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USDA to measure nutrient management

(CIFN file photo)

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin calling Illinois farmers on April 6 to measure nutrient management practices.

The project, sponsored by the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), has been conducted twice before and is designed to measure progress toward the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

The survey will measure a number of management practices, including use of cover crops, timing of fertilizer applications, and methods of determining nitrogen application rates. In addition, the survey will measure edge of field practices, including wood chip bioreactors, constructed wetlands, and saturated buffers.

“We mailed over 1,000 questionnaires to producers in February and got a good mail response,” said Mark Schleusener, NASS Illinois State Statistician. “We will begin calling farmers on April 6, and I encourage everyone to respond. We are not doing face-to-face interviews at this time. The telephone is the best way to gather more information in a cost-effective manner.”

Every individual report is confidential by law and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. NASS only publishes and shares state totals and averages, never individual farm data.

“The mail return combined with these telephone interviews should achieve a very good response rate,” said Schleusener. “Our goal is to get the highest response we can and still stay under budget.”

For more information, call the NASS Heartland Regional Field Office at 800-551-1014.

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