According to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the fertilizer industry has concerns over the health of the Hypoxic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Farmers’ use of fertilizers is more efficient than it has ever been in history. Corn alone accounts for half of total US fertilizer use and, when compared to 1980, US farmers have more than doubled corn production. They also use 45% less nitrogen and 59% less phosphate to grow one bushel of corn than they did in 1980.
Since this work cannot be done in isolation, TFI partners with NGOs, such as The Nature Conservancy, and government agencies, such as the US and state Departments of Agriculture to promote sustainable farming with 4R Nutrient Stewardship (use of the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, the right time and in the right place).
TFI supports research that is essential to giving farmers the necessary tools and information for ensuring that products contribute to crop growth and soil health. The fertilizer industry does more than talk about research. It is responsible for US$11 million in funding (US$5.5 million matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis) for research projects, including in several states whose waters flow into the Mississippi River.
However, more research is needed. So, TFI has called on Congress to ensure that the government continues to fully fund science to ensure that US farmers have the information they need to continue an upward trajectory of efficiency.