October 14, 2022 By Bree Rody
The Manitoba government, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and Fertilizer Canada have signed a fourth memorandum of understanding (MOU) to reaffirm their ongoing commitment to the 4R Nutrient Stewardship for the sustainable use of nutrients in crop production, Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson and Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton announced here today.
“Initiatives that balance crop production with environmental protection measures are critical to ensuring Manitoba’s agricultural sector is well-equipped to meet the needs of future generations,” said Johnson. “This MOU supports and strengthens our government’s objectives in food security and affordability, in addition to environmental performance, with the nutrient stewardship programming developed by Canada’s fertilizer industry.”
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place) is a science-based nutrient management framework established by Fertilizer Canada. The framework is desirable to farmers because it recognizes unique management principles and practices that take into account a combination of climatic, soil, landscape, cropping and operational conditions while achieving the ultimate goal of environmental, economic and social sustainability.
“Manitoba farmers are great stewards of the land in their use of sustainable practices and work every day to feed the world and contribute to agricultural sector employment while protecting the environment,” said Johnson. “Farmers continue to recognize the responsible use and application of nutrients in their operations is fundamental to their ability to put affordable and healthy food on plates across the globe. By applying nutrients using the 4R principles, they maximize fertilizer performance and minimize effects on the environment.”
“Improving water quality and climate-change mitigation are priorities for our government, and pursuing these goals in partnership with the agricultural sector is important for our environment and sustainable growth,” said Wharton. “This tri-partner agreement reaffirms our ongoing collaboration to minimize negative impacts to air, soil and water quality by optimizing the source, rate, timing and placement of fertilizer use.”
The new MOU will continue through Dec. 31, 2024.
“At a time when sustainability and environmental stewardship in agriculture is at the forefront, KAP is pleased to be a signatory to this critically important agreement and has long supported the use of 4R principles by Manitoba farmers,” said Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers. “The number of farmers utilizing these practices continues to grow every year thanks to their commitment to sustainable farming, and through KAP working collaboratively with the Manitoba government and industry partners to promote the science-based 4R principles.”
“Manitoba continues to show its commitment and dedication to climate-smart agriculture practices,” said Karen Proud, president and CEO, Fertilizer Canada. “We are pleased to continue this partnership that offers farmers sustainable solutions for their crops.”
A 4R MOU implementation committee – which includes staff from Manitoba Agriculture and Manitoba Environment, Climate and Parks – will continue to move forward with a work plan and budget, noted Wharton.