One of the points made in fertilizer applicator certification training meetings is that fertilizer recommendations should be based on soil test results, crop yield goals and the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations bulletin. Those recommendations came out in 1995. Obviously there have been a lot of changes in agriculture since that time. Over the years there have been some validation studies done to confirm Tri-State Recommendations, but now OSU Extension Soil Fertility Specialist Steve Culman is in the process of updating the Tri-State Recommendations using more than just small plot studies at OSU research locations.
The goal is to look at and evaluate the recommendations over a much wider range of soil conditions, soil types, and production systems using field size trials. To do this requires farmer cooperators willing to work with and host a replicated nutrient trial on one of their farm fields. The project began last year with a scattering of farms across the state. Wayne County was involved but I hope that we might expand our contribution this year.
Experiments will involve applying fertilizer or no fertilizer to replicated strip plots. If a farmer has grid-sampled and has variable rate capabilities, fertilizer prescriptions can be written, resulting in even more information. Farmers can choose which nutrient they’d like to work with (N, P or K) and will have a large degree of flexibility in the plot layout and applied rates. We are especially interested in fields that test low in P and K. Farmers will receive a small stipend for their time and effort.
Data to be collected:
- Soil samples before planting
- Leaf tissue samples for nutrient analysis at early reproductive stage
- Grain yields and nutrient analysis of grain at harvest
- Short questionnaire about soil management
All lab analyses will be paid for and we will work with you to ensure that you understand your results and implications it has on your farm. Interested cooperators can contact Steve Culman at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722 for more information. This work is being generously funded through farmer check-off dollars (Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio Corn and Small Grains Marketing Programs).