FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
London, ON, March 22, 2022 – Today Fertilizer Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO), the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA), the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) showed their commitment to leadership in sustainable agriculture by renewing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) for the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program. This will help Ontario’s agriculture community protect soil health and water quality and integrate climate smart agriculture and nutrient management.
4R Nutrient Stewardship is an internationally recognized best management practice (BMP) system with four key pillars for fertilizer application: Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®. This science-based approach helps growers understand how efficient fertilizer application improves profitability while reducing nutrient losses to the environment. The MOC adapts the program to Ontario’s agricultural production systems and unique regional climatic, soil, and operational conditions to help growers reduce environmental impacts while maximizing crop yields and economic benefits.
The MOC represents a combined investment of $255,000 over the next three years for the administration and implementation of the program.
Since the last MOC renewal, the program has seen advancements that have resulted in increased participation. As of 2021 there are 29 4R agri-retailer sites representing 950,000 acres in the province working under a 4R system.
“We are thrilled to see the continued partnership in Ontario providing growers with sustainable solutions for their crops,” said Karen Proud, CEO and President Fertilizer Canada. “We have seen great success with a notable increase of 4R Certified acres resulting in substantial environmental and economic outcomes, and we believe we will continue to see increased uptake in Ontario with the renewal of the MOC.”
“Protecting Ontario’s soil health and water quality through cooperative efforts like the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program is key to sustainable agriculture in the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “I want to thank all of the partners involved in the Memorandum of Cooperation for demonstrating leadership, supporting our farmers and strengthening the agri-food sector.”
“Grain farmers in Ontario are committed to helping improve water quality in the Great Lakes and contributing watersheds, reducing climate impact from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increasing agricultural productivity on the farm. Grain Farmers of Ontario is an advocate for achieving these goals through the science and implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are excited to continue another 3-year partnership with the province and our industry partners advancing 4R Nutrient Stewardship across Ontario.”
“The updated MOC shows the partners continued willingness to grow the 4R Certification program throughout Ontario and for ag-retailers specifically to showcase the positive environmental impacts of business practices that incorporate 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification into their service offering to Ontario’s farmers,” said Russel Hurst, Executive Director, Ontario Agri Business Association.
“Ontario’s agriculture industry is a leader in adopting sustainable solutions that improve crop yields while maintaining strong economic growth,” said Peggy Brekveld, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “We are happy to see the continuation of this collaborative partnership and the value it brings to Ontario farmers.”
“CFFO has been actively involved with 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Ontario since it began in 2015. Thanks to this program, farmers can get expert advice to help them reduce nutrient loss and improve profitability through more efficient fertilizer application,” said Ed Scharringa, President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. “It’s a win for farmers and the environment. We are very pleased to be joining this renewed agreement and are committed to supporting the implementation of 4R in Ontario.”
Fertilizer Canada represents manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. The fertilizer industry plays an essential role in Canada’s economy, contributing $23 billion annually and over 76,000 jobs. As the unified voice of the Canadian fertilizer industry, Fertilizer Canada works to promote the safe, responsible, and sustainable distribution and use of fertilizer. Please visit fertilizercanada.ca.
Director of Communications