Crop modeling allows for a better return on investment

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2020 is definitely a year we won’t forget, a year that has brought many challenges and changes. Just as many ways of life have changed this year, it is a great time to take the next step and make changes in nutrient applications that will have a positive impact on water quality.

Again in 2021, crop modeling will be available to cropland in the Jerome Fork watershed with support from Sunrise Cooperative, Land O’Lakes/Winfield United, Yara International, the Ohio Farm Bureau and The Ohio State University.

Crop modeling allows producers to focus in on the right time and rate of nutrient applications while looking at the return on investment and keeping nutrients in the field.

Modeling tools

Modeling tools such as the Field Forecasting Tool, Adapt-N and On-Field Ohio offer great insight on where fertilizer is going and allows for a better return on investment and less runoff, benefiting water quality and saving producers money on fertilizer cost.

Adapt-N takes factors such as soil types, management practices and sources of nitrogen such as cover crops, manure applications and commercial fertilizer to determine how much nitrogen is available to growing crops to make the best nitrogen applications, ultimately saving money on fertilizer cost by applying nutrients where they are needed by becoming more efficient with their in-season applications.

Winfield United’s R7 Field Forecasting Tool is a predictive model providing information for the best time to apply nutrients, the best rate and the return on investment. This tool uses soil tests, weather, potential yield, growing degree days, tissue tests, etc. to determine how different management decisions and timing impact both yield and return on investment.

On-Field Ohio! is a program that compares different management practices such as tillage, fertilizer placement, soil types and crop rotation to determine phosphorus loss and erosion risk. To see the difference one change in a management system can make is incredible and can make a huge impact on water quality.

If you are interested in implementing one of these tools on your farm, reach out to the Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District at 419-281-7645 or email ewhite@ashlandcounty.org.

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