Farmers have been bringing food to American tables for generations. But we have a new challenge—there will be 2 billion additional mouths to feed by 2050. To keep up with such rapid population growth, we need farming to be both profitable and sustainable.
While farmers never plan to use more nutrients than needed, changes in the growing season can make it difficult to pinpoint the right amount to use. In the fifth episode of “Management Matters,” Dr. Howard Brown, manager of agronomy services with GROWMARK, Inc., explains how farmers can effectively manage nutrients while protecting their profits.
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- A nutrient management plan will help protect water quality while keeping your land profitable for years to come.
- When nutrients run off into the water supply, money is running off, too. Managing your nutrients can prevent unnecessary runoff and economic losses, while ensuring crops have the right nutrients when needed.
- Focus on MOM – Minimize impact, Optimize harvest yield and Maximize input utilization.
- For nitrogen management, focus on the 4 Rs – the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.
- Reduce soil erosion in your fields to manage phosphorous.
- Work with your ag retailer to develop nutrient recommendations, create a nutrient management plan and match nutrient applications to crop needs.
- Use N-Watch, a nitrogen management tool, to track nitrogen over time.
- Consider soil type, topography and proximity to a major body of water when selecting your nutrient applications.
If you have questions on nutrient management, contact your ag retailer or your Soil and Water Conservation District representative. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship program provides additional information on nutrient management.