Sign up for email alerts of new Fluid Journal issues!
Fluid Journal : Spring 2016
15 The Fluid Journal Spring 2016 Funded literature reviews with meta- analyses (when possible) are available at the same url indicated for the previous projects. They are: 1. A “MANAGE”ed approach for 4R Nutrient Stewardship on Drained Land. Laura Christianson. The Conservation Fund/USDA-ARS, USA-4RM04. 2. Meta-Analysis of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers in Corn Systems in the Midwest. Rachel Cook. Southern IL Univ, USA- 4RM06. 3. Assessing the Effects of Conservation Practices and Fertilizer Application Methods on N and P Loss from Farm Fields – A Meta-Analysis. Song Qian. University of Toledo, USA-4RM07. 4. Meta-analysis of Phosphorus Fertilizer Placement and Tillage Interaction for Corn and Soybeans in the U.S. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz. Kansas State Univ., USA- 4RM09. 5. Nitrogen Losses: A Meta-Analysis of 4R Nutrient Management in U.S. Corn-based Systems. Alison Eagle. Duke Univ., USA-4RM10. These five independent literature reviews proved to be valuable in two ways: • They provided summaries of the published literature on impacts of 4R practices • They clearly showed knowledge gaps due either to the absence of research or incomplete reporting of information (meta-data) needed for research results to be synthesized with other results in a meta- analysis. Communication among the five review teams indicated that many of the same limitations were being encountered by all teams. Therefore, the teams have now joined forces and are working on a summary journal article that will identify the most critical data gaps and provide recommendations to field researchers on actions they can take to enable the most effective use of their data following publication. The journal article will be an appeal to the general scientific community to address the unique research needs of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. Dr. Alison Eagle of Duke University is leading that effort. Phase two We are now entering phase two of project funding where another set of projects will be established in response to the critical knowledge gaps identified in phase one. Two of the major gaps were: • Impact of 4R practices on N mass balance (crop N uptake, nitrate leaching, N2O emissions, etc.) allowing simultaneous evaluation of environmental and economic impacts. • Impacts of 4R P practices, other system and site factors, and their interaction on P losses to water and on crop yield. The Fund will also attempt to complement on-going studies funded at state or provincial levels, capitalize on existing research resources whenever possible, and leverage the Fund’s unique North American-wide scale. The next step in phase two is to conduct two workshops in March of 2016 that will assemble researchers with oversight responsibilities for existing research sites with the potential to become 4R Fund locations. One workshop will focus on the use of established long-term research sites to evaluate impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. It will 1) attempt to identify treatments and measurements in long- term research sites that can contribute to our understanding of the long-term impacts of fertilizer source, rate, time, or placement on productivity, crop quality, soil health or the potential for nutrient loss to the environment, 2) identify additional measurements that could be made in support of objective one if funding was available; and 3) evaluate the potential for standardization of some treatments and/or measurements across sites to address common objectives The second workshop will focus on the use of established research sites having the capacity to measure drainage losses of N and P. It will 1) attempt to identify treatments in these research sites that could be enhanced to deliver a complete mass balance evaluation of N and P inputs and losses as well as determine the impacts of fertilizer source, rate, time, or placement on that mass balance; 2) evaluate the potential for modification of current treatments to make critical 4R stewardship comparisons within and among research sites; and 3) consider the establishment of a “hub and spoke” network in North America with the drainage locations as hubs and supporting spoke sites within each hub domain. Summing up 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 see the commitment the industry has made to “science for stewardship.” In this age where science finds itself under attack from many quarters, the industry is demonstrating how full transparency and upfront commitment can bring skeptical stake holders with diverse priorities to a common table in search of practical solutions to shared problems. The world is taking note as the 4R concept grows in formal acceptance, in certification programs, in the scientific literature, and in the general lexicon of agronomy and sustainability. 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.” Dr. Fixen is Senior Vice President of the International Plant Nutrition Institute in Brookings, South Dakota. “40 leading scientists are engaged in 4R Research across North America.”