The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) celebrated Global Fertilizer Day yesterday, a day when agricultural professionals gather to highlight the critical key role that fertilizer plays in meeting the growing global demand for nutritious and sustainably-grown food.
Today, TFI looks to the future in announcing an industry-wide commitment to commit 70 million acres under 4R Nutrient Stewardship management by 2030. Acres managed using the 4R concept incorporate practices that use the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. When the 4Rs are put into practice, growers are able to achieve higher yields, lower input costs, and less nutrient losses to the environment
“The sustainable use of fertilizer is not only a priority for the fertilizer industry, but for millions of farmers across the nation,” said Corey Rosenbusch, TFI president and CEO. “A key goal for the industry is a commitment to a healthy environment, and setting this goal to improved nutrient stewardship is an important step in meeting that goal.”
Last year, TFI’s Board of Directors and retail membership resolved to establish a 4R Acre target where retail members would contribute 4R acreage information to collectively meet the 70-million-acre goal by 2030. A 4R acre is defined as an acre of U.S. cropland under management using 4R practices, such as crediting organic sources and removal rates, variable rate technology, split applications, the use of cover crops, accounting for weather during application, etc.
Fertilizer is a key component of sustainable crop production systems, and the fertilizer industry recognizes the need to use these nutrients efficiently. 4R Nutrient Stewardship is an innovative and science-based approach that offers enhanced environmental protection, increased production, increased farmer profitability, and improved sustainability. Practices based on the right source, rate, time, and placement of fertilizer application can lead to improved on-farm profitability, improved water quality, and reduced loss of greenhouse gases.
The world’s growing population depends on responsible agricultural practices to provide a steady supply of food. Modern fertilizer techniques, such as 4R Nutrient Stewardship, precision agriculture, and enhanced efficiency fertilizers, are an essential part of this sustainable future, and TFI is invested in promoting best practices to help farmers improve their productivity and food nutrition.
For more information on 4R Nutrient Stewardship, including farmer profitability case studies, visit 4RFarming.org.