4R Plus: Nutrient Management and Conservation for Healthier Soils
By now, most of us in agriculture have been made aware of the “4Rs” Nutrient Stewardship initiative—Right Source, Right Time, Right Rate, and Right Place—developed by The Fertilizer Institute, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Fertilizer Canada, and International Fertilizer Association. The 4Rs program advocates the implementation of best management practices that optimize the efficiency of fertilizer use.
The new 4R Plus initiative adds in soil conservation practices that enhance soil health and improve water quality, with the goal of achieving a more productive crop now and in the future. Strategies advocated include reducing tillage, planting cover crops, and adding structures such as contour strips, grass waterways, and stream buffers or terraces. The goal is to reduce or completely eliminate the negative impacts of fertilizer use associated with nitrogen leaching and phosphorus runoff into lakes, rivers, and watersheds.
A business case is made that it is in growers’ best economic interests to implement these practices, which can lead to increased productivity, profitability, and resiliency—along with increased land value for the next generation. Here is a video that provides an overview of the initiative:
Huma Gro® products fit perfectly into the 4Rs and 4R Plus initiatives, particularly because of our proprietary Micro Carbon Technology® that makes our liquid fertilizers more effective and efficient (a 5th R, Right Nutrient Carrier), and also because they allow growers to “spoon feed” nutrients to crops at the exact point in the crop growth cycle when specific nutrients are needed, eliminating much fertilizer waste.
Click on the “Learn More About Our Products” button below to have a Huma Gro® Sales Representative contact you and explain how we can help your farm succeed in the 4R Plus movement.
About the Author
Director, Sustainability & Knowledge Management, Huma, Inc.
Lifelong learner, master gardener, rescuer of greyhounds, grandpa. Once served detention for placing ecology flag on top of his high school.
This Week in Ag #41
This is American agriculture’s big week – Thanksgiving! Our celebration of food takes center stage on family dining tables from sea to shining sea. Not only do we honor the 1% who currently feed us, we also reflect upon the many contributions of the original American agriculturalists, our Native Americans. For starters, they saved the Pilgrims from starvation during their first years in the New World. The Wamponoag tribe utilized their famous “Three Sisters” cropping practice: corn, beans and squash.
Last week I was a guest on the TopSoil Webinar series hosted by Mitchell Hora of Continuum Ag (you can check it out here). I mentioned how western growers seem further along in their regenerative agriculture journey. That’s largely driven by regional attitudes and the food companies, who have pledged to sell products grown using regen ag practices. This has motivated growers of crops such as potatoes, onions, apples, and blueberries to hasten their adoption. But in the Heartland, where commodity crops fill the landscape, these growers have lacked many of the market-driven economic incentives. Until now.
Are we looking at a fertilizer shortage? Guess it depends on your definition. The availability of fertilizer isn’t a major concern in the US. It really wasn’t last year, either. As a good friend (who I consider to be among the best farmers in the country) told me last winter, “you can get it, it’s...