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knowledge profit interest for employees and owners, interaction with college (2) Have on-farm crop research plots been helpful to your operation? How?
Yes, reduced fertilizer inputs, reduced fuel use, yields, again, employee interest in results (3) What are some key ingredients for a successful project?
The project should give measured answers to the questions and decisions made on farm.
(4) How much do plot harvests slow down your field crew?
There is a little slow down at harvest - 60 acres chopped on study day rather than 75 (5) Replicated studies sound complicated and seem like overkill-what do you say?
Good answers with low standard deviations justify replicated study
Lessons learned through working in this farm partnership illustrated some key principles:
Involve farm in topic selection, trial implementation, and data collection.
Keep the research targeted and simple but scientifically sound:
• 3-4 treatments at a maximum.
• 4 replications at a minimum.
• Annual reports to farmer and meeting to discuss results – make plan for next year.
Farmer, Consultant and University Partnerships Although the example of Table Rock Farm is an illustration of a very effective (and intensive) extension and knowledge transfer model and a partnership that is a solid foundation for progress in future years, the approach initially impacted one farm only. Although farms do learn from each other even if they do not participate in such projects, the main expansion of the work at Table Rock Farm came through the development of preliminary data that allowed the university extension team and its farmer and farm advisor on-farm research partnership to successfully apply for additional funding and to expand the trials beyond Table Rock Farm. To date, 21 starter N trials have been completed (Ketterings et al., 2012b) while nine other farms have participated in manure application method comparisons in past years (Place et al., 2005). Other examples included a statewide project on starter P fertilizer that resulted in completion of 71 trials (Ketterings et al., 2005) and a sharp reduction in P
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
fertilizer use in New York State (Ketterings et al., 2011; 2012a), further illustrating the effectiveness of such on-farm research partnerships. In a recent survey among certified nutrient management planners in New York State, the confidence gained due to such on-farm research was identified as a major driver in reductions in farm and state P balances (Ketterings and Czymmek, in review). Statewide projects like this are essential for improvement of Land Grant University fertility and environmental management guidelines, enabling farmers and their advisors to learn alongside researchers and be partners in development of guidance for all farms.
Stick or Carrot Approach?
New York State’s P story is a good example of the need for both a stick and carrot approach. In 2003, the state implemented the New York State Phosphorus Index (PI; Czymmek et al., 2003) as a tool for manure and fertilizer P management. This PI was developed based on federal regulatory pressure beginning in the late 1990’s. Starting in 2003, a PI assessment for each field became mandatory for all regulated farms. The introduction of the PI, the on-farm research partnership that led to completion of the 71 starter P trials, and P related extension programing were all conducted simultaneously. Recent interviews of certified nutrient management planners in New York State related to P use on farms and
the PI as a tool for management evaluation revealed two key ingredients for this successful on-theground impact (Ketterings and Czymmek, 2012):
“The history of collaboration and trust between the public, academic, and private sector stakeholders in New York State has led to a track record of efficient problem solving. Involve stakeholders in the process and hold them accountable to create real solution.” “The New York phosphorus index has been the most effective planning tool for evaluating the risks associated with applying manure to cropland. The Institution of the CAFO regulatory program was the main driver for changes in nutrient management and soil conservation, however.” This feedback identified the importance of (1) ownership among those impacted by policy changes, research findings etc. for adoption of alternative practices, and (2) accountability that leaves the farms with greater confidence and options for management. The starting point for such impact was knowing the initial baseline data and the point of view of the receiver of information. For a successful knowledge transfer program, the actual message is not as important as the partnership and understanding farmer reality that leads to asking the right questions and an adaptive management process that leads to answers and on the ground impact.
Key Lessons Based on New York Experiences
Keys to farm level impact:
• Understanding of the concerns and recognition that change is necessary among all.
• Identification of win-win situations first.
• Use of technology where possible.
• Ask relevant questions, generate believable results, collect reliable data (replicated trials).
• Farmer involvement and accountability in the process (on-farm research, farmers as drivers of the adaptive management process).
