How to be more profitable and reduce emissions
Canadian growers now have a resource to help them implement practices to increase farm profitability while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions, leaching of nutrients through the soil and impacts on surrounding water resources.
Fertilizer Canada recently released Key Findings of the Canadian 4R Research Network following three years of extensive research that engaged nine Canadian scientists. Their mission? To quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits resulting from advanced fertilizer management systems under 4R Nutrient Stewardship, Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place.
Fertilizer Canada’s executive vice-president, Clyde Graham, explains the research initiative strengthens the science behind the 4R principles, providing Canadian growers with the information they need to enhance competitiveness, increase productivity and adapt to market needs, while addressing the sustainable intensification of agriculture.
“There is an increased demand for farmers to grow products in an environmentally friendly way,” says Claudia Wagner-Riddle, a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. “Farmers who are using 4R practices on farm are minimizing their environmental impact. Results should increase the confidence of consumers.”
Don McLean is a 4R grower in Manitoba and he agrees that consumers need to understand that producers are doing everything they can to ensure the food they produce is done in a way that is positive for the environment, safe for the consumer and profitable for the producer.
“That’s what the 4Rs are all about,” says McLean, explaining the application of the 4Rs to his farm has increased yields while lessening the impact of fertilizer applications on the environment through leaching and volatilization of nitrogen.
“We have seen a positive response to new nitrogen fertilizer technology and its placement that tells us that we were losing some of that fertilizer in years past,” he explains. “So now we get more out of the same amount of fertilizer.”
A new report from Fertilizer Canada can help producers reach their profitability and environmental impact goals. The report highlights 10 scientifically-proven 4R nutrient stewardship BMPs across a range of cropping systems from Atlantic Canada to the Prairies.
Article by: Trudy Kelly Forsythe