4R Nutrient Stewardship Framework Aiding Research on Adapting Nitrogen Fertilization Strategies to C

Published online: Nov 07, 2012

Staff at the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) recently updated attendees at the ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meetings on the opportunities related to research on crop nitrogen (N) management and its impact on mitigating the effects of future climate change.

Agriculture in the United States cycles large quantities of N to produce food, fuel and fiber. Nitrogen lost from cropping systems can potentially move to waterways, groundwater, and the atmosphere. Changes in climate and climate variability may further affect the ability of agricultural systems to conserve N.

"There are many opportunities to mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate, and in turn the impact of climate on agriculture, through the management of the N cycle," stated Dr. Tom Bruulsema, IPNI Regional Director for Northeast North America. "Some are available today; many await further research and effective incentives to become adopted."

In his presentation, Dr. Bruulsema explained how the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework embraced by the fertilizer industry is designed to engage stakeholders and provide voluntary incentives for agricultural retailers and service providers to engage in practical and structural changes.

"These types of changes are already beginning to happen and are required to support better choices for source, rate, timing and placement of the N applied in field crop production," said Dr. Bruulsema.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is hosting more than 4,000 scientists, professionals, educators, and students at the 2012 International Annual Meetings, "Visions for a Sustainable Planet".