March 06, 2017

Forum to focus on latest fertilizer research

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Farmers and those concerned about fertilizer products, including nutrient efficiency, crop yields and water quality, have a chance to hear about practical applications of the latest research at the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council and Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research Forum at the university on March 15. 

When farmers buy fertilizer to put on a field, they pay a fertilizer tonnage fee to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC) distributes a portion of this money to fund research and improve communication about how fertilizer affects crops, soil and water. Of course this is important to farmers. It’s important to non-farmers as well -- not only because of the significance of agriculture to the Illinois economy, but also because of the impact of farming and fertilizers on water quality and soil fertility. 

The forum is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom B. A $15 registration fee includes lunch. Register online at 

The forum includes project updates from SIU and University of Illinois researchers, a farmer panel to discuss research needs and nutrient concerns, and a statement about NREC priorities and vision update. Speakers include SIU System President Randy Dunn; Brad Colwell, SIU interim chancellor; Mickey Latour, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences; Jon Schoonover, professor of forestry; John Pike, agronomist and Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Southern Illinois Nitrogen Research Coordinator; and Illinois NREC staff and council members. 

For more information, contact Julie Armstrong at