Canada unveils new agriculture program to encourage 4R Nutrient Stewardship
Farm Credit Canada (FCC), a leading agriculture and food lender in the country, has launched an innovative Sustainability Incentive Program aimed at promoting sustainable agricultural practices among crop producers. Revealed at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, this program is designed to support producers who adhere to the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program, a set of best management practices established by Fertilizer Canada.
The new initiative, set to be operational from the 2024 crop year, encourages the adoption of the 4R principles – right source, right rate, right time, and right place – in fertilizer application. These practices are integral to maintaining environmental integrity while enhancing farm productivity and profitability.
According to Justine Hendricks, FCC president and CEO, the program leverages scientific innovation and expertise, offering an opportunity for FCC customers to integrate climate-smart agricultural practices seamlessly. The program’s execution involves the utilization of AgExpert, a digital platform that simplifies data management and verification processes for producers.
To qualify for this program, an active FCC customer must have a 4R Nutrient Stewardship plan in place, record their production activities such as fertilizer applications in AgExpert Field, and have their practices verified by a 4R designated agronomist within the platform by the end of the growing season.
Curtis Grainger, FCC director of sustainability programs, explained that producers would collaborate with their 4R designated agronomist to plan and execute the 4R guidelines throughout their crop cycle. The subsequent verification through AgExpert enables them to apply for the Sustainability Incentive Program after the crop year.
Fertilizer Canada President and CEO Karen Proud highlighted the critical role of fertilizer in food security and crop yield maximization. The integration of 4R Nutrient Stewardship into AgExpert, combined with FCC’s incentive program, is expected to motivate producers to adopt these sustainable best management practices further.
The collaboration between FCC, Fertilizer Canada, and AgExpert represents a significant stride in advancing sustainable solutions in Canada’s agriculture and food industry. This initiative underscores the importance of digital agriculture tools and innovative approaches in reinforcing the country’s food production capabilities.
Producers interested in the 4R Sustainability Incentive Program are advised to connect with a 4R agronomist in preparation for the program’s launch in May 2024.