Signup deadline near for Wisconsin’s nitrogen optimization pilot program

Wisconsin farmers can still sign up for the state’s new nitrogen optimization pilot program. 

University of Wisconsin soil scientist Matt Ruark tells Brownfield the state-funded program helps farmers test different nitrogen use practices with less financial risk. “They’re going to cover the cost of time, of land, of yield loss, of soil testing, of you know, anything else that’s going to be connected with the project.”

Ruark says the specific tests will be up to each farmer based on their individual farm. “If I switch to no-till, can I apply more or less nitrogen? If I use a nitrification inhibitor or other technology, can I apply more or less nitrogen? And you’re studying those things on your farm fields under your conditions.”

And he says the university will help gather data. “Our job is to help work with the groups that are doing the research. The research is going to be conducted by the farmers. We’re there to help make sure everything is being conducted properly but also help them at the back end of things. Data organization, data analysis, report writing, help them with that sort of thing to put this information together.”

Ruark expects a wide range of different projects funded across different crops and he encourages farmers to apply for grant funds.  The deadline is January 31st.

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