Five educational videos have been developed by the 4R Plus coalition to inform farmers and crop advisers about the practices that build healthier soils, improve water quality and increase crop productivity. These 4R Plus practices combine 4R nutrient stewardship with conservation practices.
“Fall is a good time for farmers to assess their fields to determine where conservation practices could be added to reduce erosion, build soil health and improve water quality,” said Greg Wandrey, Iowa agriculture program director for The Nature Conservancy and coordinator of the 4R Plus program. “As farmers and their advisers work together to make these important management decisions, the videos – combined with their own research – will be a useful tool to determine what practices are most beneficial for their farms.”
Recognizing that every farm operation is unique, the videos explore 4R Plus practices that are effective in every region of the state, including practices that can be used in any field and those best suited for flat or sloping fields. Additionally, there is a video that illustrates the importance of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and a video that features the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship – right source of fertilizer applied at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.
Videos for farmers and agricultural educators
Groups are encouraged to use these resources to increase awareness and understanding of the practices and how they fit on the landscape and in agricultural production systems.
“These video resources can be used as part of an outreach program or for self-study by farmers, landowners or others interested in learning more about nutrient stewardship and conservation practices,” said Jamie Benning, water quality program manager at Iowa State University.
Courses available for CEUs
These videos are also offered in a format that Certified Crop Advisers can use to earn Continuing Education Units.
“A total of 2.5 credits are available after completing all five courses,” said Tim Berkland, strategic agronomy marketing manager at GROWMARK, Inc. and one of the authors of the CCA courses.
The process of completing the courses is simple. “CCAs register on the first screen, then watch the video and answer the 10-question quiz. Upon successful completion of each module, the CCA earns 0.5 credits in either the Soil & Water Management or Nutrient Management category,” said Berkland. “A total of 2.5 credits are available after completing all five courses. The courses are under the Resources tab of the 4R Plus website.”
“We encourage CCAs to use the knowledge they gain from the modules and work with their farmer clients to determine the practices that will retain nutrients in the soil, keep soil from eroding and build the health of soils to improve crop productivity,” said Joel Nelson with Nutrien Ag Solutions and chair of the Iowa CCA Board of Directors.
Source: 4R Plus