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Fluid Journal : Spring 2016
12 The Fluid Journal Spring 2016 The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Spring 2016 • Vol. 24, No. 2, Issue #92 Dr. Paul Fixen Summary: Even though it is far too early to expect field- ready deliverables from these sophisticated projects initiated in 2014, the industry is already reaping benefits from the investment. A network of more than 40 leading scientists across North America is fully engaged in 4R Nutrient Stewardship and sees the commitment the industry has made to “science for stewardship.” Today’s world is data-rich. Big data are all around us—-from agriculture and natural resources (think of precision ag and climate applications), to clinical medicine, to consumer profiling, to government. In spite of that, we could be heading for a future that is defined by partial truths and misperceptions, or a future that is evidence-based and science-driven. Part of the challenge is in the dynamic nature of scientific truth where the discovery process over time alters what science says and in the process can erode public confidence in science. How well we transparently connect scientific data to the Big Data world will greatly influence which future is realized. The 4R Research Fund was established to help create that transparent connection between 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices and data showing impact on sustainability indicators and measures. Looking back The 4R Research Fund was established in 2013 by the North American fertilizer industry with initial pledges of $7 million over a five-year period. The first projects were initiated in 2014 as summarized in Figure 1. In addition to the 18 projects shown in Figure 1, five literature reviews with meta-analyses were funded and have now been completed. Transparency has been a goal of the Fund from the very beginning. Since the primary funding source is the fertilizer industry, and stakeholders in nutrient stewardship are a diverse lot with wide-ranging priorities, we can anticipate that Fund protocols and results will be carefully scrutinized. To help provide the needed transparency, one of the requirements for funding was willingness to submit project data and articles to an open access data and information repository. That repository is being constructed at Purdue University and will provide a permanent home for project results and eventually for other 4R related research. It’s a unique role for which the Fund is well suited and will provide a means of linking the Fund and state/province level projects. Funded projects 4R Research: Science For Stewardship ▼ DOWNLOAD The following is a list of the funded projects shown in Figure 1. Project proposals and program reports are available on-line at http://research.ipni. net/toc/category/4rresearchfund. 1. Improving Nitrogen Management Tools for Reduced Environmental Losses from Corn Production. Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle, Guelph, Ontario, CAN-4RC01. Documenting potential improvements of N efficiency is achieved by adopting 4R management techniques for corn production with field experimentation and synthesis of existing data. A survey of on-farm data from local farmers participating in on-going 4R programs allows analysis of the effectiveness of Providing a common table in search of practical solutions.