Farming Forward: The future of advanced nitrogen management

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A greater emphasis on digital tools and precision application tools that provide tangible benefits for farmers is what Dr. Mario Tenuta sees when he looks ahead to where Canada is moving with nitrogen mangement.

Tenuta is the senior industrial research chair in 4R nutrient management and professor of soil ecology at the University of Manitoba, and he says he sees farmers moving past a single soil test and focusing more on most economical rates of N when considering decisions on how much, when, where, and what kind of fertilizer to apply.

In this Farming Forward episode, Kelvin Heppner and Tenuta discuss what the current challenges are in managing nitrogen for crop yield and minimizing risk of losses, and where the greatest opportunities are for reducing emissions and keeping more money in farmers’ pockets. (Story continues after the video.)

From split applications and matching application timing and release to crop need, to being more precise with not just the rate but also the product applied by topography or soil type, Tenuta says there are opportunities for better management and good returns while also decreasing N loss.

Looking beyond improving current practices, Tenuta adds that there has been real progress made in helping non-legumes fix N, nanotechnology, and gene editing techniques, such as CRISPR, that suggest an exciting future ahead for N management.

Farming Forward is a video series brought to you by Farmers for Climate Solutions’ Farm Resilience Mentorship Program and the Farm Learning Hub. Visit the hub to learn more about events in your area and to access more resources about building soil health.

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