2016 4R Nutrient Stewardship Farm Tour

We were fortunate to have the 2016 4R Nutrient Stewardship Farm Tour stop at Hat Trick Farms (our farm) to learn about some of the 4R nutrient placement best management practices we have implemented.  4R Nutrient Stewardship is an innovative approach for fertilizer best management practices.  The concept is simple – apply the right source of nutrient, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place – but the implementation is knowledge-intensive and site-specific. 

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Variable Rate Debate:

Straight Rate vs Variable Rate Applications





Often when we are reviewing soil test results with farmers our recommended actions include variable rate application of fertilizer. Those recommendations often lead to the question: Is variable rate really worth it?  We say if your field has variability, yes.

Let’s take a look at our corn yield map from last fall and some notes about this field’s characteristics to use a reference for the discussion.

The four yield points selected across this field have a 179 bu range, from the low at 133 bu/ac to the high at 312 bu/ac.  The total crop removal rate by corn for Phosphorus (P2O5) is 0.6 lbs/bu and Potassium (K20) is 1.3 lbs/bu.  Therefore, across this field there is a significant difference in the amounts of Phosphorus and Potassium removed in each of the yield zones.


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Safety on the farm is very important, especially when children are around. 

This summer we had the opportunity to volunteer at the Farm Safety Day held at Ridgetown College.