Nutrient stewardship is an important issue facing agricultural producers because of costs, effect on crop yields, and environmental benefits. Five organizations have partnered to create a survey to identify areas for focusing and targeting outreach, better quantify existing implementation of 4R practices, and to identify opportunities for retailers and conservationists to work cooperatively to help ensure that the agricultural community leverages the full power of voluntary nutrient stewardship.
The sponsoring organizations include Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), American Society of Agronomy – Certified Crop Advisors (CCA), National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).
Two surveys will be distributed. The Conservationist Survey will go to members of the NACD, and the agricultural retailer survey will be sent to members of ARA, NCFC, TFI and selected CCAs. Responses will be CONFIDENTIAL and the survey’s results will be aggregated and distributed to participants by the sponsoring organizations.
The surveys will:
• Provide baseline data to begin to measure components of the 4R initiative
• Quantify subjective impressions related to 4R adoption
• Identify the level of cooperation between retailers and conservationists
• Identify specific opportunities and areas for enhancing working relationships
• Help focus 4R actions on informational and implementation barriers and challenges
• Provide credible information for testimony, press releases, presentations and outreach materials
• Crowd-source solutions to 4R challenges and opportunities
• Increase 4R awareness within the organizations surveyed
Questions within the survey will be in the following topic areas:
• Organization and client participation in 4Rs and nutrient stewardship plans
• Perceptions about economic and environmental benefits of fertilizer Best Management Practices (BMPs)
• Barriers and Suggestions for Improvement
• Retailer and conservationist priorities and information needs
The survey is being evaluated by an advisory group made up of individuals representing ARA, CCA, NACD, NCFC, and TFI membership. An invitation to participate in the survey will be distributed during February 2013. The survey will be accessed through an on-line portal. Following analysis of the results, outcomes of the survey will be distributed to participants and highlighted in literature released by the survey partners.