Fertilizer Canada has partnered with the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) to help create sustainable and climate smart agriculture in Alberta.

They signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will incorporate Fertilizer Canada's 4R Nutrient Stewardship into Alberta's Environmental Farm Plans.

President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada, Garth Whyte, says the 4R's stand for the Right Source at the Right Rate, Right Time, and Right place when applying fertilizer.

"If you do those things, sounds quite simple, it can increase productivity and it can help the environment. It's a simple concept that's complex, because it varies by farm. Each farm may have a different product, different climate, and different soil, so you need to test your soil so you can make sure you apply it properly."

Whyte says, 4R Nutrient Stewardship benefits all parties involved in agriculture.

"It's a win for the farmer, because if you get the fertilizer to the crops, you can increase up to $80 an acre in productivity depending on the crop. It's great for the environment, because you can reduce nitrous oxide by 25 percent, and you can significantly reduce emissions in the water. It's also great for consumers because it increases productivity, it helps with pricing, and it helps with the quality of the crop."

They don't want this addition to the Farm Plans to be an extra paperwork burden to farmers, Whyte says.

The integration of the 4R's into the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan will be an ongoing process over the next few months.

As growers in Alberta start to adopt the 4R Nutrient Stewardship under the Farm Plans,  they will track the amount of acres which are boosting productivity and conserving resources.

By the year 2020, Fertilizer Canada hops to see 20 million acres involved, which accounts for a quarter of farmland in Canada.

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