The Panel’s mission is to provide a sound scientific basis for principles and practices of responsible plant nutrition in farming systems.
Responsible plant nutrition nourishes plants in a sustainable manner, enhancing earth’s capacity to support healthy life. As a Scientific Panel on Responsible Plant Nutrition, we seek to better understand the links between plant nutrition practices and sustainability outcomes, and to provide the scientific evidence to support a transition in practices to achieve these outcomes. Here we outline this vision.
In agricultural systems, nutrient inputs are needed to replenish those removed by crop harvests, to build fertility in degraded soils, and to enhance the productivity of the land. Responsible plant nutrition nourishes plants to produce quantities and qualities of food, feed, fiber, fuel, and other products that improve lives and livelihoods. This is done in a manner that keeps the soil healthy, the water clean, the air clear, the climate stable, and ecosystems flourishing. Nutrient losses—for example, nitrous oxide linked to climate change, or phosphate linked to algal blooms, or nitrate contaminating drinking water—pose risks to earth’s capacity to support healthy life.
Responsible plant nutrition balances benefits and threats. In today’s world the flows of plant nutrients are linked not only to food and nutrition security and farmers’ incomes and livelihoods, but also to biodiversity, climate change, human health, eutrophication, and air quality. Human alteration of nutrient cycles potentially threatens the stability and resilience of the earth’s ecosystems. Meeting the needs of a growing population requires balanced attention to nutrient management impacts on all of these issues. Read more...