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Province, Stakeholders Commit to 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Manitoba

By Todd Westcott 09:48AM November 27, 2018

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Fertilizer Canada, the Government of Manitoba, and Keystone Agricultural Producers have renewed their partnership to promote 4R Nutrient Stewardship as the leading approach to sustainable nutrient beneficial management practices (BMPs) in the province.

The MOU links the Government of Manitoba’s objectives for environmental performance with the 4R Nutrient Stewardship programming developed by Canada’s fertilizer industry in pursuit of the province’s commitment to agricultural sustainability in Manitoba.

“We are thrilled by this renewed commitment by the Government of Manitoba and Keystone Agricultural Producers to encourage the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO, Fertilizer Canada. “This support represents a significant contribution toward sustainable farming in Canada and is a big step forward in our goal to capture 20 million acres under the 4Rs by 2020.”

The 4R framework was designed to be science-based and intends to prioritizes customization of BMPs to fit each farm’s unique combination of climatic, soil, landscape, cropping, and operational conditions. This principle of customized implementation is applied with input from Certified Crop Advisers, professional agrologists and government extension specialists who work with farmers, as needed, to assess their situations and develop management plans.

“Farmers in Manitoba are utilizing 4R Nutrient Stewardship through Fertilizer Canada’s 4R Designation program to improve agricultural productivity and minimize impact on the environment,” said Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture. “The agriculture sector is proud to reconfirm our commitment to sustainable farming over the next three years through this partnership.”

Broad-scale implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship can improve soil health and water quality through the application of regionally-specific BMPs, helping to reduce nutrient loading to waterways across Manitoba, including Lake Winnipeg.

“Farmers want to protect the environment and protect the bottom line of their operations, and this nutrient management program can help them do both,” said Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers. “Application using the 4Rs maximizes fertilizer performance and minimizes its effect on the environment.”

Through the agreement, the parties will support ongoing research, training for certified crop advisors, workshops, and field tours to implement the 4R Designation in Manitoba as a tool to ensure growers have consistent, dependable access to 4R advice regarding their nutrient management decisions.

“This agreement supports the good work already being done by Manitoba’s farmers and many others in the agriculture sector who are focused on environmental and economic sustainability,” said Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Development. “We will continue to implement actions from the Made-In-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan including activities that help to improve water quality by reducing nutrient loading to our rivers and lakes.”

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