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Fertilizer Canada calls upon federal government to formally adopt 4R nutrient strategy


October 11, 2019
By Top Crop Manager


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Fertilizer Canada has called upon all the political parties to better recognize the agriculture’s industry contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work with in the industry to formally adopt the 4R Nutrient Stewardship strategy as the standard for nutrient management.

Fertilizer Canada states that the new federal government must also create conditions that ensure the sustainable success of the Canadian agricultural sector, specifically with regards to climate targets. They want to see the agriculture industry recognized for its proactive efforts and industry-led initiatives, such as the 4R Climate Smart Strategy, as a solution to the growing demand for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Since 2008, the Canadian fertilizer industry has used a conservative estimate of 25 per cent potential nitrous oxide emissions reductions using the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol,” said Garth Whyte, president of Fertilizer Canada, in a statement. “Following this review, we’re finding that the effectiveness of the 4Rs is greater than initially estimated.”

Fertilizer Canada has appealed to partner farm organizations to include 4R Nutrient Stewardship within their advocacy efforts to help the organization echo their demand for Canada’s government to formally adopt and recognize the program as the standard for nutrient management. Last week, the Grain Growers of Canada urged Canada’s political leaders to recognize the important role that grain farmers play as stewards of the land.

The Grain Growers assert that 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices have become “the standard for proper nutrient management in Canada because of their steadfast principles to using fertilizer at the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place.”

As demonstrated by the Fertilizer Use Survey, Canadian growers are implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship best management practices (BMPs) on their farms. As the nationwide adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship continues, these BMPs will become the standard for sustainable nutrient management.

According to research conducted by the University of Dalhousie, Canadian growers can reduce their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 per cent by implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship best practices.

“While nitrous oxide emission reduction is based on climate and soil, the flexibility of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework allows growers from any region to maximize the results of their nutrient management practices, thus achieving a reduction rate of up to 35 per cent,” said Dr. David Burton, a nitrous oxide researcher at the department of plant, food, and environmental sciences at Dalhousie University. “The agriculture sector contributes 36 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions; research has confirmed that the implementation of the 4R Climate-Smart Protocol can significantly reduce that.”

Fertilizer Canada will continue to work with the industry, as well as federal and provincial governments on implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework to ensure Canadian farmers can continue to meet the demands of our growing global population.