Seed World

Claudia Wagner-Riddle the 2nd Canadian Woman to Receive IFA Borlaug Award for Crop Nutrition Excellence

Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle. PHOTO: University of Guelph

Fertilizer Canada announces that Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle has been 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.

It has informed Canada’s national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, and the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol (NERP) supported by Fertilizer Canada and approved by the Alberta provincial government under the Alberta’s Technology and innovation reduction (TIER) Alberta Emission offset System.

“Fertilizer Canada is pleased to honour Dr. Wagner-Riddle as she joins an elite group of researchers who have received this award for her outstanding research accomplishments,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO at Fertilizer Canada.

“Dr. Wagner-Riddle has been instrumental in furthering 4R Nutrient Stewardship research in Canada, as part of the 4R Research Network. 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. Dr. Wagner-Riddle is the third woman to receive this esteemed 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. 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,” she said.

Wagner-Riddle is currently Director of the North America regional chapter of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI). In this role, she reports on the strategies and developments within her region, providing an internationally coordinated approach to achieve the INI aims. The key aims of the INI are to optimize nitrogen’s beneficial role in sustainable food production and minimize nitrogen’s adverse effects on human health and the environment resulting from food and energy production.

During the past six years, she supervised six post-doctoral research associates. Post-doctoral projects included several assessing 4R Nutrient Management practices for their impact on N2O emission, net greenhouse gas (GHG) balance, and crop productivity.