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Fluid Journal : Winter 2013
17 The Fluid Journal Winter 2013 opportunity to instruct students, hand- in-hand with industry, has been a huge advantage. “What has changed is that we have more direct industry input into our research and extension programs,” Thornton explains. “This occurs through industry cooperators as well as other supporters like the Treasure Valley Agriculture Coalition that provides funding as well as advice on station operations. Another benefit is expanding the range of groups we are working with to conduct research. For example, several companies have brought products to us to get third party efficacy data due to our relationship with Simplot.” Currently, most of the research being conducted has focused on N and P fertilizer–use efficiency. By allowing a greater proportion of these fertilizer products to be accessed and used by a particular crop, the less likely they are to be used in excess and lost to the environment. An additional focus of time and resources at Parma has been addressing solutions to help address the global food security crisis. One of the specific projects is long-term and deals with corn production. In an attempt to push yield goals by incorporating seed varieties, organic inputs (compost) have improved P and N fertilizer efficiency materials as well as plant populations, which allows addressing the seriousness associated with improving food security issues before the world is faced with food deficiencies in the future. Feedback good “This is our fourth year of working with Simplot and the feed-back from local growers has been positive regarding this unique cooperation between our University and private industry,” says Thornton. “Growers tell us the research conducted here is very important in keeping them competitive in terms of production costs and quality required in a global market. We help them use water, fertilizer, and pesticides more efficiently, as well as adopt new varieties and cultural practices.” Simplot is currently cooperating in soil fertility research trials on potatoes, corn, wheat, and onions. This also includes support in potato variety trials as well as improved genetics on potatoes. Trials are developed in a coordinated manner, input costs are covered for each trial by Simplot, while the trials are maintained (tillage, planting, irrigation, and crop protectants) by the University faculty and staff. The educational environment Simplot has at Parma simply couldn’t be better. While not all the answers are available for these complex issues, the relationship between Simplot and the University of Idaho can help provide local answers that may very well be used both on a national and global scale in the near future. MAXIMIZE PROFITS Root Growth Stimulator is a synergistic formulation of zinc and ammonium acetate that stimulates the plant to generate a greater volume of healthier roots. The result is a plant with more vigor and greater stress tolerance that produces higher yields and higher profits. learn more at: www.nulex.com Visit your Nulex Distributor or contact a sales representative at 800-831-4815 Dr. Tindall is Senior Agronomist for the J. R . Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho, and also member of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation Board of Directors and its Editorial Committee.
Early Spring 2013