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2024 Ag Retail Salary Survey

Throughout the year, IFCA receives questions from our members regarding salary ranges for ag retail employees to see if they are competitive with other companies in the industry. IFCA wants to thank Margy Eckelkamp with the "The Daily Scoop" for putting out their "2024 Salary Survey". The survey shows the trends of two key occupations in the ag retail: sales agronomists and applicators. This year's survey had over one hundred responses from twenty-eight different states.

Annual Ag Lime Producer Information Booklet Now Available

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

Arizona Federal Judge Vacates Dicamba Registrations

A federal court in Arizona on Tuesday vacated the 2020 registrations of three dicamba products previously approved by the EPA for over-the-top applications including XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium in soybeans and cotton.  The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona leaves ag retailers and farmers without the use dicamba in the upcoming growing season. The impact of the judge's ruling on 2024 acreage in Illinois and across the country is unclear currently. It’s the second time in recent years that dicamba has been subject to an adverse court order. In June 2020, the 9...

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

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

Asmark 2024 Applicator Manuals

  IFCA has partnered with the Asmark Institute to offer 2024 Applicator Manuals. The 1,800 page book contains over 150+ specimen labels of the most popular custom applied products. This manual has become the industry standard in helping comply with EPA's requirement to have current label information available for applicators while handling or applying pesticides. Place a copy in every piece of application equipment and nurse or tendering units. Click here or click the photo above to be redirected to order your manual(s) today.

Bulk Pesticide Inspection Program Webinar

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

CFATS Reauthorization

The CFATS program expired at the end of July, leaving facilities that handle sensitive fertilizer products without critical security tools. Click here to quickly and easily tell your members of Congress that the CFATS program provides important tools and resources to keep our nation’s chemical facilities secure and should be reauthorized as quickly as possible.    IFCA and The Fertilizer Institute have been working member on congress on this important issue.  If the CFATS reauthorization starts moving in Washington D.C., we will let our membership know.

Clarification: Ban on Transporting Chlorpyrifos

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

Commercial Applicator/Operator Training Schedule

The University of Illinois’ Pesticide Safety Education Program will once again be hosting commercial applicator/operator training for the categories of general standards and field crops throughout the state beginning January 2024. Please click here to view the upcoming training schedule. Click here to be redirected to register for training.   Training for general standards and testing for all categories will once again be held at IFCA’s Winter Convention, Wednesday, January 17th. General standards training will run from 8am – noon and testing in all categories will be held at 1pm.

Contact Your Illinois Senator Today to Oppose SB 771 “Illinois Wetland Initiative”

This week, IFCA asked our members to contact their Illinois state senator regarding SB 771. Proponents claim SB 771 intends to restore wetland protections that were in place prior to the US Supreme Court’s ruling on WOTUS last year (the Sackett Decision). Unfortunately, this legislation would far exceed what was in place pre-Sackett. The resulting regulatory, logistical, and financial challenges could prevent farmers and ag businesses from improving drainage, adopting conservation practices, and delay important farm operation decisions. With your calls the past few days, senators have heard from agricultural and business how bad this legislation is.  The ...

Corteva Chlorpyrifos Return Policy

Corteva Agriscience is announcing a return and credit process for channel-owned inventory of chlorpyrifos brands. In August 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would revoke all tolerances for Chlorpyrifos, which establishes the amount of a pesticide that is allowed on food. The Final Rule was effective October 29, 2021, with tolerances for all commodities expiring on February 28, 2022. Please click here to view a pdf that lists Corteva Agriscience chlorpyrifos brands to be returned and for instructions on how to contact Corteva Customer Service to arrange returns.

Cover Crop Directories

ISAP’s Cover Crop Dealer Directory lists seed dealers and service providers (e.g. custom seeding) across Illinois. The Directory is available as a free download from ISAP's website: https://ilsustainableag.org/cover-crop-seed-dealers-directory/   (click the green button to download a pdf version, or choose the "live" link to access a Google Sheet that can be filtered and sorted)    Would you like to be listed on the directory?  Add your business to the directory using this simple form (takes less than 2 minutes to complete).  The dealer directory complements our existing Cover ...

COVID Resources

COVID Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

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

Crop Central farmdoc: Two-Rate Nitrogen Trials

Click the heading above or here to read Dr. Nafziger's latest Crop Central farmdoc on the new two-rate nitrogen trials being implemented throughout the state. If you are interested in participating, please click here to be redirected to IFCA's webpage where you can fill out a sibmission form.

