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101 Parkside Dr.  Dorchester, WI 54425
715-654-5134 or 1-800-521-2021
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Nutrient Management Plan
When Must I have a Nutrient Management Plan?

The Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection, along with the Department of Natural Resources state that farms which apply manure or commercial fertilizer to cropland need to have a Nutrient Management Plan. According to the DATCP website, a Nutrient Management Plan is required when:

  • A producer voluntarily accepts, or is offered, government cost-share dollars for nutrient management. State law makes enforcement contingent on an offer of cost sharing for this item only.
  • A producer voluntarily accepts, or is offered, government cost-share dollars for the installation of manure storage.
  • A producer voluntarily continues participation in the farmland preservation program (FPP).
  • A producer is regulated under a county manure storage or livestock siting ordinance.
  • A producer is regulated under a DNR Wisconsin pollution discharge elimination system permit (WPDES). Or if a producer is required to prevent or mitigate imminent harm to waters of the state as an emergency or interim response to a grossly negligent pollution discharge.
For more helpful information about Nutrient Management Planning, take a look at the following links:

http://datcp.wi.gov/Farms/Nutrient_Management/index.aspx for DATCP Nutrient Management Information
 http://www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/fertilitybasic.php for Soil Fertility Basics
What is a Nutrient Management Plan?

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service defines a Nutrient Management Plan as, “managing the amount, source, placement, form, and timing of the application of nutrients and soil amendments.” The main objectives of a Nutrient Management Plan include:

  • Manure and fertilizer recommendations based on soil test results
  • Calculating and monitoring soil loss
  • Calculating and monitoring phosphorus delivery to surface water
  • Record-keeping systems
How Will I Benefit from a Nutrient Management Plan?

Nutrient management planning will assist the grower in properly supplying the essential nutrients for crop production. Nutrient management planning is also used as a tool to maintain the condition of the soil for future crop productions.

The end goal of an NMP is to minimize the environmental impact of soil loss, nutrient loss to ground and surface water, and meeting the nutrient needs of the crops grown.
Basics of Sampling Soils for Analysis
Why Test Your Soil?

Analyzing soil is a beneficial, easy, and inexpensive diagnostic tool for determining a grower’s soil nutrient needs.

Knowing the nutrient levels of the soil helps make decisions on how much fertilizer to apply, therefore saving money on expensive fertilizers.

Knowing the nutrient content of soil also aids in crop production, leading to higher crop yields and soil performance.

Soil sampling is also an essential part of Nutrient Management Planning. Soil test results play a crucial role in the fertilizer recommendations for each field.

Soil tests for Nutrient Management Plans must also be updated every 4 years for accurate nutrient management planning.
What are the Different Soil-Sampling Methods?

Conventional Sampling:
  • Lower overall sampling cost
  • Grower gets a general idea of soil fertility
  • Bulk spreading of fertilizer
  • Uses existing technology

Grid Sampling:

  • Visual impact - color maps illustrating fertility variation in a field and on the farm
  • Consistency - ability to sample the exact same spot each time you sample allowing for a true comparison in fertility from year to year.
  • Variable Rate Application - precise placement of fertilizer where it is needed.
  • Data - ability to compare soil fertility to other data such as yield maps, planting maps, soil type, and bio-mas index.
Evaluating Alfalfa Stand for Winter Kill / Consider Shorter Rotations 

Although most farm plans are complete and we’re gearing up for planting season - keep in mind the health of current alfalfa fields should be considered to make any final changes. If a field has suffered some winter injury, or is just getting old, it may be more profitable to rotate out, take advantage of any Nitrogen credits - rather than limp along a low yielding, unprofitable alfalfa field. Every acre should pull it’s weight for overall farm profitability. Call your local Heartland Agronomy office today! UW has some of the best information available and further reading can be found in the links below:



Assessing Corn and Soybean Stand Counts / Replant Decisions 

You’ve done the best your can to ensure a good start to your crop. Your planter was properly calibrated, you followed behind to make sure, and soil planting conditions were just right... but some unforeseen circumstances occurred and that stand just doesn’t look like you intended. The following articles (linked below) can help you determine if it’s as bad as it looks...or if starting over will actually be a less profitable approach (and remember, our agronomists can help):

 Proper fertilizer, disease, insect, and weed control at the correct time can significantly improve the yield of your corn. 

Contact a Heartland Agronomist if you would like more information on how to properly identify what stage your corn is in and what actions need to take place. 
Analyzing V-Stages
Corn growth stages are divided into vegetative stages 
or “V” stages. 

