07 Aug 2014

Nutrient Stewardship: Performance & the Environment

IPNI Working Group #2

This workgroup aims to develop assessment methods to measure the efficiency and effectiveness through which nutrients are used across the globe for the benefit of the human family. This will help develop a basis for evaluating nutrient management performance at scales ranging from landholder, to county, state/provincial, and national levels.

Meeting food security goals does not have to compromise the quality of the environment – and best management practices consider the social, environmental and economic aspects of nutrient performance.

Current Projects
1. Drafting and Publishing Articles: A white paper and a peer-reviewed journal article are planned to explain the differences between simple nutrient use efficiency terms and nutrient management stewardship performance. The papers will explore and identify nutrient performance indicators for major cropping systems, as a means for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of nutrient performance. The performance indicators will be: 1) inclusive of common nutrient use efficiency and effectiveness definitions, 2) considerate of site-specific soil fertility and sustainability indicators, and 3) be vetted by the multi-regional and different socio-economic perspectives of IPNI’s global scientists.

2. Developing Regional Case Studies: The case studies will be developed on the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship to improve nutrient performance.

3. Collating Fertilizer Use by Crop Data: This will be done at different levels for countries and regions covered by IPNI regional programs.

4. Supporting Nitrogen Conference in 2016: Advanced preparation will be done in support of the 2016 International Nitrogen Conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia.

Notable Accomplishments
1. Stewardship Specific Series: This series of bulletins provides condensed one page summaries of issues impacted by nutrient stewardship. Currently, the list has 19 articles, with several more planned. http://www.ipni.net/stewardship

2. Book Chapter on NUE: Members of this working group co-authored a chapter titled "Nutrient/fertilizer use efficiency: measurement, current situation and trends" for an upcoming book on Managing Water and Fertilizer for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification by IFA, IWMI, IPNI and IPI. The book is likely to be published during the fourth quarter of 2014. ISBN 979-10-92366-02-0.

3. Development and Conduct of Several Conferences: (a) The first USA national conference was held in Kansas city titled "Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crop and Livestock Production Systems: Existing Technical, Economic, and Social Impediments and Future Opportunities." https://www.soils.org/meetings/specialized-conferences/nitrogen-use-efficiency and http://nitrogennorthamerica.org/NUE-KansasCity2013.html. (b) The 6th International Nitrogen Conference was held in Uganda titled "Just Enough N: Perspectives on How to Get There for “Too Much” and “Too Little” Regions." http://n2013.org/. Both conferences addressed the need for better nitrogen stewardship to address economic, social, and environmental objectives.

    • Tom Bruulsema, Director, North America Program, Guelph, Canada
    • Tom Jensen, Director, North America Program, Calgary, Canada
    • Rob Mikkelsen, Vice-President, Communications, and Director, North America, Merced, CA, USA
    • Fang Chen, Deputy Director, China Program, Wuhan, China
    • Sudarshan Dutta, Deputy Director, South Asia Program, Kolkata, India