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Fluid Journal : Winter 2014
3 The Fluid Journal Winter 2014 From The Publishers The world is acknowledging the limitations of productive land, clean water, and available fertilizers, acutely aware of the challenges to balance food production, environmental stewardship, and economic sustainability. The Fluid Fertilizer Foundation (FFF), in partnership with its supportive members and their customers, has an important role to play. Part of that challenge is: • Awareness of abundance and scarcity. Most of us live in parts of the world where we’re blessed with ample amounts of food and the economic ability to purchase it. • Implications of an adequate food supply. Via logistics, governmental policies, and humanitarian efforts, many areas of the world are blessed with adequate food stuffs. • Ability to influence future production of nutritious crops. The FFF is in a unique position to influence and affect some of the most productive land in the world--right here in North America. The future of crop management and growth will be in efficient use of crop nutrition to maximize plant nutrient uptake. This general concept is quickly becoming a policy statement of many organizations both governmental, as well as AID Agencies and other Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO) under the heading of Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE). The FFF is in a unique position to influence this future through both our offering of fluid fertilizers and educating potential users of fluid fertilizers on their intrinsic value, plus how to use them effectively. Greater nutrient efficiency through the use of fluid fertilizers has been the key core element of our business and our educational focus of product development since the FFF’s beginning 32 years ago. The successful promotion of fluid fertilizer use allows our member companies to benefit on two distinct fronts. Business opportunity FFF customers include: • Some of the largest fertilizer The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Winter 2014 • Vol. 22, No. 1, Issue #83 Increasing Nutrient Efficiency With Fluid Fertilizers manufacturers in the world • Some of the industry’s premier blending, logistics, and storage specialists. These experts continually provide input to better position these products in addressing customer needs as they relate to all aspects of fluid fertilizer use. This unique position affords FFF members the ability to offer premium technology that an individual company cannot provide by itself. When combined with agronomic knowledge this makes for a powerful leverage of know-how that is exceptional in the industry and all for our members and their valued customers. The FFF has a unique position in that it capitalizes on the power of current knowledge. This strong position also allows members to capture more margins with each sale. Fluid fertilizer products routinely earn more than dry fertilizer materials, given their agronomic benefits and in some areas limited availability. The FFF continually looks for opportunities to leverage fluid fertilizer knowledge to position our members and those we work with to further balance the value of products being developed and used with environmental constraints that the world is facing. There is a recognized need for further understanding fluid fertilizer products. Through our Roundup and Fluid Forum we are providing this understanding for our customers and organization. Agronomic opportunity Fluids are more flexible than dry formulations, can be mixed with soluble micronutrients, can be placed in a band, injected through sprinkler systems, or incorporated through drip or micro- emitters, or applied as foliar in-season applications with ease. Selecting the appropriate rate of these fluids and their application requires knowledge of nutrient availability and plant demand. Thus: • Applying nutrients at the right time avoids wasting nutrient where plant demands are not there or balances nutrient needs to meet high demands of a very productive cropping system where high yields are demanded. • The FFF promotes the 4-R Nutrient Stewardship standards of embracing the right rate, right form, right placement, and right timing of all fertilizers. In many agronomic settings fluid fertilizers meet these demands with value-added benefits being recognized through social, economic, and environmental considerations. 4 R Stewardship Using the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place has become a mantra within the fertilizer industry (4R Nutrient StewardshipTM) and certainly the FFF supports this initiative in advising its membership and customer base. Fluid fertilizers can be just the right source and when placed correctly can provide critical nutrient needs to limit environmental concerns. Low-salt fluid fertilizers offer many advantages in getting nutrients applied in the right place--in the soil or on the foliage. The FFF financially supports fluid- fertilizer-based agronomic research that reinforces the value-added fluid based fertilizers. When combined with our tremendous educational programs being delivered by cutting edge well-respected researchers this becomes a powerful organization that is looked to as a world leader in understanding all aspects of fluid fertilizers. This is an exciting time to be involved in the fertilizer industry. There has never been a greater need for plant nutrients to meet crop production needs. Fluid fertilizers can provide the agronomic benefits for the plant as well as the economic benefits for FFF members and their valued customers. 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. Dr. Galen Mooso is Manager of Agronomy for the J.R . Simplot Company in Boise, Idaho, and serves on the FFF R and E Committee.