There are several practices ag retailers and farmers can implement on fields to reduce nitrogen runoff. Woodchip bioreactors, or woodchips buried in tiled trenches, is one practice that has proven to keep nitrogen on fields and out of waterways. Microorganisms attach to the woodchips, taking up nitrates from water, and then expel the nitrates as a gas that is released into the atmosphere, instead of runoff into surface waters. In addition, planting trees with a few feet of buffer between the field edge and tree line reduces nitrogen loss and limits yield loss. Read the full article here!
The North Central Region Sustainable Ag Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is offering grants to farmers for use of drones in determining nitrogen applications. Dean Stevens, a farmer from Nebraska, states, “The imagery indicated deficiencies before my eyes could detect it.” Stevens continues, “As we suspected, there was a lot of variability across the field in nitrogen need…infrared imagery may not necessarily mean less nitrogen is applied, but rather that what is applied is targeted to exactly how much is needed, where it’s needed, and when it’s needed.” Read the full article.
COLUMBUS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that Friday, Nov. 17, is the deadline to submit applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in Ohio. Read more
Heidi Johnson, Crops & Soils Agent at Dane County UW-Extension, hosted the “Cover Crops and Manure Management after Corn Silage” field day in Waunakee, Wisconsin on October 24th. PARM learned about the various benefits of multi-species cover crops, and what species of cover crops Wisconsin farmers are getting the most benefit from. Johnson mentioned small grain cover crops as superior to legumes and brassicas when following corn silage, as small grains increase infiltration and greatly reduce erosion. Another lesson learned was Wisconsin farmers’ rejection of cereal rye based on problems with spring killing. Spring barley is a better choice for Wisconsin farmers, states Johnson, because the crop establishes well and is better at winter-killing. Visit the Dane County UW-Extension website to stay updated on future events!