FERTILIZER CHECKOFF FUNDS NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT WORK
The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP) will receive a grant from the Nutrient Research Education Council (NREC) to fund the Keep it for the Crop (KIC) Education and Outreach Program. Illinois Corn Growers Association is a member of CBMP and many of our family farmers that contribute to the corn checkoff are also invested in the NREC, more commonly known as the fertilizer checkoff.
Nutrient management and water quality concerns are top priorities at IL Corn. We believe the investment of NREC dollars with CBMP for the KIC program is prudent.
The ultimate goal of KIC is to reduce nutrient losses and improve water quality. KIC is a comprehensive, collaborative program for science-based outreach and education. It promotes enhanced nutrient stewardship and implementation of voluntary agricultural best management practices (BMPs). The program began in 2011 and has recently evolved to focus on meeting the goals of the soon-to-be-finalized Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
CBMP’s multi-faceted KIC Education and Outreach Program features education, training, demonstration, communication and collaboration. The program emphasizes science-based education and outreach to farmers, agribusiness, youth and the general public in Illinois and meets the following objectives:
1.Information – Gather the most up-to-date and accurate information about the effectiveness of BMPs to improve water quality and other natural resources and highlight the programs available to assist with adoption, including the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program that supports fertilizer management practices focusing on the right source, right rate, right time and right place.
2.Awareness – Increase awareness of water quality and other natural resource issues as well as the effectiveness and economic viability of adopting BMPs.
3.Participation – Increase farmer participation in available nutrient management, water quality and conservation programs and increase the adoption of BMPs to improve water quality and other natural resources.
4.Demonstration – Use the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy as a guide to demonstrate and track adoption of BMPs within the eight targeted watersheds in which CBMP has resources.
5.Collaboration – CBMP, and representatives from each of its member organizations, work together with a variety of local partners and cooperators including universities, community colleges, local SWCDs, municipalities, local watershed groups, state and national governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, private companies and state and national commodity organizations; on programs and projects that strive to increase the adoption of voluntary agricultural BMPs.
“CBMP’s goal is to become the cutting edge resource offering education and outreach tools to the agriculture industry on BMPs,” said Jennifer Tirey, executive director, Illinois Council on Best Management Practices. “This is going to take a collaborative effort and implementation of a variety of BMPs across the entire state to achieve the goals defined in the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The KIC program is a step in the right direction to begin demonstrating our progress.”
NREC was created by Public Act 97-0960. The Fertilizer Act requires a designated assessment amount of 75 cents per ton of fertilizer sold in Illinois to be directed to NREC for projects that will maximize nutrient use and minimize nutrient loss annually while maintaining productivity needed to feed the increasing world population. The process for applying for NREC funds is a highly competitive process. This year, 20 projects were funded.
The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, a non-profit 501-c (5) organization, was formed in 1998. Its mission is to assist and encourage adoption of best management practices to protect and enhance natural resources and the sustainability of agriculture in Illinois. Member organizations include Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Syngenta Crop Protection, Monsanto and GROWMARK.
For information on current CBMP projects, visit www.illinoiscbmp.org.