BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) and its membership continue to place environmental stewardship as a top priority, following through by committing significant resources and voluntary practices to push forward in their efforts.
In 2021, IFB has continued to reach farmer members and other stakeholders across the state through “hybrid” Nutrient Stewardship Field Days. This hybrid approach includes hosting in-person field days as well as producing video coverage of each field day program.
“Farmers care deeply about their land and want to put the right practices in place to preserve soil and water quality for future generations,” said Richard Guebert Jr, president, IFB. “Summertime, when growing season is in full swing, provides an excellent opportunity for local farmers and the general public to learn more about the cutting-edge practices taking place on farms within their county, how those practices are backed by ongoing research, and the array of community partners and organizations working to bridge rural-urban collaboration.”
Twelve field days will be hosted through IFB’s Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program, including field days focused on cover crops, nitrogen strip field trial results, woodchip bioreactor research and many other topics. Cover crop research was highlighted during three spring field days that took place in March and April.
The summer field day lineup consists of nine additional events, starting in June and continuing through August.
The 2021 Summer Field Days schedule is listed below. The schedule contains dates, locations, hosting county Farm Bureaus (CFBs) and short summaries on each field day event. Additional information, including video materials after each event, can be found at: www.ilfb.org/FieldDays.
2021 Nutrient Stewardship Field Days Schedule:
|Date||County Farm Bureau||Time||Location||Main Theme|
|5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.||6705 Angle Crossing Rd.,
Oakley, IL 62501
|Watershed Planning Efforts|
|June 28||Fulton||11 a.m. – 2 p.m.||15779 West Hickory Rd.,
Cuba, IL 61427
|MWRD Research Trials|
|July 6||Marshall-Putnam||9:30 a.m. – noon||1.8 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 89 and 18, turn east on Magnolia Rd. and travel .4 miles east. The drive is on the south side of the road. Map link: https://bit.ly/3nrZATu||Cover Crops|
|July 15||Coles||10 a.m. – noon||Terrydale Farms Inc.,
9981 N. County Rd. 1300 E,
|Watershed Planning Efforts|
|July 16||Jo Daviess||11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.||First driveway south of 4629 IL-78 S
Stockton, IL 61085
|July 27||Clinton||11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Sugar Creek Valley Farms,
12555 Poettker Road,
Aviston, IL 62216
|Cover Crops for Forage and Manure Management|
|August 16||Wayne||5 p.m. – 8 p.m.||Fred Blessing Farm: 3 miles north of Fairfield on Enterprise Rd. and left at the NLID sign (County Rd. 1220 N)||Nitrogen Loss Inhibitor Demonstration|
|August 24||McHenry||10 a.m. – noon||4200 N Queen Anne Rd.,
Woodstock IL 60098
|August 26||Warren-Henderson||10 a.m. – noon||1698 50th St.,
Kirkwood, IL 61447
|Nitrogen Strip Plot|
2021 Nutrient Stewardship Field Days Project Summaries:
Macon CFB – June 22
- Macon CFB is partnering with the City of Decatur, Northwater Consulting, Macon County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association and the University of Illinois (U of I) to host a field day in the Lake Decatur Watershed. Local elected officials, farmers and the general public will be invited to learn about the Lake Decatur Watershed, usage of the local water source and details of work to come within the watershed.
Fulton CFB – June 28
- Fulton CFB is continuing to maintain their partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) by hosting a field day at the MWRD, Fulton County research site. Other partners include U of I researchers and Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council funded research, as well as Cook CFB, who is working with Fulton CFB to develop a rural-urban exchange program for farmers in both counties.
Marshall Putnam FB – July 6
- Marshall-Putnam is beginning a multi-year cover crop project along the Illinois River, including planting cover crop plots, and conducting soil testing, as well as hosting a field day. Partners include local ag retailers and consultants, as well as speakers from Natural Resources Conservation Service and U of I at the field day.
Coles CFB – July 15
- As part of an education and outreach commitment for a 319 Grant, Coles CFB is hosting a field day in the Embarras River Watershed. Goals include educating farmers and landowners about the watershed, watershed plan and various conservation and nutrient stewardship practices. Partners include the Coles SWCD, U of I Extension, Northwater Consulting and other stakeholders. A City of Charleston representative will also be a resource to link urban water use.
Jo Daviess CFB – July 16
- Jo Daviess CFB is continuing their multi-year, multi-level cover crop project, including continued surface water run-off and pond testing. The July field day will include presentations from University of Wisconsin-Platteville researchers, including a rainfall simulator demonstration.
Clinton CFB – July 27
- Clinton CFB is hosting a field day as part of their multi-year Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) project. The event will cover topics such as their cover crop test plot, manure application research, forage quality testing, manure testing for producers, Nutrient Stewardship Internship and other components, including additional soil testing.
Wayne CFB – August 16th
- Wayne CFB is continuing to sponsor a Nutrient Loss Inhibitor Demonstration plot at local farmer Fred Blessing’s farm to demonstrate fertilizer efficiency and economics. This work takes place through an active partnership with Wabash Valley Service Company.
McHenry CFB – August 24
- McHenry CFB is continuing to work with the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD) and U of I to begin water sampling at the woodchip bioreactor installed in 2020 on MCCD property. A field day at the bioreactor site will be hosted as part of this year’s project, including a farmer panel composed of farmers who have installed woodchip bioreactors.
Warren-Henderson – August 26
- Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau is continuing to evaluate nitrogen in a cover crop and strip plot, with the help of U of I researchers. The educational field day will include a farmer panel to share perspectives about cover crops and soil health.
The 2021 Nutrient Stewardship Field Days are funded through IFB’s Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program. The program, now in its sixth year, committed over $150,000 to the grant program in 2021 and is working with 28 counties on 21 projects throughout the state.
“Our Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program is a cornerstone of our work with the NLRS and is just one example of how Illinois Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus partner with other organizations to create lasting impacts in nutrient stewardship,” said Lauren Lurkins, director of environmental policy, IFB. “The field days are a series of win-win events – they allow farmers to showcase their efforts, while educating those inside and outside the ag community on the innovations at work.”
The NLRS, which was released by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in July 2015, calls for wastewater treatment plants, urban areas and agricultural areas to reduce the state’s phosphorous load by 25 percent and its nitrate-nitrogen load by 15 percent by 2025. The eventual target is a 45 percent reduction in the loss of these nutrients to the Mississippi River.
Visit www.ilfb.org/FieldDays to browse information related to both upcoming and past field days. Multimedia materials, such as photos and videos, are also available at the link.
— Illinois Farm Bureau
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