Building equity through resource management
By partnering with Equity Ag, you will have access to cutting-edge science and technology used in precision agriculture, soil testing, assessing water quality and nutrient management planning.
Trained and certified in NUTMAN software, Equity Ag uses a computer program developed and licensed by the Department of Conservation & Recreation and Virginia Tech specifically for nutrient management planning. NUTMAN allows for consistency in plan writing, format and delivery in addition to organizing farm information into concise summary pages to aid in plan implementation. This program has great versatility in performing the many required calculations for nutrient management, but does not replace the flexibility allowed in plan writing between the landowner and the certified planner to develop a realistic plan.
At Equity Ag, we implement the phosphorous index, which uses soil test levels, field slope, the cropping system, and proximity to streams to prioritize risk of nutrient loss from manure applications. With this index, farmers and land owners are able to utilize their organic nutrients in a safe manner.
At excessive soil test levels, phosphorus can become a mobile nutrient which can have increased potential for environmental loss. The P-Index allows continued phosphorus applications from unbalanced sources like manure and Bio-solids to meet landowner goals while protecting the environment. Virginia’s index is driven by field information related to soil test level, slope, cropping system and proximity to a stream. Strategic decisions can be implemented for flexibility for meeting resource management goals.
The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation is the standard used to evaluate and measure estimated soil loss calculations for meeting Federal and State resource management planning. This tool allows a comparison between implementation of different BMP’s and cropping system goals. For example, farms with a high demand for forage must balance the nutrient management advantages of nutrient removal with BMP’s to increase plant residue, keeping the soil covered and intensified rotation of annuals and perennials that can offset or reduce the greater estimated soil loss from silage systems.
Global Position Assisted Sampling
Equity Ag employs precision agriculture or strategies for intensive soil sampling and mapping that produces vast amounts of individual field information. Adjusting soil pH by adding lime has proven to be the nutrient where variable rate application and sampling can increase yields and reduce costs. Other nutrients have proven more elusive for precision Ag to develop as a cost reduction strategy. A basic strategy to use precision ag techniques is to enhance the repeatability of random soil testing from soil and crop testing from year to year. Variability is reduced by collecting a randomized soil test that is repeated by returning to the same locations for future sample collection. A single sample is collected for the field to manage the sampling cost and allow the agronomist to make better nutrient management recommendations.