UF/IFAS researchers are introducing a program that focuses on the 4Rs of fertilizers. The program will help growers in The Sunshine State to effectively utilize fertilizers and nutrient additives while reducing any negative environmental impacts. These ‘best practices’ have long been the focus of fertilizer-focused groups like The Fertilizer Institute and the Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Need for Fertilizers in Florida

Florida’s sandy soils make adding fertilizers a necessity for most ag ventures. “Fertilizers or nutrients are required in most crop production systems in Florida. While all soils in Florida can supply nutrients for crop production, nutrients may not always be available in adequate amounts for economical crop production,” said Kelly Morgan, the state Best Management Practices (BMP) coordinator and UF/IFAS professor of soil and water sciences in Immokalee, Florida, in a UF/IFAS release about the new program. The 4R program will help Florida growers to maximize their use of fertilizers.

4Rs Defined

The 4Rs refer to the factors growers should consider before applying a fertilizer to a crop or soil. Each is summarized below:

  • Right Fertilizer/Source. The considerations for this category include the use of organic substances versus produced substances, dry versus wet fertilizer, etc.
  • Right Rate. This can include testing soils to find out how much fertilizer is needed, using fertilizer application guidelines based on research and science, applying once a season versus several applications, and more.
  • Right Time. These considerations include timing fertilizer applications to the growth patterns of plants. Fertilizer needs will vary depending upon whether the plant is growing, fruiting, maturing, etc.
  • Right Place. This is determined by how plants best take in nutrients.

When growers utilize the 4Rs their crops and the environment benefit, making it a win-win situation.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.