About FREP

Fertilizer Research And Education Program

FREP was established in 1990 through legislative action to provide funding for research and education regarding the agronomically safe and environmentally sound use of fertilizer in California. The program is part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Division of Inspection Services, within the Feed, Fertilizer, and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch.

Research, Education, and Results

More than 25 years of FREP research projects have focused on agronomic efficiency in the management of nutrients, precision irrigation and fertigation practices, soil, crop, and fertilizer interactions.

For more information about the research priorities, see Competitive Grant Program.

FREP Projects

FREP has invested over $17 million for more than 220 research and education projects. The program has focused on the following areas:

FREP Location Map
Commodity Chart

Outcomes: Bringing Research Into Practice

A number of FREP projects have resulted in practical applications and guides for growers and crop consultants, including, but not limited to, nitrogen fertilization models for crops, a nitrogen and water management production guide for coastal vegetables, and best management practices for fertilizer and water use in irrigated agriculture. See a more comprehensive list of outcomes at Nutrient Management Resources.

  • FREP Research Database

    The searchable database of FREP research provides easy access and straightforward descriptions of relevant research results for consultants, growers and crop advisors.

  • Crop Fertilization Guidelines

    Quickly access nutrient requirements for a distinct crop in a specific region of California and obtain the proper plant nutrient fertilizer rate suggestions that will not reduce yields and will potentially help reduce fertilizer overuse.

  • Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Training Program

    This training program allows California farmers and ranchers to self-certify their Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan(s). There is also a Nitrogen Management Specialty available to Certified Crop Advisors looking to provide nitrogen management planning services to their clients, including certifying Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plans (INMP) for California farmers and ranchers.

  • CropManage

    FREP has provided funding to University of California scientists who have developed this online database-driven tool for select crops. The tool assists growers and farm managers in determining water and nitrogen fertilizer applications on a field-by-field basis. See the CropManage brochure.