Field days on the best ways to use nutrients on farms are set for late July in northwest and western Ohio. 

Both events aim to help farmers maximize yields of their crops while minimizing nutrient runoff from their fields, said co-organizer Greg LaBarge, an agronomic field specialist with Ohio State University Extension.

Successfully doing that, he said, can lower input costs, raise profits and limit water quality threats such as harmful algal blooms.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Learn all about the ‘4 Rs’

Participants at both events, which will have similar agendas, will learn “how the ‘4R’ principles of the right rate, timing, placement and source of nutrients can be used for sustainability in production and can address environmental concerns,” LaBarge said.

Both events will have field activities, field demonstrations and talks by experts from the college. Keeping track of and managing nitrogen, phosphorus and water quality will be covered. The field demos will show various fertilizer and manure application equipment being used.

Earn fertilization certification

Participants at either event also will receive enough training for certification under Ohio’s agricultural fertilization law. The law requires individuals who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres to be certified by Sept. 30, 2017. Educators with OSU Extension’s Fertilizer Agricultural Certification Training program, or FACT, will provide the training.

The main point shared at both field days, LaBarge said, will be “how to utilize nutrients in crop production settings to reach a field’s potential but limit the exposure to losses off-site that affect water quality.”

Harmful algal blooms, for instance, are partly caused by the runoff of phosphorus. In recent years, such blooms have plagued western Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys and other bodies of water.

In South Charleston July 21

The Western Nutrient Management and Placement Field Day is from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on July 21 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Western Agricultural Research Station, 7721 S. Charleston Pike in South Charleston in Clark County. OARDC is the college’s research arm.

In Custar July 28

The Northwest Nutrient Management and Placement Field Day runs the same hours on July 28 at OARDC’s Northwest Agricultural Research Station, 4240 Range Line Road in Custar in Wood County.

Registration for either event is $15 and includes lunch and all activities, including the certification training.

How to register

Program details and a registration link for the Western event are at go.osu.edu/westernnutrientday and for the Northwest event at go.osu.edu/nwnutrientday. The deadlines to register are July 18 for the former and July 22 for the latter.

The contact person for the Western field day is OSU Extension’s Harold Watters, watters.35@osu.edu, 937-604-2415. LaBarge is the contact for the Northwest event at labarge.1@osu.edu, 419-460-0600. Both are members of OSU Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team.

The field days’ co-sponsors are OSU Extension, OARDC, the Ohio Soybean Council, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, and the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program.