Grown Here at Home: VDCR holding Agricultural Nutrient Management Training; become a certified plan writer

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 6:31 AM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Soil is important to all farmers. If it’s not managed correctly, it can impact more than just the land, but a farmer’s bottom line. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is hosting a training program to help people become certified plan writers for developing agricultural nutrient management plans.

“They’ll collect soil tests, crop rotations, any type of manure they might be using; and they write a plan so that the farmer is best utilizing the nutrients they have so that they are getting a good yield, but not overplying so that they’re not putting any pollutants into the water -- letting any runoff happen,” explained Stephanie Dawley, nutrient management training and certification coordinator.

The data plan writers collect will not only help farmers foster and maintain the health of their land, but help dictate the investment it will take to do it.

“It’s really critical right now when everything just costs so much money. Fuel prices are through the roof, fertilizer prices are through the roof,” Dawley said.

Anyone can become a certified plan writer. The training takes place in two parts. The first is a lecture series taught by Virginia Tech professors.

“It’s an introduction to soil science, to basic crop sciences, and then farm economy,” Dawley said.

Part two of the training will teach you how to write a plan using a case study. If you’re interested in becoming a plan writer, the first session will take place June 29-30. The second session is July 12-14. Both sessions will take place in the Dairy Lecture Hall at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. Each session runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Early registration is $130 for each session. After June 20, the cost goes up to $150 per session.

Click here to register and learn more about the training.

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