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Recognized for their successful, exacting fertilizer application practices, Richard Bevis of Lonoke, Ark., Mike Brocksmith of Vincennes, Ind., and Jerry Peery of Clinton, Ky., were honored as the 11th class of Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioners at the 2019 National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis.
Sponsored by AgroLiquid and No-Till Farmer, below is a synopsis of each farmer’s fertilizer program.
The sandy loam soil on Robert Bevis’ farm doesn’t have an abundance of water-holding capacity, requiring more water and management.
“We've abused our soil for so long in this area that we don’t have a lot of infiltration,” he says. “Our biggest improvement in water management has been the introduction of cover crops into our rotation.”
Bevis says the first year he planted cover crops, he was able to irrigate longer and stretch the time between applications. “The first year we used cover crops, we irrigated every 5-7 days. The second year, we irrigated every 7-10 days, and this past summer we were able to stretch irrigation intervals to between 10 and 14 days,” says Bevis.
No-tilling since the mid-1990s, Bevis says that making the transition to cover crops wasn’t a huge hurdle for the operation because they were already used to managing residue. The cover crops allowed them to keep a heavier mat on the soil surface for a longer period of time.
Loading Up. For the corn-to-soybean rotation, Bevis uses cereal rye, brassica and radish. For corn following soybeans, they use a different mix…