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C.A.R.E.S. puts sustainability in the hands of the farmer

Farmers face public pressure these days to increase their efforts to protect the environment. Given this increased public attention, as well as EPA and local government initiatives, farmers are turning to sustainable farming practices centered on nutrient management.

Crop Production Services (CPS) has developed a platform to provide education, seed recommendations, and the technology and nutrients growers need to take a proactive approach to ensure the highest productivity while minimizing environmental impact. The program is called C.A.R.E.S., an acronym for Certified Action Regarding Environmental Stewardship.

“C.A.R.E.S. includes the best available farming practices based on the 4Rs and then we tailor those practices to the farm level and field level,” said Steve Emery, Division Manager for CPS in Southern Ohio. “The stewardship practices within the program are both cultural and agronomic and they help the farmer do the right thing for the environment, but C.A.R.E.S. also gives them a voice and a platform to point to and say what they are doing on their particular farm to be sustainable.”

C.A.R.E.S. also allows farmers to document their practices while they continue to learn how best to protect the environment and operate a sustainable business, from planting season to harvest.

“When we look at seed one of the things that helps a grower qualify within the CPS C.A.R.E.S. program is variable rate seeding,” Emery said. “Those rates are based off of a soil type or a previous year’s history and we can also pull in some satellite imagery to develop those areas of the field that allow us to put more inputs where we can truly maximize yield and back off the seeding rate where that yield potential is lagging.”

If this sounds like a program only suited for larger operations, Emery says C.A.R.E.S. can work for any farm.

“That’s the beauty of the program is that it is tailored all the way to the farm level,” Emery said. “So every grower, every farm and every field can see a benefit.”

Emery said farmers will use the data gathered through C.A.R.E.S. to help make decision on the farm, but that information can also be used for farmers to share their sustainability efforts with neighbors and the community, to show how efforts are being made to protect natural resources, like air, soil and water, in their area.

To find out more about the C.A.R.E.S. program, contact your local CPS retailer, or visit cropproductionservicescares.com

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