The first leaf collar is considered the 
V1 stage. 
A collar appears as a discolored line between the leaf blade and the leaf sheath
It is important to know what stage 
your corn is in to properly meet 
the windows of opportunity.
 As each leaf emerges to form a new collar the stages continue to rise: V1, V2, V3, V4 and so on. 
Checking your corn stand count is important because it gives you a better understanding of what may have reduced your stand or if it was planted at the right depth.  

Learning this information can help prevent poor stands from happening again next year. 

To start determining your stand count, scout out different areas of the field to get an accurate representation of the overall stand.  

Take a measuring tape and start it at a stalk of corn. Using the table below, see how far down the row you should measure.

  Count the number of plants in the row you measured and multiple that number by 1000 to get the plant population per acre.  
Checking your corn stand count
Nutsedge has been a major problem for our farmers this year. It has carpeted our fields and has created extra expenses in resprays to take care of the problem. So how can you identify if you have nutsedge in your field? 

 Nutsedge can be identified by its triangular shape of its stem. If you take your fingertips and roll it over the stem you will feel its triangular shape. Nutsedge has a light green to yellowish appearance and the leaves of nutsedge are long and have a tapered tip. There is a distinct midrib that has a shiny/waxy appearance.  

One plant can produce upwards of several hundred tubers during a summer. So, when is the best time to get rid of nutsedge? 

The best time to control nutsedge is during the early growth stages in late spring/early summer. During its early stages, nutsedge has not started producing tubers and is most susceptible to being controlled by herbicides. It is crucial to control nutsedge in the early stages before it produces it tubers since its tubers are the plants’ primary survival structure. If you have any more questions about nutsedge or how to control it, please feel free to get in contact with your Heartland agronomist.  
Potato Leafhopper
Potato leafhoppers are insects that migrate from the Gulf of Mexico. Low pressure systems in the Gulf stimulate the potato leafhoppers to fly toward updrafts that carry them into the clouds. The clouds then carry them up north and storms then drop adult leafhoppers onto our fields. Once in the fields, the female potato leafhoppers deposit their eggs in the alfalfa stems and leaf veins

 In warm conditions, it takes the leafhopper roughly 3 weeks to mature. The leafhoppers extract the juices from the plant tissue by inserting their mouthparts into the stem. Signs of leafhopper disturbance are shown through yellow triangles on the leaves which is called “hopper burn”. Also, the alfalfa may turn to a reddish or purplish color. The damage left behind from leafhoppers can reduce yields, lower protein content, and affect stand longevity. 

 When plants are damaged by potato leafhoppers they will not recover until the stems have been harvested. Once the cutting is harvested and the leafhoppers are terminated then it will start to grow like normal again.  

Expect a majority of the damage from the leafhoppers to happen from June till when the adults stop reproducing which is usually in August. If you would like more information on how to handle a potato leafhopper problem, please feel free to contact a Heartland location for one of our agronomist to help you.  
1. Heartland Cooperative Services is responsible for following all manufacturer’s label directions for mixing, loading, and applying. The spraying will be done by our licensed and trained personnel.  

2. Any unusual conditions during application will be communicated to the grower. We will respond to the report of a potential problem within 48 hours of notification. If necessary, we will inspect the field and make a recommendation to correct the specific problem. Any problems reported beyond 30 days of application will not be considered.  

3. Chemical performance is not guaranteed. Heartland Co-op will report any weed control or yield problems to our suppliers. We will work with the grower and supplier to resolve any issue that may occur. 

4. The growth stage of the crop being sprayed must be within stated limits. If a situation occurs that pushes label recommendations, Heartland Co-op personnel will discuss all options with the grower.  

5. Heartland Co-op will not take responsibility for problems not covered by the product label, customer negligence, or acts of God. 

6. Complete product labels are available upon request. 
Or at the following website (http://www.cdms.net)

Heartland Cooperative Services
Custom Spraying Policy

Heartland Agronomist learned valuable information to help you increase your Yield, Efficiency and Profits.
On July 19th Agronomists from Heartland Cooperative Services met 
with experts from Winfield United for a day of learning. 
The topics focused on soybean and corn production.
Gery Steinmetz, Agronomy Division Manager discusses the days topics with a Winfield United representative.
A Winfield United representative discusses which conditions favor common corn and soybean disease in Wisconsin.
The day included hands on learning about soybean yield determination during reproduction. 
Our agronomists learned about 
The Disease Triangle: 
three conditions that must be present  for a corn or soybean crop to be affected by a disease. 
Agronomists listen to a discussion about 
Boran Nutrition and Corn Reproductive Development.