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Research supports climate smart agriculture

Members of the Canadian 4R Research Network gathered in Ottawa on Dec. 1 to share important agronomic data that may assist the federal government in meeting sustainable development goals and greenhouse gas mitigation targets.


December 4, 2016
By Fertilizer Canada

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The data indicates applying fertilizer using nitrous oxide emission reduction protocol (NERP) and 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place) reduces greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from cropped soil and diminishes losses of phosphorus to surface waters and nitrate leaching in groundwater.

“We have a research network, with 10 projects across Canada, in every major agricultural region. This research is tackling nutrient use issues and opportunities for improvement,” said Mario Tenuta, professor of applied soil ecology at the University of Manitoba. “The 4R Nutrient Stewardship approach provides a basis to adopt and develop farm practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and loss of nutrients to the environment.”

The findings of the Canadian 4R Research Network are a result of $1.1 million in funding towards the Fertilizer Canada (formerly the Canadian Fertilizer Institute’s) project entitled “A Canadian Research Network to Improve 4R Nutrient Stewardship for Environmental Health and Crop Production” under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada‚Äôs Growing Forward II agriInnovation program. The Canadian fertilizer industry funding provided an additional $1.1 million to the project for a total of $2.2 million over three years (2015-2018).

Agriculture has a valuable role to play to help to limit climate change. Canada has a unique opportunity to utilize the advancements made by the Canadian 4R Research Network, especially in the development of goals and indicators as part of its sustainable development strategy.

More details are available in a special publishing of developments and outcomes of the Canadian 4R Research Network on Fertilizer Canada’s website.