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Fluid Journal : Spring 2016
3 The Fluid Journal Spring 2016 From The Publishers The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Spring 2016 • Vol. 24, No. 2, Issue #92 Like our great nation, the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation (FFF) had visionary fathers whose innovation, tireless work, and dedication to the United States agricultural industry are unmatched anywhere in the world. They had strong technical support from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC). Unequivocally, TVA scientists and engineers have never been surpassed in their talent and work. Although the NFDC was closed a few decades ago, the majority of fertilizers today can be linked to the NFDC’s technology. With this “critical mass” of fertilizer technology and fertilizer industry, fluid fertilization of crops was born. It started in the 1960’s as the National Fertilizer Solutions Association (NFSA) and continues today as the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation (FFF), thanks to Bill Lohry, primary mover of the fluid concept. The FFF, obtaining information from sponsored research, has helped the fertilizer industry almost double fluid fertilizer tonnage sold to growers since its inception in 1982 Evolving change Today, however, agriculture is evolving and changing. Growers are hearing about new topics such as product stewardship, the 4R’s, restrictions in phosphate use, and enhanced efficiency of nitrogen (N) in crops to mitigate nutrient loss. However, the grower’s major objectives remain static with 1) ease and timeliness of application, and 2) obtaining a high return on investment from the product they purchase. From the supply side of the equation, the fertilizer industry (both manufacturers and dealers) is being scrutinized by state and federal regulatory agencies with regard to fertilizer product source, storage, and supply chain. Finally, add water scarcity and drought to our current challenges-- and our plate is full. Thankfully, fluid fertilizers provide a highly viable source to address our challenges. In terms of product stewardship and the 4R’s (right source, right rate, right timing, and right placement), fluids containing the right source for the crop can be put near the plant in the right place by a multitude of ways including: through the irrigation system, or spray, or dribble bands at the right rate based on the growth of the crop (right time). Efficiency is also enhanced by this method. In fact, optimal efficiency is obtained by “spoon feeding” the crop through the irrigation system with fluids, where multiple applications of very low rates of nutrients are applied. This results in less fertilizer usage, compared to dry fertilizer application, with less loss to the environment. Grower objectives are also met. Favorable logistics and handling of fluid fertilizers are as simple as turning on a pump and filling application equipment or filling a fertilizer tank connected to the irrigation system. Using these methods, growers can increase their environmental stewardship while receiving high profitability for their crop at harvest. Water scarcity As the earth’s population increases and we continue to have drought, water will become very precious. Crop allocation for water due to increased population will be reduced at the same time we will need increased food production. How can we accomplish this goal? The answer is through fluid fertilizer and enhanced production systems. There will come a day when we will only water the soil containing crop plant roots. Flood and furrow irrigation will become antiquated. Drip irrigation with added fluid fertilizers will be the optimal method of choice to optimize food production while minimizing water use. Remember, 40 percent of our crop production currently occurs on our irrigated fields, which is 17 percent of the land we cultivate. We will have to prepare and research this goal thoroughly Economics good For dealers and manufacturers, most all fluid fertilizers are non- hazardous. Therefore insurance costs, transportation costs, and security costs are much less. Tank management is much easier than warehouse management in many cases. However, issues such as storage tank integrity, product compatibility, salt-out temperatures, and water quality must be managed continually. Welcome Where can you keep up to date, learn the latest agronomics and economics of fluid fertilizers, and learn to manage your fluid fertilizer manufacturing and storage more effectively? You can become a member of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation. Come to the Fluid Forum in February and learn of the agronomic research being conducted by the FFF. In early December, come to the Fluid Technology Workshop and learn of the agronomic benefits of fluid fertilizers and how to manufacture, manage, and store fluid fertilizers at your dealership. The 21st century offers many challenges for the agricultural community. Join us as we meet the challenges for our customer, the American farmer. Visit us at http://fluidfertilizer.com/ Dr. Easterwood is Director, Agronomic Services at Yara North America, Inc. in Tampa, Florida. “FFF’s works are unmatched anywhere in the world.” What are the benefits of belonging to the FFF? Root Development Maximum Row Number Maximum Kernel Number Kernel Weight SPOON-FEED KQ-XRN TO YOUR CROPS JUST WHEN THEY NEED IT THROUGHOUT THE SEASON. KQ-XRN KQ-XRN KQ-XRN KQ-XRN Kugler Company P.O. Box 1748 McCook, NE 69001 1-800-445-9116 www.KuglerCompany.com www.KQXRN.com “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE NOT APPLYING KQ-XRN?” With today’s commodity prices, nobody can afford to leave 20 bu/acre on the table. Bankers, Crop Consultants and Producers throughout the Midwest are learning that they can consistently count on a 20 bushel per acre increase in yield when applying 2 gallons of Kugler KQ-XRN per acre at key times when the plant needs it. “You’re Fired!” KQ-115M.indd 1 12/3/15 10:10 AM