Understanding Nutrients, Emissions & Odor at Harrison Farms - 3 Nutrient Best Management Practice Verification Project Paul Kivlin – UW Extension/NPM/Discovery Farms Kevan Klingberg - UW Extension/Discovery Farms Kate Meeks – Communications Intern/Discovery Farms
Introduction Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) are typically designed to protect farm profits and protect or improve the quality of natural resources (such as surface water). BMPs are associated with many agricultural management operations including soil fertility, tillage practices, legume nitrogen crediting and manure nutrient crediting.
Introduction Growers can be reluctant to adopt and implement certain BMPs: Limited experience leads to belief that practices may result in lower yields / profit loss, Not unfounded; BMPs can occasionally fail, Example: cool weather conditions may delay the breakdown of organic matter, affecting manure and legume nutrient availability. To “protect” against yield reductions, growers who doubt the nutrient availability from manure or legumes may apply commercial fertilizer above the recommended levels. Can result in over spending $$ on fertilizer over the long-term, Excess nutrient application can also have a negative impact on surface water and groundwater quality.
Introduction The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Risk Management Agency approved a pilot crop insurance program called the “Nutrient BMP Endorsement” in 1993 for corn producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. An optional endorsement to Multi-Peril Crop Insurance or Crop Revenue Coverage for corn, Designed to protect from the financial risk which could be incurred by growers adopting nutrient management BMPs, Contractual agreement to follow university soil fertility recommendations including nutrient crediting for manure and legume crops, Grower implements nutrient crediting on a field, and includes a check strip of their “normal” practices, If yield loss occurs due to the implemented BMPs, the insurer pays the producer for the loss.
Introduction The Harrisons worked with the Discovery Farms Program and a partner of Agflex, The IPM Institute of North America, Inc. Implemented a nutrient management verification pilot project. Project goal: to define the implementation process for the Nutrient Management BMP Endorsement including: Administration, Technical aspects of field plot management, Final financial settlements – as necessary.
Administration The roles, responsibilities and participation guidelines for this project were defined through a series of documents, developed by The IPM Institute of North America, Inc. and the Discovery Farms Program. The documents included: A series of agreements between Discovery FarmsProgram, IPM Institute, and the Producer that detailed how the project would proceed,
A participant application form identifying the producer and certified crop advisor; also identified field location and specific crop management (BMP field and check strip) information,
The Wisconsin Nutrient Management Verification Pilot Handbook for corn. This handbook contains definitions, program requirements and yield assessment protocols that guide the establishment and administration of the nutrient management verification pilot project.
BMP Verification Plot Establishment Nutrient management verification plot was established in a corn field that was soybeans the year before. During the fall season after soybeans were harvested, the field received 3,000 gallons / acre of injected liquid swine manure.
BMP Verification Plot Establishment Harrison applied their traditional nutrient crediting practices and commercial nitrogen application rate on a 60 foot wide check strip running the full length of the field. The remaining portion of the field (120 acres) was fertilized according to UW soil fertility recommendations, including manure crediting guidelines. Phosphorus and potassium needs were adequately supplied through existing soil test levels and manure. However, Harrison’s typical nitrogen application was 15 pounds per acre higher than that indicated by following the UW soil fertility recommendation.
Results Nutrient BMP Verification Comparison
Results A payment of $231.60 was made to compensate for the profit lost due to implementing the BMP. The difference between the BMP and the traditional fertility program was a lower nitrogen application rate of 15 pounds per acre, which produced a savings of $4.25/acre. However, the check strip out-yielded the BMP by three bushels per acre, which at $2.06 per bushel generated an additional $6.18 per acre. This increase in yield revenue ($6.18) was offset by the increase in nitrogen cost ($4.25), but still resulted in an overall increase of $1.93 greater income per acre. The insurance payment was the value of the yield shortfall, minus the fertilizer savings, over the 120 enrolled acres (or $1.93 /acre X 120 acres = $231.60).
Conclusion This project demonstrated the working details of a crop insurance endorsement program designed to provide yield risk management coverage for corn producers who adjust their nutrient management strategies to meet university recommendations.
Conclusion This project was one of more than 30 that Agflex and partners conducted in 5 states, 2001- 2003. The cumulative experiences of these projects led to fine tuning of administrative and technical details for the Nutrient BMP Endorsement, an optional offering to corn producers by the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The insurance industry has since chosen to not incorporate this type of policy endorsement into their assortment of crop risk management products.
Conclusion As of 2006, the Nutrient BMP Endorsement program (formerly offered as an insurance product) has been reconfigured into the Nutrient BMP Challenge (http://www.bmpchallenge.org). It is administered by Agflex; The IPM Institute of North America, Inc.; IPM Works and American Farmland Trust. Various public and private entities fund the reconfigured project.
Conclusion The Nutrient BMP Challenge is offered in Wisconsin and 12 other states as an income guarantee. This service agreement is of interest to individual corn producers, as well as public and private water quality projects that focus on nutrient management in agricultural watersheds.
Information Available This presentation is the third in a series of four developed to provide the data and information collected at E & L Harrison Enterprises, Inc. There are 4 factsheets, 4 briefs and 4 presentations associated with this project. All factsheets, briefs and presentations are available on the UW - Discovery Farms website. http://www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org
Acknowledgement Thank you to the Wisconsin Pork Association for their interest and support of this project.
For Additional Information http://www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org UW Discovery Farms 40195 Winsand Drive PO Box 429 Pigeon Falls, WI 54760 1-715-983-5668 email@example.com@ces.uwex.edu