Variable-Rate Fertilizer Technology Adoption Needed

Kurt LawtonEducation, Equipment, Precision Ag in the News

With tighter margins and higher input costs, now is the time to implement the best management practices (BMPs) for fertilizer use, says Bill Herz, VP of Scientific Programs for The Fertilizer Institute.

Herz, who spoke at the recent Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association convention, promoted technology adoption–as reported by FarmweekHe urged farmers and fertilizer applicators to use available tools — such as precision agriculture, variable rate technology, soil testing, and on-farm strip trials — to ensure optimal fertilizer application rates.

An advisory board to the Environmental Protection Agency recently called for a 25 percent increase in nitrogen efficiency in row-crop systems, Herz reported.

He called on members of the fertilizer industry and farmers to act now before regulations are implemented later.

“We need to show we’re willing to do the right thing voluntarily or mandatory systems will be imposed on us,” Herz said. “We need to promote BMPs to make sure we’re using nutrients as efficiently as possible.”