The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently named five American farm operations as 4R Advocates for 2012. The national winners represent farmers and fertilizer retailers across the nation dedicated to the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship — utilizing the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time and in the right place.
The 2012 4R Grower Advocates, along with the retailers that nominated them, are:
- Bruce Favinger, Minden, Neb., 1,800-acre corn and soybean producer nominated by Cooperative Producers, Inc., Nebraska. Ranking both stewardship and productivity as priority goals, Favinger takes advantage of enhanced fertilizers and correlates precision agriculture data to develop site-specific fertilizer prescriptions.
- Paul Loyer, Loyer Farms, Marion, Ohio, 3,000-acre corn, soybean and wheat producer nominated by Morral Companies, Morral, Ohio. Specific placement of nutrients at rates determined by GPS-linked information helps the Loyer family boost fertilizer efficiency while protecting the environment.
- Temple Rhodes, Chestnut Manor Farm, Centreville, Md., 2,200-acre corn, soybean and beef producer nominated by Willard Agri-Service, Maryland. On the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, the Rhodes family takes a proactive approach to nutrient management. A strip-till system applies all fertilizer beneath the soil surface, tissue sampling assesses crop need and rates reflect site-specific data.
- Barry and Dan Turner, Turner Brothers Farm, Mer Rouge, La., 5,600-acre corn, soybean, rice and grain sorghum producers nominated by Crop Production Services, Louisiana. The Turner brothers utilize grid sampling and soil management zones to enhance fertilizer efficiency and three split applications for corn production to ensure they’re meeting the crop’s nutritional needs and optimum yield potential.
- Todd Welch, Lafayette, Ind., 2,300-acre corn, soybean, wheat and pork producer nominated by Crop Production Services, Indiana. Manure from Welch’s swine finishing facility is balanced with commercial fertilizer through the use of soil management zones, tissue sampling, enhanced fertilizers and split applications.
The winners and the retailers who nominated them were awarded an expense-paid trip to the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn., where they were honored at an awards banquet hosted by TFI. The 4R Grower Advocates will also be part of TFI’s outreach efforts to promote nutrient management practices that benefit farmers and their communities as well as the environment.
The 4R Advocate program is just one facet of a high-priority campaign to raise awareness and adoption of 4R nutrient stewardship practices. Learn more about the 4Rs at www.nutrientstewardship.com.