September 18, 2016 at 1:40 am #630
The conventional Nutrient Management Plans incorporate whole field systems. Those fields have been defined by roads, available “bought land” plat maps systems, river and other topographical boundaries.
My question is can we adhere to these restraints or should NMP be based upon a primary emphasis of soil types. If this premise is true how are quantitative metrics established and monitored. The tension of ever increasing granular ability for nutrient application and the non point collective consequences of those peculiar application of nutrients has me confounded.
How farmers and governmental and research institutions think about these tensions influence the direction of change.
Comments on current research and insights?
March 17, 2017 at 1:25 am #858
Pretty in-depth questions John. We can follow that same line of thought on most anything like why do people till, or notill, etc. The breadth of people’s understanding of any issue is huge. I don’t think farmers are any different than the general population, but the ramifications of their actions can affect many.
I would personally be happy if all farmers would embrace field by field nmps. While you and some others are ready to move beyond the more broad brush nmps, there are still a lot of farms that need to follow simple ones.
The other day I’m out dropping off crop plans to my clients, I drive past a smaller conventional dairy. The farmer is out spreading manure. I could see where he started out on one end of the field in a proper winter application area. Then for whatever reason he ends up finishing down next to a short stub ditch that ends up flowing into a perennial water ditch. If farmers see nothing wrong with that how can we move the needle on improving water quality? I see these problems in many places. We need to fix the big issues first from what I see.
March 21, 2017 at 9:05 am #877
Good points. How can we address the big issues and also provide service to those who have moved on to more subtle changes or ‘fine tuning’? There are many products available now that might help address fine tuning but it is difficult to choose what will really move the needle. I see potential in the locally-based projects to help create more awareness of big issues, but are there other things too?
March 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm #882
I don’t know what the answer is for those that have “moved beyond” other than say great and keep improving. I drove by another fields on Friday where a small daily haul dairy guy was spreading right along the edge of a perennial ditch in northern Jefferson Co. Lot of education needed.
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