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BMP CHALLENGE SM : Understanding the Mechanics
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  1. BMP CHALLENGESM : Understanding the Mechanics Brian Brandt – Director of Risk Management Programs American Farmland Trust – Agricultural Conservation Innovation Center

  2. Goals • Eligibility and Requirements • Application • Check Strips • Yield Assessment • Net Returns Analysis

  3. Eligibility and Requirements • Owner/operators must be NRCS EQIP-eligible • not exceeding the $450,000 Payment Limitation (during term of Farm Bill) • not exceeding the Adjusted Gross Income provision (<2.5 million per year) • complying with the Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetlands Conservation provisions. • Grow corn for grain or silage • sweet corn, popcorn, wildlife plots ineligible • Certified crop advisor must certify BMP, set out check strip and oversee yield assessment • Fall N applications are not eligible for enrollment

  4. Application • Information required: • Farmer contact information • Certified advisor contact info, certification, certification number • Field information: location, yield history, soil test results (if covering P and K), yield goal, BMP information (including recommended rate and amount applied), reduced tillage practice • Check strip information: N, P and K rates or conventional tillage practice, location, how marked, aerial photo

  5. When: Prior to fertilizer application or tillage. Who:Certified crop advisor (CCA, NAICC or Agflex approval) must set out check strip. Where: Representative location within one or more fields in the management unit. What: 40’ to 80’ wide (depending on equipment width) and running the length of the field. Check Strips

  6. Check Strip BMP Strips BMP Challenge: Check Strips

  7. Confirm with farmer which fields will be enrolled. 2. Determine the productive capability of the enrolled field using aerial maps, soil survey maps, personal observation, soil tests, drainage maps, etc. 3. Locate the check strip and adjacent BMP strips on a map. The productive capability of the check strips and the adjacent BMP strips should be equal to and representative of the enrolled field. 4. Identify the actual location of the check strip on-site, using GPS coordinates or a measurement from an identifiable landmark (field corner, boundary marker, etc.) 5. Farmer and agent will use this information to complete the application. Check Strips: Crop Advisor Steps

  8. Check Strips

  9. Variations Contour strips: • Narrow contour strips - choose one contour strip, one half of strip BMP, one half of strip is check strip • Wide contour strips - one check strip at least 40’ wide in a representative contour with adjacent BMP strips

  10. Yield Assessment • When: After crop maturity (black layer) • Who:Certified Crop Advisor • Where: Check strips and adjacent BMP strips • How: Weigh wagon, portable scale, stationary scale, yield monitor

  11. Yield Assessment: Advisor Steps • Determine yield measurement needs (weigh wagon, etc.). Call if you need assistance. • Travel to the enrolled acres. • Locate the check strip and adjacent BMP strips. • If field has not been harvested, compare the appearance of the check and BMP strips with the rest of the field. • Note differences in plant height, color, lodging, weed populations, etc. that might indicate differential management of the adjacent BMP strips and the rest of the field. If none, proceed to Step 6. Document the differences, if any. • Harvest the check strip and weigh. Harvest one of the adjacent BMP strips and weigh. • Adjust for moisture and convert weight to bushels per acre.

  12. Net Returns Analysis • Calculate gross returns for check strip and BMP strips using RMA-APH corn price ($2.20 in 2006, $? In 2007) • Subtract fertilizer or tillage costs from gross returns to calculate net returns • If net returns to BMP are negative, farmer receives guarantee payment equal to the difference • If net returns to BMP are positive, farmer contributes 1/3 of savings back to BMP Challenge program

  13. Example from 2006: N only

  14. Example from 2006: N only