Fertilizer and seed research

Kansas is joining a research effort funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to study fertilizer applications and seed rate management strategies to improve conservation.

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas farmers have an opportunity to join other U.S. producers in participating in a $4 million conservation innovation grant aimed at improving the efficiency of fertilizer and seed management in cotton, corn, soy, and wheat production.  

The research, made possible by a $4 million USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service award to the Data-Intensive Farm Management Project, aims to develop and deploy a data-intensive crop management system based on on-farm precision experiments. Farmers will use these tools to conduct site-specific, data-based evaluations of the economic and environmental impacts of site-specific nitrogen, phosphorus and seed rate management strategies.  

“We’re taking some of the theoretical methods we’ve been studying and are ready to put them to the test in real-life situations on farms across the country,” said Kansas State University agricultural economist Terry Griffin.  

Though Kansas is not one of the states specifically targeted by the project, cotton, corn, soybean, and wheat producers from any state can apply to participate.  

“The great thing about this award is that it gives us funding to make sure that every year we can increase the profits of participating farmers and their crop consultants,” said project leader and University of Illinois agricultural economist David Bullock in a statement announcing the funding. 

The funding is provided through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a component of the Conservation Innovation Grants program first authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill.  

On-Farm Trials awardees work with NRCS and farmers and ranchers to implement innovative practices and systems that have not yet been widely adopted by producers. Awardees are required to evaluate the conservation and economic outcomes from these practices and systems, which provides partners, producers and NRCS critical information to inform conservation work in the future.  

“On-Farm Trials help producers improve the health of their operations while at the same time helping NRCS build data to show the benefit of innovative conservation systems and practices applied on the land,” said NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton in making the announcement. 

More information and contact information is available on the project’s webpage.