On Thursday, the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) unveiled a new program offering financial support to help growers initiate or advance 4R Nutrient Stewardship on canola acres.
The program, named Canola 4R Advantage, will reimburse growers for up to 85 per cent of eligible costs, up to $12,000 per farm per year. Funding for Canola 4R Advantage has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF).
“Canadian canola growers are leaders in sustainability, and we’re excited to launch this program to keep building on this excellent track record,” says Jim Everson, CCC president. "Expanding the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship is an important opportunity to improve fertilizer efficiency, which is good for both farm productivity and the environment.”
The CCC has chosen to focus its program on precise, efficient and sustainable nitrogen management using 4R principles.
“4R practices help growers ensure they apply the right source of fertilizer at the right rate, right time and right place for optimal results,” said Charles Fossay, canola grower near Starbuck, Manitoba and director of Manitoba Canola Growers and CCC. “This maximizes the crop’s access to nutrients while minimizing any losses as nitrous oxide emissions.”
Canola 4R Advantage will provide incentives for canola growers to use best management practices (BMPs) in four areas: soil testing, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, preferred application and field zone mapping. To be eligible for these incentives, a grower must have a 4R Nutrient Stewardship plan that has been verified by a Certified Crop Adviser or Professional Agrologist who has earned the 4R designation from Fertilizer Canada.
“These BMPs fit in well with canola production across the Prairies and are effective ways to use fertilizer efficiently and get more return from that investment,” commented Roger Chevraux, canola grower near Killam, Alberta and chair of Alberta Canola. “And by working with a 4R designated agronomist, growers get guidance from certified experts and their acres accounted for and recognized under the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program.”
Canola 4R Advantage will begin accepting applications on August 17 through a digital platform linked to the CCC website. In the meantime, growers and agronomists can review program details and eligibility criteria at canolacouncil.org/4R-advantage.
“We’re pleased to support Canada’s canola farmers by funding Canola 4R Advantage through the On-Farm Climate Action Fund to expand the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. This is an important opportunity to build on canola’s leadership in sustainable growing practices,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau.
The CCC is one of 12 partners selected across Canada to deliver OFCAF, which is designed to support farmers in adopting beneficial management practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases. Up to $17.4 million in funding is currently approved for the two-year Canola 4R Advantage project. The CCC is also partnering with Fertilizer Canada to provide training, information resources and knowledge transfer activities to growers and agronomists.