ELDT Webinar Recording

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

Emergency Response Reporting Instructions

EPA Accepts Atrazine Science Panel Recommendations

IFCA applauds EPA for agreeing with the recommendations of the atrazine Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP), removing several poor-quality studies that played a role in the agency’s recommendation for an ultra-low aquatic level of concern for atrazine. The SAP was held in August 2023 at the request of the ag input industry. The panel considered EPA’s white paper and stakeholder comments to exclude or rescore several questionable studies used to set the aquatic concentration equivalent level of concern (CELOC).   Scientists on the panel expressed appreciation to the farmers and agriculture representatives who testified on the real-world benefits ...

EPA Registration Amendment: June 12 Dicamba Cutoff Date for Soybean

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

EPA Rejects Petition on Treated Seeds

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

EPA Solicits Comments on Treated Seeds

EPA has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public comments and suggestions about seeds that have been coated in pesticides, otherwise known as treated seeds.   Specifically, EPA is seeking comment on whether it should adopt a rule requiring treated seeds to be regulated under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Currently, treated seeds are not subject to FIFRA registration requirements like other pesticide products. However, recent litigation filed by environmental groups and action taken by state legislatures have raised the question of whether treated seeds should be subject to additional regulation.   Further, EPA is ...

Fall Ammonia Safety Reminders

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

Fall Ammonia Season Safety Reminders

As we prepare for the upcoming fall ammonia season, here is a listing of 14 key safety reminders and recommendations for handling & transporting anhydrous ammonia from IFCA:   1.  Remember to always utilize your ammonia gloves and chemical splash goggles when working around ammonia.  Never wear contact lenses when working around anhydrous ammonia. 2.  Always assume ammonia is present in all equipment or hoses and thoroughly purge the ammonia prior to inspection or maintenance.   3.  Inspect those ammonia hoses for any nicks, cuts, soft spots, and coupler slippage.  When in doubt, purge and change the hose ...

FMCSA Seasonal Ag CDL Reforms

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

FMCSA-PHMSA issues safety advisory on Possible Catastrophic Failure of Nurse Tanks and Recommendation for Periodic Testing

On February 20th, 2024, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a safety advisory related to the catastrophic failure of a nurse tank that occurred in Iowa on August 23, 2023. The tank was manufactured by American Welding and Tank LLC at its Freemont, Ohio plant in 2009. The FMCSA-PHMSA advisory focuses on those specific tanks manufactured by American Welding and Tank LLC between January 01, 2007, through December 31, 2011. FMCSA-PHMSA recommends that those tanks within the listed date range undergo a visual, thickness and pressure test. For those tank owners that are unable ...

Foods Safety Groups Want Dicamba Registration Pulled

Food safety groups asked a federal judge in Arizona at the end of April to vacate the dicamba registrations of Bayer's XtendiMax herbicide, BASF's Engenia and Syngenta's Tavium, in an ongoing legal battle that could determine how or if the products can be used. The case is unlikely to affect the dicamba's availability for the upcoming growing season, because briefing schedules run through June in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona -- meaning a potential court decision could come later in the summer.   In April, the Center for Biological Diversity, National ...

Glyphosate Interim Decision Withdrawn; EPA Anticipates Final Registration in 2026

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

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

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

IDOA Files Rules for Dicamba on Soybeans in 2022

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

IDOA Pesticide Registration Tool

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

IFCA Comments on EPA's Proposed Rodenticide Mitigation Measures

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

IFCA Fall 2022 Newsletter

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

IFCA Receives Update from EPA on Existing Stocks Order for Dicamba

On February 6, 2024, a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Arizona vacating the 2020 registrations for over-the-top (OTT) dicamba products, IFCA received this information from the EPA on existing stocks of dicamba for the 2024 cropping season:   On February 14, 2024, EPA issued an Existing Stocks Order for Dicamba Products Previously Registered for Over-the-Top Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Cotton and Soybean. This Order addresses use of the formerly-registered dicamba products and authorizes limited sale and distribution of dicamba products that are already in the possession of growers or in the channels of trade and outside the control of the pesticide companies.   Existing ...

IFCA Scholarship Application

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

IFCA Submits Comments to EPA Regarding Herbicide Strategy, Urges Members to Make Comments

This Week, IFCA submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its Herbicide Strategy Plan. The comment period on the Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework will close on Sunday, October 22nd. It is critically important that our members have their voices heard prior to the comment closing period as this could substantially change the nature in how we apply crop protection products in the U.S. The workplan outlines steps the agency is taking to increase protections for endangered species and provide regulatory certainty for pesticide users.   EPA has proposed a list of mitigation measures that ...

IFCA Winter 2021 Newsletter

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

IFCA Working Capitol Hill

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

IFCA's "News Under the Dome"

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

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

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

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

IFCA understands the pressure our industry faces this spring when planters start rolling and weather conditions are not ideal. It is important that we remain focused on implementing good stewardship practices while preventing legislative proposals and additional regulations. The public is watching us very closely!   These recommendations for spraying should be practiced to accomplish effective spray applications in the field according to label directions, including performing the application in such a manner as to minimize spray drift.  Staying up to date on labeling, regulations, technology, methods, and BMPs is the most important factor in achieving effective, economical, ...

