History

The North Carolina State Forest Fertilization Cooperative (NCSFFC) was organized in 1969 by J.O. Cantrell, T.E. Maki, and C.B. Davey, bringing together interested parties from North Carolina State University, forestry industry, and fertilizer manufacturers. Initially, the Cooperative was a five-year program with the objective — “to determine the economic feasibility of forest fertilization” for loblolly pine in the Piedmont and northern Coastal Plain regions of the southeastern United States — complemented the Cooperative Research in Forest Fertilization (CRIFF) program begun in 1967 at the University of Florida. The first Advisory Council meeting was held May 28, 1970 and the first field study (Regionwide 1) was begun in winter 1970-71.

Since 1970, the Cooperative has evolved from being a regionally based fertilizer cooperative into an internationally recognized research and education program in forest production, silviculture, and soils. In 1986, the Cooperative’s name was changed to the North Carolina State Forest Nutrition Cooperative (NCSFNC) to reflect a broader emphasis on forest production and nutrition. The name was shortened to Forest Nutrition Cooperative (FNC) in 2003 when North Carolina State UniversityVirginia Tech, and two years later, the University de Concepcion (UdC), entered into a partnership to provide joint university leadership for the Cooperative. In 2010, the name was changed to Forest Productivity Cooperative (www.forestproductivitycoop.org), and the silviculture and soil professors Jose Stape (NCSU), Tom Fox (VT)  and Rafael Rubilar (UdC) now serve as co-directors.

Wayne Haines served as the Cooperative’s first director until 1977. He was followed by Bob Kellison (1977-1978), Russ Ballard (1978-1980), Lee Allen (1981 – present) and Dan Kelting as co-director (2000-2003). Tom Fox (VPI) and Lee Allen (NCSU) served as co-directors from 2003 to 2008. In January 2007, Rafael Rubilar (UCO) became a co-director for South America. In 2008, Lee Allen became director emeritus. Jose Stape was a co-director from 2008-2015.