With a growing population and a desire for improved diets, the UN is estimating that demand for food will increase by 70% by 2050. With a relatively static land base, Western Canadian growers will be challenged to produce more while still ensuring their practices keep land, water, and air resources productive and clean for future generations. Consumers increasingly want to know that their food has been produced in ways that minimize the environmental footprint. The Canadian fertilizer industry, represented by Fertilizer Canada, has taken on the challenge of producing more food in a truly sustainable manner.
To this end, Fertilizer Canada has developed the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place), which minimizes the environmental impact of nourishing crops and allows growers to meet their economic and production goals. Richardson Pioneer is taking a leading role among Canadian ag-retailers to work with their grower customers to implement 4R practices and to capture the number of acres designated as 4R compliant. By capturing these 4R designated acres, the industry can communicate this sustainability measure to consumers and food companies alike.
“Richardson Pioneer endorses 4R Nutrient Stewardship and is committed to taking a leadership role in this endeavour,” says Russ Reich, Vice-President, Crop Inputs. “We started capturing designated 4R acres in 2019 and continue to increase the number of our agronomists that are certified in developing crop plans using 4R compliant practices.”
In 2020, Richardson Pioneer reported 1,215,943 acres under 4R Nutrient Stewardship. This is an over 500 percent increase in the number of acres using 4R as part of a crop plan in a single year. This success was due to the collective efforts of 55 4R designated certified crop advisor (CCA) agronomists across the Richardson Pioneer network.
Fertilizer Canada has set a goal of 15 million designated 4R acres in Canada by 2025. In parallel to this, the industry will continue to push to have 4R Nutrient Stewardship endorsed internationally as the global standard for sustainable nutrient best practices. Richardson Pioneer will be working towards a target of 4 million acres of customer crop plans using 4R stewardship by 2025. Richardson Pioneer embraces 4R Nutrient Stewardship and looks forward to working with grower and end use customers to assist them in meeting their social, environmental, and economic goals.