4R Nutrient Stewardship has been promoted and applied across Canada through a number of provincial and regional programs and initiatives.
Nutrients are important inputs for crop production. Nutrient management planning helps optimize production at a reasonable cost and minimizes the risk of nutrient loss from agricultural lands. When certain nutrients, particularly phosphorus, enter surface water and eventually other water bodies, they stimulate the growth of algae and aquatic plants. Regular occurrence of visible algal blooms signals a high level of nutrients in the water.
Implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ the Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place®) in Manitoba is crucial to protecting farmland and waterways. Manitoba is taking steps to ensuring these sustainable practices are being implemented by actively engaging in surface water management practices and encouraging Manitoba farmers to come together to protect the environment while ensuring a growing economy.
Fertilizer Canada works with the Manitoba Government and producers to promote sustainable use of nutrients for the benefit of producers and society in the province. Producers in Manitoba also work closely with many other commodity groups to promote sustainable crop production that maximizes nutrient use efficiency and limits potential nutrient losses.
Managing nutrients properly offers both economic and environmental benefits to producers and the rest of society. Efficient use of nutrients from commercial fertilizers, manure, or other sources reduces input costs for crop production and minimizes the risk of nutrient loss to ground and surface water as well as emissions of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.
Fertilizer Canada recognizes how valuable water is to communities and that sustainable, environmentally-conscious practices need to be adopted to protect this irreplaceable resource. To accomplish this goal, Fertilizer Canada provided $150,000 over three years to help fund e-learning, workshops, interactive learning tools and establishment of 4R Farmer Advocates in Manitoba.
4R Nutrient Stewardship provides an understanding of how various crop nutrients behave in the landscape, how they are used by crops, and how to prevent their loss into the environment. Understanding which soils may pose a heightened 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.