This spring The Fertilizer Institute was invited to prepare an article on the 4Rs for the Fluid Fertilizer Journal. The article is included in the current issue and can be accessed at http://www.fluidjournalonline.com/. The article, “4Rs on Fertile Ground”, prepared by TFI’s Director of Stewardship Programs Lara Moody, provides an overview and updates on efforts in the U.S.
Summary: Agriculture faces a challenge to increase food production without adversely affecting the environment. As a component of increased yields and as one source of nutrients in the environment, fertilizer inputs receive increased attention and scrutiny. Best management practices, such as the 4R nutrient steward program, are helping assure fertilizer nutrients will be kept in the root zone for plant use and out of surface and ground waters. Preventing nutrient loss protects the environment and the grower’s return on investment. Multiple stakeholders are also exploring and creating opportunities to increase the implementation and adoption of fertilizer best management practices, which will benefit agriculture mightily. However, the increased attention to better management practices has also highlighted the need for a greater focus on science and the need to establish metrics and quantification mechanisms to evaluate the impact and performance of industry fertilizer practices on production and the environment.