Fahrmeier / Bergsieker
Grower: Lynn Fahrmeier, Wellington, MO Crop Advisor: Scott Bergsieker, MFA Inc., Lexington, MO
Brase / Huebener
Grower: Kyle Brase, Edwardsville, IL Crop Advisor: Joe Huebener, CHS Shipman, Shipman, IL
Legvold / Thomas
Grower: Dave Legvold, Northfield, MN Crop Advisor: Ken Thomas, Farmers Mill and Elevator, Castle Rock, MN
Reeder / Coleman
Grower: Gary Reeder, West Coast Tomato, Palmetto, FL Crop Advisor: Dennis Coleman, Crop Production Services, Parrish, FL
Strom / Dexter
Grower: Grant Strom, Brimfield, IL Crop Advisor: Adam Dexter, West Central FS, Williamsfield, IL
Meet the farmers who are putting the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship to work in their fields for economic and other sustainable benefits. Farming is a sophisticated, technological endeavor that requires management skills, financial know-how, genetic expertise, and an in-depth understanding of plant nutrition. American farmers produce 262 percent more food today with two percent fewer inputs, such as labor, seed, and fertilizer, than they did in 1950.
Farmers across the country are meeting production challenges using the 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices of choosing the right nutrient source to apply at the right rate in the right place at the right time. These best management practices help farmers meet population, regulatory, and environmental demands while producing the best crops possible.
Some farmers like to share how they do things so that more people understand the privilege of growing crops. They are known as 4R Advocates. In fact, The Fertilizer Institute has recognized 30 farmers and 30 agricultural retailers as 4R Advocates since 2012. These 60 professionals represent 144,425 acres of cropland in 17 states. Individually and in cooperation with others, they share the benefits of proper nutrient stewardship to other growers, to urban neighbors, to legislators, and others. They partner with conservation and environmental groups to ensure even more understand the importance of soil and plant health.
4R Advocates know their land and are constantly implementing practices and conducting research to learn more. Advocates employ suites of best management practices, which include analyzing crop removal data and conducting regular soil testing, among other practices, so they can build their knowledge about their land. They combine those results with variable-rate technology, soil mapping, and GPS to apply the precise amount of fertilizer where soils need it most. Often, advocates have been practicing the 4Rs since before the practices were named. Nutrient management has been a way of life for farmers since farming began. They, probably more than any other, understand the value of the land and recognize the need to keep it in good condition for future generations. Like most farmers, 4R advocates are forward thinkers, early adopters, agricultural advocates, and passionate leaders. They also share a common goal: to improve the land they tend one acre at a time and leave it in better condition than when they first used it. Let’s meet them.
Grower: Kyle Brase, Edwardsville, IL (right) Crop Advisor: Joe Huebener, CHS Shipman, Shipman, IL (left)
Technology, 4Rs Lead to Profitability, Sustainability. Kyle Brase has been operating a family farm with the 4R practices since before the industry adopted the term, “4Rs.” Brase and his team keep progress going with the help of Joe Huebener, a YieldPoint precision ag specialist at CHS Shipman in Shipman, Ill., to develop top-notch nutrient management plans for the 3,500 acres of winter wheat, corn for grain and silage, soybeans and alfalfa.
Grower: Lynn Fahrmeier, Wellington, MO (right) Crop Advisor: Scott Bergsieker, MFA Inc., Lexington, MO (left)
Continuous Innovation Keeps Farm in Top Shape. Lynn Fahrmeier farms 2,300 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and pasture near Wellington, Mo. The farm also includes 200 Katahdin hair sheep, a cow/calf herd, and honey bees. Working with Scott Bergsieker, precision ag specialist with MFA Inc., the two are incorporating the 4R framework with conservation practices and livestock management.
Grower: Dave Legvold, Northfield, MN (right) Crop Advisor: Ken Thomas, Farmers Mill and Elevator, Castle Rock, MN (left)
Minnesota Farm is a Learning Laboratory. For 40 years, Dave Legvold has been farming 800 acres of corn and soybeans. And for 40 years, he’s held the mantra that farmers and experts should work together. This is evidenced by his relationship with Ken Thomas, agronomy manager at Farmers Mill and Elevator.
Grower: Gary Reeder, West Coast Tomato, Palmetto, FL (right) Crop Advisor: Dennis Coleman, Crop Production Services, Parrish, FL (left)
40 Years of 4Rs. Gary Reeder grows 1,000 acres of fresh market tomatoes for West Coast Tomato near Duette, Fla. A fourth-generation farmer, he’s been farming for 40 years and is a longtime advocate for farmers in Manatee County. He works side-by-side with Dennis Coleman, certified crop adviser at Crop Production Services, to determine the perfect nutrition formulation for his tomato plants.
Grower: Grant Strom, Brimfield, IL (right) Crop Advisor: Adam Dexter, West Central FS, Williamsfield, IL (left)
4th-Generation Farm Relies on Nutrient Stewardship Principles. A business doesn’t make it to the fourth generation unless it is operated with sound management principles and its owners stay one step ahead of major trends. This approach allows Grant Strom and his father Doug to continue to improve their operation of 5,600 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and enough pasture for a 20-head Angus cow/calf operation.