NutrientSmart 2.0: Optimizing the Use & Value of Organic Amendments

Brought to you by FarmSmart, in partnership with Golden Horseshoe Soil & Crop Improvement Association, Heartland Soil & Crop Improvement Association and the Ontario Professional Agri Contractors Association (OPACA).

program pdf

Date:  Friday March 23, 2018
Time: 8:30am registration; 9am – 4pm program
Location: RIM Park, Manulife Financial Sportsplex
2001 University Ave East, Waterloo


$90.00 OSCIA/OPACA members
$125.00 regular fee
$90.00 government/university staff

Deadline to registration:  Monday, March 19th, 2018

Join us for an informative day of technical information and discussion about making best use of manure and organic amendments in the farm operation. Picking up where NutrientSmart left off, we will delve into the details of nutrient analysis and availability in manure and organic amendments, incorporating their use into a cropping system, with and without inorganic fertilizer, and in field crop and livestock operations. Benefits of organic amendments beyond the fertilizer value will be discussed and evaluated, particularly relating to soil health. Equipment logistics and considerations, costs to manage materials, and impacts of compaction will be explored.

Topics & Speakers:

Keynote – Past, Current and Future Roles of Organic Amendments In Ontario AgricultureDon Hilborn OMAFRA Retired, and Dale Cowan, Senior Agronomist for AGRIS and Wanstead Farmers Cooperatives
The use of organic amendments in agriculture includes manures, composts, green bin compost, biosolids, and others. These materials have traditionally been undervalued and not used to their full potential, sometimes resulting in poor application practices, which has lead to regulations around their use. Our knowledge of the value and importance of organic amendments in agriculture is much more advanced today, leading to better use and opportunities for farmers now and into the future.

Sources of Organic Amendments & Analysis of Nutrients – Christine Brown, OMAFRA
What are the various materials available and how do they measure up? Chris will compare data on nutrient concentrations across materials, relative value of nutrients, contributions to building soil organic matter, and availability of materials. Neighbourhood nutrient management planning and manure trading will be discussed as an option to making best use of available materials.

Nutrient Sources are not all Equal – John Lauzon, University of Guelph
Organic and inorganic sources of nutrients are equal pound for pound, but what are the considerations for availability, timing and other benefits? Dr. Lauzon will discuss how to read lab nutrient analysis reports, compare value of materials, and make best use of organic amendments for N, P, K & S values in a cropping system.

Value of Organic Amendments Beyond the Fertilizer Element – Deb Campbell, Agronomist
While N is N, the added value of manure and organic amendments is in the nutrient mix, organic matter and living biology. Deb will discuss the relative value and cost of materials, accounting for soil health economic benefits and present a case study demonstrating how to calculate what nutrients you are getting and how to balance with fertilizer application and timing. (ie. Do I need starter?)

New Advances in Nutrient Application Equipment – Sonke Claussen, Claussen Farms
Sonke will discuss some new technologies in nutrient application presented at Agritechnica 2017, the world’s leading fair in agricultural technology.

Conquering Compaction in Managing Organic Nutrients – Peter Johnson, Real Agriculture & Alex Barrie, OMAFRA
Compaction, the silent yield robber! Using data from IFAO’s Compaction Action day, Peter and Alex will apply key learnings in using manure and organic amendments on your farm while preventing or minimizing compaction. In particular, balancing high volume/low nutrient materials like digestate, application uniformity, application timing in the crop system, fuel and transportation costs, equipment needs and implications for full field application of nutrients will be covered.

Producer Experiences Integrating Organic & Inorganic Nutrients in the Farm Operation: Ontario Farmer Panel – TBD
In this lively farmer panel, we will hear from farmers incorporating various types of organic amendments and manure into field crop systems, livestock grazing, producing cover crops and maximizing value. Experiences with various materials, systems and types of equipment will be discussed, with ample time for Q&A and discussion to follow.

Speaker Panel – Q&A
The day’s speakers will assemble to “field” audience questions and comments.

Key Learnings Reviewed