INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Several growers have been honored for their efficient and effective use of applied fertilizer in their no-till systems. Considered Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioners, the no-tillers were honored before 900 farmers during the 27th annual National No-Tillage Conference.
Robby Bevis, Lonoke, Ark; Mike Brocksmith, Vincennes, Ind.; and Jerry Peery of Clinton, Ky., each shared five practices they utilize on their farms in an effort to use only necessary amounts of applied fertilizer and ensure it’s used by crops rather than lost to the environment.
Last year, all nominees for the 11th annual program answered more than 20 questions about their farming operations through an online application. Their responses were graded by a panel of fertilizer experts.
The three highest scorers were awarded the honor, along with complimentary travel to the conference and lodging from AgroLiquid and conference registration from No-Till Farmer. AgroLiquid and No-Till Farmerare co-sponsors of the Responsible Nutrient Management Practitioners Program.
Following are snapshots of fertilizer application practices utilized by these no-tillers:
- Bevis runs a 3,000-acre no-till operation consisting of corn, soybeans and rice in central Arkansas. He is a founding member of the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance, actively sharing with farmers the no-till management tools he’s utilized to reduce tillage throughout the state. He’s made a concerted effort to cycle nutrients and has not applied any phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) to soybean acres the past 2 years, while reducing applied nitrogen (N) on corn ground from 220 units per acre to 180. He’s benefitted from higher soil organic matter content as a result of cover cropping. Finally, Robby has worked to reduce urea usage to improve soil biology and gone to split applications of N with a stabilizer for better efficiency.
- Brocksmith raises corn and soybeans on 1,500 acres in southwest Indiana, having no-tilled for 20 years. He’s one of 12 farmers promoting no-till best management practices through the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative in Indiana, while hosting Soil Health Days for high school and college students. Brocksmith uses variable-rate technology to apply nutrients based on soil tests and yield maps, with testing conducted every 3 years on 2½-acre grids. N is applied up to four times on corn with sulfur added at planting and sidedress. He uses acceptable removal rates per bushel of yield to maintain or build fertility levels.
- Peery farms 1,600 acres of corn, soybeans and cover crops with his grandson Jonathan Reynolds in western Kentucky, working regularly with University of Kentucky researchers to learn more about the effects of no-till and cover crops on soil biology and crop yields. A member of the Hickman County Conservation District board of supervisors for 40 years, Peery also conducts meetings, workshops and field demonstrations with support of local NRCS. He soil-tests fields rotating into corn using cation exchange capacity and organic matter content levels to better understand micro- and macronutrient needs. Poultry litter has helped build P levels. Peery utilizes variable-rate technology and has seen crop yields increase with several split applications of N during the season.
“These three farmers have taken a serious approach to how they manage nutrients,” says Troy Bancroft, CEO of AgroLiquid. “They’re continuously looking at ways to be more effective with their applied fertilizer so they can get the best return for their dollar, but also make sure that crops are utilizing these nutrients and that losses to the environment are vastly reduced or eliminated altogether. They are a great example for all farmers to follow.”
Get more details about these farmers’ fertility management programs and farming operations by downloading a pdf of the RNMP program.
Below is a list of past winners.
- Robby Bevis, Lonoke, Ark.
- Mike Brocksmith, Vincennes, Ind.
- Jerry Peery, Clinton, Ky.
- Jake Kaderly, Monticello, Wis.
- Stuart Lawrence, Rosetown, Sask.
- Richard Lyons, Harvel, Ill.
- Jason Carter, Eastover, S.C.
- Mike Taylor, Helena, Ark.
- Mike Werling, Decatur, Ind.
- Jerry and Nancy Ackermann, Lakefield, Minn.
- John Kemmeren, Bainbridge, N.Y.
- Eric Odberg, Genesee, Idaho
- Joe Breker, Havana, N.D.
- Jim Glover, Waterford, Pa.
- Wye Angus Farm, Queenstown, Md.
- B&B Partners, Gibbon, Neb.
- Dean Glenney, Dunnville, Ontario
- Roger Wenning, Greensburg, Ind.
- Joel Armistead, Adairville, Ky.
- John Niemeyer, Cortland, Neb.
- H. Grant Troop, Oxford, Pa.
- Bob Bottens, Cambridge, Ill.
- Donn Branton, Le Roy, N.Y.
- David Sutherland, Leroy, Kan.
- Jordan Bennett, Hermiston, Ore.
- Larry Bonnell, Pittsford, Mich.
- Jeff Garman, Colfax, Ill.
- Allen Dean, Bryan, Ohio
- Jack Maloney, Brownsburg, Ind.
- Davis, Ryan and Greg Bell of Cornerstone Partnership in Des Arc, Ark.
- David Brandt, Carroll, Ohio
- Mike Starkey of Brownsburg, Ind.
- Ed and Dan Wilkinson of Getty Acres Farm in Gettysburg, Pa.