IFA’s Norman Borlaug Prize Awarded to Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle
Noted for her innovativeness in technical methods, Dr. Wagner-Riddle was among the first researchers to apply micrometeorological techniques to monitor and better understand year-round N20 emissions from cropping systems by using a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer.
Dr. Wagner-Riddle also leads a large collaborative group of scientists at the University of Guelph, where she is currently a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences, in a new outdoor soil monitoring laboratory. The first of its kind in North America, the laboratory is designed to mimic field conditions while also containing highly sophisticated monitoring equipment.
By measuring the timing and volume of N20 emissions from cropland throughout the year and comparing the impact of different combinations of source, rate, timing, and placement of nitrogen fertilizer, in line with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles, Dr. Wagner-Riddle’s work has helped to paint a clearer picture of how and when nitrogen losses occur and what farmers can do to mitigate them.
Quantifying the impact of N20 emission reduction techniques has enabled Dr. Wagner-Riddle to recommend specific practices, such as using urease and nitrification inhibitors, and improvements in nitrogen placement and application timings, that when combined with other best management practices such as no-tillage and legume cover crops, can result in huge fertilizer and soil nitrogen loss reductions: 51% less loss by leaching, and 70% less loss as gaseous forms.
Dr. Wagner-Riddle’s work has also been of great value for informing the responsible recycling of plant nutrients within livestock-based cropping systems. Her research on emissions of N20 and methane during the composting of liquid swine manure, for example, found that aerated composting reduced emissions to as low as 30% of those from liquid manure storage.
The results of Dr. Wagner-Riddle’s research have so far informed Canada’s national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and the Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP) approved by the Alberta provincial government for use in its agricultural carbon offsets program and have led to the recognition of nitrification inhibitors in the province of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan.
IFA Norman Borlaug Award
Dr Borlaug is considered the 'Father of the Green Revolution' and received the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.
Every year since 1993, IFA grants the Norman Borlaug Award to a person whose research or extension work has led to significant advances in crop nutrition. The Norman Borlaug Award allows IFA to promote research and knowledge transfer on efficient and effective fertilizer use.
Previously called the 'IFA International Crop Nutrition Award’, it was renamed the 'IFA Norman Borlaug Award' in recognition of Dr Borlaug’s outstanding and tireless contribution to fighting hunger all over the world. He was a strong supporter of the fertilizer industry, demonstrating the vital links between science, technology, extension and agricultural production.
The role that scientists and extension workers play in advancing and promoting new, more sustainable crop nutrition solutions cannot be over-emphasized. It is for this reason that the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) grants annually the IFA Norman Borlaug Award.
For 2020, IFA will recognize scientists/researchers involved in crop or soil science, whose work will be judged on the basis of research quality, originality and practical application.
The recipient of the IFA Norman Borlaug Award will receive € 10,000 (ten thousand euros).