One of the challenges Indiana growers will be facing in 2013 is the fertility level in their fields. Low yields, dry condition, and high temperatures have left some fields in very fragile condition when it comes to soil fertility. Bruce Erickson, with the Certified Crop Advisors Association, says farmers must take special care in evaluating their nutrient management needs for the coming year, “With fewer bushels of grain being harvested this year, there may be more nutrients left in the soil. But the rains this fall may have altered fertility levels in some fields, so a grower really needs to do some serious evaluation.”
Erickson told HAT there are a number of new tools and tests available today to help a grower evaluate his fields’ fertility and to make adjustments in his nutrient management plan. One of the best decisions, says Erickson, is to work with a certified crop advisor, “We don’t just certify anybody. There are more than 200 areas that people have to demonstrate they have knowledge of in order to be CCA certified.” He said a certified crop advisor is knowledgeable in nutrient management, crop management, soil and water, and pest management. He added that agricultural productivity is very important today, “Agriculture is at the intersection of energy, the environment, and a growing world population. We are being asked to do a lot of things, and the stakes are high.” He said that the better advice you get, the better chance you have of lowering your risk and getting a better return on your investment.
Soil fertility and productivity will be the topic of a free seminar at the Indiana/Illinois Farm Equipment show December 11-13 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Hosted by Hoosier Ag Today, these seminars will feature experts on soil fertility, crop selection, and cover crop management.
[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/11/CCAAwrap.mp3|titles=The Fertility Factor]