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Sustainable Practices


Laura and Adam use Sustane 4-6-4, a slow release nitrogen fertilizer made of composted turkey litter, on certain crops. They apply it at a rate of approximately 25 lbs per 300 row-feet to heavy feeding crops such as sweet corn, tomatoes, brassicas (e.g., cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), head lettuce, melons, and cucumbers. They either incorporate the fertilizer into row centers at the time of transplanting or sidedress with fertilizer after transplanting. On their new farm, they also do some pre-planting applications of composted dairy manure to heavy feeding crops and as an amendment to supplement fertility levels in certain low-fertility areas. Application rates are generally 1-5 tons per acre depending on fertility needs. The timing of application depends on whether the manure is raw or composted. As with all aspects of their operation, Laura and Adam use substances and practices in accordance with the National Organic Program rules.

Regular soil tests are performed to figure out how many tons per acre of manure or compost are needed in each field and for each crop. Laura and Adam work with a soil scientist to determine the exact application rates and how best to capture and scavenge extra fertility through cover cropping.

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