Manure Manager

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Global 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Council launched

September 16, 2020  by Fertilizer Canada

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

The Global NSCC will create consistency across 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.

“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,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “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.

“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,” said Dave Buttenham, CEO of the Ontario Agri-Business Association.  “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.”

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 nutrient runoff. The program certifies nutrient service providers’ 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.

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


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