The Fertilizer Institute Applauds USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, Seeks to Gain Government Commitment to Fund 4R-Related Research
WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2020 – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced its support for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Agriculture Innovation Agenda,” which the agency bills as a “solution for farmers, consumers, and the environment.” TFI will continue working with USDA to find practical solutions to increasing the adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices among farmers. 4R principles incorporate the right source, right rate, right time, and right placement of fertilizer and are a proven framework that helps American farmers increase production and profitability while enhancing environmental protection and improving sustainability.
“I applaud Secretary Perdue and the team at USDA for their commitment to sustainable agriculture, and TFI fully supports this new initiative,” said Corey Rosenbusch, TFI President and CEO. “The Fertilizer Institute has long promoted similar goals, including 4R Nutrient Stewardship, and I look forward to future cooperation with the department as we work toward advancing these shared objectives to benefit American agriculture.”
TFI and its members are committed to being part of the solution when it comes to innovation and sustainability in agriculture. TFI members are well-positioned to work with farmers in areas such as technical assistance and writing and implementing nutrient management plans based on the 4Rs.
Through the 4R Research Fund, TFI is also committed to measuring the outcomes of 4R practices. The 4R Research Fund has led to $17.2 million in research efforts through private and public collaborations. The Agriculture Innovation Agenda presents an excellent opportunity to leverage private sector funds with public sector research dollars to quantify the environmental benefits of implementing suites of 4R practices on the farm. In fact, the 2018 Farm Bill designated 4R-based research as a high-priority research area.
In addition, USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda is based on a report by the National Academies, “Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research - 2030,” which identifies research needs compatible with the 4Rs.
Finally, improvements in data collection by USDA would enable a better understanding of how cropping system management decisions interact with environmental properties or conservation practices. The inclusion of data that focuses on management, however, could be improved to account for nutrient management strategies such as fertilizer source, rate, time, and place.
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.