Saskatchewan government signs onto 4R fertilizer stewardship

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Garth Whyte, President & CEO of Fertilizer Canada sign Memorandum of Cooperation.  Photo: CNW Group/Fertilizer Canada

The Saskatchewan government has agreed to work with Fertilizer Canada to promote adoption of fertilizer application practices using the 4R stewardship model.

“Saskatchewan has long promoted 4R Nutrient Stewardship and many farmers have adopted it as best practice. This agreement will further that work, contributing to greater on-farm sustainability and environmental stewardship in Saskatchewan,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said in a release.

“Healthy soil and crop nutrition are essential to crop production in Saskatchewan. The application of fertilizer using the 4R Nutrient Stewardship will help farmers continue to improve efficiency and grow more food.”

The 4R approach — right source at the right rate, right time and right place — is a stewardship plan developed by Fertilizer Canada for helping farmers manage applications in an environmentally sustainable way.

To date, five other provincial agreements and 39 demonstration farms have been established. Nationally, 4R Nutrient Stewardship represents 2.1 million acres, though it is estimated that the rate of implementation is significantly higher as roughly 70 per cent of farmers across Canada recognize the 4R principles, the release said.

The alliance between Fertilizer Canada and the Saskatchewan government is expected to create awareness programs, enable collaboration with farmers in the province and implement communication strategies on sustainable best management practices, 4R Demonstration farms, and web-based training materials.

“Representing more than 35 million acres of cropland in Canada, Saskatchewan will play a significant part in making a tangible contribution toward sustainable farming in Canada. We are encouraged by the Government of Saskatchewan’s commitment to 4R Nutrient Stewardship and are thrilled to work alongside the agriculture communities in the province in the spirit of this agreement,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO, Fertilizer Canada.

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