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Tri-partner agreement signed to enhance soil nutrient management

The Province of Manitoba, the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and Keystone Agriculture Producers (KAP) have signed a 4R Nutrient Stewardship memorandum of understanding (MOU) that formalizes a joint commitment to support agriculture production and environmental protection through improved fertilizer use.

“Agriculture is a major contributor to Manitoba’s economy,” said Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. “This MOU further strengthens a partnership that supports the responsible approach taken by producers to enrich the soil with appropriate nutrients that balance improvements to crop production with measures that also protect the environment.”

Kostyshyn noted the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place(r) approach to nutrient management (commonly referred to as 4R Nutrient Stewardship), established by the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, provides the framework to meet the common goal of sustainability.

“CFI will be working with farmers and other partners to set targets for bringing thousands of acres of Canada’s farmland under 4R Nutrient Stewardship,” explained Lindsay Kaspick, of Koch Fertilizer Canada ULC and CFI board member. “There are many advantages for farmers to adopt the 4Rs into their cropping systems, including fertilizer efficiency – which minimizes nutrient loss and leakage into the air and water, and maximizes farmer returns.”

Through this agreement several new initiatives will be launched on Manitoba’s landscape, funded by the CFI, over the next three years. These include information development and distribution, the development of training materials and programs, field extension events, field trials, and projects that will refine nutrient uptake and removal values for Western Canadian crops.

“Farmers respect and protect the land and water resources that are integral to their livelihoods – for the benefit of all Manitobans,” said Doug Chorney of Keystone Agricultural Producers. “Now with more information and new research, we can fine tune our nutrient use to make even more of a difference.”

“I want Manitoba to be one of the most sustainable places in the world for agriculture production,” said Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship. “We are taking every opportunity to protect our soil, water and air for today and for future generations.”

The government of Manitoba, Keystone Agricultural Producers, and CFI will also work in partnership with conservation groups to support the adoption of sustainable 4R Nutrient Stewardship Systems, and Lake Friendly’s Colleen Sklar is looking forward to the opportunities that will unfold from this partnership.

“As an organization dedicated to protecting our waterways, we’re encouraged to see these partners working together to officially recognize the 4R framework which will minimize the risk of nutrient losses to surface water and groundwater in Manitoba,”
Sklar said.

Manitoba is the first prairie province to complete an arrangement with CFI on nutrient management and adoption/impact measurement. 4R Nutrient Stewardship was established in cooperation with government, researchers, farmers and the public and ensures nutrients are used in a way that protects the environment while enabling producers to achieve economic success.

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