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2021 Virtual Nutrient Management Training for Farmers

 

December 31, 2020

Photo courtesy of Tonya Gratz

Farmers that write their own nutrient management plans know their soil loss for doing specific management - tillage and rotations of crops to their fields besides how fertile the soil is to grow their crop. They can add nutrients to the system through manure or supplement with commercial fertilizer. Farmers can account for and document all these variables in one place- their nutrient management plan.

One thing COVID has done for us is to create new virtual opportunities for learning that didn't exist last year. Farmers have been invited for years to create a nutrient management plan (NMP) for their land. This year is no different. The NMP is a balance sheet of nutrients in the soil available for crop production and allows the user to add their fertilizer (manure and commercial) inputs into the plan for each field. This field by field accounting ensures excess nutrients are not being applied and allowed to run off into our waterways and that money is not being wasted on these excess nutrients.

The Nutrient and Pest Management Program (University of Wisconsin-Madison) is offering multiple training dates that cover the basics of nutrient management and an introduction to SnapPlus. The same training will be covered on the five different dates: January 5, January 7, February 3, February 16 and March 1. These classes are all virtual, on your computer or smart phone. The classes are free and held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., with breaks built in. Register at https://go.wisc.edu/9ozj4l. Please register at least three days in advance of the training date you plan to attend. There will be classes on SnapPlus, the free program that is used to create the plan. The Green County Land and Water Conservation Department will help guide farmers in the county through the process of using SnapPlus and finalizing individual plans by spring.

Farmers should have their soil samples completed in the last four years and analyzed at a DATCP approved lab in order to use in a NMP. Soil samples don't have to be completed in order to attend the class and learn what it takes to write a plan. Soil samples are a bare minimum to evaluating your land and understanding its capabilities to grow crops and protect the environment.

If you are interested in signing up for a NMP class, see the website listed above, or if you're having trouble, you can contact Tonya Gratz with the Green County Land and Water Conservation Department at (608) 325-4195 extension 121 or email her at Tonya.Gratz@wi.nacdnet.net for more information.

 
 

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