Sixteen GROWMARK and FS Certified Crop Specialists have passed rigorous exams and demonstrated experience advising farmers on crop production practices to receive their 4R Nutrient Management Specialist (NMS) certification. The program, run through the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program, equips volunteers with knowledge and skills to manage nutrients in a sustainable manner. Currently there are about 100 certified specialists in the U.S.
Nutrient management is an integrated process that considers agronomic aspects of soil and crop nutrition as well as the social, economic, and environmental relationships with the system. The 4R approach to nutrient stewardship is an international fertilizer best management practice of applying the right source at the right rate at the right time in the right place.
Proficiency areas tested include nutrient management planning; nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; secondary macronutrients and micronutrients; and manure management. By completing this training, crop advisers become better equipped to utilize inputs sustainably in order to help grower profitability, minimize nutrient run off and improve water quality.
“We are incredibly proud of the individuals who earned 4R NMS certification,” said Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK Director of Agronomy Marketing. “Managing nitrogen and other nutrients in a sustainable fashion is a top priority throughout the FS and GROWMARK Systems. The completion of this voluntary and challenging training will give these certified crop advisers advanced skills and knowledge to share with their co-workers and farmer customers in order to maximize input utilization,” he added.
To be certified individiuals agree to follow a code of ethics and to complete continuing education. GROWMARK will be providing training to FS Crop Specialists to keep them up-to-date on sustainability practices.