Con-Till, Nutrient Management Top Best Practices

Farmers are adopting best management practices in record numbers, according to a survey just released by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). The survey reached slightly less than 2,000 farmers nationwide to gain a better understanding of environmental management measures on U.S. farms and barriers to adoption. The respondents represent 2.5 million acres of farmed cropland.

“The results of this survey have provided us with knowledge of producer practices that will help us best identify how we can continue to increase adoption rates of best management practices and conservation practices,” said TFI President Ford B. West. “It is satisfying to know that 60 percent of those surveyed have fully-adopted nutrient management plans and indicators are positive that farmers are using the right nutrient product at the right time, right place and right rate.”

Survey respondents had an average of 29 years of farming experience and were typically 52 year-old males. Seventy-five percent of those answering the survey farm a corn-soybean rotation or a corn-soybean-wheat rotation. Seventy-nine percent had at least some college education.

“These survey results show that many farmers are actively engaged in conservation – in fact, conservation tillage was the most adopted practice among row crop producers,” said CTIC Executive Director Karen A. Scanlon. “We also have a clear picture about why some producers are not choosing conservation practices. That’s important because now we can better address their concerns and work to overcome those barriers.”

The comprehensive survey netted great results. The top messages taken from the survey follow.

Having a conservation plan is a key predictor of additional conservation behavior. More than half of row crop producers who responded to the survey have fully adopted:

  • Conservation Tillage
  • Nutrient Management
  • Grassed Waterways
  • Integrated Pest, Disease and Weed Management

Farmers indicated that financial assistance is mostly preferred over education and technical assistance, as related to best management practice adoption. In six of the 12 categories, including conservation buffers, GPS yield monitor, irrigation water management, precision agriculture, terraces, and water and sediment control basins, financial assistance was most-preferred.

The top four respected information sources cited are Cooperative Extension, certified crop advisers, agribusiness, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Family members and local farming leaders rated amongst the lowest as preferred information sources.

A positive correlation exists between large scale farms and adoption of conservation tillage and no-till. The survey also showed that large landowners are more conservation-oriented than small landowners.

About half of farmer-respondents soil test according to state recommendations. Economic concerns and time were primary obstacles to not testing. Twenty-four percent of corn growers, 23 percent of soybean growers and 23 percent of wheat growers cited test costs as a reason they don’t soil test.

Based on this initial nationwide survey, CTIC and TFI anticipate conducting additional surveys that are state-specific, commodity-specific and with retailers across the country.

“This first survey will be used as a starting point in our efforts to better understand farmers’ use of nutrient management plans,” added West. “As this initiative grows, there’s no telling how much information we’ll collect that will help us create programs, materials and perhaps legislation to help implement nutrient management plans.”

CTIC and TFI worked with the Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) in developing the survey questions.

Conservation Technology Information Center, a not-for-profit organization located in West Lafayette, Ind., is the reliable source of information and technology for environmentally responsible and economically viable agricultural conservation. Contact: Courtney Schmidt (765) 494-6956 or

The Fertilizer Institute represents the nation’s fertilizer industry. Producers, importers, retailers, wholesalers and companies that provide services to the fertilizer industry which comprise its membership are served by a full time Washington, D.C., staff in various legislative, educational and technical areas as well as with information and public relations programs. Contact: Harriet Wegmeyer (202) 515-2720 or