Illinois Attorney General Files Suit Against PFAS Makers

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

Illinois Attorney General Raoul Urges U.S. EPA to Regulate Pesticide

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul Tuesday announced he and 12 other attorneys general have penned at letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging them to implement restrictions on pesticides that have demonstrated harm to bees.   In the letter, they argue that the chemical sulfoxaflor has shown to be dangerous to bees, and that any threat to pollinators could ultimately have harmful effects on the environment, the economy, and the nation's food security.   They are urging the EPA to restrict the pesticide's using while crops are blooming and bees are active, reimpose a buffer zone ...

Illinois Centennial Soil Archive Project

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

Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council

Illinois Pesticide Review Newsletter

Every other month, Illinois Extension provides a new Illinois Pesticide Review Newsletter. Here you will find information on legislation, regulations and other developments directly impacting pesticide use in Illinois.

Illinois State Capitol Update

The General Assembly came back in session this week for a 3-day work week.  A few committees were scheduled but it was a very quiet week. The major conversations being held around the Capitol revolved around bill introductions. All bills have to be released from the Legislative Reference Bureau by next Friday. We are starting to see a few bills already kicked out and assigned to committee. Two bills that IFCA are extremely concerned about are SB2757 and HB4814. SB2757 would eliminate pesticide preemption in the State of Illinois. As our members know, pesticide preemption passed in the ...

Inspecting Operational & Secondary Containment, Loading & Unloading Area Containment

With the start of the spring season quickly approaching and the news of a containment breach in Iowa and most recently in Illinois, this is a good reminder to make sure operational and secondary containment structures are well maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Some of the IDOA requirements include visually inspecting containment structures weekly including written inspections and maintenance, inspection and maintenance of storage containers including all appurtenances to minimize the risk of discharge. Valves and external site gauges for liquid fertilizer shall remain closed and locked. For more information related to the requirements for operational and secondary ...

Mandatory Annual Dicamba Training

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

Mark Your Calendars, IFCA Legislative Reception on March 22nd

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

New IL Ammonia Rules & Compliance Guide

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

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

New Nitrogen Rate Trial Protocol

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

New Version of Cover Crop Guide

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

NH3 Grower Training

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

NH3 Grower Training

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

NH3 Safety Checklist for Growers

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

NREC Cooperator Receives Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism

Eric Miller, a farmer in Piatt County, was recently the recipient of the Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism. The $10,000 award is given to a grower who exemplifies an entrepreneurial spirit and advances innovation through their business practices. IFCA’s Director of Nutrient Stewardship, Dan Schaefer, has been working side by side with Eric on his farm researching NREC (Nutrient Research and Education Council) funded projects for close to a decade, and IFCA is happy to see Eric awarded for his efforts in studying agricultural best management practices.   Please click here to read more about ...

NTIP Markings for Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tanks

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

NTSB Preliminary report on Teutopolis roadway incident

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on Wednesday listing details of the roadway incident that occurred on September 29, 2023, near Teutopolis, IL that resulted in the release of anhydrous ammonia. Additionally, five people in the area of the crash died and eleven others sustained injuries ranging from minor to severe due to their exposure to anhydrous ammonia. Click here to read the preliminary report.

NTSB Publishes Final Report on Beach Park Ammonia Release

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

On Farm Containment Required for Storage that Exceeds 45 Days

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

Pesticide Disposal Companies

On several occasions, IFCA receives phone calls from our members seeking companies that offer pesticide or hazardous waste disposal.  We have updated a list of those companies that offer fee-based pesticide disposal. Please click here to view the list.

Pesticide Disposal Companies Resource

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

Pesticide Recordkeeping Reminder

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

Pesticide Storage Containers, Plumbing & Appurtenances

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

Reminder About Custom Blending Regulations

This week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent out a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Compliance Advisory regarding custom blending. This encompasses blending pesticides with other pesticides, pesticides with fertilizer, and pesticides with feed.   There are no new regulations, but it is meant to clarify the existing regulations for those who custom blend. The information is below:   Definition: A custom blender is any establishment which provides the service of mixing registered pesticides to a customer’s specifications, specifically, a pesticide-pesticide, pesticide-fertilizer, or pesticide-animal feed mixture. Custom blending means the service of mixing pesticides to ...

