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Farmers in the Ozarks turn to technology to save on fertilizer costs

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 12:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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ROGERSVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - In this time of rising costs of everything, farmers must save every penny and get creative.

Brandon Hebbert, a precision agronomy specialist with MFA, said their Nutri-Track program helps farmers allocate how much money they need to spend on fields, helps with field nutrition, saves fertilizer, and doesn’t waste resources.

It is all through an app in their large trucks, which have an automated system where they track how much fertilizer is needed where. Hebbert said this technology has been around for a few years, but with fertilizer costs, he has had so many people reach out this year. He calls it a game-changer.

“From a nutrient management standpoint, we don’t ever want to put on more fertilizer than the grounds needing, and it can just be the most efficient way for farmers to use their fertilizer,” said Hebbert. “We don’t know what fertilizer prices are going to do. So this is a good way to just ensure that that your ground can grow the best optimum crop that it can grow.”

Hebbert said they nurture the soil.

“We can use the GPS data that we pull the soil samples, and we can create a prescription in the truck,” said Hebbert.

Hebbert says this technology could save you money based on the condition of your soil.

“It’s going to make sure that the money they’re spending is as efficient as possible,” said Hebbert. “So they’re not over-applying or underapplying in any areas of the field.”

Hebbert said it takes soil samples every two and a half acres. Then they make a map of what area needs nutrients, and the trucks come. Then those prescribed nutrients get dispersed.

“We don’t know what fertilizer prices are going to do,” said Hebbert. “So this is a good way to just ensure that your ground can grow the best optimum crop that it can grow.”

Hebbert said with the uncertainty of high prices, many more people have reached out for this affordable service.

“This is a way to see it like they’ve never seen it before,” said Hebbert. “If they’ve got problems that have always existed in a field, they’ve never been able to fix it and never know why, a lot of times we can pick those things out.”

Hebbert said this service helps new farmers because it can show you if you need to tend to your land more, and all the information is readily available on an app. CLICK HERE for the dashboard.

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