There is a concerted effort underway in Illinois agriculture to reduce nutrient losses and meet the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), and Illinois Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) are committed to playing an integral role in this effort.
There are now 64 CCAs in Illinois who have prepared for, and passed, the certification exam to become certified as a 4R Nutrient Management Specialist (4R NMS). This is double the number of 4R NMS in any other state. Last year, 45 Illinois CCAs achieved the 4R NMS; 19 individuals recently joined them. They are:
- Jared Bergmann, Vienna IL
- David Brummer, Taylorville IL
- Greg Creech, Hartford City IL
- Joseph Franks, Reynolds IL
- John Niemeyer, Martinsville IL
- Daniel Maggart, DeLand IL
- William Kurz, Ellisville IL
- Tim Wolfe, Clinton IL
- Scott Lee, Durand IL
- James Donnelly, Walnut IL
- Christopher Kloker, Pittsfield IL
- Joshua Valier, Pinckneyville IL
- Adam Day, Ottawa IL
- Richard Reineke, St. Peters IL
- William McDonnell, Ottawa IL
- Nolan Paxton, Prophetstown IL
- Kevin Moore, Mound City IL
- Dennis Godar, Rochester IL
- David Rahe, Hillsboro IL
According to USEPA’s science assessment, Illinois is the leading contributor of both nitrogen and phosphorus losses to the Gulf of Mexico. The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy establishes a goal to reduce nitrogen losses by 15% and phosphorus losses by 25% by the year 2025. Since agriculture accounts for 82% of nitrogen losses and 48% of phosphorus losses, the on-farm nutrient management practices necessary to achieve this goal are considerable, and CCAs are instrumental in providing guidance to farmers on 4R practices to improve nutrient utilization and reduce nutrient losses.
As Illinois heads into its 3rd year implementing the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, the ag industry is also responsible for reporting how many crop production acres are utilizing 4R defined practices including using the right rate and right source of nutrients, at the right time and in the right place.
Illinois 4R NMS individuals will play an instrumental role in providing credible evaluation on the effectiveness of 4R practices, promoting their implementation and providing feedback to all nutrient stakeholders (state and federal agencies, environmental groups, water supply and water treatment personnel, academia and fellow ag groups), all who play a vital role in implementing the goals of the INLRS.
The next opportunity for Illinois CCAs to sign up to take the 4R NMS exam will be in October 2017, for CCAs who wish to take the exam on February 2, 2018. By continuing to demonstrate strong leadership and accountability in nutrient management, CCAs are helping to ensure that agriculture’s efforts to reduce nutrient losses remain within a voluntary framework that makes progress, assures profitability for farmers and utilizes science based approaches for enhanced nutrient management.
For more information on the Illinois CCA program call (815) 844-6677; to learn more about the fertilizer industry’s efforts to reduce nutrient losses contact the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) at (309) 827-2774.