Nutrient Management

The educational materials listed on this page are about Nutrient Management.

A nutrient management plan is used to manage the application of plant nutrients and soil amendments. Integrated nutrient management may include utilizing variable rate application, soil inoculants, microbial inoculants, biologicals, foliar feeding and proper fertigation techniques and fertigation systems. An understanding of nutrient cycling can also aid in budgeting and supplying nutrients for plant production, while minimizing soil and water pollution. Farmers can harness the power of the nitrogen cycle by using organic fertilizer and manure to supply plant nutrients. Careful nutrient management can also improve the overall condition of soil, especially if your plan includes cover crops. Key practices include biological inoculantsnutrient cyclingfertigationorganic fertilizersreduced applicationsfoliar feedingmunicipal wastescover crops.

Building Soils for Better Crops, a book offered by SARE, helps farmers navigate ecological soil management strategies. A useful bulletin, Smart Water Use on your Farm or Ranch, addresses the role of water in a farm system and in nutrient management. The Season Extension: Fertility Management Topic Room helps producers gain knowledge of effective and proper fertility management techniques, including fertigation, to improve nutrient cycling on a farm. What is Sustainable Agriculture? provides information on best practices the encourage the stewardship of land, water and air resources.

Showing 1-20 of 22 results

Using Aerated Compost Tea as a Fertilizer Alternative in Organic Vegetable Production

LEESBURG, Virginia – With the rising costs of fertilizers, farmers are seeking alternative options to supplement soil health for crops. One microgreens farmer in Virginia is testing the validity of aerated compost tea as a viable option for small-scale vegetable growers, especially for those who wish to pursue organic production practices. In a two-year Southern […]

Exploring Algal Blooms as Biofertilizer in Vegetable Production

MIAMI, Florida – Algal blooms, which can grow excessively on lakes and other slow-flowing bodies of water, are an environmental, ecological, economic, and social problem. But Florida International University (FIU) researchers are seeking to reverse those issues by using the microscopic organisms as biofertilizer in agricultural crops. Agroecologist Krish Jayachandran and Earth and Environment post […]

Zeroing in on Nutritional Needs to More Effectively Manage Citrus Greening

FORT PIERCE, Florida – Maintaining optimum tree health has become the top management strategy for Florida citrus growers in combating citrus greening, and University of Florida researchers are working to hone in on a tree’s nutrient needs for more timely and targeted fertilizer applications. Lorenzo Rossi, a plant root biologist with University of Florida Indian […]

Vanilla Could Be the Next Big Crop for Small Farmers in Southern Florida

HOMESTEAD, Florida – Florida is on the cusp of a new agricultural crop that could give small farmers in the southern region of the state a high-value alternative to vegetable and fruit production. University of Florida researchers at the Tropical Research and Education Center have embarked on a comprehensive evaluation of vanilla – from developing […]

Louisiana Farmer Using Drone Technology to Maximize Nitrogen Efficiency in Row Crops

LAKE PROVIDENCE, Louisiana – Corn and cotton crop producer Nolan Parker is taking to the skies to decrease nitrogen runoff from commodity farms along the Mississippi River. The young farmer, who is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified remote pilot and works routinely with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), combined drone technology with variable rate nitrogen […]

Farmer Studies the Effects of a Biostimulant on Tomato Vigor and Yields

JOHNS ISLAND, South Carolina – Applying a green microalga, in combination with compost, to tomato plants appears to improve plant vigor and increase crop yields, according to the results of a one-year Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant. Farm managers Dale Snyder, Jennifer Wicker and George Taylor of Sweetgrass Garden were interested […]

Closed Loop Mushroom Production on Waste Substrate

Asheville Fungi is a mycological supply, sterile lab and grow facility whose goal is to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms on waste substrates that would otherwise end up in landfills. In a SSARE-funded Producer Grant project, the company compared four waste substrates (coffee grounds, cacao shells, soy dust and husks and malt grain fines and […]

Researchers Study How to Prevent Cover Crops from Failing to Fix Nitrogen

EDINBURG, Texas- Known for their ability to produce nitrogen, legumes actually partner with rhizobium bacteria to create or fix nitrogen through specialized organs in their roots called nodules. This unique relationship adds nitrogen back to the soil so it can be used as fertilizer by future crops. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, researchers […]

Using Multispectral Imaging Technologies to Maximize Yields in Sugarcane

HOUMA, Louisiana – When it comes to profitable sugarcane, the goal of every grower is to achieve the highest possible sucrose yield at the lowest production cost possible. Sugarcane yields correlate with nitrogen application, and as producers continue to get squeezed between decreasing acreage and higher input costs, such as fertilization, they are looking for […]

Perennial Peanuts Shine as N Fertilizer Alternatives in Forage Production

MARIANNA, Florida – Perennial peanuts incorporated in forage grass production, such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass, continue to shine as nitrogen fertilizer alternatives to commercial inputs, according to University of Florida research. Based on the results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, warm-season perennial legumes, in some cases, reduced nitrogen […]

Nitrogen Release from Cover Crops

Nutrient management is a timely agricultural topic that boils down to determining the right rate, source, timing, and placement of nutrients. Cover crops can greatly influence nitrogen management either by providing available nitrogen for cash crops or by immobilizing nitrogen and creating the need for greater nitrogen fertilizer for cash crops.

Grazing Cover Crops in Cropland

For some producers with extensive experience using cover crops, grazing can be a ‘next step’ in obtaining additional economic value while achieving environmental stewardship.

Evaluating Nutrient, Soil Health, and Economic Benefits of Compost Additions to Summer Cover Crops for Strawberries in North Carolina

Over the past 8 years, a team of multidisciplinary faculty and students at NC State University have conducted various field-based studies at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and on-farm research examining the impact of summer cover crops, compost additions and applications of beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and vermicompost on soil health, nutrient availability, and yields in conventional and organic strawberry production systems.

Producing Mushrooms on 100 Percent Waste Substrates

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina – A mushroom production and supply facility in Asheville, NC has had success in growing tree oysters on 100 percent waste stream substrates in a closed loop system. Though not as productive or biologically efficient as the commercial standard substrate, the waste substrates may provide a more cost-effective alternative for mushroom growers […]

Sustainable Blackberries and Raspberries

A handbook to guide growers in sustainable practices of fruit production from production practices to business management to marketing, for high tunnel and field production.

Black Soldier Fly Integral Component of Sustainable Ag at Georgia Farm

BLUFFTON, Georgia – The black soldier fly has turned out to be a key contributor to the sustainable agriculture efforts of one South Georgia farm. For the past two years, the indigenous insect has been at the center of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Producer study at White Oak Pastures to determine […]