Meet the 2018 4R Advocate Farmers
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Meet the 2018 4R Advocate Farmers

March 08, 2018   |   ShareThis

Farmers have a lot to think about when it comes to fertilizer. When should it be applied, how much should be applied and where it should be applied are just a few complex, but crucial, decisions they have to make. At Mosaic, we think it’s important for farmers to understand not only how their fertilizer application decisions effect crop yields but also how it impacts our environment and water quality, which is why we’re dedicated to educating farmers and retailers about the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework.

4R Nutrient Stewardship encompasses fertilizer best management practices to achieve cropping system goals, like maximizing profitability and protecting the environment. To achieve those goals, the 4Rs framework incorporates the Right nutrient source, at the Right rate, at the Right time, and in the Right place.

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) named five farmers and their retailer partners, all of which are Mosaic customers, as 2018 4R Advocates. The 4R Advocate program recognizes farmers and retailers who are leaders when it comes to implementing the 4R’s of Nutrient Stewardship on their fields. These farmers showcase real world examples of how successfully implementing the 4Rs can increase yields and profits, while reducing the impact on the environment.

Get to know the 2018 4R Advocate Farmers and their Retailer Partners

Maria Cox of Cox Land and Cattle, Inc., and Kyle Lake from CHS Carrollton

Maria Cox manages a 3,000 acre farm alongside her father. Together, they pride themselves on promoting healthy soil and eliminating potential risk to soil loss. Kyle Lake from CHS Carrollton partners with Maria to drive nutrient uptake in their crops by implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. They are working towards a 100 percent no-till system, and using cover crops on most acres, which will help build organic matter, prevent erosion and potentially lower fertilizer application rates long-term.

Durand Brothers and Earl Garber, a Product Support Specialist at Sanders/Pinnacle Agriculture

Rice and crawfish are unique to Louisiana cuisine. What’s also unique is when they’re combined with farming. This approach to managing farmland in Louisiana is exactly what the Durand brothers are doing in St. Martin Parish. C.J., Greg, and Jeff Durand starting aquaculture farming in the form of crawfish with their father in the early 1970’s. By 1980, growing no-till rice became a part of the farm business. In order to improve soil health and rice yields year after year, the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship are a key component for the Durand farm operation. For six year, the Durand brothers have worked with Earl Garber, product support specialist at Sanders/Pinnacle Agriculture, to improve their 4R Nutrient Stewardship program.

Doug Weathers from Sodbuster Farms in Willamette Valley, Oregon and agronomist John Peters of Wilbur-Ellis Company

Brewing up new ways of thinking around nutrient management is part of a systems approach with Sodbuster farms. Doug Weathers and his family manage a 1,000 acre hops farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with the assistance of his Wilbur-Ellis agronomist, John Peters. Because of the farms proximity to the Willamette River, Doug made sure he was utilizing best management practices to reduce his farm’s impact to the environment. With the 4Rs and additional conservation practices, the Sodbuster farm has been certified for over a decade under Oregon’s Salmon Safe program.

Chuck and Darin Dunlop from Kansas, and precision agricultural specialist Jason Sutterby from AgChoice/MFA Inc.

Farming in east-central Kansas has its advantages and challenges for nutrient stewardship. Cousins Chuck and Darin Dunlop have been early adopters of new technology and improving their 4R approach for years to improve profitability and reduce nutrient losses. Implementing the 4Rs on the farm exponentially increased when the Dunlop cousins started working with Jason Sutterby, precision agricultural specialist at AgChoice (owned by MFA Inc.) over four years ago.

Glen and Mark Beck, Beck Brothers Citrus, Inc., and crop advisor Rob Watson from Griffin Fertilizer Company

Glen and Mark Beck manage a 7,500 acre citrus farm in central Florida. The farm was founded by their father, George, who was fertilizer operations manager at a local co-op, so the two learned firsthand the importance of fertilizers to efficient citrus production. Rob Watson works with the Beck brothers to develop annual fertilizer application recommendations that are aligned to 4R Nutrient Stewardship Practices.

Congratulations to the 4R Advocate winners! And thank you for your commitment to using the 4R principles to increase yields, improve soils and decrease fertilizer’s environmental footprint.