VFRC Publications - Page 22

VFRC’s Scientific Backbone food crops as well, as they are only required in small quantities. It is therefore essential to know and understand the absolute and relative availability of nutrients from soils, as synergistic effects on yield are found among macronutrients, whereas antagonism between divalent cations, including but not exclusively, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn and Mg occurs. Hence, the ratios between micronutrients strongly impacts crop yield, rather than just the absolute levels present in the soil, and appeared to even govern ecological diversity of vegetation.18 The VFRC Cockpit spelled out the relevant components and initial views that provide the basis for a coherent research agenda toward innovative fertilizers. It contains elements on the physicochemical knowledge of fertilizer products per se that need to be complemented with auxiliary information about plant-soil ecophysiology, geo-spatial analyses and diagnostics. The scientific backbone and a transdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach are essential to catalyze the required systems change in the world of fertilizers for improving harvests, human health and the environment. This complexity reinforces a holistic, comprehensive view for determining the supplementation of micronutrients to basic NPK fertilizers. We therefore explored the soil factors controlling plantavailability of Zn, described the synergistic or antagonistic behaviors among nutrients on their uptake by plants, and discussed the mobility of Zn within a plant as a means to finding leads to how Zn could be best supplied to rice plants.19 Our meta-analysis for selenium (Se)20 reveals that agro-ecosystem specific Se fertilizer strategies accounting for soil properties, including soil acidity and redox potential; agronomic practices such as liming, irrigation and basic fertilization (N, P an