MADISON —Since 2011, The Partnership for Ag Resource Management (PARM), a project of the IPM Institute of North America, has worked with ag retailers to identify products and services that keep valuable fertilizer on cropland. We promote, track and report those practices and estimate nutrient loss reductions using a calculation system developed with the National Center for Water Quality Research. This system uses monitoring and modeling data paired with a continually updated literature review of available research on nutrient loss reduction capacities of products and services offered by ag retail. PARM enrolls ag retail members to help track location sales and estimate impacts along with other resource and tool support. Interested retailers can enroll here.
Although COVID-19 posed complications, sixty-seven ag retail locations representing over 5.3 million acres in the Great Lakes (GLB) and Upper Mississippi River Basins (MRB) participated in PARM’s 2020 products and services survey. Participants reduced an estimated 4.3 million pounds of total phosphorus, 845,000 pounds of dissolved reactive phosphorus and 44 million pounds of total nitrogen. Find the report here.
The total number of GLB serviced acres reported was 2,473,000 and in the MRB the number of total acres serviced was 2,800,000. The graph below combines the results from the two regions. Considerations for weather conditions continues to be one of the most widely adopted practices followed by rotational soil sampling which has remained relatively steady over the past three years. Wet conditions and a delayed harvest were reported in the MRB as major contributors to the decline of variable-rate technology use for nitrogen and phosphorus application. Cover crop adoption continues to increase in both GLB and MRB. GLB respondents reported cover crop usage on 21.6% of custom applied acres in 2020. Overall, more than 95% of all participants offer cover crop seed sales.
Profits were found across all products and services, with 90.2% of participants achieving gains from topdress application, 86% profitability for foliar feeding, and 53.4% of participants profiting from cover crops. Reported profitability across all products and services listed below remained consistent with reported percentages from the year prior.
PARM’s outreach includes a webinar series found at http://partnershipfarm.org/webinars/ which addresses the latest nutrient management research on different practices, a 4R-approved Phosphorus Loss Reduction Handbook for Agronomists with fact sheets on beneficial products and services to share with their customers, contributions to training modules formed by the SPARC Initiative available on the American Society of Agronomy online classroom, 4R tip wallet cards on managing phosphorus losses and more. To help support the PARM project or to become an ag retailer participant, visit http://partnershipfarm.org/become-a-parm-member/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARM is supported by grants from the McKnight Foundation and Great Lakes Protection Fund. Supporting ag retail members and corporate sponsors include The Andersons, Country Visions Cooperative, Millborn Seeds, Saddle Butte Ag, Nutrien, Gaerte Ag Service LLC., Pandora Grain and Supply, Inc., La Crosse Seed, Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business, and Field to Market.
— IPM Institute of North America