Nutrient Efficiency Highlighted at Fall Farm Field Day

 Over 60 local agricultural producers came together at the Van Buren Conservation District’s Fall Field Day on September 7 to learn about increasing nutrient efficiency, improving soil health, antimicrobial resistance, the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), and more. The Van Buren Conservation District’s 2021 Farmer of the Year, Kolberg Family Farms, hosted the event and shared their journey of soil health with the audience. Speakers included R.J. Rant of Nutrilink Biosystems and Brad Rocke of Agri-Management Solutions.

“The first thing you have to realize is your soil is alive,” said speaker R.J. Rant, a soil health consultant from Grand Haven. “That means every decision you make on the farm should come back to that principle: what is it doing to the soil life?”

“All the speakers really brought home the importance of nutrient management when building soil health. There are a lot of products on the market but it’s best to start with the foundations such as cover crops, no-till and spoon feeding nutrients throughout the growing season,” said field day organizer Colleen Forestieri with the Van Buren Conservation District. “Building carbon, proper nutrient placement and timing can really set the foundation for soil health.”

The morning wrapped with a demonstration of cover crop seeds being planted into a corn field via airplane and an in-the-field look at a 19-way cocktail cover crop mix. Van Buren Conservation District staff also discussed cost-share programs that can offer funding to farmers to try conservation practices as well as available rental equipment. For more information about practices and cost-share opportunities, contact the Van Buren Conservation District Ag & Water Quality Team at 269-657-4030 x 5.