Nearly 45 were in Douglas County, Illinois for a meeting in the NRCS office. NREC-funded researchers Lowell Gentry of University of Illinois and Dan Schaefer with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association made presentations about their ongoing in-field trials on nutrient management and water quality. Jason Bleich, a biologist with Illinois Pheasants Forever, talked about the importance of pollinators.
Schaeffer brought along an implement that would be used in the spring to freshen the seed bed in the strips made by the NH3 tool bar in the previous fall. Instead of running full-width tillage (like a field cultivator) it helps promote strip-till rather than field cultivation ahead of the planter. It can also be used cover crops and for 30” row soybeans for strip till.
Gentry said: “We had a great turnout for the presentations and a lot of interest, but the rain and heat kept us from going to the field in the afternoon to see the tile monitoring equipment and the plot design. The main thing was that I was able to show the audience that a cover crop of cereal rye after corn reduced the tile nitrate load by 40 percent and had no negative impact on the subsequent soybean yield. This amount of tile nitrate reduction is pretty close to the overall goal of 45 percent as suggested in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.”
The 2016 Illinois NREC Annual Report can be downloaded here