

By the end of this week, Illinois will have over 7,000 applicators trained to apply dicamba to soybeans in 2018.  We've completed over 80 class and have about 55 more on the calendar.  We added four classes that will be taught by Purdue University, thus giving those who attend these classes their certification to apply dicamba in both Indiana and Illinois.  Those classes are Feb 26 in Covington, IN; March 1 in West Lebanon, IN; March 8 in Vincennes, IN and March 13 in Allendale, IL.  There is no charge to attend any dicamba training classes, but please pre-register for them ...

Update on FEMA Face Coverings

We know that you have been anxious to receive your face coverings from FEMA.  IFCA submitted an order to FEMA for all of our retail and distribution members back on April 21.  But nothing has shown up yet.  We were able to reach someone at the Dept of Homeland Security this week and they were extremely apologetic for the delay.  They also could not tell us when the face coverings might arrive.  Our recommendation is this:  Don't wait on the FEMA face coverings as your only option for face coverings.  You can use ...

Update on FEMA Face Coverings - In the Mail

On April 21, IFCA sent in an order to FEMA for face coverings for all ag retail and fertilizer/chemical distribution facilities in Illinois.  FEMA initially said it would take 7-10 days for facilities to receive the shipments.  Right now, FEMA reports they are having some issues with the US Postal Service, so it may take a few extra days.  But keep an eye out for them, they will hopefully begin arriving today and next week.  The face coverings (from the Hanes Company) will arrive at your main office location and you will need to distribute them ...

Update on Field Crop Training & Testing

There are only two remaining opportunities to attend field crop (FC) training:  on January 29 at the IFCA Convention in Peoria, and on February 11 at the Illinois Conference Center in Champaign.  The class in Jacksonville on February 7 is full.     We have over 200 scheduled to attend FC training at the IFCA convention on Tuesday, but we can still take more.  With the frigid weather we are expecting, and limited lunch venues close to the Civic Center, we have made arrangements with the Peoria Civic Center to have their concessions open for lunch on ...

Update on Field Crop Training and Testing

As over 400 people are taking the field crop exam in Peoria today.  Wow.  We just want to thank you again for rising to the challenge of this significant regulatory burden imposed by the new dicamba labels.     There are still openings for the field crop training and testing clinic in Utica this Friday, Jan 18.  You can also still sign up for the training at Carterville on Jan 25, the IFCA convention on Jan 29 and for the final class in Champaign on February 11.  All four of these field crop training clinics were added to ...

Update on IDOA Pesticide Misuse Numbers

As of today, August 6, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reports that they have received a total of 457 formal pesticide related complaints since January 2019.  Of those 457 complaints, 277 are dicamba related.  IDA processed 65 dicamba-related complaints just yesterday.  To put this in perspective, prior to the advent of dicamba application on soybean, the number of agriculture pesticide related complaints rarely exceeded 100-120 complaints per year.  In 2017, dicamba complaints reached 246 and in 2018, they hit 330.   The University of Illinois published a bulletin on on dicamba observations last Friday, and you can read that bulletin here.  Last week the University ...

Update on Nitrates and Lake Water Quality

Historically, April and May are the two months when nitrate levels in Illinois water supplies rise and can approach 10 ppm (the federal drinking water standard) or higher.  Lakes Decatur, Springfield, Bloomington/Evergreen and Vermilion are all surface water supplies that provide drinking water and therefore managing nitrate levels to keep them below 10 ppm is a high priority.  For the past 8 years, IFCA has worked with these water supplies to better monitor what is occurring in the lakes, and we keep our members in the watersheds aware of nitrate levels as we all work to improve nutrient utilization.&...

Update on Pesticide Complaints

As of May 25, the IDA has received 34 formal pesticide misuse complaints; 21 of these are ag related.  So far, there have been no complaints filed regarding dicamba use, but IDA did share that this week, the number of phone calls they received about alleged pesticide misuse increased over previous weeks.  Please review again the Dicamba Stewardship tips we have posted on the IFCA homepage here.  We continue to get calls at our office about training opportunities; the links to the on-line dicamba training modules are also available in the Dicamba Stewardship portion on the IFCA website.  &...

Updated 2015 NREC Brochure

The Illinois Nutrient Research &  Education Council (NREC) has a new tri-fold brochure that explains the purpose and structure of NREC and highlights the 20 projects underway targeted at improving nutrient utilization, increasing crop production and protecting water quality.  If you would like to include this brochure in any mailings to your farmer customers with your spring fertilizer invoices, call IFCA at 309.827.2774 and let us know how many copies you need and we will send them to you free of charge as part of NREC's outreach mission.  This year, many state funds were swept and if NREC ...

Upgrading to Applicator License Recommended

Licensed operators in Illinois are doing a terrific job of attending field crop training and taking the exam in order to become certified commercial applicators to apply Engenia, Xtendimax or FeXapan, or to mix and load these products in the upcoming season.  There are only 4 opportunities available yet this year to take the UI training for field crops.  All other classes are full.  The open classes are below and you can register for the classes by going to https://web.extension.illinois.edu/psep/   January 18 at Utica January 25 at Carterville January 29 at the IFCA ...

