Continuing their commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Legacy Farmers Cooperative facilities in Arcadia, Arlington, McComb and Pandora have achieved certified status for year six and the Custar facility for year seven through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.
The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status.
With the program in its eighth year, the Legacy Farmers Cooperative facilities are among the first to achieve years six and seven certified status.
“Legacy Farmers Cooperative is proud to be part of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program,” said Mark Sunderman, president and CEO of Legacy Farmers Cooperative. “It takes all of the efforts of our employee team and members/customers following the 4Rs to show our commitment to making a difference in water quality. We take pride in having all of our agronomy locations 4R Certified.”
Legacy Farmers Cooperative has a full-service lineup that includes dry application of fertilizer, liquid applications of crop protection and nutrient products, cover crop applications, and dry fertilizer applications. Legacy Farmers also has a full-service precision agriculture program which includes soil sampling, a carbon credits program, drone flights with field analytics, VRT fertilizer recommendations, VRT application, and nutrient management planning services. Legacy Farmers Agronomy Division provides prompt and reliable agronomy services, solutions, and products at a competitive value to customers of all sizes to maximize their long-term profitability and sustainability.
“I have been using Legacy Farmers Co-op for my grid soil sampling, fertilizer recommendations, and for fertilizer application. Over the years, I have been able to shift the dollars spent and the fertilizer rates between grid points in the field,” said Brent VonStein, Arlington agronomy customer. “Yields have been improving and becoming more consistent throughout the field. Having a 4R Certified Retailer, like Legacy Farmers Co-op, I am confident that the recommendations for my fields have been accurate and have been a big step to achieving my yield goals. I know that Legacy will follow the 4R guidelines when making applications and making recommendations, which also help when applying for programs such as H2Ohio. Legacy has given me the tools to become more profitable and to be a good steward of the land.”
The 4R Program certifies nutrient service providers across the state of Ohio that apply or make recommendations are doing so in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles — which refers to using the Right Source of Nutrients at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place. Program participants must go through an annual, independent, third-party audit and demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.
“Working with a 4R retailer has been a great experience. I always know my recommendations are accurate,” said William D. Schroeder, Pandora agronomy customer. “I am not wasting money over-applying fertilizer, and the fertilizer I do use goes where my farms need it the most. Running my personal strip-till bar is as easy as downloading the files from Legacy and my rates always come out right on. A 4R retailer like Legacy shows that they are in it for the grower and leaving mother nature in a better place.”
Approximately 2.5 million acres and more than 5,000 grower customers are serviced by the 54 facilities in Ohio and Michigan that have earned 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification.
“The certification program is an ongoing effort for participants and we are proud of the continued commitment shown by Legacy Cooperative as leaders in the industry,” said Andrew Allman, executive director of the Nutrient Stewardship Council.
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is governed and guided by the Nutrient Stewardship Council, a diverse set of stakeholders from business, government, university and non-governmental sectors with a common goal of maintaining agricultural productivity while also improving the quality of Lake Erie, its contributing watersheds and all of Ohio’s waterways. The program is administered by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. For more information, visit 4Rcertified.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-326-7520.