Farmers attending the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo will have a chance to evaluate their own on-farm nutrient management strategy, or lack of a strategy. Ben Wicker with the Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance will discuss how to make the most of fertilizer and manure investments.
As for the Alliance, “We’re looking to see how we can reach those farmers that maybe haven’t thought about some of the challenges that are out there and how it relates back to the farm and what the long-term impacts could be on their operation,” Wicker said. “That could be increased regulation, buyers making certain requests of how things are done. We’re in a unique space and time right now where farmers have the opportunity to really chart their path and figure out solutions and answers around their nutrient use and how that can impact or not impact water quality.”
When the Alliance surveys farmers, only 25-27 percent say they have a nutrient management plan. Wicker wants to make sure farmers understand such a plan is their own living, working document and he would like 100 percent to regularly perform soil sampling and develop a plan.
Aggressive goals include building soil health on Indiana farms, “both by growing more things more often and increasing the amount of living green covers that we have across the state. Right now, in the state of Indiana we plant about ten percent of our row crop acres into cover crops. We’d like to see forty percent of Indiana row crop acres utilizing some sort of a living green cover by the year 2025, as well as reducing the amount of tillage that we see across the landscape.”
Wicker presents at 11 AM Thursday December 13th, which is free lunch day at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo.
The Expo is December 11-13 in the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Admission is free but registration is required, and that step automatically registers you for the $1,000 drone giveaway. There’s a free drone awarded each day of the show. Learn more at indianafarmexpo.com.