Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

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 applied ammonia.  This means waiting until soil temperatures fall to 50 degrees at the 4 inch level, at the maximum daily temperature.  It also means stabilizing fall applied nitrogen with a labeled nitrification inhibitor.  On-going NREC funded research shows that fall applied nitrogen remains a practical 4R practice in terms of achieving desired corn yields, but it is vital to protect this nitrogen.  IFCA hosts a link to the Illinois Soil Temperatures on our website, both under the "Keep it 4R Crop" menu as well as on the page under 'In the News."  Please watch the soil temps and talk to your customers about fall nitrogen stewardship.  Thank you in advance for your commitment to the 4Rs and reducing nitrogen losses. 
On a related note, NREC has published a new Cover Crop Guide based upon recent research on cover crops ahead of soybeans.  Click here to download the Guide; if you would like printed copies please email and we will send you as many as you request, free of charge.  
Illinois remains free of litigation, regulation or legislation pertaining to nutrient use and that is largely because we have been proactive and effective leaders who implement the 4Rs.  Thanks everyone!