Intermediate to Advanced Practices Implemented
- Expanded soil sampling from small 1-acre grid in 2016 to 2.5-acre grid in 2019.
- Fertilizer applications are applied using variable rate equipment.
- All nitrogen applied in-season
This family farm located in central Illinois is managed by a young farmer who was an early adopter of the 4Rs. Seeing the benefits of these practices and willing to make investments in the farm, the family made advanced leaps in adoption of 4R practices and saw immediate returns.
When moving from basic to advanced 4R practices the total cost per acre to implement 4R practices decreased due to reduced fertilizer and equipment costs. Operation cost of an in-season sprayer and use of a smaller tractor for in-season nitrogen injection also lowered costs.
The time spent per acre implementing 4R practices was 0.21 hours per acre for basic practices compared to 0.22 with advanced practices, due to more fertilizer applications per season.
Changing from basic to more advanced 4R practices, the farmer decreased cost per acre between $16.49 and $25.31, while also decreasing CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 34.7 percent.
Grid based variable rates
On all fields:
2014 – Basic
2015 – Basic
2016 – Intermediate
2017 – Advanced