Location: Horticultural Crops Research UnitTitle: 4R nutrient stewardship in fruit crops
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2019
Publication Date: 12/4/2019
Citation: Bryla, D.R. 2019. 4R nutrient stewardship in fruit crops. In: Srivastava, A.K., Hu, C., editors. Fruit Crops: Diagnosis and Management of Nutrient Constraints. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier. p. 509-520.
Technical Abstract: The 4R Nutrient Stewardship concept represents the “four rights” of nutrient management and provides a science-based framework for farmers, consultants, and others on using the “right” source of nutrients for crop production at the “right” rate, time, and place. The goal is to increase on-farm production and profitability while minimizing the loss of nutrients and other natural resources. The concept is backed by years of research and applicable to many cropping systems worldwide, including those used for fruit production. With help from their stakeholders, many farmers are beginning to implement the 4R concept into practice and are reaping benefits, including higher yields and better crop quality, fewer input costs, reduced labor requirements, less soil erosion and nutrient leaching, and greater financial gains. In this chapter, the utility of the 4R nutrient concept is illustrated to discuss its application in fruit crops. Asking whether a particular crop was given the right source at the right rate, time, and place helps farmers and advisers identify opportunities for improving their fertilizer programs. While each of these principles are interlinked, grouping them under specific headings guarantees balanced effort among the four “rights” and ensures that no critical steps in fertilizer management are overlooked. These headings also provide a platform for outlining specific nutrient requirements to the fertilizer industry and help farmers, crop advisers, and scientists to clearly communicate with stakeholders less familiar with agriculture.