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
• Development and maintenance of a trust-based farmer, advisor, researcher relationship.
For state level impact, key ingredients are:
• Recognition that change is necessary among all involved.
• Application of common sense to influence sound decision-making (farmers, regulators).
• Implementation of change via policy, incentives, measuring and monitoring; hold people accountable but allow for flexibility.
3. Conclusions For the sustainability of agriculture anywhere, it is important to find ways to reduce the cost of production, increase yields and/or outputs, and enhance profitability while minimizing environmental loss of nutrients. The examples of New York State discussed in this presentation illustrate key ingredients for success: (1) statewide awareness of the issues driven by regulations and extension programming; (2) science-based tools that allow for farm-specific responses to the environmental challenges (not one approach fits all); (3) demonstrated risk (relevant questions and credible answers obtained through an on-farm research partnership); (4) accountability for all players; (5) enforcement of regulations; and (6) existence of economically feasible solutions. The case study farms recognized the potential for improvement, and explored alternative management through on-farm research and technology use, while looking for win-win approaches (such as reduced fertilizer use). Future models for effective, impact oriented extension and knowledge transfer should start from the viewpoint of the farmer and hold farmers, their advisors and the research community accountable for finding solution, as a partnership.
References Czymmek, K.J., Q.M. Ketterings, L.D. Geohring, and G.L. Albrecht. 2003. The New York Phosphorus Index. User's guide and documentation. CSS Extension Bulletin E03-13. 64 pp.
Ketterings, Q.M. and K.J. Czymmek. 2012. P Index as a P awareness tool: Documented P use reduction in New York State.
Journal of Environmental Quality (in review).
Ketterings, Q.M., K.J. Czymmek, and S.N. Swink 2011. Evaluation methods for a combined research and extension program used to address starter phosphorus fertilizer use for corn in New York. Canadian J. of Soil Science 91(3), 467-477.
Ketterings, Q.M., S.N. Swink, G. Godwin, K.J. Czymmek, and G.L. Albrecht. 2005. Maize silage yield and quality response to starter phosphorus fertilizer in high phosphorus soils in New York. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment 3, 360Ketterings, Q.M., G. Godwin, W. DeGolyer, and K. J. Czymmek. 2012a. Trial results for manure injection at Table Rock Farm. What’s Cropping Up? 22(2), 17-22.
Ketterings, Q.M., G. Godwin, S.N. Swink, J. Foster, E. Hong, K.J. Czymmek, C. Albers, P. Barney, B. Boerman, S. Canner, P. Cerosaletti, A. Gabriel, M. Hunter, T. Kilcer, J. Lawrence, E. Young, and A. Wright. 2012b. Can manure replace the need for starter nitrogen fertilizer? 3-year summary. What’s Cropping Up? 22(1), 8-12.
Place, A., Q.M. Ketterings, G. Godwin, P. Barney, J. Lawrence, B. Aldrich, T. Kilcer, K.J. Czymmek, and B. Gloy. 2010.
Shallow incorporation of manure minimizes soil disturbance and conserves nitrogen. What’s Cropping Up? 20(3), 3-5.
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A framework for designing and evaluating nitrogen-efficient farming systems at the catchment scale by combining process studies, integrated modelling and participatory approach.
Durand Pa, Ruiz La, Vertès Fa, Delaby Lc, Moreau Pa, Hubert-Moy Ld, Gascuel-Odoux Ca a INRA, UMR1069 Sol Agro et hydrosystème Spatialisation, F-35000 Rennes, France b ULCO, UPRES EA 4029 Laboratoire d’Informatique du Littoral, F-62228 Calais, France c INRA, UMR1080 Production du Lait, F-35590 St-Gilles, France d Université Rennes 2, UMR 6554 COSTEL
1. Background & Objectives In someclosed bays, the maximum nitrogen concentration, in the tributary streams, required to control the impacts of eutrophication coastal water, is very low compared to the concentrations currently observed where intensive agriculture is the dominant land use (e.g. Billen, 2011).
