Several retailer representatives participated in a Nutrient Stewardship Summit last week in Chicago. The Summit was organized by The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and co-sponsored by ARA, the Certified Crop Advisers, the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, and the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI).

The focus of the meeting was to develop common projects, tools and messages so that stewardship of fertilizer products becomes more common and uniform throughout agriculture.  Regulatory pressures like attempts to set numeric nutrient criteria in Florida, Clean Water Act Regulation in the Chesapeake Bay, and moves to limit or eliminate fall-applied ammonia all underscore the critical stewardship role that industry must take in order to maintain essential practices. The discussion centered on the 4R framework: using the Right product at the Right rate, applied at the Right time and in the Right location. More information on the 4Rs is available here.

The sponsoring groups met the following morning to discuss next steps. One of the main objectives moving forward relates to establishing a mission statement and industry vision related to increasing awareness and use of the 4R principles. The group discussed the importance of increasing the involvement of farmers and other end-users in utilizing proper nutrient stewardship practices as well as building partnerships with large multi-national companies that sell food and beverage products to consumers. 

To read a more detailed summary of the meeting, click here.