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Survey says ag retailers care about water quality

A recent survey indicates water quality is becoming more of a priority for ag retailers.

Caitlin Leahy with the Partnership for Ag Resource Management says there was great response from agribusinesses in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River Basins.

“We had 90 participants that represented 5.3 million acres.”

She tells Brownfield that’s more than 30 percent higher than last year.

“Some of the increases we saw were in side-dress of phosphorous and nitrogen. We’ve seen a lot of adoption there, along with cover crops (and) soil sampling.”

The Partnership uses the data to learn and communicate ag retailers’ voluntary efforts to help solve water quality problems without additional regulations.

The survey also tracks profitability.  Leahy says half the retailers responded that they made a profit on cover crops a year ago, and nearly 40 percent broke even.

“So these kinds of things that we’re polling really give us a good feel among 90 participants that represent such a huge area of really, what are the profits on conservation practices.”

The ag retailer survey shows the use of precision software climbed from 86 percent in 2017 to 98 percent in 2018.

Respondents included agronomists, precision farming specialists, sales management, application managers, and owners.

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