Leave a Reply

Fertilizer Stories

Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
FertilizerCF Nitrogen Investment: What It Means For CHS
August 13, 2015
A record $2.8 billion investment in nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing through CF Industries Nitrogen, LLC, is a historic step that links Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
FertilizerCF Industries, CHS To Form Strategic Venture
August 12, 2015
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. and CHS Inc. announced today that they have agreed to enter into a strategic venture.  CHS, Read More
Top 100 Articles
Southern States Co-op Storefront
CropLife 100Southern States: Always Ag Authentic
October 1, 2015
If people were to judge a book by its cover when visiting Southern States Cooperative’s (SSC) Richmond, VA, corporate headquarters, Read More
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Latest News
DTS10 Sprayer Hagie
SprayersHagie Introduces 2016 DTS10 Self-Propelled Sprayer
October 6, 2015
Hagie Mfg. has introduced to the market the newest and most innovative member of its product family, the 2016 DTS10. Read More
Industry NewsSimplot, Agrium Execs Added To TFI Board
October 6, 2015
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced the election of Garrett Lofto, president of the agribusiness group at J.R. Simplot Co., to Read More
Corn Field
Management‘Land Grabbing’ Grows As Agricultural Resou…
October 6, 2015
Since 2000, more than 36 million hectares — an area about the size of Japan — has been purchased or Read More
Mahindra Implement
Industry NewsMahindra USA Expands West Coast Presence
October 6, 2015
To meet the growing demand for Mahindra products,  Mahindra USA is expanding its West Coast facility with the opening of Read More
Corn Stover Stubble
Crop InputsNew Microbial Product Unlocks Nutrients, Reduces Costly…
October 6, 2015
Trash, stover, residue — regardless of the term, postharvest debris is increasing and causing more frustration and detriment to overall soil Read More
Precision AgPurdue Releases 2015 Precision Ag Services Dealership S…
October 5, 2015
In the spring of 2015, CropLife magazine and the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Agronomy at Purdue University conducted the Read More
Monsanto Sign
Eric SfiligojMonsanto And Syngenta: Stonewall Street
October 5, 2015
Recently, I was taking part in an industry-related golf tournament and happened to find a lost golf ball sporting a Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
StewardshipGar Tootelian, Inc.: Making A Difference In ‘The Valle…
October 5, 2015
For the Environmental Respect Awards program, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection with assistance from CropLife® and FCI magazines, the Ambassador Read More
Fiberglass Tank Workers at Precision Tank & Equipment
EquipmentPrecision Tank & Equipment: 50 Years Of Growing
October 4, 2015
Looking out onto the production floor of the fiberglass/stainless steel tank manufacturing facility in Ligonier, IN, David Hemming, president/CEO for Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsScience & Strategy Spur Syngenta’s Crop Protection …
October 3, 2015
Developing a crop protection portfolio is a lot of science and a little serendipity. “There are a number of things Read More
Dan Schaefer and Jason Solberg IFCA
StewardshipIllinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association: Tacklin…
October 2, 2015
You’ve got to be doing something right if lots of people keep coming to you for advice. That’s what’s happening Read More
LegislationFall Fertilizer Transportation Could Be At Risk With Po…
October 1, 2015
Failure by Congress to extend the deadline for the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on the railroads could gridlock Read More
Weed ResistancePPO Resistant Pigweed Hits The Mid-South
October 1, 2015
If you’re a soybean grower already entangled in troublesome weed resistance in the state of Arkansas, Mississippi or Tennessee, you Read More
Weed ResistanceManagement Strategies That Worked In 2015
October 1, 2015
For better or worse, throughout many regions of the country 2015 provided the optimal growing season conditions for both crops, Read More
ManagementAn Update On CropLife America’s Meeting & The Outlo…
October 1, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review last week’s CropLife America Annual Meeting and how crop protection companies believe next Read More
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
Weed ResistanceManaging Herbicide-Resistant Weeds: The Importance Of ‘…
October 1, 2015
As the problem of herbicide-resistant weeds has spread, crop protection product suppliers have charged their top researchers with coming up Read More
Adjuvants loading
Weed ResistanceAdjuvants Trending Up For Fighting Weed Resistance
October 1, 2015
Gone with the wind are the days when adding an adjuvant to the spray tank was looked at with major Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
Weed Resistance8 Best Management Practices For Spray Drift Control
October 1, 2015
Dr. Robert Wolf, Wolf Consulting & Research, LLC, Mahomet, IL, is one of the leading experts in drift management strategies. Read More