Research Projects to Benefit Farmers and Ag Retailers
The Missouri Fertilizer Control Board approved five funding requests for research to benefit growers and ag retailers in the 2020 budget cycle. Criteria for fund approval included applicability for both audiences as well as adherence to one of these four objectives:
- Reducing Nutrient Losses from Agricultural Fields
- Enhancing Nutrient Use Efficiency
- Measuring and Documenting BMP Effectiveness
- Updating Missouri Nutrient/Fertilizer Recommendations
The following five funding requests were approved:
“MU CERTIFIED” STRIP TRIAL: FERTILIZER MANAGEMENT FOR THE 4R’S – MU EXTENSION
The “MU Certified” Strip Trial Program is an integrated research, education, and demonstration project helping Missouri producers validate management decisions on their farm and document their efficiency and environmental stewardship.
Strip trials are simple and direct on-farm research strategy answering participating farmer questions with results integrated across many locations making useful conclusions for all Missouri farmers.
The program is midway through its fifth field season and has worked with Missouri farmers to implement nearly 250 strip trials in Missouri.
MU FORAGES 4R & FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION HANDBOOK PROPOSAL – MU EXTENSION
FERTILIZER MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK FOR ROW CROPS – MU EXTENSION
These two projects will meet the goal of updating the Missouri nutrient/fertilizer recommendations handbook. Discussions took place regarding making the handbook more user-friendly and including soil health management techniques associated with each of the 4Rs. University representatives believed the best way to accomplish this was through the creation of a Missouri 4R Handbook. These two proposals represent a handbook depicting 4R practices for both forage and row crops in Missouri.
AGRICULTURAL EDGE OF FIELD MONITORING – MISSOURI CORN MERCHANDISING COUNCIL
This is an on-farm nutrient and water quality research and education program administered jointly by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council in partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
- Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of agricultural conservation practices
- Evaluate the 4R principles of nutrient application
- Document the benefits from public investments in conservation (i.e. the impact of cost-share programs)
- Generate information and data to inform and improve policy decisions and water quality modeling
- Demonstrate agriculture’s commitment to preserving water quality and to continuous improvement
MISSOURI SOIL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP – SOIL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP
The purpose of the project is to advance the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) as the premiere farmer-led soil health organization in Missouri and to increase the impact of the SHP network through state-specific outreach resources and stakeholder collaborations improving efficiencies of all soil health efforts in the state.
The farmer research network will be supporting the six existing on-farm demonstration sites and review opportunities for expansion. Current sites are strip trials looking primarily at cover crop systems compared to non-cover crop systems. Expansion could include nutrient management and tillage trials. Other benefits proposed include increase farmer and retailer engagement, increase likelihood of successful cover crop establishment, and retail agronomic involvement.