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Funding released for 4R nutrient stewardship demo projects in Saskatchewan

Fertilizer Canada and the federal and provincial governments, through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) framework, have awarded contributions of $24,000 and $100,000 (respectively) to eight producer-led Agriculture-Applied Research Management (Agri-ARM) sites in the province of Saskatchewan. The sites will implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place) demonstration projects in order to increase awareness and adoption of the program among local producers.

Project concepts were submitted to the GF2-funded ADOPT (Agriculture Demonstration of Practices and Technologies) program which supports local demonstration projects to provide Saskatchewan producers and ranchers the opportunity to evaluate new practices and technologies under local conditions. Funding for GF2 is provided on a 60/40 basis through the federal and provincial governments.

4R Nutrient Stewardship is a science-based system that tailors the use of fertilizer products – essential plant nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur – from farm field to farm field to create optimal soil nutrient conditions for growing specific crops. By applying the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, the right time and at the right place, the system is proven to improve and protect soil quality, increase crop yields and reduce unwanted nutrient losses to the environment.

Last year, Fertilizer Canada and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to solidify both parties' shared commitment to protecting and conserving the province's soils, improving nutrient management and supporting sustainable agriculture. This MOC was a catalyst for creating opportunities to host 4R demonstration projects in the province.

Agri-ARM's sites enable producers to enhance their knowledge and pilot innovative and sustainable Best Management Practices (BMPs) through 4R Nutrient Stewardship demonstration projects. Each of the eight sites will host three or four demonstration projects, including field tours and outreach to local producers, under three main theme categories: Demonstrating 4R Phosphorus Principles in Canola, Demonstrating 4R Nitrogen Principles in Canola, and Demonstrating 4R Nitrogen Principles in Wheat.

Implementing these 4R demonstration projects in Saskatchewan is another positive step toward Fertilizer Canada's goal of obtaining 20 million 4R acres – acres of farmland managed by 4R Nutrient Stewardship – by 2020.