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Tri-State Fertilizer ‘Bible’ Gets First Tweaks in Quarter Century

Nitrogen calculator and a switch to Mehlich-3 extraction highlight first-ever updates to the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations.


Pictured Above: BETTER TOOLS. Steve Culman, a soil fertility specialist at Ohio State University and the lead author of the Tri-State Crop Fertilizer Recommendations, says agriculture has much better tools today for understanding soil-test levels, and a large number of labs provide great services and consistent data. “Our uncertainty has really decreased and we don’t need that extra buffer of that drawdown,” he says.

One of the agronomic benchmarks both no-tillers and strip-tillers have paid close attention to over the years is the Tri-State Crop Fertilizer Recommendations for field crops.

First published in 1995, these recommendations for Indiana, Michigan and Ohio have provided a framework for managing fertilizer and soil fertility based on research station and on-farm trials conducted over time. 

Even as reduced-tillage and no-till practices, cover crops, spoon-feeding of nutrients and precision farming dawned and hybrids and varieties evolved and improved their efficiency, the Tri-State guidelines didn’t change. 

After several years of work, a group of researchers from Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue universities…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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