Soil Academy Phase II features nutrient stewardship practices

Soil Academy Phase II is a nutrient management program focusing on 4R stewardship practices including how 4R fertilizer practices can be implemented to preserve the ecological integrity of the food system.

Michigan State University Extension will be hosting the Soil Academy Phase II educational program on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mason Technology Center, 474 S. Onondaga Rd., Mason, MI 48854 (view map). The focus will be on nutrient management with 4R stewardship practices. The 4R stewardship concept defines the four “rights” of fertilizer practices: right source, right rate, right time and right placement.

In 2050, the global population is projected to be nine billion. Agricultural production will need to double in the next 30 years to meet the food, fiber, animal feed and biofuel needs. Farmers worldwide will be expected to grow crops and raise livestock under conditions of rising input costs, dwindling natural resources, stricter environmental regulations and climate change.

Fertilizers account for 40 to 60 percent of crop production in the world today. This vital input has made it possible to sustain the growing population because we are able to produce more food per unit of land than ever before. The food challenges in the world have prompted public recognition that fertilizers and manures are integral parts of the solution to the food shortage.

The 4R nutrient stewardship concept recognizes that this unprecedented demand for food has to be accomplished while retaining the ecological integrity of the food system. This program will address how the 4R practices can be integrated into high input crop production to produce the economic, social and environmental outcomes desired by all stakeholders.

This event will feature speakers from the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Michigan State University Extension, Crop Production Services, Eaton Farm Bureau Coop, Agro Culture Liquid Fertilizers, Dekalb/Asgrow and MAEAP. The registration fee is $60. The class size is limited and early registration is encouraged. Participants will receive six CCA and MAEAP phase l credits and a certificate of completion.

View the program brochure or register online.