COLUMBUS, Ohio – With more that 11,850 Ohio farmers who’ve gone through training on best management practices to apply fertilizer for optimum crop yield, reduce the risk of nutrient runoff and improve water quality throughout the state, researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University have now posted videos of that training online for the public and farmers to view.
Known as Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training (FACT), the in-person program allows farmers and commercial fertilizer applicators to meet the educational requirements of Ohio’s new agricultural fertilization law, said Harold Watters, an Ohio State University Extension field specialist for agronomic systems. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
Passed in 2014, the legislation requires individuals who apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres to become certified by Sept. 30, 2017.
Videos of the training are now offered online to serve as a refresher of sorts for those who have already gone through the training, and as an information piece for the public to understand what training opportunities the college offers farmers, Watters said.
“We’ve had some requests from farmers and non-farmers on what the training entails and what information is being offered,” he said. “Posting these videos of key portions of the FACT training allows us to share the information with the public.
“Those who have seen the videos – farmers, non-farmers and other educators – have generated positive reviews of the program.”
The videos are all five to 15 minutes in length and offer information on soil fertility related to plant production and water quality impacts, Watters said. The videos, which can be found at agcrops.osu.edu/video/fact-videos, are on the following topics:
- Introduction: Fertilizer Applicator Certification Laws — SB150 and SB1.
- Calculate 12 and 24-hour Precipitation Forecasts.
- Water Quality and Agriculture.
- Agriculture and Types of Water Quality Impairments.
- Why the Focus on Agriculture?
- Edge of Field Studies.
- Soil Sampling.
- Soil Sampling and the Lab.
- Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations and Phosphorous Management.
- Training Exercise 1: Reading a Soil Test Result for Phosphorous.
- Training Exercise 2: Making a Fertilizer Recommendation.
- Water Quality and the Fate of Nitrogen.
- Determining the Nitrogen Rate and Timing for Ohio.
- Tools for Predicting Crop Nitrogen Need.
Watters said the videos are just for viewing – in order to obtain the training necessary to gain the Ohio Fertilizer Applicator Certification, farmers need to attend the FACT training program in person and complete the necessary Ohio Department of Agriculture forms.
FACT was developed by CFAES researchers and educators and is offered in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The training provides research-based tactics to keep nutrients in the field and available to crops while increasing stewardship of nearby and downstream water resources, Watters said.
“Each three-hour training session focuses on teaching farmers and commercial applicators the methods and management techniques needed to achieve the appropriate rate, timing, placement and source for fertilizer applications,” he said.
Information on who needs certifications and where the trainings are being held can be found on the Ohio Nutrient Education website, Watters said. He said more training videos will be offered on the site in coming weeks.