The Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) announced a partnership with the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program, which helps growers optimize fertilizer inputs.

"AAI's members are proactive, environmentally responsible professionals," said Allyson Perry, AAI Board of Directors Chair. "The AAI board of directors' decision to become a 4R Nutrient Stewardship partner reflects our member's commitment to land and water stewardship through using best management practices in order to maintain a sustainable agricultural system."

The 4R framework takes an innovative, science-based approach that provides stakeholders with educational tools, advocacy support and implementation recommendations for crop nutrient stewardship. The program advocates management practices to increase production, boost farmer profitability, enhance environmental protection and improve sustainability.

"The 4Rs, the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, the right time, and in the right place, is a solid framework that producers can use to increase production and profitability while decreasing environmental impacts," said Dave Coppess, AAI Agronomy Committee Chair.

"We are happy to have the Agribusiness Association of Iowa as a partner of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program," says Lara Moody, director of stewardship programs for The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). "4R nutrient stewardship is being embraced by organizations around the country who are working to bring the most current information about fertilizer best management practices."

AAI, a supporter of the Iowa Nutrient Strategy, sees the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program as a complimentary national education effort to the Iowa Nutrient Strategy. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University worked together to develop the Iowa Nutrient Strategy, a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.

"Implementing the 4R practices helps to ensure that nutrients reach and are used by plants efficiently, which is one of the chief goals of the Iowa Nutrient Strategy," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

The Iowa Nutrient Strategy outlines voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas, in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner.

"It is important to work locally and nationally with one voice which is why AAI is pleased to become a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Partner," Perry added.