The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch has praised Congress for introducing the Advancing Cutting Edge (ACE) Agriculture Act. Introduced in the Senate on March 16 by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roger Marshall (R-KS), and in the House of Representatives on March 29 by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA-4), the ACE Agriculture Act will help farmers by focusing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) research on critical areas such as soil health and increasing crop yields.
“With our global population expected to hit 10 billion people by 2050, farmers are constantly being asked to do more with less, while also being good environmental stewards by taking care of the land that takes care of us,” Rosenbusch said. “The fertilizer industry puts a strong focus on research and the farmer adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices and other methods that improve soil health, encourage the responsible and efficient use of fertilizer, increase crop yields, and minimize impacts to the environment, and welcomes additional government research into these areas.”
The fertilizer industry has long supported agricultural research through the 4R Research Fund, as well as independent research that has focused on multiple crops, geographic locations, and methods to show farmers the beneficial outcomes of new technologies and farming practices. In addition to industry efforts through the 4R Research Fund, TFI is a year and a half into a nationwide goal of having 70 million U.S. farming acres under 4R nutrient stewardship management by 2030.
“We’ve done the research and know that these practices have both environmental and economically beneficial outcomes associated with their implementation,” Rosenbusch continued. “But these practices are not one-size fits all and not only is each farm different, but each acre on each farm is unique and growers need to feel confident when implementing new practices. We believe more research directly from the USDA on these critical issues can only help farmers continue growing that confidence and lead to wider farmer adoption.”
In its recently released Public Policy Priorities for 2023-2024, TFI has a direct focus on supporting the federal funding of 4R research and the inclusion of 4Rs in state plans to minimize nutrient loss from non-point sources.
“At the end of the day, food security is national security,” Rosenbusch concluded. “Fertilizer availability and smart application drive better yields, which in turn promote greater individual and collective health, wealth, and well-being. TFI strongly supports the ACE Agriculture Act and other legislation that will help American agriculture continue feeding the world in a sustainable way.”