Canadian ag retailers have a new tool to help their farmer customers adopt 4R nutrient stewardship practices.
With the launch of Fertilizer Canada’s new 4R designation toolkit, the industry organization says it will be easier for retailers to support farmers as they work to enhance management practices with the principles of 4R nutrient stewardship – a globally recognized, Canadian-made program that encourages growers to use the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, right time, and in the right place.
“4R nutrient stewardship is quickly gaining recognition with decision makers, agriculture groups and growers as the gold-standard for on-farm nutrient management,” says Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “In 2016, 56 percent of farmers surveyed said they rely on their ag retailer to provide advice on the 4Rs. Getting ag retailers 4R designated is the first step in expanding the reach of sustainable agriculture in Canada.”
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4R designation is a voluntary program. To become 4R designated, certified crop advisors complete 4R training through Fertilizer Canada’s eLearning platform; make a formal declaration attesting to their commitment to 4R principles; use toolkit material and training to help advise farmers on 4R stewardship and nutrient management plans; and, report acres advised under 4R stewardship to Fertilizer Canada
Acres advised by 4R designated retailers are counted toward Fertilizer Canada’s goal of capturing 20 million acres under 4R nutrient stewardship by 2020.
“Capturing 20 million acres across Canada under 4R nutrient stewardship represents one quarter of our farmland being managed sustainably,” Whyte said. “By reaching this goal, we will ensure Canada remains a leader in on-farm environmental stewardship.”