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).

IFA Green Leaf Award

IFA Green Leaf Award recognizes outstanding performance in safety, health and environment (SHE) in fertilizer production among the Association’s membership.

The Award now forms an integral part of the Association’s Protect & Sustain product stewardship initiative. The Green Leaf Award is only open to registered Protect & Sustain users and is given every two years.

2020 marks a milestone for the International Fertilizer Association’s (IFA) biennial Green Leaf Award as it recognizes, for the first time in its history, three companies for their extraordinary Safety – Health – Environment (SHE) performance in fertilizer production: The first prize in the Phosphate & Potash category was awarded to OCP’s Jorf Lasfar site in Morocco, while Pupuk Kalimantan’s Timur plant in Indonesia and Yara’s Ravenna plant in Italy were both winners in the Nitrogen category, as they scored equally highly – something that has never happened before in this competition’s ten-year history.

The extensive evaluation of the performance indicators through an independent panel of experts concluded that all three companies had shown an exemplary commitment and outstanding engagement towards SHE and truly illustrated how these commitments could be successfully integrated into the production and supply chain: OCP Jorf Lasfar showcased remarkable environmental performance through the adoption of a number of green technologies and the deployment of excellence standards on their production site. For Pupuk Kalimantan Timur, some best ever KPIs in SHE were accompanied by a comprehensive digital transformation, whereas Yara’s corporate “Safe by Choice” program was enhanced by a “Behavior Based Safety” initiative to ensure broad workers’ engagement in these programs.

IFA’s Interim Director General, Patrick Heffer, commented: “The fact that three companies on three different continents scored exceptionally highly this year is yet another proof that product stewardship has become a sustainability driver for our industry. As the only global fertilizer association, we are proud to recognize these three members with our highest SHE awards and congratulate them for their world-class performances!”

Twenty companies qualified this year for the Green Leaf Award selection process: First runner-ups were IFFCO’s Kandla Unit in India in the Phosphate & Potash category and Engro Fertilizers’ Daharki site in Pakistan in the Nitrogen category.