The 4R Research Fund has awarded $273,500 in grants for five research proposals aimed at identifying the current state of knowledge and existing research gaps regarding fertilizer best management practices.
The fund, a collaboration between The Fertilizer Institute, the Canadian Fertilizer Institute and the International Plant Nutrition Institute, is a science-based research initiative aimed at expanding knowledge of 4R Nutrient Stewardship – use of the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.
With guidance from an industry and academic technical advisory group, the fund's management committee selected the following five proposals:
• An analysis of 4R Nutrient Stewardship implementation on drained land was awarded to a project partnership between The Conservation Fund and the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
• A meta-analysis of nitrogen losses and 4R Nutrient Stewardship in U.S. corn-based systems was awarded to researchers at Duke University.
• A meta-analysis of phosphorus fertilizer placement and tillage interactions for corn and soybeans in the U.S. was awarded to researchers at Kansas State University.
• An assessment of the effects of conservation practices and fertilizer application methods on nitrogen and phosphorus loss from farm fields was awarded to a project partnership between the University of Toledo and USDA ARS.
• A meta-analysis of enhanced efficiency fertilizers in corn systems in the Midwest was awarded to researchers at Southern Illinois University
These projects are scheduled to be finished within a nine-to-12 month time frame. When complete, details from the analyses will be made available for review by all interested stakeholders.
"Recognizing knowledge gaps helps to avoid needless and costly duplication of previous research and helps to inform industry, academia, and agencies of areas that need to be addressed with future research," said IPNI President Dr. Terry Roberts. "These meta-analyses will help position the 4R Research Fund to provide resources to projects that will expand knowledge of 4R-related practices."
The fund supports U.S. and Canadian projects in partnership with land-grant universities, watershed stakeholders and government agencies, as well as through industry initiatives.
Last year, the North American fertilizer industry pledged $7 million to fund this multi-year research effort.
Source: 4R Research Fund