Many farmers and most researchers are familiar with the initials PPI. Now they need to begin becoming familiar with a new set of letters: IPNI.

IPNI stands for International Plant Nutrition Institute, which its founders call “a new global, scientific, agronomic organization,” which will take the scientific staff of Potash and Phosphate Institute, add nitrogen and expand it into the international arena.

The board of directors of the Potash & Phosphate Institute has committed its scientific staff to the new global IPNI organization, PPI officials said. By the end of 2006, PPI will be fully integrated into IPNI. Thereafter, PPI will no longer exist.

Scheduled to officially begin operations Jan. 1, IPNI will immediately have effective scientific programs in place in North America, Central and South America, China, India, and Southeast Asia. IPNI anticipates promptly establishing such programs in Western and Eastern Europe as well as in the Middle East.

“The new organization will be composed of fertilizer industry companies that are basic producers of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulfur for agricultural use,” said William J. Doyle, chairman of PPI and president and CEO of PotashCorp, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“Large retail organizations that will not qualify as basic producers of N, P, K, or S may qualify as associate members. The purpose is to help provide a coordinated scientific foundation for fertilizer nutrient use and to scientifically address associated environmental issues.”

“We are pleased to become part of this new organization,” said Patricio Contesse, chief executive officer of SQM, one of the largest South American fertilizer corporations with worldwide operations. Contesse and other leaders in the global fertilizer industry agree there is a continuing need for agronomic and related sciences in advancing goals for crop production, efficient and effective nutrient use, and environmental protection.

Terry L. Roberts of Norcross, Ga., will serve as the first president of IPNI. Paul E. Fixen of Brookings, S.D., will be coordinator, Americas Group, and Adrian Johnston of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, will be coordinator, Asia Group.

Founding members of IPNI are: Agrium Inc.; Arab Potash Co.; Belarusian Potash Co.; Bunge Fertilizantes S.A.; CF Industries Holding, Inc.; Intrepid Mining, LLC; K+S KALI GmbH; Mosaic; PotashCorp; Saskferco; Simplot; Sinochem Hong Kong Ltd.; Spur Ventures Inc.; SQM; Terra Industries Inc.; and Uralkali.