By Harold Watters, Ohio State university Extension agronomist
I have done half a dozen fertilizer re-certification trainings this winter so far. There have been many questions — that’s good. It means you are thinking. When we first rolled out the required training, there was complaining about everyone else who also is contributing to the problem. Now that seems to have gone away and folks are looking for ways to reduce the problem on their own farm. I am hearing they forgot about some of the requirements that they need to follow. One big item that we hear from ODA inspectors is the need to record the application of fertilizer. Within 24 hours of any nutrient application, record:
- Name of fertilizer certificate holder
- Name of applicator working under direct supervision of certificate holder
- Date of application
- Location (field ID, farm)
- Fertilizer analysis (such as 11-52-0)
- Rate of fertilizer application (lbs/A), number of acres, and total amount applied
- Fertilizer application method (surface-applied, incorporated, etc)
- Soil conditions
- For surface applications only: is ground frozen or snow covered?
- Temperature and precipitation during application
- Weather forecast for day following application.
And keep those records of your nutrient application for three years. One very good place to get and print off weather records and a forecast is http://weather.gov. Additional information including a sample record form, can be found at: https://nutrienteducation.osu.edu.
There are also a couple of neat websites that can give a recommendation of whether or not you should apply. Try both, they work slightly differently, you may like one over the other. You can print off the recommendation, and that can be your record of the weather forecast.
- From ODA is the Ohio Applicator Forecast: https://www.agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/divisions/plant-health/resources/ohio-applicator-forecast
- From Ohio State University is the Field Application Resource Monitor (F.A.R.M.): https://farm.bpcrc.osu.edu