Meet the 2020 4R Advocate Farmers
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Meet the 2020 4R Advocate Farmers

March 03, 2020   |   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 believe 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 as 2020 4R Advocates. The 4R Advocate program recognizes farmers and retailers who are leaders when it comes to implementing the 4Rs 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 2020 4R Advocate Farmers and their Retailer Partners

John Hundley and Eric Hopkins of Hundley Farms, and Tim Stein with Wedgworth’s Inc.

Hundley Farms is a third-generation family farm that started farming in 1935 in Belle Glade, Florida. The farm is located in the Everglades Agricultural area and covers approximately 20,266 acres. Their operation grows sugarcane, sweet corn, green beans, radishes, field corn, peanuts, cotton, cabbage, and collard greens. Wedgworth’s Inc. has been their retailer partner for more than 50 years. Tim Stein, their agronomist, has been instrumental in supporting Hundley Farms’ evolution in implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices.


Brian Ryberg of Ryberg Farms, and Mike Welter with Central Region Cooperative in Buffalo Lake, MN

Ryberg farms, located in Buffalo Lake, MN, manages 5,300 acres under strip-till and 4R Nutrient Stewardship management. Brian and Mike have worked together for over 20 years focused on adopting cutting-edge agricultural practices that have allowed improvements in nutrient use efficiency across the farm. In 2018, corn yields averaged 220 bushels per acre with 180 pounds of nitrogen providing 0.82 pounds of nitrogen per bushel of corn. Phosphorus and potassium are applied under fall strip tillage and has allowed yields to increase by five percent which improved return on investment in the last five years using 4R practices.


Morgan-O’Bannon Family and Todd Ragsdale with Nutrien Ag Solutions

Forty-two years after Missouri’s Monroe County inauguration, the Morgan family farm was established in 1873 on 160 acres. Today, Morgan-O’Bannon family farm is managed by fourth and fifth generation family operators, Alan Morgan, Kevin O’Bannon, Jeff and Jay O’Bannon, and Jabe Morgan. The partnership has grown the operation to over 9,500 acres located near Madison, Missouri that spreads across Southern Monroe and Audrain Counties. Their operation consists of corn, soybean, wheat, and beef cattle production. In 2023, this family farm will celebrate 150 years. The Morgan-O’Bannon farm has observed significant improvements in yield and cost savings over the last decade due to implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship. During the 2019 harvest season, Jeff O’Bannon entered into the National Corn Growers Association’s high yield contest. This field of no-till dryland corn, planted on June 6, averaged 275 bushels per acre. Jeff attributes this yield gain to 4Rs approach and intensive management of crop protection inputs. He is also a firm believer in the use of MicroEssentials® S10® and is planning to switch from MAP to 100 percent of MicroEssentials® S10® on all acres in 2020.


Mike Kurek of Susquehanna Orchards, and Tim Hushon, Sustain Ag Tech manager with The Mill

Located in Delta, Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna Orchards originated in 19020s as a fruit farm. Today, the operation consists of 315 acres growing apples, peaches, pumpkins, corn, and soybeans. Mike and his wife, Trish started implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices by split applying foliar fertilizer applications in the orchard with the help of their crop adviser, Tim Hushon. Over the last decade, the farm observed an average savings of $8.00 per acre by applying phosphorus and potassium with variable rate application. Implementing 4R practices has increased overall profitability and reduced nutrient losses, improving water quality on the farm.


Jeremy Brown of Broadview Agriculture Inc., and Taylor Allison, SDI Sales Consultant with Eco-Drip Irrigation

Jeremy Brown, and his wife, Sarah are fourth generation farmers in Lamesa, Texas. Together, they farm 4,000 acres of certified organic and conventional cotton, corn, wheat, sorghum, peanuts, and rye. Roughly 60 percent is dryland and 40 percent is irrigated. With support from Taylor on implementing 4Rs, they use drip irrigation to spoon-feed the crops with nutrients for efficiency. Jeremy’s leadership on 4Rs is evident in his community and agricultural industry. In 2017, Jeremy became one of five growers selected for the U.S. Farmers and Rancher’s Alliance Campaign: Faces of Farming and Ranching.


For more information on the 4R advocate program and the 2019 award winners, please visit: