Our Focus Stewardship

4R Research Network

Increasing profitability and improving environmental sustainability

Overview

The 4R Research Network is composed of up to 10 leading Canadian researchers who will qualify economic, social, and environmental benefits resulting from advanced fertilizer management systems under 4R Nutrient Stewardship(Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place). The project will emphasize collaboration with university researchers, professional advisors, provincial agriculture departments, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers.

The research covers many areas of environmental focus including reducing greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, losses of phosphorus to surface waters, and nitrate leaching in groundwater. Activities, including field trials, cover key field crops across Canada and were selected to overcome gaps in adoption, such as: lack of best management practices (BMPs), evaluation of multiple nutrient loss pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus, evaluation of BMPs under the diverse soils, weather, cropping systems in Canada, and decision-making tools for tailoring BMPs to local needs and conditions.

Farming 4R Future – Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework delivers Canadian growers the information they need to enhance competitiveness and increase productivity and adaptability to market needs while addressing the sustainable intensification of agriculture. The result will be science-based data that demonstrates, through agronomic research, the benefits of the 4Rs for improved farmer decisions on economics, feeding the world, and protecting the environment.

This research initiative will serve to strengthen the science behind 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles in a way which will be profitable for farmers, meet society’s need for increased food production, and improve the environmental performance of farming practices.

Key Findings of the Canadian 4R Research Network

After a three year independent research project engaging nine leading researchers from across Canada, the 4R Research Network has provided much needed scientific evidence to support the efficacy of the best management practices (BMPs) associated with 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®). These BMPs enable Canadian growers from coast to coast to increase the productivity of their farms while improving their environmental sustainability by reducing losses to air, water and soil.

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