4R Farming

Virginia Corn

Planning and coordination are the cornerstones of this east central Virginia farming operation. Sandy soils and environmental concerns have driven the advanced practice adoption of this multi-generational farm for many years. Working very closely with the local retail outlet to ensure proper fertilizer blends that incorporate essential micronutrients helps improve the total soil health of the farm. Fertilizer formulas are adjusted based on a strict rotational soil sampling results as well as in-season tissue sampling.  


The constant cost benefit relationship of maintaining advanced nutrient stewardship practices, continues to show positive results for this operation on an annual basis. The farm continues to explore the added benefits of micro and secondary nutrients. 

On this farm where advanced practices have been implemented for many years, the reduction in CO2e emissions per bushel is 14 percent compared to the use of basic practices on the same fields.

Cost of 4R Practice Implementation for Virginia Corn

Yield Range: 105 to 164 bu/ac

Advanced Practices Implemented

The farm has maintained an advanced practice level for multiple cropping cycles and continues to work hand in hand with local retail advisors to maintain this level of practice adoption.

  • Cover crops are planted to hold leftover nutrients.
  • Uses no-till practices, buffer strips and grass waterways to reduce nutrient runoff.
  • Grid sampling to measure nutrients in the soil and make fertility and lime recommendations.
  • Corn is fertilized in furrow with low rate of pop-up starter as well as 2×2 side-by-side starter fertilizer. Nitrogen is broadcast at planting. Additional nitrogen is applied, either as liquid UAN side-dressed by dribbling, or top-dressed using Urea treated with Nutrisphere blended with ammonium sulfate.
  • Most fertilizer is applied by utilizing variable rate fertility prescriptions, using crop removal from a calibrated yield monitor to apply nutrients taken off fields that have been grid sampled and have received variable rate applications.

Environmental Metrics