Mar 05, 2018
ANAHEIM, CA -- What happens when you mix California sunshine, Mickey Mouse, rice, crawfish, and the nation’s largest farmer-led convention and trade show? You get the Durand family operation from St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, being recognized for their nutrient stewardship at the 2018 Commodity Classic.
Established in 1996, the Commodity Classic brings exhibitors with many of the world’s leading agribusiness companies together with farmers from around the country to share ideas, innovation, technology, equipment and expertise that can help operations back home.
For the last seven years at the Commodity Classic, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has recognized five pairs of growers and retailer partners that exemplify the use of 4R (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place) nutrient stewardship practices on their farm to increase production and reduce environmental impact.
Among those recognized this year were rice and crawfish farming brothers Jeff, CJ, and Greg Durand, and Earl Garber, crop advisor with Sanders, Pinnacle Agriculture from St. Martin, Louisiana. Throughout the year the 4R Advocates will be part of TFI’s outreach efforts to promote fertilizer management practices by hosting farm field days, participating in conference panels, and speaking on behalf of the 4Rs to their farming peers.
The Durand brothers began raising crawfish with their father in the 1970s and no-till rice was added to the rotation in 1980. Earl Garber, a producer support specialist, has worked with the team for six years. The Durands now collect soil samples in 2.5-acre grids every three to four years and that data is turned into soil maps with cation exchange capacity (CEC) zones indicating the soil’s ability to hold onto essential nutrients. Combined with yield monitoring data, tissue sampling, satellite imagery, and crop removal rates, the result is better fertilizer prescriptions for each field, improved soil health, and healthy yields.
“We are excited to be here in southern California and honored to be included in such impressive company with the other four nominated advocates,” said Greg Durand. “Our family operation is thrilled to partner with TFI in their outreach efforts encouraging adoption of best management practices that will lead to better soil health.”