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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2005-2007
Winter 2005 Fluid Journal 2 ment designed to ensure the economi- cal, environmental and social sustainability of our land and people resources." Generally speaking, these two definitions (the Missouri NRCS's and ours) are similar with slightly greater emphasis placed on economic viability from our organization's viewpoint. The primary purposes of nutrient management according to Code 590 are: 1) budget and supply nutrients for plant production, 2) properly use manure or organic byproducts as a plant nutrient source, 3) minimize agricultural non- point source pollution of surface and groundwater resources, and 4) maintain and improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of the soil. Minimum requirements Listed below are minimum require- ments for codes as they relate to Missouri. Information in your state may be different. Please check the national NRCS website at www.nrcs.usda.gov for state and local requirements in your area. (Note: the bold text below is not traditionally managed through our industry.). • Aerial site photographs (or field maps) andasoilmap. • Sequence of crops or forage produced on each field. • Yield goals and soil type and how determined. • Soil test results and special tests such as manure, water, plant tissue, or late- season nitrate tests. • Budget for NPK used on crop or forage rotation or crop sequence. • Quantification of all nutrient sources and losses that are to be considered in the planning process. • Recommended rates, methods, and timing of nutrient application, including incorporation. • Location of sensitive resource areas and associated setback areas, or additional conservation treatments where special attention will be required when applying nutrients. • Description of size and kind of livestock, including quantity of manure produced during planning period. • Description of waste management systems (production, storage, transfer, handling) including application equipment and labor re quired to land apply manure. • Scheduling manure application based on maximum nutrient efficiency (to include animal rates, application frequency and timing, time needed to incorporate and quantity of NPK applied). • Calculations used to develop application schedule based on needs of crop rotation, including the nutrient available to crop or forage after application. As listed above, many of the require- ments for federal program nutrient management planning are already being provided through the fertilizer industry. Components missing from many fertilizer industry-based organizations are the conservation practice and animal production sections. However, many agricultural suppliers and retail dealerships are full spectrum/full service operations that manage animal produc- tion systems. Key considerations Budgeting has always been a key consideration of the fertilizer industry. When describing nutrient budgeting, at least three components need to be addressed: 1) budget scale: interna- tional, national, regional, local and sub- field, 2) budget philosophy: political, geographical, biological, and economi- cal, and 3) budget source: atmospheric, soil, inorganic, organic, fertilizer commodity, animal production waste materials, municipal waste materials or byproducts. The fertilizer industry, through groups such as the Potash and Phosphate Institute (PPI) and Founda- tion for Agronomic Research (FAR), has done an excellent job of large-scale (international, national, and regional) nutrient budgeting. Resources such as "Plant Nutrient Use in North American Agriculture--Producing Food and Fiber, Preserving the Environment and Integrating Organic and Inorganic Sources" are valuable resources and documentation of these budgets. They can be found at www.ppi-ppic.org and www.ppi-far.org. Soil testing. On the local scale, organizations such as MFA Incorpo- rated have always used nutrient tracking and budgeting as mechanisms for servicing our farmer/owner base. Soil testing programs have been the heart of our crop nutrient recommendations for decades. Using MFA soil test data as an example, we can get an idea of the breadth of nutrient inventory programs. There are 20 million acres of row crop, hay and pasture in Missouri. We service approximately 40 percent of these acres. Our agronomic recommendation soil testing goal is a minimum of one soil sample per 20 acres. Ideally, we should be taking/monitoring 400,000 soil samples to service our acreage in Missouri. If a field is sampled every four years, then we should be monitoring approximately 100,000 soil samples annually. Excluding precision agriculture soil test grid samples, we process 14,000 to 16,000 soil samples annually. This represents one soil sample for every 125 to 140 acres of agriculturally managed land resources that we service. There- fore, we are taking approximately 20 percent of the ideal number of soil samples. When grid sampling/precision agricultural programs are accounted, the number of acres serviced through soil sampling rises to approximately 25 percent. Realistically, this is a fairly high number, but still below our goal. However, we believe that with this volume of soil samples processed, the
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