Michigan to start new phosphorus reduction pilot

Michigan wheat growers will be able to enroll in a new phosphorus reduction pilot program this fall. 

The Conservation Technology Action Center is partnering with the Mosaic Company, Star of the West Milling Company, and Heidelberg University to extend its Phosphorus Load-Reduction Stimulation Program.

Star of the West Milling Company Sustainability Director Lisa Woodke tells Brownfield a limited number of Michigan wheat acres will be eligible.

“We will be tracking a grower’s baseline, what they do on their wheat acres today, and then implementing a change, either a practice change including tillage or a use of a different type of fertilizer—specifically in this case a Mosaic product that is supposed to help with phosphorus staying where it needs to stay in the ground,” she explains.

Mosaic Company Sustainability Agronomist Advisor Adam Herges says some farmers in the program will be using a new technology that granulates nutrients into a single product and provides even applications across fields.

“Some of this new technology will allow us to, if we can get fertilizer in in the spring, will actually allow it to stay there and be utilized for the crop longer,” he shares.

Heidelberg University will quantify nutrient loading reductions made and the data collected will be used to calculate potential payouts for performance programs in the future.

Several parts of the pilot were highlighted as part of this week’s Conservation in Action Tour along with additional Star of the West sustainability projects.

Star of the West also has locations in Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and New York.

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