October 7, 2013 Contact: Kathy Mathers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Research Fund announced the release of requests for proposals (RFP) to solicit literature reviews and syntheses on nutrient stewardship on a national, regional, or cropping system basis, and to solicit field research and demonstration projects.

The 4R Research Fund was established by the fertilizer industry to help establish sustainability indicators and environmental impact data for implementation of 4R nutrient stewardship across North America. It provides needed resource support with a focus on measuring and documenting the economic, social and environmental impacts of 4R nutrient stewardship. This effort will help expand the 4Rs as a viable strategy embraced by other important stakeholders to address cropping system productivity and concerns for nutrient losses into the environment. The fund drew its initial support from members of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and now receives support from a growing list of agribusiness companies and stakeholder organizations.

Proposals are currently being accepted for the following areas:

Meta-Analyses on the Impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Due Dec. 15, 2013)

The objective of this RFP is to solicit literature reviews and syntheses on topics related to 4R Nutrient Stewardship on a national, regional, or cropping system basis utilizing metaanalyses with stepwise regression, ANOVA, causal analysis, or other statistical methods.  The intent of the projects developed from these proposals is to utilize previous research to establish the impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship efforts.  This will avoid needless duplication of previous research and inform industry, academia, and agencies of knowledge gaps that need to be addressed with future research.

Research and Demonstrations on Impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Due Jan. 31, 2014)

The objective of this RFP is to solicit proposals for field research and demonstration projects evaluating the economic, social, and environmental impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. Projects must address at least one of the 4Rs in addition to rate (preferably all four) for optimal agronomic management and impact on local environmental challenges such as water body nitrate levels or P loads and eutrophication. Impact indicators measured should be scalable and include system productivity and environmental effects such as those listed in the projects requested section of this RFP.  Recognition of system and site interactions on the effectiveness of specific 4R practices will be important, including interactions among cultural practices such as rotation, genetics, tillage, nutrient-nutrient interactions, cover crops, etc.

More information on the proposals can be found at www.nutrientstewardship.com/funding.

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst and SlideShare. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org and on Twitter at @4rnutrients