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 four Rs (right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place) 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 meta analyses 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 four Rs (preferably all four) in addition to rate 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.
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.