January 28, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Nester Ag, LLC in Bryan, Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status.
The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to algal blooms in Lake Erie, such as the one responsible for the shutdown of Toledo’s water supply in August 2014.
Nester Ag, LLC is the first independent crop consulting company to earn certification through the program. Its nine-person operation was founded 23 years ago and provides agriculture consulting services – including nutrient management plans in the Western Lake Erie Basin – for farmers in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
“The guidelines and standards of the certification program are a necessary part of our toolkit that will help us properly advise farmers, so top yields and best bottom lines are achieved, with maximum environmental stewardship,” said Joe Nester, owner.
The program certifies nutrient service providers in the Western Lake Erie Basin that apply or make recommendations on how nutrients 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. Program participants must go through an independent, third-party audit and demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.
“We are committed to the ongoing process of increased education concerning efficient nutrient use, minimizing nutrient loss, and protecting our soils, waters, and air,” said Nester. “Passing the knowledge we obtain from the program on to the farmers we work with is extremely important, and something we are all dedicated to.”
More than 1.8 million acres and approximately 4,350 grower customers are serviced by the 25 facilities in Ohio and Michigan that have earned 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification, with approximately two-thirds of those acres being in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
“Nester Ag has worked very hard to ensure its operation is following the 4Rs, and we congratulate them as the first independent crop consultant operation to earn certification,” said Andrew Allman, executive director of the Nutrient Stewardship Council.
“Nester Ag has proven its dedication to the long-term improvement of Lake Erie’s water quality by making nutrient recommendations based on the 4Rs,” said Carrie-Vollmer Sanders, Nutrient Stewardship Council chairwoman.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-326-7520.
PHOTO CUTLINE: Nester Ag, LLC, of Bryan, Ohio, is now 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified. Employees pictured include (from L to R), Owners Joe and Beckie Nester, Clint Nester, Ed Nester, Brian Etchen, Jim Guilford and Todd Hesterman.