The Fertilizer Institute Provides Resources for an Informed Industry

As innovation, technology, and data assessment advance agricultural production, and as our scientific understanding of plant nutrition, soil health, and climate increases, the fertilizer industry’s farmer-customers require our professionals to have the knowledge and tools that will help them be productive and profitable.

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Enter The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), committed to being a resource for the industry by providing sound, science-based information to help fertilizer manufacturers and retailers serve their customers.

TFI in 2019 acquired several resources from the former International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). This acquisition helps ensure that the wealth of information IPNI produced for agricultural production remains available for years to come. TFI provides a variety of resources:

  • Several publications, including the newly revised Soil Fertility Manual and the CCA Study Guide, now available on TFI’s online store at store.tfi.org.
  • TFI assumed leadership for the Foundation for Agronomic Research (FAR), which administers the 4R Research Fund. More information on FAR and the supported 4R research findings are available at 4Rresearch.org.
  • The InfoAg Conference is now in TFI’s meetings portfolio. The conference focuses on sharing knowledge on advances in modern agriculture through innovative products, tools, and technology to implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship and enhance nutrient-use efficiency.
  • Soil Test Survey and Nutrient Use Geographic Information System (NUGIS) help inform the fertilizer industry and our stakeholders about local- and state-level nutrient trends that are essential for advancing 4R Nutrient Stewardship. TFI is ensuring these IPNI-initiated programs remain available to the agronomy community.

The Soil Fertility Manual was recently updated in 2019. Since 1978 the manual has helped fertilizer retailers, crop advisers, extension agents, and agronomists give farmers sound agronomic advice. In addition, the manual is used on university campuses to educate tomorrow’s crop advisers on agronomic practices. While agriculture has changed since the manual was first published, the basic principles of soil fertility and agronomy have not. The book is a resource for implementing efficient nutrient management, such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles (applying the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, and at the right place).

Additionally, TFI has partnered with the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) to offer online learning opportunities for agronomists to learn more about nutrient management. There are a suite of classes relating to the 4Rs, along with several classes about integrating micronutrients, such as zinc and boron, into fertility management plans. A listing of classes is available at agronomy.org/education/classroom/classes. More webinars are planned for 2020, so follow the 4Rs on Twitter at @4RNutrients for the latest updates.

These ASA classes offer CCE credits for certified crop agronomists (CCA) to maintain their certification. TFI also makes credits available at two conferences throughout the year. More than 1,300 CCAs, crop advisors, and fertilizer retailers convene each July for the InfoAg conference. The 2020 conference will be held in St. Louis, MO, July 28-30. This year’s conference will feature new content focusing on in-field nutrient management and application decision making, economic analysis to support practice change, and integrating precision ag technologies into management plans that include new and emerging products and technologies. Attendees will also continue to hear about the latest in precision agriculture technologies, data management, and practice implementation that have long been topics at the conference. Information on the agenda and registration can be found at infoag.org.

Following InfoAg, TFI will present the T3 conference in November. Previously known as the Fertilizer Outlook and Technology Conference, T3 will educate attendees on the latest in fertilizer technology, trends, and transportation. This year’s T3 conference will be held Nov. 4-6 in West Palm Beach, FL. More information about this year’s conference will be available this summer at tfi.org.

The fertilizer industry is home to thousands of highly skilled professionals, but as the industry changes with new technologies and a deeper understanding of nutrient science, TFI is a trusted resource and source of information, ensuring success for years to come.

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