click image to zoomCourtesy Oregon State UniversityOregon State University's new tool will allow organic farmers to more accurately apply fertilizer.Organic growers may have a more difficult time with nutrient management because the nutrient content of cover crops and fertilizers they use can vary widely.
The Oregon State University Extension Service has developed a new online tool that does the math, according to a news release.
The spreadsheet-based tool helps users estimate how much nitrogen and other nutrients are in cover crops and fertilizers.
Growers may be able to cut back on fertilizers or find out they're not applying enough to meet yield potential.
By managing nutrients more precisely, organic producers also can reduce the risk of nutrient runoff into waterways.
Users need to first sample their soil and have a lab report available. The calculator helps factor in legume cover crop nitrogen and helps you select the most cost-effective fertilizers.