SPRINGFIELD, IL March 12, 2021. The Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) held its board meeting on March 10 in Bloomington, Il. During the course of the meeting, a new board member was seated, another retired and elections for officers were held.
David Wessel of Chandlerville, Ill. was named to the board to represent the Illinois Soybean Association. Wessel raises corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle, and hay on his no-till farm. He has been involved with the Clear Lake Drainage District, Cass Morgan County Farm Bureau and the Illinois Farm Bureau. Wessel also serves as an at-large director for the Illinois Soybean Association.
Don Guinnip was elected treasurer of the NREC Executive Committee and serves along with Jeff Kirwan, Chairman; Ed Corrigan, Vice-Chair; and Chuck Cawley, Secretary.
Wessel replaces Jenny Mennenga who was treasurer and whose terms limits had been met. “Jenny has been a great asset to the organization, bringing a soybean farmer’s perspective to the table. We thank her for her service to NREC,” Jeff Kirwan said.
Drs. Karl Williard, Jon Schoonover of Southern Illinois University and Gurbir Singh and Gurpreet Kaur from the Delta Research and Extension Center at Mississippi State University had their original research published in Vadose Zone Journal, published by the Soil Science Society of America.
Dr. Shalamar Armstrong’s research near Bloomington, Ill. takes a close look how adjusting N timing overcame the usual yield lag in corn planted into cereal rye cover crop.
A woodchip bioreactors is just one edge-of-field nitrogen management tools that farmers can use to reduce the amount of runoff of lost nutrients.
The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council recently awarded $4,037,640 in research grants for the 2021 Fiscal Year. Research focused on various practices and processes related to nutrient efficiency are the focus of the 34 newly funded projects.
Each year, Illinois farmers are assessed $.75/ton on bulk fertilizer sold in the state. Agricultural retailers work with Illinois NREC to collect the funds which are then invested in research and outreach activities. The Council was formed in 2012 and since that time has invested nearly $27M into this important research. The Council is funding 9 new projects and 25 projects that are ongoing and build on previous years of work. Proposals were submitted to the Council based on an RFP (Request for Proposal) that was developed by the Council and Research Committee. The Council and Research Committee then work with staff and outside peer reviewers to evaluate each project, review the objectives and methodology and then award the funding. NREC Research projects typically fall into four major categories: 4R’s – applying the right source of fertilizer, at the right rate, right time, and right place, Cover Crops, Edge of Field Practices, and Novel/Innovative approaches to nutrient utilization.
You can find a full listing of the 2021 funded projects here: 2021 Research Projects
Lowell Gentry, Dan Schaefer and Eric Miller are studying how installing a woodchip bioreactor at the edge of a field, along with planting cover crops might limit nutrient loss.
How do current recommendations on drainage depth and spacing influence nutrient loss, crop productivity and nutrient utilization?
Can drainage depth and spacing be optimized to minimize the nutrient losses and maximize crop production?