Nitrogen strip trial evaluated at field day

By Ali Seys

Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau provided a great opportunity for local farmers and researchers to showcase research efforts to improve nitrogen use efficiency.

Last week’s event represented the final field day as part of Illinois Farm Bureau’s 2019 Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program.

Host farmer Jacob Baker approached his county Farm Bureau with the idea to showcase a nitrogen strip trial that experts could evaluate and discuss with attendees.

“A lot of people don’t use N-Serve with ammonia in the spring and that’s sort of a question around our area, whether they should be adding it or not as an added expense,” he said. “So, you have to justify it.”

Baker said it allowed farmers to see the field before harvest and make their own opinions on if it will benefit their fields.

U.S. Rep Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, and State Rep. Norine Hammond, R-Macomb, joined the nearly 60 attendees for lunch to discuss science, policy and get an update on crop conditions.

Bustos later tweeted, “Such a great turnout for the Field Day Lunch with Warren-Henderson County Farm Bureau! Issues like trade, health care & rural broadband access are top of mind for folks. I’ll continue to bring your voices to the table and work to deliver real results for our farm families.”

In addition to the strip trial, experts discussed the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and what it means to Illinois farmers. The event allowed educators to share information on improving profitability via nitrogen management while also improving the understanding of the practices that minimize nitrogen losses.

Presenters included Gina Long, Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau manager; Lauren Lurkins, director of environmental policy at IFB; Haley Haverback, U of I Extension watershed outreach associate; and Philip Alberti, U of I Extension commercial agriculture educator.