January 29, 2013 (Source: Marketwire) Edmonton, Alberta — The CCEMC is providing nearly $200,000 in financial support for a project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to fertilizer use. The project, led by the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, will give farmers access to science-based information about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when they apply fertilizer or other crop nutrients on their fields.
“The CCEMC knows that there is tremendous potential to reduce emissions from biological sources,” said CCEMC Chair Eric Newell. “We’re pleased to support Farming 4R Land, a project that has the potential to not only help Alberta farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also improve their profitability.”
“The first project funded under the Biological Greenhouse Gas Management program, Farming 4R Land, is in an area of prime importance to agricultural producers around the world,” said Dr. Stan Blade, Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions. “Optimal use of fertilizer in farming is good for the environment and good for farmers because of decreased production costs and addition of a new revenue source.”
In the first phase of the Farming 4R Land project, farmers from different regions within Alberta who grow potatoes, pulses [peas, beans or lentils], canola, cereals [wheat, barley, oats], and bioenergy crops (such as Carinata) will be invited to participate in the program. Farming 4R Land will provide the information and resources they need to adopt the Alberta government approved Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP). The development of the protocol led by CFI is intended to reduce on-farm emissions of nitrous oxide in a way that would allow farmers to earn carbon offset credits.
In the second phase of the project, Farming 4R Land will focus on supporting on-farm activities for the implementation of both the NERP and the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system. The system provides an assessment framework to help farmers use the right source, at the right rate, right time, and right place for optimal crop growth. In the process, farmers can improve both yields and profitability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The science-based Best Management Practices promoted through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system enhance nutrient use efficiency in growing crops, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, minimize nitrogen and phosphorus losses from both surface and ground water and position Albertan producers for global recognition of their sustainability practices.
“There are many advantages for farmers to adopt the 4Rs into their cropping systems,” said Mr. Norm Beug, Chair of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute. “The 4Rs offer a framework to farmers as they implement BMPs [Best Management Practices] to optimize fertilizer efficiency, which minimizes nutrient loss into the environment. The 4R approach maximizes farmer returns for every tonne of fertilizer used and allows farmers to quantify their practices to receive credits for ecological goods and services.”
Other partners involved in the Farming 4R Land project include Agri-INNOVATIONS. The project draws on the work of the Agriculture Canada Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program and NSERC.
This is the first project funded through the Biological GHG Management Program, administered by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AIBIO) with funding from the CCEMC. Launched in May 2012, the program offers financial support for projects that will discover, develop and deploy technologies and strategies and demonstrate cost-effective ways for the agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors to help meet Alberta’s climate change strategy goals. Funded projects support the CCEMC mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the AIBIO mandate to grow and develop Alberta’s bio-industries through science and innovation.
Funding for CCEMC is collected from industry. Since 2007, Alberta companies that annually produce more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over a baseline are legally required to reduce their greenhouse gas intensity by 12 per cent. Companies have three options to meet their reduction target: improve the efficiency of their operations, buy carbon credits in the Alberta-based offset system or pay $15 into the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund for every tonne over the reduction limit. The CCEMC invests the money collected in clean technology.
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute is an industry association representing manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. Our 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. Our industry employs 12,000 Canadians and contributes $12 billion annually to Canada’s economy. Our products contribute to the supply of safe, nutritious food in Canada and around the world.
The project goals are to:
- Develop implementation strategies for farmer adoption of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system and NERP that will generate quantifiable and verifiable GHG reductions
- Recognize and advocate for farmers within their community and watershed stakeholders
- Identify and evaluate the ecological goods and services as well as the social and economic impacts for the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system
To achieve these goals the project will:
- Develop criteria for project participation and use criteria to select farmers;
- Build a community of practice and engagement for all stakeholders;
- Provide the tools and resources for evaluation of 4R and NERP activities at the field level;
- Measure the social, economic and environmental impact of the best management practice adoption; and,
- Promote the successes of the participating farmers for recognition and advocacy in their community, within the regional watershed, amongst their peers and within the crop supply chain.
The Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP) is intended to reduce on-farm emissions of nitrous oxide in a quantifiable, credible and verifiable way that would allow farmers to earn carbon credits.