BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A statewide partnership between Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois county Farm Bureaus, Growmark and FS companies will demonstrate and investigate 4R nutrient stewardship practices at the local level.

The 4R field demonstration program, entitled 4R4U — pronounced 4R for you — is a pilot program with hopes for a multi-year partnership to bring added use, awareness and knowledge on nutrient stewardship via the 4R approach.

The 4R approach involves using the right source of nutrient, at the right time, at the right rate and in the right place.

“As a farmer, I am committed to managing nutrients sustainably,” said Richard Guebert Jr., IFB president.

“This partnership will utilize many assets and produce locally driven information. Farmers and the agriculture community continue to work diligently to maximize input utilization and focus on the nutrient loss reduction strategy.”

Local plot tests will compare common practices to advanced practices on nutrient stewardship. Some of the types of tests include N-rate trials, use of multiple nitrogen applications, stabilizer utilizations, no-till planting, cover crops and soil samples.

IFB and Growmark are providing funds for the project, while FS companies and county Farm Bureaus work together to carry out the 4R field demonstration strategy at a local level.

“This is a tangible commitment by all of us to sustainability,” said Jim Spradlin, Growmark chief executive officer.

“Our teamwork will help elevate nutrient stewardship efforts and provide further information of 4R practices that can help meet the goals of the NLRS.”

This winter, each partnership will put a strategy in place with field demonstration days in the spring and summer of 2017. Information will be compiled on an ongoing basis.

4R4U partnerships include:

  • Gold Star FS and Mercer County Farm Bureau.
  • M&M Service Co. and Macoupin County Farm Bureau.
  • Prairieland FS, Scott and Pike County Farm Bureau.
  • Heritage FS, Kankakee and Ford-Iroquois County Farm Bureaus.
  • Evergreen FS and Macon County Farm Bureau.
  • Stephenson Service Co. and Stephenson County Farm Bureau.
  • Southern FS and Jackson County Farm Bureau.
  • Gateway FS and Randolph County Farm Bureau.
  • Christian County Farmers Supply Co. and Christian County Farm Bureau.
  • South Central FS, Moultrie and Bond County Farm Bureaus.
  • Piatt County Service Co. and Piatt County Farm Bureau.

County Farm Bureaus involved in the partnerships will work with neighboring counties to publicize events.

Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or tdoran@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.

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