Fertilizer industry pleased with new USDA standard
A nutrient management program, called 4R nutrient stewardship has been adopted by USDA, according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). The 4R program--"the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time, and in the right place"--was endorsed at the national level by USDA on December 13, according to a statement by TFI.
“We are extremely pleased with USDA/NRCS’ call for 4R nutrient stewardship as part of a sustainable agricultural system,” said TFI President Ford West. “Agriculture is being asked to maintain profitable farm economics, while meeting the increased product demands of a growing population and responding to increased scrutiny of land and resource management and the 4R’s are key to addressing challenge.”
TFI termed 4R Nutrient Stewardship "an innovative and science-based approach to fertilizer best management practices (BMPs) to help achieve agricultural sustainability. The 4Rs imply there are four aspects to every fertilizer application and it provides a simple framework to assess whether a given crop has access to the necessary nutrients."
USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service "will offer voluntary technical and financial assistance to producers nationwide for planning and implementing on-farm nutrient management plans," TFI said. "Farmers can use this assistance to help meet federal, state, tribal and local environmental regulations. NRCS state offices now have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus criteria for their state nutrient management standard."