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Fluid Journal : Fall 2015
4 The Fluid Journal Fall 2015 Moving on Ahead A history trip is in order. Benefits Of The FFF The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Fall 2015 • Vol. 23, No. 4, Issue #90 To fully understand the role of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation (FFF) in modern fertility practices and the current benefits of membership and association, a history trip is in order. This should be of particular benefit to the miners and MBA’s that currently proliferate the industry. The recent stock quote and “value proposition” (whatever that is) so commonly pursued and held as the Holy Grail of business achievement would, in many cases, not be possible without the endeavors of a select few brilliant minds and pioneers that birthed the fluid fertilizer industry. The early post WWII years were full of bright graduates looking for a role in a revolutionary new industry--namely, agriculture! A generation of American entrepreneurs could call agriculture “home” at this time--we had engineers returning from Princeton, chemists from Iowa State, Merchant Navy veterans and many more in my circumstance. As a privileged youngster with no particular ▼ DOWNLOAD Summary: The FFF remains a fruitful source of cutting edge research to provide strong product and technique benefit statements and an outstanding forum for agronomic and production information via the annual Technology Round Up and Fluid Forum. pedigree in the early 80’s, this history enthralled me. As crop yields continued an inexorable rise upwards to feed the post-war generation, fertilizer became of massive significance. Land Grant institutes and extensions did their part. Soil testing, and to some extent tissue testing, started to evolve. Subsequent diagnosis and calibration experimentation provided massive advances in crop productivity. Similarly, the availability of fertilizers began to evolve: super-phosphate, ammonia (aqua and anhydrous) and mined potassium salts. Potential Since the production of dry P and N involved liquid intermediaries (K was mined but soluble K became important as the latter two grew), potential for fluid fertilizers came to mind. Several key points here: • Why take a fluid and make a solid that needs to be fluid again after soil application? As a preeminent fluid pioneer, Bill Lohry and his company Nutraflo, always said, “plants drink their food, not eat it” • Mixed grades--the demands of modern production were calling for multiple nutrient mixes, not just straight. Agronomic research also placed demands on timing considerations: how long to sidedress corn at knee high? • Solubility is an issue • Industrial by-products such as ammonium sulfate in surfeit • Unabated pollution in the US culminating in the Love canal and EPA • Post-War Tennessee Valley Authority: what to do with all this urea and ammonium nitrate nitrogen? Urea, Dr. Julian Smith