Lessons Learned in Ohio’s Updated Fertilizer Recommendations

From Ohio Ag Net

At the recent 4R Field Day in Hardin County, Ohio State soil fertility specialist Steve Culman presented on the updated fertilizer recommendations through 300+ on-farm strip trials since 2014.

He said some main take-home points he hoped to get across to agriculturalists were: Continue reading

Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

By: Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska, Previously published on Farm Journals Pork online

If manure increases formation of larger (macro) and more stable soil aggregates , several benefits may result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including:
1) Reduced runoff and soil erosion;
2) Increased water infiltration into the soil possibly leading to greater drought tolerance; and
3) Partial offsetting of higher soil P levels resulting from manure application and limiting P loss to local surface water.  Continue reading

Agricultural Nutrients Targeted in Clean Lake 2020 Bill and Kasich Executive Order

By: Peggy Hall, Asst. Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law, Ohio State University

Recent actions by the Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich will affect the management of agricultural nutrients in Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly has passed “Clean Lake 2020” legislation that will provide funding for reducing phosphorous in Lake Erie. Continue reading

New Ohio Nitrogen Rates

By: Steve Culman, Anthony Fulford, Peter Thomison, Rich Minyo, Eric Richer, CCA, Harold D. Watters, CPAg/CCA, Greg LaBarge, CCA, Joe Nester, and Karen Chapman

Previously on Ohio Ag Net

Ohio State University corn nitrogen rate recommendations follow a unified framework used throughout the Corn Belt. Together with six other states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin), the Ohio recommended nitrogen rates are not based on yield goals, but on economic returns. Corn yield responses along with corn and nitrogen prices are used to calculate the point at which the last unit of added nitrogen returns a yield increase large enough to pay for the added nitrogen cost. This approach, called the maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN), is favored because of the economic volatility in both corn grain and nitrogen fertilizer prices. The past 10 years provides ample evidence of these fluctuations. Continue reading

Fertilizer Outlook

By: Karl Stenerson
Market Reporter – Fertecon

Here is a breakdown of wholesale prices and trends of the various fertilizers:

AMMONIA

International

Global ammonia markets remained soft in March with weakness in urea and nitrates markets pressuring ammonia prices as well as reduced demand in India due to phosphate plant turnarounds.

The April Tampa contract settled at $275 metric ton (mt) cfr (cost and freight), a $30 decrease from March. The Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) and the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago reached an agreement for a new gas supply contract. The Prime Minister of Trinidad has indicated the seven-week closure of the CNC plant will end. It has been suggested the plant will restart in first-half April. Continue reading

From Across the Field – Impairment in the Western Basin

I figure by now everyone has heard or read that Ohio EPA and the Governor’s office have made the decision to include the open waters of the Western Lake Erie Basin on a list of impaired waters of the state due the persistent algae blooms over the past near decade. What does this word “impaired” mean and what will the response be? Two questions that nobody has a clear answer for. Impairment is a federal designation that says that a body of water is either not fit for recreation, drinking, or both. The Chesapeake Bay watershed has been operating under this impaired status for a number of years. Continue reading

Ohio Agriculture Reacts To Lake Erie Impairment Designation

From Ohio Ag Net

Today, Ohio EPA released the draft 2018 water quality report that outlines the general condition of Ohio’s waters and includes a list that identifies impaired waters that are not meeting their federal or state water quality goals, as well as waters that have improved to meet federal standards.

In the draft for 2018, the Agency is proposing to designate the open waters of Lake Erie’s Western Basin (from the Michigan/Ohio state line to the Marblehead Lighthouse) as impaired for recreation due to harmful algae and drinking water due to occurrences of microcystin. Previously, only the shoreline area of the Western Basin and drinking water intakes had been designated as impaired. Continue reading

Get Your Fertilizer Certification…Before Planting Begins

By: Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension

Ohio is now seeing full implementation of Ohio’s Agricultural Fertilizer Applicator Certification regulation. The regulation was result of Senate Bill 150, which can be found at http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.322 and http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/905.321. The 2014 regulation required farmers to complete a fertilizer certification program if they applied fertilizer to more than 50 acres of land in agricultural production primarily for sale. Exemptions included fertilizer applied through a planter, individuals whose crops remained on the farm for their livestock and not sold, or fertilizer applied by a commercial applicator. Continue reading

Study Shows Most Farmers are in Compliance With Fertilizer Recommendations in Western Lake Erie Region

From Ohio Ag Net

As farmers prepare for their 2018 crop, newly released research shows that a large majority of those whose fields drain into western Lake Erie are adhering to ag experts’ guidelines for fertilizer rates and application practices. The study concludes, however, that the recommendations themselves should be re-examined to better protect western Lake Erie from pollution resulting from agricultural runoff.

The findings are presented in a special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation published by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). Continue reading

A Look at Acid Rain and the Farm Phosphorus Conundrum with Water Quality

By Matt Reese, Ohio’s Country Journal

Farmers understand that Lake Erie turns green in the summer and that part of the blame is rightfully being directed at agriculture due to issues related to nutrient management, specifically phosphorus. What is less understood is why this is happening.

In a time period where on-farm phosphorus application levels have decreased substantially and recommended conservation practices have increased in the agricultural landscape, the troubling harmful algal blooms again started showing up in the Western Basin of Lake Erie after many thought the water quality issues had been corrected decades earlier. Continue reading