Joel DeJong, Field Specialist-Crops, Northwest Area
NRCS in Plymouth and Sioux Counties offers an EQIP program concentrating on improved nutrient and pest management. However, the information needed by producers to improve their skills in this area is often not available in the knowledge base of the staff at local NRCS offices. Assistance in training EQIP participants was needed.
NRCS contracted with Joel DeJong to offer bi-monthly meetings or field days to discuss issues for improvement in nutrient and pest management with EQIP participants. Meetings discussing P, K, pH and nitrogen management took center stage at two of these events. One meeting focused on pest issues. Field scouting workshops were held twice, and one day was spent looking at the 5 foot root zone and discussing how the root takes up nutrients and water.
Average attendance at these sessions was about 30 EQIP participants.
Improved record-keeping for nutrient and pest management is a core part of this program. Records summarized from the 2005-2006 contracts showed that 4135 acres had five pest scouting trips or more during the season and participants were well informed of treatment thresholds for the pests they were scouting. Eight producers did cornstalk N sampling on 20 acre maximum areas resulting in a lot of samples for analysis. Results and management implications for the future were discussed at a recent meeting. Five participants utilized the late spring N test to help fine-tune their nitrogen rates, or to see if the present rates applied were adequate. 4065 acres not previously sampled closely were soil sampled in areas of 5 acres or less allowing better P, K and pH management for these producers. Results and recommendations of soil tests are a part of a workshop each year. Eight producers started testing manure for nutrient quantity, in order to improve application methods. Seven completed CNMP Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans for their operation.
At the time I collected this information, not all producers had submitted their results from the previous year. But, they have documented improved management in several segments of their operation. We will continue these workshops in 2007.
100 - Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
Page last updated:
February 9, 2007
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