Farmers, consultants needed to help Extension update Ohio’s fertilizer guidelines

Ohio State University Extension is looking for help from farmers and crop consultants on updating the state’s fertilizer recommendations. Results should improve both crop production and water quality. Participants will be paid for their efforts.

Through the On-farm Fertilizer Trials project, Extension plans to determine the optimal rates of fertilization on the state’s major crops by gathering data from hundreds of farms statewide over the next two to three years. Farmers will be paid up to $500 for participating, and crop consultants will be paid $1,000-$1,500 for each trial they manage. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and commodity checkoff funds from the Ohio Soybean Council and the Ohio Corn and Small Grains Marketing Programs.

Data will be gathered from corn, soybean and wheat farmers at planting, during the summer and at harvest. Eight combinations of fertilizer applications will be tested, and farmers can decide which type of nutrients they will test: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or sulfur or a combination.

Ohio farmers and crop consultants can find more details at and contact  Steve Culman, soil fertility specialist with Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, at [email protected] or 330-822-3787 or post-doctoral researcher Anthony Fulford at [email protected].  

Project results also will be used by researchers and Extension personnel involved with the university’s Field to Faucet water quality initiative, which is designed to ensure safe drinking water while keeping farms productive and profitable.