The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) outlined its priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. TFI urges Congress to provide funding to help farmers implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices in their fields. In addition, Congress should make funding for 4R Nutrient Stewardship research a high priority in order to examine the impacts that these practices are having when implemented on the farm.
TFI supports scientific research, which is essential to giving farmers the information and tools necessary to ensure that fertilizer contributes to crop growth and soil health. We believe that Congress should make research projects examining nutrient management based on source, rate, timing, and placement of nutrients (the 4Rs) a “high priority” research initiative within the Research Title.
In addition, appropriate funding levels for The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and reauthorizing the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) should be made a priority to ensure that public-private partnerships in research can continue.
TFI urges Congress to direct at least 10 percent of funding from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to incentivize farmers to adopt 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices on their land. These investments are critical to helping farmers address the ever growing challenge of growing more with less. Scientific studies have shown that implementing 4R nutrient management practices based on source, rate, timing, and placement of fertilizer can have a significant impact on reducing the amount of nutrients lost to the environment. These practices also help a farmer’s bottom line by ensuring they are only using what they need. TFI’s ultimate goal is to have all fertilizer applied using 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles.
TFI looks forward to working with members of Congress to ensure a successful reauthorization of the Farm Bill that encourages and incentivizes the adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices in the field and supports research of these practices to measure their impacts.