Find out how to keep your soil (and your nutrients) right here at home.
The Midwest. From scenic countrysides north to south, families have spent generations caring for their land. Passed from one caretaker to the next, each field of Hoosier heritage represents lots of hard work and help from the elements. Previous generations chose this perfect Midwest location for many reasons. Now, it’s today’s farmer that must make sure the land settled by their grandparents and great grandparents stays put. Keeping the soils that settled here generations before safe and sound for generations to come, well, that’s us taking pride in where we’re from. After all, the Midwest is best!
What can we do?
It is recommended that you test your soil pH and nutrient levels at a minimum every 4 years. Understanding your nutrient levels helps determine nutrient needs and develop a plan — which helps you pay for exactly what you need, where you need it, when you need it!
Cover crops can be a significant opportunity to impact yields, bottom lines, soil health and ultimately, water quality. Utilizing cover crops ensures your soils stay right where they’re needed for this year’s cropping season and for generations to come.
- Split nitrogen application to reduce input costs and prevent over-application (Right Amount)
- Consider the form of nitrogen being applied and the risk of loss (Right Source)
- Use in-season diagnostic tools such as PSNTs, tissue sampling, aerial imagery or digital modeling tools to adjust or split nitrogen applications
- Avoid fall application of N due to increased risk of loss, which may result in lower crop yields (Right Time)
- Pair manure applications with a living green cover to hold nutrients in soil (Right Place)
Are you sure your nutrients are where you left them? 100% sure?
Water quality research tells us that nutrient runoff is a problem, costing you money and contributing to the nutrient loads entering our waterways.
If you’re located in the Upper White River watershed, Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance (IANA) is offering free nitrate test strips. You can test ditch water, tile water, surface runoff or creek water near a tile outlet around your farm. After all, you paid for your nitrogen (N), don’t you want to keep it where you put it?
By providing your information, you agree to allow IANA to contact you via email, phone, or mail. Limit 5 strips per person. While supplies last.
What am I losing into my tile water?
If you use tile water to evaluate your nitrogen loss, you can actually find your loss per acre.
Concentration x Tile Flow ÷ Drainage Area = lbs. of N per acre being lost
What do your results mean?
These results are not precise measuring tools, but a resource for estimations.
How can you keep more nitrogen where you need it?
- Applying nitrogen as close to the time it’s needed at adequate rates helps reduce nitrogen loss.
- Planting foraging / scavenging cover crops helps reclaim excess nitrogen and keep it for the next crop.
Please use this estimation for informational purposes. Reach out to your personal crop advisor for more information and detailed plans of action.
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- Reducing passes, depth, speed and/or actions that disturb soil keeps nutrients in place for their intended use.
- Utilizing tillage methods like no-till and strip-till encourages nutrient retention.
- Avoid deep tillage to reduce soil erosion and preserve organic matter
- Reduced tillage can lower fuel use and labor costs
Partnerships for Success
Learn more about resource partners that work with farmers and landowners that provide programs to make soil health management easy.