IFS 2023 webinars

Connecting research and practice

Varied topics

Rigorous detail

Realtime Q&A

Recordings available

2023 IFS webinar series

A programme of webinars covering a variety of topics relating to fertiliser production and crop nutrition

During 2023 the IFS organised webinars for those involved and interested in the production and application of fertilising products.

Detailed information on the webinars that comprised this programme is shown below. 

A new definition of ‘Plant Nutrient’ and its implications for fertilizer regulations globally

Patrick Brown, University of California, Davis, and Achim Dobermann, Chief Scientist, International Fertiliser Association

Problems with current fertiliser nomenclature

Hans Lambers, The University of Western Australia

Wednesday 25 January 2023

How fertiliser application and specific genetic variants combine to impact on the acrylamide forming potential of wheat

Joe Oddy, Rothamsted Research

The effects of the application of Zn-enriched fertilizer in improving the grain nutritional quality of maize

Lester Botoman, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Management of multispecies swards with reduced N compared to high N grass monocultures

Shona Baker, University College Dublin, Ireland

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Monitoring of critical rotating equipment

Alexander Høiby and Mathieu Leroux, Yara International, Norway

How super-duplex materials assure high reliability in urea plants

Manuel Prohaska, MPC2, Austria

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Handling and storage of ammonium nitrate-based fertilizer

Kish Shah, Consultant, UK

The Lessons Learned from 150 Safety Incidents in Urea Plants

Mark Brouwer, UreaKnowHow.com, Netherlands

Wednesday 17 May 2023

A Measured Scepticism; Reviewing Research Results for Farming

Andrew Mcguire, Washington State University, USA

The value of farmer led research for innovation in agriculture

Tom Sizmur, University of Reading, UK

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Reducing emissions associated with the production and usage of nitrogenous fertilisers

Fertilizer Australia and the International Fertiliser Society are again jointly organising a programme of three online events in 2023, on this topic. Click on the More Information button to view information about these webinars and the speakers, along with links to register. These webinars are free for all.

Tuesday 20 June, Wednesday 28 June, and Wednesday 5 July

Mapping the usage of biofertilisers in Europe

Leon Fock, Culterra, The Netherlands

Biofertilisers and Biostimulants: What do they mean for the future of crop nutrition?

Eduardo Lopes Cancellier, ICL Group, Brazil

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Exploring the language of crop nutrition

Wednesday 25 January 2023
16.00 GMT / 17.00 CET

A new definition of ‘Plant Nutrient’ and its implications for fertilizer regulations globally

Prof Patrick Brown, University of California Davis, USA and Achim Dobermann, Chief Scientist, International Fertilizer Association, France

Patrick Brown is one of the main developers of the New Paradigm for Plant Nutrition, which was explained to us by Achim Dobermann, Chief Scientist of the International Fertilizer Association, in October 2021. Achim focused on the program for change that the IFA is aiming to drive through the industry, that has the new definition of a plant nutrient at its core. This presentation augmented this by looking in more detail at the scientific considerations that have led to the need for a new definition, and the practical benefits that this will provide to the industry. 

The scientific case for replacing the terms P2O5, K2O, CaO in fertilizer nomenclature with % P, K Ca

Prof Hans Lambers, The University of Western Australia

This presentation explained the questionable scientific basis of these widely used abbreviations, along with an alternative approach that is more robustly based on scientific understanding.

 

2 BASIS FACTS CPD PN points were awarded to this webinar.

the research projects that won the 2022 brian chambers award

Wednesday 22 February 2023
13.00 GMT / 14.00 CET

How fertiliser application and specific genetic variants combine to impact on the acrylamide forming potential of wheat

Joe Oddy, Rothamsted Research, UK

This research looked at how fertiliser application and specific genetic variants combine to impact on the potentially harmful acrylamide forming potential of soft wheat. Adding sulphur fertiliser helps to reduce grain asparagine content (which is the key precursor to acrylamide). This research indicated that a N : S application rate of 10 to 1 (kg/ha) was sufficient to prevent large increases in asparagine.  

The effects of the application of Zn-enriched fertilizer in improving the grain nutritional quality of maize

Lester Botoman, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi

This research sought to establish the quantitative effects of the application of Zn-enriched fertiliser in improving the grain nutritional quality of maize. It found that the use of such fertiliser does increase the Zn content of the maize grains, and that this was to an extent that would have a substantial effect on the dietary intake of people in the area. This work now needs to be extended to cover more of the soil types that occur in Malawi.

Management of multispecies swards with reduced N compared to high N grass monocultures

Shona Baker, University College Dublin, Ireland

The key finding from this research was that a rotationally grazed  multi-species sward (containing six species) produced more grass over a two year period than did a perennial ryegrass monoculture, whilst receiving half of much nitrogenous fertiliser. A key research need now is to investigate how to best manage such multi-species swards over a longer time period.

This webinar will be worth 1 AP and 1 PN BASIS FACTS CPD points.

fertiliser production machinery materials, monitoring and maintenance

Wednesday 19 April 2023
13.00 BST / 14.00 CEST

How super-duplex materials assure high reliability in urea plants

Manuel Prohaska, MPC2, Austria

Are you aware about the urea industry’s state-of-the-art construction materials? Nowadays all leading licensors use high-end ferritic-austenitic steels, so-called superduplex or hyperduplex stainless steels, in the urea synthesis section as their material class of choice. This presentation will explain why duplex steels are superior to the previously used austenitic stainless steels and how the corrosion properties of these steels are measured. Especially the correlation of traditional and still commonly used immersion test methods and state-of-the-art electrochemical methods as the Double-Loop – EPR test and their promising applications shall be explained.

