The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to launch the Joint EPA-USDA Partnership and Competition on Next Gen Fertilizers to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States. Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is in collaboration with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers facilitate the growth of crops, including corn, at yields that provide sustained global food production. However, fertilizers applied without consideration of the appropriate rate, timing, source, and method, can have harmful effects on the environment and human health. “Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer” (EEF) is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. EEFs and other product technology innovations may be an important addition to a system of conservation practices that help reduce the impacts from row crop agriculture on the environment, while maintaining or increasing agricultural productivity and profitability.
The two Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges seek proposals for new and existing fertilizer technologies to maintain or improve crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment.