The North American fertilizer industry, together in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, have made another advancement in the continued push for the adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship by forming the Global Nutrient Stewardship Certification Council (NSCC). The NSCC will serve as the international governing body of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program.

Fertilizer Canada, along with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and The Nature Conservancy, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining their commitment to the continued development and expansion of the North American 4R Certification Program. The Global NSCC will create consistency amongst geographies, maintain program rigour, and ensure core auditable requirements are represented in each geographies’ standards. The partnership will also provide guidance to new entities interested in developing programs in their geographies.

Garth Whyte, President & CEO of Fertilizer Canada, said:

“The North American fertilizer industry has developed a robust science-based 4R Certification program for agri-retailers which validates the climate-smart agricultural practices of their growers. The 4R Certification program further demonstrates the fertilizer industry’s commitment to increase on-farm crop productivity and fertilizer efficiency while also demonstrating our leadership in sustainable agriculture.”

4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®) is an internationally recognized framework that can be tailored to fit specific crop types, climates and soils. Over the last decade, Fertilizer Canada has implemented the 4Rs through both the 4R Certification and 4R Designation Programs. Developed for agri-retailers, these voluntary programs quantify their sustainable efforts through collecting and reporting acres that are applying 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices.

Dave Buttenham, CEO of the Ontario Agri-Business Association, said:

“The development and implementation of clear, concise and achievable standards provide ag retailers with a consistent 4R framework that guides the delivery of products and services to the farm community across Ontario. It is imperative that the 4R Certification standards guiding Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place ® are continuously reviewed and updated to ensure they use the most recent technology, research and science available to the industry.”

Fertilizer Canada, together with the 4R Ontario Steering Committee, amended the audited 4R Certification Program from Ohio to meet the conditions in Ontario, while at the same time ensuring alignment between cross-border efforts aimed at the long-term improvement of the Great Lakes water quality, particularly Lake Erie. The program has since expanded to include Prince Edward Island, with the 4R Designation Program being implemented in Western Canada.

The 4R Certification Program is a voluntary, industry-led program that promotes the sustainable use of nutrients on agricultural fields, which significantly reduces and prevents nutrients run-off. The program certifies nutrient service provider’s business practices against the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. 4R Certified agri retail sites conduct annual, independent, third-party audits which validate their understanding of the 4R principles, nutrient recommendations and application practices, and documentation. Following and recommendation and implementation of 4R principles with their grower customers.

Agri-retailers interested in implementing the 4R Certification or 4R Designation program in Canada should contact Fertilizer Canada to learn more about the programs and the steps required to participate.

Source: Fertilizer Canada

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