Monitoring of critical rotating equipment

Alexander Høiby and Mathieu Leroux, Yara International, Norway

The focus of this presentation will be on machinery health condition monitoring based on vibration / process data. This will describe a large program in Yara to establish proper condition monitoring for our critical rotating equipment, leveraging the System 1 solution of Bently Nevada.

This webinar will be worth 2 AP BASIS FACTS CPD points.

safety aspects of ammonium nitrate and urea

Wednesday 17 May 2023
13.00 BST / 14.00 CEST

Handling and storage of ammonium nitrate-based fertiliser

Kish Shah, Consultant, UK

The presentation will describe the main types of AN-based fertiliser and their potential hazardous properties. Safe methods of storage will be summarised. Handling and transport operations will be described with the relevant safe procedures. An overview of major accidents which involved these products will be given.

The Lessons Learned from 150 Safety Incidents in Urea Plants

Mark Brouwer, UreaKnowHow.com, Netherlands

In 2017, AmmoniaKnowHow.com and UreaKnowHow.com introduced global open source risk registers for ammonia and urea plants. On January 1, 2023, the Risk Register Safety Incidents in Urea Plants contained 150 safety incidents. This presentation provides the detailed analysis of these incidents: In which plant sections and during which project phase do these incidents occur, which incidents occur most frequently, and which hazards have the highest risk factor.

The presentation elaborates the most critical safety hazards and recommends its prevention and mitigation measures. A surprising conclusion is that most safety hazards may lead to a sudden release of toxic ammonia. The paper provides suggestions on how to safely behave in a urea plant, and how to identify a maximum number of safety hazards.

 

Attendance at this webinar will be worth 1 PN and 1 HS BASIS FACTS CPD points.

good practice agronomic scientific research and farmer led innovation

Wednesday 31 May 2023
16.00 BST / 17.00 CEST

A Measured Scepticism;  Reviewing Research Results for Farming

Andrew Mcguire, Washington State University, USA

Science has always called for scepticism. It helps us remain as objective as possible. More recently,  the huge increase published research papers call on us to intensify our scepticism. Even if the proportion of weak papers had not increased (it has), sorting the wheat from the chaff would be a challenge. And then there are the claims on social media, in online videos, etc., many of which are cleverly misleading…we need to up our scepticism game. I therefore offer a few tips on what to look for to improve the odds.

First, do the math, or maths, if you prefer. Often a few calculations can reveal whether a paper has results that can be applied in the real world of farming, or if it is mostly academic. Just putting results in units a farmer can relate to can often help. Then, look for a mechanism. Not a abstract mathematically constructed mechanism, but one that is based on physical factors. The old causation or correlation confusion comes into play here. Finally, ask what it means for management. Is it just information or can it be applied to a new practice or change an old practice? Is there a real problem being addressed or is a problem assumed?

I will present several examples of how these tips have worked for me.

The value of farmer led research for innovation in agriculture

Tom Sizmur, University of Reading, UK

Professional researchers tend to view the traditional model of innovation in agricultural science as knowledge generated by universities and research institutes which is then ‘disseminated’ and adopted by farmers. However, a reliance on academic research methods can lead to unintended consequences such as P-hacking, the file-draw problem, and a focus on mechanisms over outcomes. Research undertaken on research stations often involves small-plot trials where rigid protocols are followed and the contribution of specific practices elucidated with carefully planned experiments.

These on-station experiments are far from where I believe the greatest advances in agricultural innovation are currently taking place. Farmers are adopting ‘farming philosophies’ such as regenerative agriculture, holistic management, and zero budget natural farming. There is relatively little evidence in the scientific literature to support these poorly defined complex systems and partial adoption is commonplace. A reductive approach to studying the efficacy and mechanisms of these systems is challenging since they are highly context specific.

In this presentation I will illustrate a range of examples which span on-farm academic research to on-farm farmer led innovation. I will make the argument for interdisciplinary collaborations to study complex farming systems and provide suggestions for how researchers and farmers can work together more productively to prevent further divergence of these groups.

 

BASIS FACTS CPD points have been applied for.

Biostimulants - the future of fertilisers; or 'much ado' about little?

Wednesday 22 November 2023
13.00 GMT / 14.00 CET

Mapping the usage of biofertilisers in Europe

Leon Fock, Culterra, The Netherlands

This presentation will ‘map’ the current situation within Europe relating to biofertilisers / organic materials. It will provide an explanation of the various terminology that is being used – what do the various terms mean, and which are the most useful / unhelpful ones to use in Leon’s view.

It will also cover what products are being made, in what approximate volumes, how are they being made, and by whom. It will describe which crops these products are being used on, and how effective they are. The major trends relating to these products will also be discussed.

Biofertilisers and Biostimulants: What do they mean for the future of crop nutrition?

Eduardo Lopes Cancellier, ICL Group, Brazil

The presentation will discuss how these products have developed so far, how they work and how they are expected to evolve and interact with fertilisers and crop nutrition. Some insights on market size and growth will be provided, along with experiences from the development of markets outside Europe..

This webinar will be worth 1 AP and 1 PN BASIS FACTS CPD points for UK Members.