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Ag retailer expands soil health efforts


An agriculture retailer works to expand its soil health efforts by joining CF Industries in 4R Plus.

Tim Berkland serves as strategic agronomy marketing manager for GROWMARK. Berkland says GROWMARK joined 4R Plus to help farmers tackle water quality issues by promoting conservation practices.

“It’s important that we continue to promote those practices whether they’re in-field practices or edge-of-field practices, that promote good water quality,” Berkland said. “Of course we need to continue to make headway on that. 4R Plus is part of that and helping get that information to growers so we can continue to make progress as we have been doing.”

Berkland says growers oftentimes look to agriculture retailers for advice. He adds Ag retailers play a vital role in educating growers about nutrient management.

“If you take a look at Ag retail in general, and especially here at FS, we’ve been heavily involved in educating our folks on the 4Rs – right source, rate, time and place. I think that’s (something) very near and dear to Ag retail. We’re good at nutrient applications, variable-rate technology applications and implementing best management practices that way,” Berkland said.

However, Berkland believes Ag retailers could improve their soil health advocacy efforts.

“I think when you talk to a lot of people who work with this day-in and day-out, they’ll tell you that in-field practices are important and we need to continue to promote and get better at them. But, it’s going to take a combination of in-field, edge-of-field practices and conservation practices. It’s important for Ag retail to help carry that message to the grower, and do our best and our part to help educate and make them aware of some of those practices,” Berkland said.