Announcements / Progress

UVM Extension’s Developing Functional Nutrient Management Plans with Improved ‘goCrop’ Software

UVM Extension is using enhanced goCrop software to help agricultural producers in Vermont meet regulations and improve crop and environmental quality.

In collaboration with the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts and with support from an Ecosystem Restoration Grant, UVM Extension held a nutrient management planning course for farmers, with weekly classes over six weeks last winter. Participants learned about recordkeeping requirements and how to enter data to maintain records using goCrop.

The majority of the 68 participating farmers were from priority areas of the Vermont portion of the Lake Champlain drainage (Addison, Chittenden, Lamoille, Franklin, Orleans, Grand Isle, and Rutland counties); 15 were from Connecticut River watersheds.

Prior to these classes, a new version of the goCrop web application that greatly improved its functionality was released.  A mapping component was added to allow farmers to “geolocate” their fields; the phosphorus index, and soil loss and manure calculations were updated; and individual plan years were integrated into one continuous, easily updatable plan, which better mimics the way a farmer approaches nutrient management planning.

Another goCrop version released in the spring included individual field-by-field record reports and the ability to record weather data. These latest updates and recordkeeping functions will allow farmers to better meet new recordkeeping requirements associated with Vermont Agency of Agriculture rules affecting all farms.

Training on the goCrop mobile application will be completed this fall.  The features and updates can be inspected by creating a goCrop account and viewing the tool.  Access a free trial version at www.gocrop.com.