Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts

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Cumberland County Conservation District Presents Findings of Pre-sidedress Nitrogen Testing Program

The Cumberland County Conservation District Interns (left: Jacob Goudsward, right: Rebecca Wenschhof.) Photo provided by Cumberland County Conservation District.

Submitted by Dylan Varner, Nutrient Management Specialist, Cumberland County Conservation District

Cumberland County Conservation District conducted their Pre-Sidedress Nitrogen Test (PSNT) program. The PSNT program helps determine if additional nitrogen is needed to reach the desired yield goals, limiting, and in some cases eliminating, excess nitrogen from entering surface water entities.

Cumberland County’s 2022 PSNT Program tested 132 fields equaling 2,304 acres. Twenty-one farmers participated, and just two farmers required additional nitrogen.

If all the farmers participating needed a nitrogen recommendation and would follow our calculated recommendation, we would save around 247,432 lbs. of excess nitrogen from being applied to the fields and potentially entering the Chesapeake Bay. This, on average, would save each participating farmer $5,891 at current nitrogen prices. This would be a big step in helping Cumberland County reach its goal to reduce its current nutrient pollution by 2.205 million pounds of nitrogen per year.

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