Illinois agriculture organizations announced Thursday, a new program to promote, implement and track the rate of adoption of enhanced nutrient stewardship practices by Illinois agricultural producers. "Keep it for the Crop by 2025" will focus on the 4R's of Nutrient Stewardship: Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has identified six priority watersheds for nutrient reductions including Lake Bloomington, Lake Vermilion, Lake Decatur, Vermilion River, Salt Fork Vermilion River and Lake Mauvaisse Terra. Marcia Wilhite, IEPA's Bureau of Water Chief, said "The lakes and rivers in these watersheds have water quality problems due to too much nitrogen or phosphorus, or both. Illinois EPA strongly endorses efforts to promote voluntary action by producers to adopt nutrient stewardship practices in their watersheds. If everyone does his or her part, we can assure clean water for future generations.
KIC by 2025 lays out a framework to continually promote, implement and measure adoption of the 4R system by producers and ag retailers who provide custom nutrient application.
According to Jean Payne, President of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, the industry is also working to secure dedicated funding from the ag sector for KIC by 2025 with state legislation that creates the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council.
Phillip Nelson, President of the Illinois Farm Bureau, reinforced that Illinois producers are major stakeholders in this effort.
"We hav e always believed that farmers are among the original stewards of our soil and water. KIC by 2025 will provide the resources, knowledge and outreach needed to ensure that growers make the best possible decisions when it comes to implementing practices that protect our streams and rivers and further enhance nutrient efficiencies in ag productions."