A Ohio farmer shares her experience with incorporating those practices outlined in 4R Plus into her farming operation. She then highlights the benefits Iowa farmers can expect to see after implementing similar practices on their farms.
Carrie Vollmer-Sanders serves as nutrient strategy manager for The Nature Conservancy. Vollmer-Sanders says The Nature Conservancy is excited to partner with Iowa agriculture industry leaders to support the 4Rs and nutrient management.
“I’m excited that Iowa, as a whole state, has come together – the Ag industry and conservation groups – to talk with one voice about the importance of the 4Rs and nutrient management,” Vollmer-Sanders said. “Thinking about not just what’s in the field, but also at the edges of fields. What I’m excited about is that it’s going to be a whole state saying yes we can do this, yes we can work together on this.”
Vollmer-Sanders continues to abide by the 4Rs and implement conservation practices on her farm. She says she’s had to modify the 4Rs over time due to different technologies and products. However, she continues to witness positive results.
“We’ve been able to purchase less fertilizer because we’re putting it on at different times. The stabilizers (have) helped keep the nutrients in the soil to grow more crops. I think our yields are slightly better than the county average and some of that is because we pay attention to soil health with cover crops,” Vollmer-Sanders said.
Vollmer-Sanders encourages farmers interested in learning more about 4R Plus contact their Certified Crop Advisor (CCA).
“They have the ability to read and learn about different projects and programs going on in different places. We always have some sort of test going on at our farm – whether we’re trying out a new cover crop in a certain field or a new product, to see how that could help with our yield. Our crop advisors have been instrumental in nudging us forward and keeping us progressive. I’m so glad that we have a great relationship with our crop advisor and can do some of these cool things,” Vollmer-Sanders said.
CF Industries and The Nature Conservancy, unveiled 4R Plus at the 2018 Agribusiness Association (AAI) of Iowa Showcase and Conference. The program focuses on improving soil health by following the 4R nutrient stewardship practices – right source, right rate, right time and right place. It also encompasses conservation practices designed to boost production, increase soil resiliency, reduce erosion and runoff, and improve water quality.