A survey of agricultural retailers was undertaken to provide a benchmark of current practice adoption of soil sampling, type of spatial sampling, placement and timing of nutrient application currently being used in Ohio’s two major watersheds.
The responding retailers provided services on 3.8 million acres representing 39% of Ohio’s row crop and hay production acres with 1,920,450 in Lake Erie Watershed while 1,910,050 acres were in the Ohio River Watershed. Eighty two percent of the soil sampled was done according to methods that meet or exceed university recommendations. The Lake Erie Acreage Weighted Average (AWA) reported 74% and the Ohio River AWA 90% of the acreage being soil sampled according to methods that meet or exceed recommendations.
Farmers in the Lake Erie basin are more likely to surface broadcast phosphorus with no tillage done (36%) than those in the Ohio River basin (23%). Incorporation with a planter as starter fertilizer accounts for 30-33% of the applied phosphorus regardless of geography.
For all of Ohio AWA most fertilizer is applied in the Fall (September –November) and Spring (March-May) accounting for 77% of phosphorus application. The two watersheds are similar in the Fall application but the Winter period application is higher, 21% in the Ohio River Watershed than 8% in Lake Erie Watershed. Spring application is lower in the Ohio River Watershed at 27% compared to 41% in the Lake Erie watershed.
A complete copy of the report with more detail can be downloaded at http://go.osu.edu/agretailerreport