08 Dec 2014


Dr. Ardell Halvorson, 2014 IPNI Science Award Recipient

December 8, 2014 – Peachtree Corners, Georgia, USA – The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has named Dr. Ardell D. Halvorson as the winner of the 2014 IPNI Science Award.

“We are honored to be able to announce Dr. Halvorson as the recipient of the 2014 IPNI Science Award,” said Dr. Terry Roberts, President of IPNI. “Ardell’s goal throughout his 42 year career with USDA-ARS has been to increase the efficiency, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of Great Plains agricultural production systems, which is highly consistent with the intent of our Science Award. Amongst many achievements, Ardell has been internationally recognized for his work in identifying yield-limiting factors related to efficient nutrient management and water use efficiency.”

Dr. Roberts also acknowledged the other outstanding nominees for the award, and encouraged future nominations of qualified scientists. Private or public sector agronomists, soil scientists, and crop scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination. This is the seventh year the IPNI Science Award has been presented. The previous recipient in 2012 was Mr. A.E. (Johnny) Johnston for his contribution with Rothamsted Research.

Background on Dr. Ardell Halvorson

Ardell Halvorson received his B.Sc. degree in Soil Science from North Dakota State in 1967; his M.Sc. degree in Agronomy (Soil Chemistry) from Colorado State University in 1969; and his Ph.D. degree in Agronomy (Soil Chemistry), from Colorado State University in 1971. Dr. Halvorson’s most recent position was with the USDA-ARS as Research Soil Scientist/Lead Scientist, located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Early in his career Ardell recognized that working directly with farmers and their advisers was the best pathway to having an impact on the overall system. His creative and innovative research has provided solutions to problems ranging from dryland saline seeps, to efficient nutrient management in dryland and irrigated farming systems, to improving water use efficiency in dryland cropping, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Efficient and environmentally safe management of fertilizer nitrogen has been one of Dr. Halvorson’s key concerns throughout his career. His research in reducing nitrate-leaching losses contributed to the successful development of the NLEAP model, which is widely used across North America.

Ardell was also instrumental in developing a major long-term alternative cropping systems project at the USDA-ARS, Akron Research Station aimed at identifying alternate crop rotations to wheat-fallow. This work has resulted in a large increase in dryland summer crop production and a decrease in the inefficient crop-fallow. His latest research with irrigated no-till crop production systems has reduced soil erosion, improved soil carbon sequestration, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Throughout his career Ardell has published 105 peer-reviewed journal articles, 17 book chapters, and 199 technical and semi-technical articles with great impact on the scientific community. He has also invested heavily in communication with farmers; strongly participating in producer and agribusiness sponsored informational meetings to transfer his research results to the end user. This is most characterized by his receiving of the “U.S.A. Zero Till Non-Farmer of the Year Award” from the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers’ Association in 1998.

Dr. Halvorson was elected Fellow of American Society of Agronomy, 1989; Fellow of Soil Science Society of America, 1990; and Fellow of Soil and Water Conservation Society, 1991. Selected awards include the USDA Distinguished Service Award in 1992 (USDA’s highest award) and the 2014 Werner L. Nelson Award for Diagnosis of Yield-Limiting Factors from the American Society of Agronomy.

A digital photo of Dr. Halvorson is available from the link provided
with this article.

About the IPNI Science Award

The IPNI Science Award is intended to recognize outstanding achievements in research, extension, or education; with focus on efficient management of plant nutrients and their positive interaction in fully integrated cropping systems that enhances yield potential. Such systems improve net returns, lower unit costs of production, and maintain or improve environmental quality. A committee of noted international authorities selects the recipient. Dr. Halvorson receives a special plaque along with a monetary award of US$5,000.

More information and nomination forms for the 2015 IPNI Science Award are available from the IPNI headquarters, its regional offices, or online at

IPNI Contacts: Dr. Terry Roberts, IPNI President; Phone: 770.447.0335; E-mail: info@ipni.net; or Gavin Sulewski, IPNI Editor; Phone: 770.825.8080; E-mail: gsulewski@ipni.net