It's been said that you can't manage what you don't measure. That is the principle behind N-WATCH™, a nitrogen management tool built to help you:
Inventory and track nitrogen levels in your fields throughout the year to help determine the precise amount on nitrogen you need to apply
Manage nitrogen retention in soils when nature and weather adversely affect your crop nutrient plans
Develop split-application strategies
Make decisions about investing in cover crops
Maximize plant nutrient use, optimize crop yields and attain your highest environmental stewardship goals
N-WATCH is the result of a collaborative initiative among members of the Illinois Council for Best Management Practices, a team comprised of leading industry experts and government and academic agencies, to achieve three goals.
Harness the best available knowledge about nitrogen use and movement
Use that knowledge to create programs and establish practices that help farmers better manage nutrients
Feed AND protect the world
To learn more about the N·WATCH program, visit Council for Best Management Practices at http://illinoiscbmp.org.
To start tracking nitrogen in your fields, contact your local FS Crop Specialist or GROWMARK affiliated coop. They will get you registered with N-WATCH and help you set up soil testing protocols:
Utilize multiple core template for accurate sampling*
Advise you on the selection of a minimum of two sampling locations (Additional locations may be added if recommended by your crop specialist.)
Take, at a minimum, three samples
o Post-harvest to determine residual nitrogen o Early spring to confirm nitrogen levels o After major weather events
Provide graphed results showing nitrogen levels of your sample sites during those times
* A unique sampling template is needed to ensure accurate sampling due to variability of fertilizer application methods.