Crop Production Services in Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, Michigan has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status.

The entity is the first in Michigan to be recognized by the voluntary certification program – a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce nutrient loss in response to excessive levels of nutrients being cited as a contributing factor to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program certifies that entities in the tri-state area that sell, apply or make recommendations on how fertilizers should be applied to crops are doing so in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles – which refers to using the Right Source of Nutrients at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place. Applicants must go through an audit and demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.

CPS Morenci has two certified crop advisers on staff, four full-time crop consultants and an operations supervisor who handles all precision agriculture duties for the branch. The facility services 70,000 acres of farmland in the Western Lake Erie Basin and an additional 5,000 acres outside the basin. The Morenci branch is Crop Production Services’ second facility to become certified through the program.

“By using technologies such as soil mapping, zone sample of soil data and applying nutrient using variable rate technology, we are helping our growers get their nutrients only where they are needed, and avoiding areas where they are adequately available in the soil,” said Operations Supervisor Caleb Fox.

“We have been using precision agriculture at our location for more than 15 years,” said CPS Morenci Manager Todd Studenka. “In that time we have observed a reduction in the amount of fertilizer applied to grower’s soil. In turn, we are helping the environment by not over-applying in areas that have sufficient nutrients.”

Nearly 1.2 million acres and approximately 3,150 farm clients are serviced by the 17 facilities in Ohio and Michigan that have earned 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification, with approximately 60 percent of those acres being in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

“CPS Morenci’s employees worked very hard to ensure that its operations were following the 4R’s, and we congratulate them for their stewardship practices and success,” said Andrew Allman, executive director of the Nutrient Stewardship Council.

“By becoming 4R Certified, CPS Morenci has proven its dedication to the long-term improvement of Lake Erie’s water quality,” said Carrie-Vollmer Sanders, Nutrient Stewardship Council chairwoman. “We are proud of all nutrient service providers that have begun the process of becoming 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified.”

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is governed and guided by the Nutrient Stewardship Council, a diverse set of stakeholders from business, government, university and non-governmental sectors with a common goal of maintaining agricultural productivity while also improving the quality of Lake Erie and its contributing watersheds. The program is administered by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. For more information, visit 4Rcertified.org, email aallman@oaba.net or call 614-326-7520 ext. 1.

MEDIA: Download a high-resolution photo of the CPS Morenci facility receiving its 4R certification sign.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Crop Production Services’ Morenci, Michigan branch is now 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified. Employees pictured (from left to right): Front Row: Paul Davis and Roger Reiniche; Middle Row: John Borer and Caleb Fox; Back Row: Erik Hilton, Todd Studenka and Travis Ault.