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March 16, 2011 Volume 2, Issue 4

Happening Now!

Environmental Defense Teleconference Features On-Farm Network® and Adaptive Management

In early February, Tracy Blackmer, Denny Friest, and Suzy Friedman participated in a teleconference for Environmental Defense Fund donors. To hear the conference in its entirety, go to http://blogs.edf.org/podcast/2011/02/07/.

Iowa On-Farm Network® Conference Presentations Posted

Nearly all of the 2011 On-Farm Network Conference presentations are now available at www.isafarmnet.com under the ‘conference’ tab.  Or, for your convenience, just click here.

On-Farm Network Representatives Present Update to Iowa House Ag Committee

Suzy Friedman, EDF, Denny Friest, On-Farm Network® advisory council member and grower participant and Tracy Blackmer, director of the On-Farm Network, appeared before the Iowa House of Representatives agriculture and environment committee on February 21.  One of the primary reasons for the meeting was to update the committee on the On-Farm Network, which is funded in part by the Iowa Legislature through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. An update on the success of the On-Farm Network in other states was also given. All three On-Farm Network representatives testified that the value of the voluntary, data driven adaptive management approach was much more effective in reducing excessive fertilizer use than the a regulatory approach based on general application guidelines. One of the reasons for the success of the On-Farm Network program in Iowa is the strong support it has received from this committee in the past.


Remote Sensing

This aerial image, collected near the end of the 2009 growing season shows a nitrogen deficient streak that confirmed to be an application error that resulted from changing part of the GPS guidance system, causing the driver to go slightly wide on one side when putting on anhydrous ammonia. This type of error is barely visible at ground level, and yield losses because of it would not show up in the uield monitor, since the nitrogen was applied at a diagonal to the rows.

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Meet Chris Sigmund

Chris Sigmund, president of TeamAg, has been involved with On-Farm Network programming since the Lancaster Farms Project began in 2004. With 14 years of ag consulting experience, Sigmund now oversees a staff of 19 consultants who work with more than a thousand customers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.

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Indiana On-Farm Network® Plans for Expansion

After beginning with just one group of growers last year, the Indiana On-Farm Network is fully funded and running strong into 2011. Instead of the hoped-for five groups this year, there will be at least eight, and the program will grow from 16 growers in 2010 to 120 in 2011.

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Farmer Board Guides Bay Farm On-Farm Network®

The Farmer Board of the Bay Farms On Farm Network® guides activities and programs, and, importantly, puts farmers fully in the driver's seat of this growing program.

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More than 500 Attend Annual On-Farm Network Conference

More than 500 farmers, agronomists, and others attended the 2011 On-Farm Network® Conference. While most of the attendees were Iowans, a significant number came from surrounding states to hear about On-Farm Network studies in Iowa and learn more about participating in the growing number of programs in other areas.Attendees were offered sessions on more than 20 different topics and many of these were given more than once. Sessions drawing the largest crowds included the discussion of growers’ environmental responsibilities and proactive leadership in addressing problem areas by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, all sessions on nitrogen management, and those covering On-Farm Network studies of corn and soybean planting rates, herbicide systems, and use of fungicides in soybeans. All presentations made available by the speakers are now posted at the ISA On-Farm Network website. Click here for more.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Opens the On-Farm Network® Conference

A lot can be done when growers work together.That’s what Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey told attendees at the opening session of the 2011 Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network® Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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North Carolina Growers Review 2010 On-Farm Network Results

On March 7, a group of about 20 growers met in Elizabeth City, NC to discuss the results from the 2010 crop season. Stan Winslow, president of Tidewater Agronomics Inc, coordinated the field activities in more than 40 corn fields, including two replicated strip trials. This was the group’s second year of using the stalk nitrate test, but its first year of using aerial imagery to guide the sampling.

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Pennsylvania Grower Group Meetings Held

Eight south-central Pennsylvania grower groups in the Bay Farms On-Farm Network® met the week of February 7 to discuss the results of nitrogen trials and evaluations of nitrogen management on their farms. Five of the groups are in Lancaster county, two in Chester county and one is in Berks county.

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