Think About Your Precision Nutrient Plan

Kurt LawtonConservation, Education, Fertilizer, sustainability

courtesy USDA

Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are essential for precision farming. Nate Taylor at ZedX wrote a good blog post yesterday on this subject.

As with any business, developing Best Management Practices (BMP) is essential to continued success and profitability. As you develop BMP’s for your farm, a critical piece to include are Nutrient Management plans. In this post we are going to focus on commodity crops.

Many times BMP’s are situational, especially with Agriculture and Nutrient Management. However, there are certain steps that broadly apply to developing a Nutrient Management plan for any farm. Once a plan is developed, the next step, developing BMP’s for fertilization, can be put in place. Let’s take a look at developing a Nutrient Management Plan

Farm Nutrient Managment Plan Steps:

  1. Assess the natural nutrient sources like soil reserves and legume contributions
  2. Identify fields or areas within fields that require special nutrient management practices
  3. Assess nutrient needs for each field by crop
  4. Determine quantity of nutrients that will be available from organic sources, such as manure or industrial or municipal wastes
  5. Allocate nutrients available from organic sources
  6. Calculate the amount of commercial fertilizer needed for each field
  7. Determine the ideal time and method of application
  8. Select nutrient sources that will be most effective and convenient for your operation.

List taken from the Illinois Agronomy Handbook, Robert G. Hoeft.

Read the story to learn more about creating a plan.