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Farm management practices that improve nutrient use were highlighted at the 21st annual National No-Tillage Conference (NNTC) in Indianapolis.
As always, I learned a lot at the conference by listening and processing information from speakers, and from networking with no-tillers from all over the country.
In our no-till operation and in my research, crop-nutrient management is paramount to improving profits.
Managing these nutrients is somewhat simple for us because we have recommended levels for each nutrient. But it’s also complicated because these recommendations are all dependent on each other.
Whenever I attend an educational session, I try to decide how I will integrate the information into my operation.
As I processed the information from the NNTC this year, it made me really think how important farm-system research is, especially with topics such as nitrogen management.
The farmers and researchers at the NNTC seemed to have strong knowledge of the systems approach to doing research.
In other words, they were paying attention to many of the details of managing all the nutrients, not just the one they were studying.
This is especially true of farmers, who focus on systems and, over time, continue to address and correct one deficiency at a time to improve their overall system.
You’ve heard the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? This is definitely true in crop production.
Often, when evaluating the performance of various nutrient levels or products, we forget its performance may have been affected…