PROJECT CLOSED: Linking Farm Management Practices, Whole Farm Phosphorus Balances and Soil Phosphorus Trends

Worksite Location
CCE Delaware County, Watershed Agricultural Program Office
Project Dates
May 25 2020 - July 31 2020
Faculty Sponsor
Karl Czymmek, Senior Extension Associate, PRODAIRY Program, Department of Animal Science
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
uirine M. Ketterings, Professor, Department of Animal Science
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Dale Dewing, Watershed Extension Team Leader, CCE Delaware County Paul Cerosaletti, Nutrient Management Team Leader, CCE Delaware County
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The New York City Watershed Agricultural Program works closely with over 200 farms on implementing best management practices. The CCE staff coordinates efforts in nutrient management, addressing both animal feeding, the source of most nutrients managed in the watershed, and management of manure and fertilizers. Over the course of time the program has amassed a large volume of soil test phosphorus data, as well as information on manure application to fields and animal feed rations. The CCE Delaware Team has been collaborating with the Nutrient Management Spear Program at Cornell for several years collecting whole farm Nutrient Mass Balance (NMB) data. This project involves collecting additional NMBs for farms in the watershed, and evaluating if trends in soil test phosphorus results and field manure management records, align with NMB data. This analysis will support the advancement in on-farm management decision tools like the New York Phosphorus Index used for nutrient management planning in the state

Roles and Responsibilities

The student will work collaboratively with the CCE Delaware team to collect and organize data. They will work directly with several farmers in completing a Nutrient Mass Balances. They will also assist Precision Feed Management and Nutrient Management Planners with data collection. The student will identify and organize existing data for farms from various sources with the Watershed Agricultural Program to assist in connecting the implementation of practices with the impact on past and current conditions.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

A strong interest in production agriculture is essential. Coursework and/or practical experience in dairy production, field crop production, and soil science are preferred. A willingness to work hard, learn quickly, and professionally interact with farmers and other members of the agricultural community are essential for success in this position.

Benefits and Skills

The student will have the opportunity to work in a professional setting with over 50 staff dedicated to planning and implementing best management practices in the New York City Watershed. They will gain firsthand experience in working directly with farmers and other professionals to complete complex tasks. The student will be exposed to the complex issues of the interaction of the impact of agricultural practices and the expectations of other stakeholders. They will work with diverse data sets and various tools like excel and GIS.