SPRINGFIELD, IL July 18, 2023

The intense heat did not stop more than 45 farmers and industry reps from attending the 2023 Southern Illinois University (SIU) Summer Field Day at Carbondale on Friday, July 14. After missing last year, the field day returned to the research fields of SIU to hear what researchers had learned over the last two years.

The field day was hosted by SIU and sponsored by Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), as part of its education charter. Stephanie Porter with Illinois Soybean Association’s Agronomy team also played a role in the program offering updates on research investments made through the soybean checkoff. The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) was represented both by its president, Richard Guebert and Raelynn Parmely, environmental program manager, who gave an IFB policy update.

Visitors were kept cool by splitting their time among an air-conditioned building, a fan cooled structure and tents in the fields. NREC-funded researchers Dr. Jon Schoonover and Dr. Karl Williard talked about their work with WASCoBs and demonstrated the use of drones on this research. They also talked about their long-term (seven years) research on the impacts of cover crops on water quality at the watershed scale.

Dr. Amir Sadeghpour shared his research that is ending on what he and his team learned about novel cover cropping, precision nitrogen management paired with double cropping wheat and soybeans.

Dr. Karla Gage and Eric Miller presented on the edge of their research plots that clearly showed the results of the timing of cover crop termination relative to stages of planting of soybeans into cover crop.

Each presenter emphasized the importance of having farmers and industry review the results up close and to have an opportunity to offer ideas on fine-tuning future research. Dr. Shani Golovay, research manager for NREC, echoed the researchers’ comments, “Every time we have a field day where researchers are engaging personally with farmers we hear what practices they have used to address challenges on their farms. With this kind of exchange, ideas are sparked and shared.”

Source – Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council 

The Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) was created by state statute in 2012. Funded by a 75-cent per ton assessment on bulk fertilizer sold in Illinois, NREC provides financial support for nutrient research and education programs to ensure the discovery and adoption of practices that address environmental concerns, optimize nutrient use efficiency, and ensure soil fertility. A 13-member NREC Council annually solicits, reviews and funds projects that fulfill the organization’s mission.

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About the Author: Julie Hewitt

Julie joined Illinois NREC in October 2015 and is NREC’s first full-time Executive Director. She graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in AgBusiness and has spent the last 17 years working in various aspects of the industry. With a background in agronomy and experience in marketing and public relations, Julie’s main focus is to continue to identify opportunities for the Council to advance research into nutrient efficiency while ensuring that she’s always focused on sharing the outcomes of this research so that farmers and other members of the agriculture industry can incorporate these practices on their farms.

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