Posted February 12, 2018 07:53:50The North Carolina Agriculture Department has confirmed that it has received reports of a significant increase in North Carolina farmers irrigating crops in fields with high levels of nitrogen in the state.
The Agricultural Marketing Service said the reports of nitrogen-rich soil come from an area where farmers irrigate a lot of corn, cotton, and soybeans, which have high nitrogen content.
They also include the report of nitrogen concentrations in fields where farmers have used corn and soybean fertilizers.
Agricultural Marketing Service Director of the State’s Agriculture Division, Michael C. Smith said the report shows nitrogen in a field is “significantly increased.”
He said the State has issued an advisory to farmers that they should irrigate crops in “moderate nitrogen-to-tillage ratios,” meaning less than 5 percent of their fields are currently irrigated with nitrogen fertilizer.
He said a study is being done to determine the best way to mitigate the nitrogen problem in the area.
AgriGrain spokesman Chris Smith said farmers in the region should use nitrogen-reducing fertilizer such as the N2P fertilizer or the Bt-B2 herbicide to increase crop yields.
He said the chemical’s effects are not yet known, but “a large number of farmers in North America are using it in the corn, soybean and cotton fields that are contaminated by nitrogen.”
Smith said the fertilizer is used primarily on corn, which produces about 30 percent of North Carolina’s corn, but is also used in cotton, which provides the bulk of North Carolinas cotton.
He also said farmers should be careful not to use N2N or Bt on cotton crops in areas with high concentrations of the herbicide.
North Carolina has been using the Bti-Bt herbicide for more than a decade in order to reduce nitrogen levels in cotton fields.
That is because the Bts have a chemical that binds to a specific gene in the cotton plant.
When that gene is turned on, it increases the amount of nitrogen the plant can produce.
North Carolinas farmers also use N4N in the form of an organic fertilizer called N4Bt.
Smith described that fertilizer as a “natural fertilizer” because it is free of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals.
Smith said there are a lot more farms that have experienced increases in nitrogen levels and are using N4n than are the farmers who have not.
“They have used N4P on corn for years, and N4S, which is a natural product, has been used on soybeans for a long time,” Smith said.
He noted that many farmers in areas of the state that are affected by nitrogen are also using Bt.
“So that’s why we’re concerned about what is happening here,” Smith told Newsweek.
Agribusiness Secretary Steve Stauffer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there is a need for more research on the effects of nitrogen use.
He noted that nitrogen is a common ingredient in many agricultural products and is often used in fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
He also said that the agricultural marketing service has been testing and monitoring farmers for nitrogen levels.
He added that farmers can use nitrogen levels as a measurement of how much nitrogen they are using.
Agronomist Dave DeHaan told The AP that farmers are not allowed to increase their use of nitrogen unless they are testing and have the information they need to do that.
He added that he believes farmers have been overusing nitrogen for a number of years, especially in the Midwest.
DeHaan said nitrogen is very important for crop production because it stabilizes soil and prevents it from being eroded by the rain.
“So if you can use a fertilizer that is able to keep your soil very stable, it can help your crop grow,” he said.
He called nitrogen use “the main driver of crop yields in the United States.”
In North Carolina, nitrogen is not a crop fertilizer.
The state uses the natural organic nitrogen from the plants it sells as fertilizer.
DeHaant said farmers can choose to use organic fertilizer or natural nitrogen fertilizer on crops if they want to do so.
“I think it’s a very good thing that there are more farmers doing it because I think it helps farmers with the nitrogen issue,” DeHaansaid.
The AP’s Mary Frances Brown contributed to this report.