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Canadian researcher wins international crop nutrition award


November 18, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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Claudia Wagner-Riddle, director of the North American centre of the International Nitrogen Initiative, was recently awarded the 2020 IFA Borlaug Award of Excellence in Crop Nutrition.

Wagner-Riddle is the second Canadian researcher to be recognized for her work in Canada and her knowledge transfer and collaborations internationally. Over her 38-year research career, she has led collaborative research teams addressing many aspects of agronomy, including soil health, productivity, and nutrient loss pathways.

Wagner-Riddle has supported the continued advancement of 4R Nutrient Stewardship by comparing different combinations of nutrient source, rate, timing, and placement of nitrogen fertilizer on Ontario cropland. This research contributed to quantifying nitrous oxide (N2O) emission reductions associated with the use of urease and nitrification inhibitors, the right rate, and the right timing of fertilizer and manure application. Her work has informed Canada’s national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol (NERP).

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“Dr. Wagner-Riddle has been instrumental in furthering 4R Nutrient Stewardship research in Canada, as part of the 4R Research Network,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “Through her novel research, she has gained an esteemed reputation as a soil scientist who is combining innovative technical methods with multidisciplinary collaboration.”

Since 1993, the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) grants the Norman Borlaug Award to a person whose research or extension work has led to significant crop nutrition advances. The role that scientists and extension workers play in advancing and promoting new, more sustainable crop nutrition solutions cannot be over-emphasized. Wagner-Riddle is the third woman to receive the award.

“It is an honour for me to receive this award, and I think it speaks to the fertilizer industry’s commitment to supporting the development of solutions for addressing the unintended loss of nitrogen from agriculture,” Wagner-Riddle said. “We urgently need to work together at all levels to mitigate agriculture’s contribution to climate change. I have been fortunate to collaborate with many graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and other researchers to contribute to this goal.”

Wagner-Riddle’s research is featured in “Key Findings of the Canadian 4R Research Network,” published by Fertilizer Canada.