Consequently, such territories must reduce drastically their emissions, which often implies redesigning the production systems. This may involved acute socio-economical issues. The objective of this contribution is to present the rationale and some results of a four-year study (ACASSYA project ANR-08-STRA-01, http://www.inra.fr/acassya) aiming at developing a comprehensive body of knowledge and tools able to facilitate such evolution. The main challenge was to combine in a coherent and interactive way three different approaches : i) process studies, aiming at quantifying the response time and buffering capacity of the biophysical system, ii) integrated modelling approaches designed to simulate and assess complex and coherent innovative scenarios of farming system changes and iii) a participatory approach, based on a multi-disciplinary diagnostic, involving the design and implementation of systemic changes in selected farms.
2. Materials & Methods
The ACASSYA project consists in three interactive workpackages:
Most of the WP1 work was conducted in long term experimental sites ORE Agrhys (http://www.inra.fr/ore_agrhys) and ZA Armorique (http://osur.univ-rennes1.fr/zoneatelierarmorique/) and combined field observations of water and N species dynamics (including isotopes) with modelling. Both WP2 and WP3 were performed in a 120 km² catchment (Lieue de Grève, Brittany, W France) strongly affected by green tides since the early 70s, which are controlled by the nitrate fluxes from the rivers feeding the bays (Menesguen and Piriou, 1995). The nitrate stream concentrations are currently around 7 mg.L-1 and a 60% reduction should be required to hope a significant reduction of the frequency and intensity of algal blooms. The catchment comprises 190 Nitrogen Workshop 2012 farms (85% cattle farms), and the agricultural area (71% of total area) is occupied for nearly half by grasslands, followed by maize and wheat.
3. Results & Discussion The main original results concerning N dynamics in shallow aquifer are detailed in Gascuel et al (this meeting), and the CASIMOD’N model is presented by Moreau et al. (this meeting). Farm systems diagnosis and first ways to re-design production systems were presented in Moreau et al.
In this presentation, we will illustrate the value of this type of integrated project by focusing on a
few examples highlighting the added value of the interactions between the different tasks:
- the experimental studies on the effect of hedgerows on water and N fluxes in the hillslope led to the implementation of a specific module into the TNT2 model. Results showed that hedgerow spatial distribution affect water and N fluxes at the catchment scale and provided hints to design more effective hedgerow networks.(tasks 1 feeding task 2 and then task 3)
- remote sensing approaches combined with local expertise brought new ways to characterise pasture at different scales: at the catchment scale, identification of the ley-crop rotations; at the plot scale, information on grassland management and grass status. These data were used to calibrate and validate the CASIMOD’N model (task 3 feeding task 2).
- the participative construction of scenarios of evolution of farming systems led to propose two key-indicators that were tested with CASIMOD’N. The iteration between simulation results and participatory research with stakeholder is now tested in 10 pilot farms, before its implementation in the whole Lieue de Grève catchment. (task 3 feeding task 2 and feedback) We will use these examples to discuss the following questions: How does modelling facilitate collaboration with stakeholders? How the feasibility of changes can be assessed both i) in the pilot farms and ii) in the whole territory? Is prospective modelling able to predict whether the problem will be solved or not?
4. Conclusion Trans-disciplinary approach is required to address such a complex issue at the landscape level. This site and the tools developed in this program could be used as a generic framework to support programmes of mitigation of agricultural pollution..
References Billen, G. Nitrogen flows from European regional watersheds to coastal marine waters. In: Sutton MA, Howard CM, Erisman JW, Billen G, Bleeker A, Grennfelt P, et al., editors. The European Nitrogen Assessment. Sources, Effects and Polilicy Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 48 p.
Gascuel C. et al. (this meeting) The complexity of the recharge processes and their effect on the seasonal variations of nitrate concentration in shallow groundwater and streams: observations and modeling Moreau, P., et al. 2012 Reconciling technical, economic and environmental efﬁciency of farming systems in vulnerable areas. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. (in press), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.06.005