Established in 2020 to pursue emerging business developments, Ave Organics serves the business-minded grower by supplying sustainable, consistent and available plant nutrition for certified organic crops, as well as manage the sale and distribution of manure-based crop nutrients. Ave Organics contracted GCS to develop the Nutrient Needs Calculator. The calculator consists of two sliders, Crop Removal Rate and Product Nutrient Value, each producing a bar chart representing a calculated value. The first slider, and associated bar chart, display the crop removal rates for single year crops or for a multiple year crop rotation. The Crop Removal Rate is calculated for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The second slider, and associated bar chart, will display the nutrient content of products (commercial, manure, and manure derivatives) based on the product type and application rate.
Manure Is Like a Multivitamin
Manure is rich in nutrients necessary for crop growth. These nutrients can replace fertilizer needed for pasture or crop growth, eliminating the need to purchase fertilizers. However, manure is like a multivitamin. The ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micronutrients is fixed and does not always add up to what the plant needs. With some manures, the nutrients are gradually released into the soil, providing a steady supply of nutrients which will be available to the crop throughout the current and subsequent growing seasons.
As crops are being harvested, nutrients are removed from the field by the removal of grain and/or stover (the leaves and stalks of field crops that are commonly left in a field after harvesting). The amount of nutrients removed can be easily calculated by multiplying the nutrient removal rate per bushel (or ton) by crop yield, If these nutrients are not replaced with fertilizers or manures, then plant-available soil nutrients will draw down over time and the fertility of a soil will be compromised. Removal rates vary among different nutrients for each crop.
Some plants, called legumes, not only create their own (or fix) nitrogen, but in some cases they produce more nitrogen than they use. Extra nitrogen can be stored in the soil for one to two years and should be credited to the crops following the legume. The Crop Removal Calculator has the ability to stack on multiple years of a crop rotation. For instance, a farmer may want to only apply crop nutrients every two years in a corn-soybean rotation. Therefore, the user will need to be able to calculate the crop nutrient needs for both the corn and soybean years.
The Product Nutrient Calculator allows for the user to use different “rates of product applied” to best meet the crop needs (crop removal rate). The user may balance the product based on nitrogen needs, phosphorus needs, or a combination of the two.