Dr. Jaap Schröder is the recipient of the 2019 Francis New Memorial medal

The Council of the International Fertiliser Society (IFS) is pleased to announce the award of the 2019 Francis New Memorial Medal to Dr. Jaap Schröder, Senior Researcher in Nutrient Management in the Agrosystems section of Wageningen Plant Research.

The Medal acknowledges outstanding contributions to the fertiliser community in topics ranging from production and distribution to fertiliser use and the environment. The IFS Council has granted Jaap the Medal in recognition of his contribution to advancing our understanding of how agricultural systems function.

 Dr. Schröder will deliver the Francis New Memorial Lecture during the IFS Agronomic Conference on 12 December in Cambridge. His topic is ‘Circular agriculture: easier said than done.’ He will discuss the challenges that need to be addressed in creating circular material flows in the context of the intensive and geographically dispersed food production systems prevalent in European countries.  These challenges pose significant implications for land usage, the protection of ‘wilderness’, the role of animals and manures, and the composition of our diets.

“Technological progress will help to find solutions, but probably only within limits.”

Dr. Jaap Schröder

 Dr. Schröder has spent much of his professional life as an agricultural researcher at Wageningen, joining in 1983. During this time he has published many academic papers, which have attracted nearly 5,000 citations. His most cited paper has been ‘Towards global phosphorus security: A systems framework for phosphorus recovery and reuse options’ (2011).  His research has covered Agricultural systems, Alternative farming, Arable farming, Environmental policy, Soil fertility, Water quality, Animal husbandry, Nutrient management, Organic farming, Nitrate leaching, Manure policy, Fertiliser application, Fodder crops, and Land use. He has authored eight papers for the IFS, and served on Council for six years. He helped to design the Brian Chambers International Award for early Career Researchers in Crop Nutrition, and has been a judge for this award scheme since 2015.

The background to this award is the career of Francis New. George Francis New, OBE, PhD, BSc was appointed General Manager and Secretary of the UK Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Association shortly after the end of World War II. In 1952 he became Secretary of the International Superphosphate Manufacturers Association (ISMA), which developed into the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA).

The Fertiliser Society, which had its origin with the Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Association, was set up in 1947 to provide a forum for discussion of the technical, economic and agronomic aspects of fertiliser production. Dr. Francis New became the first Secretary of The Fertiliser Society.

Francis New was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1956 for his services to industry. He died shortly after, in October 1957. In the same year, the then Council of The Fertiliser Society resolved to perpetuate his memory and commemorate his outstanding services both to the fertiliser industry at that time and to the Society itself, by establishing a Francis New Memorial Lecture. It was resolved that the lecture should be given by a prominent figure in the industry and that the chosen lecturer should be presented with an appropriate medal.

The first Francis New Lecture was given in 1959, and the event has been held at two-yearly intervals ever since, the Medallists being selected by the Council of the International Fertiliser Society.