May 7, 2008
Contact: Dr. Quirine M. Ketterings, Cornell University, 607-255-3061; NNYADP Co-Chairs: Jon Greenwood, 315-386-3231; Joe Giroux, 518-563-7523

Maximizing Farm Efficiency Resources Now Online at www.nnyagdev.org

�Maximizing on-farm plant nutrient resources is critical as crop production costs continue to rise,� says St. Lawrence County dairy farmer Jon Greenwood. �The research made available through the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) and Cornell University provides essential information on how to improve nutrient use efficiencies. By making better use of manure to meet crop needs we can reduce spending on fertilizer.�

Clinton County dairyman Joe Giroux says, �The fact sheets and research report summaries with data specific to Northern New York boil down stacks of data from years of study across multiple farms into the must-know details that I need to have to run my farm efficiently.�

Greenwood and Giroux co-chair the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program�s farmer-driven research grant, education and outreach program.

The latest resources loaded to the NNYADP website at www.nnyagdev.org provide information on �Manure Sampling, Analysis & Interpretation� and �Nutrient Management Data Collection.�
The fact sheets, produced by the Nutrient Management Spear Program at Cornell University, provide how-to information on testing manure to determine how many pounds of each nutrient are being applied to fields and how to collect data to develop a fertilizer and manure management plan.

Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences Associate Professor Quirine M. Ketterings says, �Sampling directly from the manure spreader gives the most accurate representation of the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium being applied to the field.�

The sampling fact sheet provides information on how to sample the various types of manure: daily spread slurry and solid, stored solid, stored agitated liquid or slurry, and stored non-agitated liquid or slurry. For some types a minimum of one sample is sufficient for testing. For the stored solid and stored, non-agitated liquid of slurry, at least three samples should be collected.

Samples should be frozen and then sent to the Cornell Nutrient Analysis Laboratory or another manure testing facility for testing.

�A running average of test results for each manure source should be used for nutrient management planning,� Ketterings says. �If the nutrient needs of the crop are known and the spreader is properly calibrated, manure N, P and K can be applied with sufficient accuracy to meet, but not exceed, crop needs.�

The Nutrient Management Data Collection fact sheet emphasizes that developing a nutrient management plan that meets crop nutrient needs while also reducing erosion, leaching and runoff risks requires a lot of farm and field data. The fact sheet serves as a guide to data collection for cropland nutrient management planning according to the Natural Resource Conservation Service 590 Standard.

Local USDA Service Center NRCS and Farm Services Agency offices and the county Soil and Water Conservation District may provide maps or data for your farm. Maps and flowcharts for barns, silos, milkhouses and storage systems are helpful in understanding how nutrients move on the farm.

Essential information for developing an nutrient management plan includes soil types and soil fertility status (soil test data), drainage class, field rotations, manure application histories for each field, and total amount of manure to be allocated to each field. Types of manure spreaders, manure storage capacity, fertilizer blends used and the application rates commonly use by the farmer are also important information for developing a plan for how, when, and where to apply nutrients to crops.

Links to the Nutrient Management Data Collection and Manure Sampling, Analysis & Interpretation facts sheets are online at www.nnyagdev.org.