CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 4, 2014) - A recent study shows that following best practices in fertilizer use under the Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP) can increase yields and increase returns for Alberta grain farmers by as much as $87 per acre.
The study, produced by the George Morris Centre, is part of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) Farming 4R Land program. The program is managed by CFI in partnership with Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions with funding from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation.
"These results are extremely promising, both for our sustainability goals and the financial viability of the NERP program," said CFI Vice President of Strategy and Alliances, Clyde Graham.
An Alberta farm of six quarters (388 hectares) could see benefits between $46,000 and $68,000 a year from adopting the best management practices, depending on the crop. The benefits are most prominent for barley and canola based on 2012-2013 prices.
The Farming 4R Land program helps farmers implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship -- a system of Best Management Practices based on fertilization at the Right source, at the Right rate, at the Right time, and in the Right place®. It supports adoption of Alberta's NERP and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the process. The protocol is the only one of its kind in Canada and was developed by CFI.
"The CCEMC is supporting Farming 4R Land because we know that there are tremendous opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from biological sources," said Kirk Andries, CCEMC Managing Director. "This study indicates that in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Alberta farmers can also increase revenues from their crops by using best practices for fertilizer application."
The program includes online tools that enable farmers to input their specific data so they can have a clear understanding of program costs and benefits based on location, crop type and other variables.
"This report confirms that while NERP practices increase costs, there is a net financial benefit and ultimately, farmers will see higher yields and greater returns as a result," said Susan Wood-Bohm, Executive Director for the Biological Greenhouse Gas Management Program for Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation.
"Research on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from biological sources is a priority for us," said Dr. Stan Blade, Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. "The George Morris Centre study makes a clear case that farmers can generate additional income and help protect the environment through optimal application of fertilizer and participation in Alberta's Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol."
In addition, by following the NERP and documenting practice changes that result in lower greenhouse gas emissions farmers can sell carbon credits and earn additional revenues. The carbon credits are sold to large emitters in Alberta's carbon offset market. The overall aim of the Farming 4R Land program is to support carbon offset transactions equal to 25,000 tonnes of CO2e by the end of 2014.
Read the report: http://www.farming4rfuture.ca/assets/4R_economicanalysis_report.pdf.
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute is an industry association representing manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. Its mission is to be the unified voice of the Canadian fertilizer industry by promoting the responsible, sustainable and safe production, distribution and use of fertilizers. The industry employs 12,000 Canadians and contributes $12 billion annually to Canada's economy.
The CCEMC is a not-for-profit corporation that operates at arms length from government. It focuses on stimulating transformative change by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Alberta adapt to climate change.
Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions is a research agency funded by the Government of Alberta that works with partners to identify, coordinate and fund research projects designed to help solve industry challenges with solutions that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits. Through this investment in science and innovation, AI Bio aims to help create new technologies and products that will grow Alberta's agriculture, food and forest sectors.