MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council is providing over $100,000 for University of Wisconsin (UW) research projects. Researchers will use the funding to study soil management, soil fertility, plant nutrition, surface and groundwater quality, and other activities that promote the correct use of fertilizer. Projects directly benefit farmers and the results are shared to help make decisions about fertilizer application.

New research projects and their funding amount for this year include:

  • Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science: Long-term PK (phosphorus potassium) trial to evaluate sustainable crop production in Wisconsin 2021-2023 ($47,052)
  • Matt Ruark, UW-Madison Department of Soil Science:
    • Nitrogen availability of fall applied manure in a sustainably intensive silage system ($26,765)
    • Growth and nutrient uptake patterns of russet varieties of potato ($13,460)
  • Yi Wang, UW-Madison Department of Horticulture: Evaluating groundwater nitrogen crediting and reutilization for potato production in central Wisconsin ($25,800)

More information about each project is available at https://frc.soils.wisc.edu/projects/2020-2024-projects/2020-projects/.

The Wisconsin Fertilizer Research Council receives funding from the tonnage fees on fertilizer sales. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) collects tonnage fees at a rate of $0.62 for every ton of fertilizer sold. Of that fee, state law requires that $0.17/ton go towards the Fertilizer Research Council fund. The remainder of the tonnage fee provides funding for UW-Madison’s nutrient and pest management program, the agricultural chemical clean-up fund, and other programs. There are currently no tonnage fees being paid into the agricultural chemical clean-up fund due to the fee holiday.

The council includes seven voting members – including three members who represent the fertilizer industry, three members who are crop producers, and one member who is a water quality expert, as appointed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary. Non-voting members include the DATCP Secretary, DNR Secretary, and the Dean for the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The council has existed since 1979 and was created under Wis. Stat. § 94.64.

You can learn more about the council at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/About_Us/FertilizerResearchCouncil.aspx and https://frc.soils.wisc.edu/. 

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