Luckey Farmers endorses a best management practice concept known as 4R nutrient stewardship. The 4R philosophy is an innovative and scientific based approach that enhances environmental protection, expands production, increases farmer profitability and improves sustainability. — The concept is to use the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement.

So, how do farmers know what the right sources, rates, times and places are?

Analyzing the soil before planting the crop is one way to answer these questions, a process commonly known as a soil test. Additional solutions include analyzing the plant as it grows or taking tissue samples. This information helps guide the farmer in making fertilizer decisions before the growing season begins. The farmer can use fertilizer inputs, the expected price at harvest of the crop(s) he or she plans to plant, and anticipated yields to determine the fertilizer program that will be most effective at optimizing profit.

Precision agriculture is a farming system that uses technology to allow more site-specific management of the factors affecting crop production.

With GPS and yield monitors, farmers can measure their output more precisely by matching yield data with the location in the field. Special computer-driven equipment can change the rate at which fertilizers, seed, portions of plant health products, and other inputs are used, based on the needs of the soil and crop in a particular field.

In summary, to encourage best management practices, Luckey Farmers is recommending at a minimum to test your soil every four years. One easy way to accomplish this is to grid sample a percentage of your acres every year.

Please contact a Luckey Farmers representative today to learn more about our grid-sampling practices and how we can assist you in your fields!