Fertilizer Canada works with the Prince Edward Island (PEI) government, farmer groups, and watershed groups to promote sustainable use of nutrients for the benefit of farmers and society. PEI farmers concern themselves with efficient input use, making productivity and sustainability of the land of primary importance. PEI Agriculture and Forestry has provided extension throughout the years to demonstrate and promote management practices that limit environmental losses and increase plant use efficiency.
PEI receives 100 percent of its drinking water from groundwater, making it unique compared to other regions. An important component in protecting PEI’s drinking water source is sustainable nutrient management planning. Watershed groups recognize the important role that agriculture holds in the local economy and culture, and gladly work with the agricultural community on the common goal of maintaining and improving water quality and access. Managing crop nutrients properly offers both economic and environmental benefits to producers and to the rest of society. The efficient use of nutrients from commercial fertilizers, manure, or other sources reduces input costs for crop production and minimizes the risk of nutrient losses to ground and surface water sources.
The Kensington North Watersheds Association works with farmers and landowners on watershed issues. The proper use of fertilizer is imperative for clean water in watersheds with a large percentage of land use in field crop agriculture. Kensington North Watersheds Association is one of 24 active watershed groups on PEI.
4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®) provides an understanding of how various crop nutrients behave in the landscape, how they are utilized by crops and how to prevent their loss into the environment. Understanding which soils pose a risk of nutrient loss can assist agricultural producers in managing nutrients more efficiently and in protecting the environment. Adjustments in the crop nutrient source and application rate, timing, and placement method may greatly reduce the risk of nutrient losses.
The good news is many PEI farmers have been embracing 4R Nutrient Stewardship over the last few years resulting in increasing yields, combined with minimal impacts on the environment and environmental concerns. The evidence supporting 4R Nutrient Stewardship is still growing, the 4R plot tour series and demonstration findings suggest significant benefits when compared to traditional practices.