Illinois 4R4U Partnership Launched

Cindy ZimmermanFS System, Growmark, Nutrient Management

A partnership has been launched between the Illinois Farm Bureau and affiliated county Farm Bureaus, with GROWMARK and a number of FS companies, designed to demonstrate and investigate at the local level the impact and efficacy of 4R nutrient stewardship practices – the right source of nutrient, at the right time, at the right rate, and in the right place.

4r4uThe 4R field demonstration program, called 4R4U, is a pilot program with hopes for a multi-year partnership to bring added use, awareness, and knowledge on nutrient stewardship via the 4R approach.

“As a farmer, I am committed to managing nutrients sustainably,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. “This partnership will utilize many assets and produce locally driven information. Farmers and the agriculture community continue to work diligently to maximize input utilization and focus on the nutrient loss reduction strategy (NLRS),” he added.

Local plot tests will compare common practices to advanced practices on nutrient stewardship. Some of the types of tests include N-rate trials, use of multiple nitrogen applications, stabilizer utilizations, no-till planting, cover crops, and soil samples.

Illinois Farm Bureau and GROWMARK are providing funds for the project, while FS companies and county Farm Bureaus work together to carry out the 4R field demonstration strategy at a local level.

“This is a tangible commitment by all of us to sustainability,” said GROWMARK Chief Executive Officer Jim Spradlin. “Our teamwork will help elevate nutrient stewardship efforts and provide further information of 4R practices that can help meet the goals of the NLRS,” he added.

The pilot project includes 14 county Farm Bureaus and 11 FS companies in Illinois. This winter, each partnership will put a strategy in place with field demonstration days to be held in the spring and summer of 2017.