DARLINGTON, Md. — The Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance held a successful field day on September 9th at Indian Springs Farm. For their first event in Northern Maryland, 46 attendees, made up of farmers, agribusiness professionals, as well as government and conservation partners, heard from a strong line-up of speakers and were introduced to a new voucher program.
Farmer owner, Lee McDaniels welcomed attendees alongside Quintin Cornwell with Harford Soil Conservation District and Rob Weaver with NRCS. They discussed the importance of good nutrient management and the opportunities of cost-share available. Laura Starr with The Nature Conservancy described the new voucher program which is aimed as supporting farmers to use their farm data to determine the best practices to improve their bottom line and the environment
From Willard Agri-Service, Tyler Adams shared different options to maximize yields by using on-farm data to prescribe application methods and enhance nutrient efficiency. Willard Agri-Service had a sprayer on site to demonstrate the different capabilities of their custom applicator. The Mill’s Timothy Hushon presented Decision Ag Solutions: Empowering growers through data driven decisions. Tim and his team are available to support growers to make data driven decisions and find solutions that impact a profitable yield through numerous services such as agronomic consultations, N modeling, and 4R nutrient practices. Next, attendees were able to absorb the different equipment technology programs on today’s market and how they increase efficiency thanks to Atlantic Tractor. On display was a new John Deere N530 air seeder in combination with the new John Deere 7R250 tractor that uses satellite tracking to monitor multiple automatic functions such as auto-track, auto path, exact apply, and exact merge, that ensure proper application rates of seed, fertilizer, and high productivity returns.
To wrap up the event, Mike Kurek, a 2019 National 4R Farmer, was able to relate to the farmers in attendance. Mike and his wife Trish own and operate Susquehanna Orchards while growing row crops on 300 acres. Mike is a strong 4R farmer; applying the right source of nutrients, at the right time, in the right place, and at the right rate. Mike saw an outstanding impact when implementing advance nutrient practices. Through data collection, Mike was able to use models to predict N usage.
Farmers who enjoyed the first ever Data Driven Field Day were introduced to a new voucher program provided by the Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance through a Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant. With data management often being a barrier to farmers’ decisions to implement new 4R management practices, the voucher is here to assist. The project proposes to provide technical assistance directly to farmers, to help them understand the language and data used to identify and implement precision ag and nutrient management practices and enabling them to make a more informed decision on their practices.
With that being said, ten farmers in Harford and Cecil County will receive a $1,000 voucher that they can use to pay a participating agribusiness advisor to provide individual coaching including data compilation, analysis, planning, and guidance on how to implement practices on their farm. For more details or to enroll please contact Laura Starr at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 785-375-7909 or visit the voucher page on the 4R website 4rmidatlantic.com .
–Delaware-Maryland 4R Alliance