The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's College of Agricultural Sciences will be holding a nutrient management forum on March 15. The forum will prioritize the unique challenges that Southern Illinois farmers face regarding nutrient management. Illinois Corn Growers Association District 12 Director Don Guinnip is quoted in the article from FarmWeekNow.com, highlighting the need for unique nutrient loss reduction strategies. He argues that the soil landscape of Southern Illinois necessitates an inherently different strategy than farmers who live in Central or Northern Illinois.
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Southern Illinois farmers’ nutrient challenges and research needs will be the focus of a March 15 forum sponsored by the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), Southern Illinois University (SIU) and its College of Agricultural Sciences on the Carbondale campus.
The event will be multifaceted with farmers and researchers sharing information and ideas, according to Julie Armstrong, NREC executive director.
“NREC will share information about research that is relevant to southern Illinois,” Armstrong said. “It’s also important for us, as NREC, to hear directly from southern Illinois farmers about their nutrient-management needs.”
Since 2013, NREC has funded research and education projects using money from an assessment of 75 cents per ton of fertilizer sold.
Clark County farmer Don Guinnip of Marshall noted the forum’s southern location serves two purposes – raising awareness of the university and its researchers as well as engaging farmers in southern counties.
Guinnip pointed out the soils and topography in the 45 southernmost counties are more likely to lose phosphorous and potassium compared with soils in central and northern Illinois, where nitrogen losses are a bigger issue. “This is a whole different ballgame,” he added.
Forum topics will include NREC research updates from SIU and University of Illinois scientists, a discussion of NREC priorities, a farmer panel on regional research needs and nutrient concerns and an update about the Carbondale campus.
Armstrong encouraged SIU researchers and farmers to attend and share their ideas with NREC representatives who are starting to develop 2018 research priorities.
“This is an opportunity to get information straight from the source – southern Illinois farmers – and to work directly with the folks at SIU. We recognize that important research is going on there,” Armstrong said. “It also is important for the SIU leadership to be there to see research opportunities as they work with their research teams.”
Guinnip praised Armstrong and her NREC board for reaching out to southern Illinois farmers and urged those farmers to take advantage of the opportunity: “I would encourage folks who are concerned to show up.”
Located in the SIU Student Center Ballroom B, the forum will start at 10 a.m. The $15 registration fee includes lunch. For more information or to register, visit illinoisnrec.org.