Reminder: Know Your Customers on Any Sale of Fuel, Fertilizer or Crop Protection Products

Earlier this spring, one of our members received a phone call from an unknown individual requesting to purchase fertilizer over the phone. The individual in question wanted to purchase a rather large amount of fertilizer and was willing to provide payment over the phone.  This individual would not provide any details on the intended use and made several follow-up phone calls trying to convince the Ag retailer to sell him the fertilizer. If you do receive any suspicious phone calls requesting the purchase of fuel, fertilizer, or crop protection products, document any requests and contact your local law enforcement.

Restricted B Drivers Not Required to Take ELDT

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

Spring Ammonia Safety Reminders

As we prepare for the upcoming spring ammonia season, here are fourteen key safety reminders to keep foremost in mind when handling ammonia.     14 Key Safety Reminders and Recommendations for Handling & Transporting Anhydrous Ammonia from IFCA   1. Remember to always utilize your ammonia gloves and chemical splash goggles when working around ammonia. Never wear contact lenses when working around anhydrous ammonia.   2. Always assume ammonia is present in all equipment or hoses and thoroughly purge the ammonia prior to inspection or maintenance.   3. Inspect those ammonia hoses for any nicks, cuts, soft spots, and coupler slippage. When in ...

Spring Ammonia Season Reminders

The next couple of weeks will be busy with ammonia application in Illinois.  Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when working with ammonia:   1.  Slow down!  Nurse tanks should not travel down the road at more than 25 mph.   2.  ALWAYS turn the nurse tank valves off at the tank source and disconnect hoses before pulling onto a public roadway.  This is required by law.  You should never have a "charged" system when sharing the road with other motorists.   3.  Nurse tanks should not be operated in low light ...

Tell Congress that Potash and Phosphate ARE Critical Minerals

Congress is currently considering legislation to add potash and phosphate to the critical minerals list, a list held by the U.S. Geological Survey that designates minerals of high importance for America’s supply chains, consumer needs, and national security. Once a substance is listed as a critical mineral, a single agency is assigned to permit applications and is responsible for coordinating with all other agencies necessary for final approval.    IFCA is working with The Fertilizer Institute on an easy way to tell your members of Congress that potash and phosphate are critical to both the country'...

The Bulletin: Fall Nitrogen

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

U.S. Commerce Lowers Phosphate Fertilizer Duties

The U.S. Commerce Department announced it is lowering duties placed on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco from 19.97% to 2.12%. The decision came after the agency conducted an administrative review of the duties, which is performed annually by retroactively examining the price of shipments and other factors. The issue stems from a decision by Commerce that favored a petition by Mosaic to impose duties on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco and Russia. Mosaic claims that unfairly subsidized foreign companies were flooding the U.S. market and selling their products at extremely low prices.

UI Bulletin: Fall Field Work Following a Wet October

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

UI Bulletin: Fertilizer Decisions, Fall 2021

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

UI Bulletin: Notes as Fall Harvest Continues

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

UI Crop Central Bulletin: Spring Nitrogen Management

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

Understanding the New ELDT Requirements

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

Uniform Carrier Registration

Updated Dicamba Guidance Document

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

USDA Announces $500 Million for Domestic Fertilizer Production

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

USDOT (PHMSA) Conducting Random Audits in Illinois on Anhydrous Ammonia Nurse Tanks

We have become aware USDOT (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) has been conducting random audits in Illinois on ammonia nurse tanks.  Some of the items they are focusing on include but are not limited to:   •     Proper securement of the nurse tank to the trailer/running gear •     Ammonia nurse tanks properly placarded and labeled along with the condition/visibility of the placards & labels. •     Nurse tank name plates/data plates.  If the data plate is not affixed or no longer legible, is ...

USEPA Releases Dicamba Summary and FAQ

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

Vaccine Rollout for 1B Essential Workers - Steps to Follow

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

Webinar Recording / IFCA - Nitrogen Considerations for the 2023 Season

On Thursday, March 23rd, IFCA held a public webinar to discuss considerations for applying fertilizer for the Spring amidst all the late winter/early spring rains here in Illinois. In an effort to educate our members, we asked Emerson Nafziger from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to share his insights and discuss advice for this upcoming planting season.  Click Here to rewatch the recording.  IFCA thanks NREC for funding the research that makes these updates possible. 

Wheel, Axle Loads and Gross Weights

Please be aware that during spring planting season and fall harvest, Illinois State Police will be setting up portable scales. Most recently we received notification from our members that had received fines related to exceeding axle limits. All roads in Illinois have standardized weight limits based on the Federal Bridge Formula. The Federal bridge formula allows 20,000# per single axle, 34,000# per tandem axle, and 80,000# maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW.)  Illinois State Police in cooperation with IDOT operate semi-portable scales within the 11 State Police Districts in Illinois. There are also approximately twenty-one permanent scale sites operated by ...

Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

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