Education effort Funding provided to promote ‘4R nutrient management’ to Manitoba farmers
The Manitoba government is joining forces with Keystone Agricultural Producers and the Canadian Fertilizer Institute to improve fertilizer application practices in the province.
The education initiative will be based on the right source, right rate, right time and right place philosophy, commonly known as 4R nutrient management.
“CFI will be working with farmers and other partners to set targets for bringing thousands of acres in Canada’s farmland under 4R nutrient stewardship,” said Lindsay Kaspick, managing director of Koch Fertilizer Canada.
Kaspick, Manitoba agriculture minister Ron Kostyshyn and KAP president Doug Chorney announced the program Jan. 15 at Ag Days in Brandon.
CFI will commit $150,000 to the project, the first of its kind in Canada. It is a joint effort of industry, producers and government to disseminate fertilizer management practices to farmers.
Kaspick said CFI will work with certified crop advisers and agronomists and use online education to ensure producers have the latest information on nutrient application.
“Obviously, it’s to their advantage. If they can increase nutrient use efficiency, it’s to their benefit… (it) helps them maximize returns on their farms.”
The education campaign shouldn’t be a tough sell because many growers are already employing the 4Rs, said Mitchell Timmerman, a fertility expert with Manitoba Agriculture.
“What has already been accomplished? Plenty. Western Canadian farmers are amongst the most efficient in North America and possibly the world, in terms of the four Rs,” he said at Ag Days.
“Things like fertilizer subsurface placement. We’ve been moving in that direction here, as an industry, for years. In other jurisdictions, broadcast application is still very common.”
The program may also reassure urban residents that farmers are producing food in a sustainable manner.
“I would say, yes, it’s to make sure that Canadians are aware that farmers are good stewards of the land,” said CFI spokesperson Cassandra Cotton.
“I think that everybody recognizes that Canadians, in general, are concerned about where their food comes from … and they want to be assured that it’s grown in a sustainable way.”