Ag Retailers Leading Nutrient Stewardship

31st Oct 2013 4R Consistent,4R Events,North Central,

TOLEDO,
OH. Ag retailers are taking an active role helping farmers adopt best practices
to manage nutrients and improve both farmer profitability and water
quality.  “Nutrients are key resources
required to grow crops,” reports Dr. Thomas Green, president of the IPM
Institute. “When nutrients are lost from cropland, farmers lose money and water
quality can suffer.  Ag retailers are in
the forefront of developing innovative and effective solutions.”

For
example, Iowa ag retailers joined together to form Agriculture’s Clean Water
Alliance, a nonprofit funded by contributions from fertilizer sales. The
Alliance is tackling nitrogen losses from cropland in the Des Moines and
Raccoon River watersheds in west-central Iowa. 

The
Alliance has developed a code of best practices that members commit to
follow.  “The Code includes both basic
practices, like waiting until soil temperatures are low enough to reduce
nitrogen losses, and advanced techniques such as installing bioreactors to
intercept nitrogen that might otherwise escape through drainage systems,
“reports Heath Ellison, agriculture and natural resources manager with the Iowa
Soybean Association. 

The
Alliance is also compiling monitoring data into a centralized database to better
understand conditions that reduce losses and improve water quality. “More and
better data leads to better decisions,” reports Ellison.

On
December 12 at the Toledo Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, Ellison and nine
other presenters will be on hand to share what they have learned with other ag
retailers. Attendance is free.  According
to Jeremy Zidek, senior research scientist at ZedX and a presenter at the
conference, “Ag retailers will learn how cutting edge technologies can be
marketed to increase farmers’ bottom lines and improve water quality.” ZedX has
provided ag retailers and farmers with IT solutions since 1987.

Other
presenters include: Dr. Thomas Bruulsema, Northeast regional director of the
International Plant Nutrition Institute, Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Western Lake
Erie Basin Project Office director, The Nature Conservancy, and Dr. David
Baker, a former research scientist of the Heidelberg National Center for Water
Quality Research.

Certified
Crop Advisors have the opportunity to earn five nutrient management CEUs. Space
is limited.  Register by contacting Jane
Petzoldt at 608 232-1410 or jpetz[email protected], or visit http://www.ipminstitute.org/events.htm to download a registration form.

The
event is sponsored by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Partnership for Ag
Resource Management, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program, the Ohio AgriBusiness
Association, and the International Plant Nutrition Institute. Hosted by the IPM
Institute of North America, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to developing
market-based solutions to environmental challenges since 1998.