Four workshops designed to teach Certified Crop Advisers how to help farmers develop nutrient management plans will be offered by agronomists with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The daylong Software for Development Nutrient Management Plans workshops were devised to assist CCAs in learning software to help them develop nutrient management plans for their clients that meet the criteria for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS-EQIP), said Greg LaBarge, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist and one of the leaders of Ohio State’s Agronomic Crops Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

With water quality issues a high priority in Ohio, developing effective nutrient management plans is one way in which farmers can help, he said. These plans can also help farmers boost farm profits, LaBarge said.

“Nutrient management plans are valuable for farmers because they take soil fertility recommendations one step further,” he said. “The management plans assess the environmental concerns of field sites to nutrient runoff/loss via nutrient indexes as well as assess erosion and other resource concerns on the farm.”

Workshop participants will use an example farm and software, including Word Report Templates developed by Ohio’s NRCS, to learn how to create the nutrient management plans, he said.

The workshops are free but require preregistration to attend. Registration links and more information can be found at http://agcrops.osu.edu/calendar.

The workshops locations and dates are:  

  • Dec. 4, at the Marion County OSU Extension office, 222 W Center St., in Marion.
  • Jan. 9, 2015, at the Hancock County OSU Extension office, 7868 County Road 140, in Findlay.
  • Feb. 3, 2015, at the Huron County OSU Extension office, 180 Milan Ave., in Norwalk.
  • March 2, 2015, at the Putnam County OSU Extension office, 1206 East Second St., in Ottawa.

The workshops are at no cost to participants thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program designed to help improve the water quality of the Great Lakes.

For more information, contact LaBarge at 740-223-4040 or labarge.1@osu.edu.