March 22 is World Water Day. An international observance that dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, World Water Day is an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, take action to make a difference and be inspired to tell others. That means today is a perfect day to remind everyone of the free, confidential water testing program being offered by IL Corn, in partnership with IL Farm Bureau and the Zea Mays Foundation. Tending to our water supply is everybody’s business. But you can’t make improvements in your practices until you know what is leaving your farm through the water.
So, in order to make the necessary management practice changes on your farm to help meet the voluntary Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, IL Corn urges you to bring samples of your farm’s tile, stream, or pond water to one of our testing facilities. Right now we have more than a dozen testing sites operating in priority watersheds in Illinois. Other sites are available through special events. You can also make an appointment to have your water tested at the offices of IL Corn.
The test just takes seconds and will reveal to you a nitrate concentration. If you can also estimate the water flow, that concentration will be translated into lost nitrogen in pounds per acre.
Find out more about this program at www.ilcorn.org/nutrientstrategy. At that site, you’ll also find a link to the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices which has more information about water quality and nutrient management.
Remember, we need changes on every acre of corn in Illinois to meet the voluntary reduction plan.