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Fall Ammonia Application – 4R BMPs are Now Standard Practice!


The Fall of 2017 has been a testament to the impact of the 4Rs, particularly fall anhydrous ammonia as a nitrogen application.  There is no regulation that dictates when fertilizer dealers and farmers can begin to fall-apply nitrogen, and there were plenty of days in mid-October when application could have started early. 

But the IFCA 4R Code of Practice and University of Illinois guidelines advise waiting until soil temperatures fall to 50 degrees and are likely to stay cool—the “IFCA 4R Code” was followed by the industry and ammonia application did not begin in earnest until the 2nd week of November, with soil temperatures, soil moisture and air temperatures fully cooperating.  All fall applied ammonia should also include an approved nitrification inhibitor such as N-Serve. 

CBMP sends a big THANK YOU to all the ag retailers, crop advisers and farmers who demonstrated that voluntary BMPs do work and are followed—for all the right reasons. 

IFCA staff Dan Schaefer and Jason Solberg are busy this fall putting in nitrogen rate trials for the University of Illinois, at fields in central, northern and western Illinois.  These trials work directly with farmers and compare study how different nitrogen application timings and rates impact yield and water quality.  These projects are funded by NREC.