Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA), Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), alongside several agricultural partners, announced preliminary findings this week from the first-ever Illinois Ag Retail Survey.
The survey set a new baseline to track nutrient management practice adoption and quantify nutrient loss reduction to meet state Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) goals through voluntary efforts.
“The Ag Retail Survey has been a great opportunity for ag retail and farming and commodity groups to show we can link arms,” said Kevin “KJ” Johnson, IFCA president. “We’re all in this together and this is a united front that we are trying to move the needle on the nutrient issue.”
Iowa State University Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology designed the survey, dividing Illinois into nine regions or crop reporting districts (CRD) with a goal of surveying 500 fields. The final sample size included 917 fields. The survey was modeled after the Iowa Ag Retail Survey.
Survey data measured use of tillage and cover crops and tracked nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer use and application methods throughout the state.
The survey found in 2022, 24% of corn and 44% of soybeans were no-till. Cover crops were found on approximately 9% of fields in fall 2021, and while 49% of respondents reported fall application of anhydrous, 97% of the producers reported use of an inhibitor to reduce the potential for leeching.
“(Some) farmers are putting some type of ammonia on in the fall but I want to make clear that does not mean that they are putting on 200 pounds,” said Johnson. “It’s important we still have the option to do fall ammonia … each farmer knows what their ground is like, and every farm is different.”
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