Expanding Ag Retailer Roles in Resource Management
This project is designed to reduce agriculture’s contribution of nutrients, sediments, pesticides, and herbicides to the Great Lakes by adding key conservation products and services to the list of offerings marketed by agriculture retailers to farmers. The project builds upon the team’s successes in a prior Fund-supported project where they developed new revenue-generating conservation products and successfully activated a network of agricultural retailers in the Sandusky River watershed to sell those products and eliminate over 18,000 pounds of dissolved reactive phosphorus runoff in one year.
The team will expand their work to other nutrient-impaired priority watersheds including the Lower Fox River and Saginaw Bay. They will use, and improve upon, the innovative tools they developed in the prior project that include: field-level phosphorus loss risk maps; an Agronomist Handbook; wallet cards to help agricultural retailers and farmers identify high risk fields; “Sell Sheets” to improve retailer effectiveness in marketing key conservation products; and a unique nutrient calculator that allows retailers to run scenarios to estimate site-specific nutrient loss reduction and profit estimates for specific products and services at the field level.
The team will also develop a new software product that will combine and repackage data currently found in different software programs used by farmers and retailers. This new software will allow for the first time the integration of inputs at the field level with the accounting and inventory functions of the retailers.