Acting Responsibly With Their Nutrient Practices

Cover crops, tissue samples, prescription applications, manure runoff control and many other practices used by several no-tillers to maximize soil fertility.

Besides the payback for getting the most bang for their nutrient buck, several no-till farmers were recognized for their efficient and environmentally sound fertility practices through the Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioner’s Program.

David Brandt, Carroll, Ohio; Mike Starkey, Brownsburg, Ind.; and Ed and Dan Wilkinson of Getty Acres Farm, Gettysburg, Pa., were selected by an impartial panel of agriculture professionals to be recognized for their achievements in nutrient management at the 17th annual National No-Tillage Conference in January.

This was the first year for the program, which is co-sponsored by Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers and No-Till Farmer.

David Brandt

Carroll, Ohio

Cover crops are key to David Brandt’s award-winning nutrient management program. The Carroll, Ohio, no-tiller has been a proponent of cover crops ever since he started using them in 1978.

He’s experimented with the seed mix along the way, but has settled on a winning combination of Austrian winter peas, oilseed radishes and a little bit of hairy vetch. The mix is planted into wheat stubble right after harvest.

“I’ve played around with a lot of different cover crops, but this mix seems to work the best for us,” Brandt says. “The seed is easier to secure, the three species grow well together and with that mix, we are able to capture not only nitrogen, but some phosphorus and potash from the subsoil.”

Brandt’s crop rotation is corn, soybeans, wheat and a cover crop. His nutrient application for corn includes about 7 to 8 gallons of a phosphorus and potash…

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