Fertilizer application technology being used today has improved over the last ten years by leaps and bounds, ensuring that crop advisors can put nutrients in the right place to maximize productivity and benefit crops. By working with some of today’s most advanced variable rate technology (VRT) systems, your ag retailer can help you deliver fertilizer with remarkable precision. It’s not enough to just be in the vicinity, you have to be at the exact right place with the right application prescription based on the best information available or your outing may not be very productive. Nutrient applications following the 4R principles – right source, right rate, right time and right place – ensure that you are doing all that you can to use best management practices.
Variable rate fertilizer application allows you to apply different rates of fertilizer as needed while crossing your fields. The technology needed to accomplish variable rate fertilization includes an in-cab computer and software with a field zone application map, fertilizer equipment capable of varying rates during operation and a GPS system. Inputs of soil sampling, soil type and yield data are just some of the data needed to make a custom recommendation for your fields.
The IPM Institute of North America’s “Partnership for Ag Resource Management” project (PARM) is offering a cost share program for growers who have never used VRT. The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). This is a simple program that is available to growers in the Blanchard, Cedar-Portage, Sandusky and Lower Maumee watersheds in Ohio’s Western Lake Erie Basin (see map below). The program offers growers $16 per acre to offset the initial costs for soil sampling and prescriptions. Participating ag retailers are assigned an initial block of 150 acres annually on a first come first served basis, to offer to as many clients as they wish. The VRT payment is coordinated with your ag retail service provider. For more information on this opportunity, have your ag retailer contact PARM team member Mark Adelsperger: firstname.lastname@example.org