The Fertilizer Institute is honoring five farmers and their fertilizer retailers as 4R Grower and Retailer Advocates in 2016. These growers and retailers have exemplified the 4R nutrient stewardship program, using the right nutrient and the right rate at the right time and in the right place. This 4R Advocate program was created to raise awareness and encourage adoption of the practices.
Ric Rodriguez and Joe Bridges with J.R. Simplot Company. Both hail from Powell, Wyoming where Rodriguez operates a third-generation family farm consisting of sugar beets, malt barley and alfalfa hay. All acres of this operation are irrigated, the use of which, combined with precision agricultural technologies, have reduced water usage by 33% and led to better overall nutrient management.
Darin Stolte of Olin, Iowa and Jimmie Daughtery, Precision Ag Specialist with River Valley Coop in Davenport, Iowa. Stolte and family raise 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Darin conducts many nitrogen trials on his farm which has led to collaboration with the Iowa Soybean Association – On-Farm Network.
Thomas Connors of Shipman, Illinois and nominating retailer Regan Wear, Agronomy Manager for CHS Inc. Connors and his family own and operate a fourth-generation family farm consisting of a small cow-calf operation and 2,500 acres of row crop production. Soil conservation practices, grid soil sampling, the incorporation of yield data into fertility recommendations and yield maps have helped build better soils and increase yields on Conners’ farm.
Calvin Haile, Haile Farm, LLC. in Dunnsville, Virginia and Lucas Householder, General Manager of Southern States’ Cooperative’s Eastern Virginia Agronomy Operations. Haile is a second generation farmer with a 2,750 acre operation on the Rappahannock River. Haile is certified by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreations’ Virginia Nutrient Management Program. Grid soil sampling and satellite imagery scouting are but two practices that have helped this farmer and retailer team turn the 4Rs into an investment with a solid return on investment.
Lowell and David Myerholtz, Myerholtz Farms, Gibonsburg, Ohio and John Fritz, CCA with The Andersons, Inc. Fremont, Ohio. Lowell and his son David operate Myerholtz Farms which consists of 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, located in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The farming operation incorporates strip tillage along with variable rate fertilizer application to promote a strong overall 4R Nutrient Management Program.
The five growers and their retail partners will be awarded an expense-paid trip to New Orleans in March to attend the Commodity Classic. They will also be honored at an awards banquet hosted by The Fertilizer Institute, and will further their 4R efforts by being part of TFI’s outreach program.