Soil protection by proper fertilisation: the “4R”
December 5th is World Soil Day. The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) proposed this day as an annual day of action to celebrate the importance of this vital natural resource, and to promote protective measures. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximately 25% of the world’s soils have been degraded by human intervention, among them improper agricultural use. Appropriate and sustainable fertilisation is an important contribution to the development and maintenance of soil fertility.
Proper fertilisation: The Global “4R” Nutrient Stewardship Framework
The basic principles of proper fertilisation have been defined in a framework for proper application of nutrients, the so-called “4R” Nutrient Stewardship Framework depicted in the graph below. The concept is based on the right use of four parameters: product, rate, time and place. In other words: Best Management Practice is to use the right product, at the right rate, at the right time and at the right place. This will help to achieve cropping system objectives, as well as achieving economic, social and environmental benefits. This concept was developed by the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and is protected as a trademark. It describes Best Management Practice (BMP) for the use of fertilisers.
Soil fertility is the foundation of food security
The worldwide increasing loss of arable land due to settling or destruction of soil fertility threatens food security. The development and maintenance of soil fertility is therefore indispensable for feeding the continuously growing world population.
K+S KALI GmbH promotes proper fertilisation
Proper fertilisation requires education, on the products available, the nutrient requirements of various crops during their vegetation period, and on the properties and nutrient content of the soil. With its worldwide research and advisory activities, K+S KALI GmbH allows farmers to adapt fertilisation to their local conditions. Special development cooperation projects support small family farms in Uganda and in India, providing important contributions to the development of soil fertility and regional food security in these countries.