USEPA & Dicamba Label; IFCA Dicamba BMPs

In the coming days, the industry is expecting USEPA to announce changes to the pesticide labels for the over the top dicamba products (Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan).  We will keep you informed on those actions and how it will impact the industry in terms of product use and product labels for your existing inventory.       This month, the IFCA Board of Directors had very productive meetings with personnel at both BASF and Monsanto.  We shared the results of the IFCA dicamba use survey with them and had open dialogue on what went right, and ...

USEPA Visiting Retailers on RMP Compliance

Region 5 USEPA is out visiting Illinois ag retailers to check their level of compliance with the Risk Management Plan (RMP) for anhydrous ammonia.  Please take some time to review your RMP.  If you use the Asmark myRMP program (which USEPA endorses) it will provide you access to all the mechanical integrity requirements as well as other required elements of the RMP.  But as with all regulations, you must ensure that your plan is unique to each ammonia facility including your operating procedures and information on your storage and nurse tanks.  Someone on site should be very ...

Virgil Harbach: IFCA Remembers A Visionary Leader

Virgil Harbach, one of the founders of H G & N - Harbrand Inc. passed away yesterday, June 26, at the age of 92.    For the many in our industry who knew Virgil, and for those who only knew his name, we can say simply that he was uniformly admired, respected and beloved for his contributions to the industry over many years.  He helped form what is today's Illinois retail fertilizer industry and was one of the founding members not only of the company that still bears his name, but was also instrumental in the establishment of the ...

Virtual MAGIE

Thanks to everyone who is watching the MAGIE 2020 videos produced by our terrific MAGIE exhibitors.  Virtual MAGIE returns on Monday, August 17.  But you can still check out all the short videos posted this week at the MAGIE Virtual Gallery.  Exhibitors are featuring special sales and give-away opportunities, so take a look and keep the MAGIE spirit alive! 

Virtual MAGIE Show - Day - Final Day

From the desk of Leslie Forrest, IFCA Director of Office & Membership Programs:  As I sit here in front of my computer writing for the last day of this Virtual MAGIE experience, I have been reflecting back on the last 16 MAGIE shows I helped organize.  What a ride it has been and the show has always been my opportunity to put faces with the names I see on paperwork and the voices I hear on the phone.  Whether or not I remember your name each year, I sure look forward to seeing you all walk through the ...

Watch for AASA Inspection Letter

This summer the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) will be inspecting bulk pesticide facilities in Illinois to help you assure compliance with the federal regulations governing bulk pesticide storage, containment and repackaging.  AASA will send each facility a letter ahead of time informing you of the inspection process and they will also call to set up an appointment for the inspection.  You can access learn more about AASA by going to their website at www.aginspect.com and the checklist on the website is also available directly by clicking here.  If you have any questions ...

Webinar on Bulk Storage Containers Tomorrow, Dec 17

Tomorrow, December 17, 2020 at 1:00 pm Central Standard Time, CropLife is hosting a webinar sponsored by Syngenta on the Design, Management and Cleaning of Pesticide Bulk Tanks.  Scott Birchfield of Syngenta and Jean Payne of IFCA are the speakers on the webinar.  This is part 4 of a series of webinars designed to help you ensure compliance with federal regulations pertaining to your bulk pesticide facilities.  We promise lots of visuals to explain bulk storage tank compliance and informative explanations of the requirements.    To see more information and to register for this free webinar, click here.  

Where is the Dicamba Label?

All indications are that we will see a new label for use of dicamba on soybeans, but it could arrive just before the current labels expire on Nov 9.  As we prepare for what is likely to be a more restrictive label and mandatory training again for all applicators, the IL Dept of Ag continues to work through the 537 total pesticide misuse complaints in 2018 (330 of those are attributed to dicamba).  As of Oct 19, IDA has issued findings on about 50% of the cases.  They have issued 148 warning letters: 103 on dicamba misuse and 45 on other ag related pesticide misuse.  ...

Worker Protection Standard - New Requirements

Changes to the USEPA Worker Protection Standard went into effect this past January, and one new item is that all pesticide handlers, including employees who work for ag retailers, must be trained on Worker Protection.  Licensed commercial applicators are exempt from the annual WPS training, but licensed operators ARE NOT EXEMPT.  This means that your spray operators have to have the WPS training, and you must use the USEPA approved WPS training program and train them prior to them handling or applying pesticides this spring.     Go to www.ifca.com; we have the USEPA approved ...

Your Chance of High Blood Pressure Just Went Up!

High blood pressure is now considered to be 130/80 mm Hg, rather than 140/90 mm Hg, according to updated guidelines published by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).  The more stringent blood pressure standards are expected to affect those under the age of 45 the most.  The AHA reports that those diagnosed with high blood pressure will triple for men and double for women in that age group.  It is unclear at this time if and when DOT may revise the driver medical qualification standards based on the new guidelines  (Source:  Asmark ...