4R Farming

No-Till Corn Ohio

Located in the Western Lake Erie Basin, this family farm has used strip-till since 2010. While adopting some practices quickly the farm has taken the opportunity to try more complex practices like variable rate N, P, and K applications through NRCS programs. 

Cost per acre for fertilizer practices decreased as basic to advanced 4R practices were implemented. A portion of the decrease in cost can be attributed to a decrease in fertilizer cost and the remainder to the difference in fertilizer application cost within the removal of nitrogen from fall applications.

Outcome

Changing from basic to more advanced 4R practices, the farmer decreased cost per acre by $101.11 while also decreasing CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent. The differences in cost per acre are from changing the formula of the fall strip till application to remove N, fewer total applications, and lower nutrient rates.

Cost of 4R Practice Implementation for Ohio No-Till Corn

Yield Range 189 to 214 bu/ac

Practices Changed from Basic to Advanced

  • Removed ammonia sulfate from fall strip-till application
  • Variable rate seeding and starter fertilizer application
  • Sidedress nitrogen applied at a variable rate and knifed-in
  • Phosphorus and potassium applications with strip-till and variable rate

Detail of Practices and When Changed

On all fields:

  • Fall Variable Rate Application of MAP and Potash based on Grid Soil Sampling and yield data
  • Variable rate seeding based on soil tests and yield maps

2014 – Basic

  • Fall application of N,P,K with strip-till on 30” centers
  • Liquid starter
  • Early post emergence N with herbicide application
  • Sidedress with liquid UAN at flat rate – knifed in

2015 – Basic

  • Fall application of N,P,K with strip-till on 30” centers
  • Liquid starter
  • Early post emergence N with herbicide application
  • Sidedress with liquid UAN at flat rate – knifed in

2016 – Intermediate

  • Fall application of N,P,K with strip-till on 30” centers – took at Ammonia Sulfate in fall application
  • Liquid starter with Variable rate seeding and fertilizer
  • Early post emergence N with herbicide application
  • Sidedress with liquid UAN at flat rate – knifed in – tested VR
  • Tested later Sidedress applications

2017 – Advanced

  • Fall VR application of P,K with strip-till on 30” centers
  • Liquid starter with Variable rate seeding and fertilizer – removed 10-34-0 from liquid starter
  • Early post emergence N with herbicide application
  • Sidedress with liquid UAN VR based on same zones as fall P and K

Environmental Metrics