Lakeland College Student Managed Farm Adopts 4R Nutrient Stewardship

EDMONTON, April 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and Lakeland College are pleased to announce a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at incorporating the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program into Lakeland curriculum.

"Lakeland College is an excellent institution that focuses on innovative, hands on education," said Clyde Graham, Vice President of Strategy and Alliances at CFI. "We are thrilled about the opportunity of exposing future agricultural producers to the 4R programming."

The Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place® 4R Nutrient Stewardship program is a series of Best Management Practices designed to deliver nutrients in the most efficient manner possible. A recent George Morris Institute study showed that these practices can result in benefits of up to $87 an acre. The program's effects are not just in yield increases, however, as implementation can result in a 15 to 25 per cent decrease in N2O (nitrous oxide) emissions.

Lakeland College will provide support and access to its Student Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland to pilot innovative nutrient stewardship practices, including the development of a detailed 4R Nutrient Stewardship plan and testing of the requirements for implementation of the Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP) in Alberta.

"This partnership allows for our students to participate in real-world applied research as well as develop a valuable understanding of Best Management Practices," said Josie Van Lent, Dean of Agricultural Sciences at Lakeland. "It's an exciting opportunity for our students."

Crop technology students work in teams to manage 1,000 acres of crop land near Lakeland's Vermilion campus. The team makes decisions about what to grow and where, fertilizer and herbicide applications, as well as when to sell their crop. "With the Student Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you're doing," explains Nathan Glassford, General Manager of the crop side of the Student Managed Farm. "You get an understanding of what it's like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count."

Because manure is an important source of nutrients, Lakeland's Student Managed Farm livestock teams will also be involved. There are beef (commercial and purebred cattle), sheep and dairy units.

This MOU builds upon CFI's leadership under the Farming 4R Land program. CFI is currently undertaking a strategic program for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and nutrient stewardship in Alberta. Farming 4R Land is building a unique network of farmers, scientists, fertilizer and agri-business industry leaders, conservation experts, and governments. The project is bringing knowledge of improved fertilizer practices into use on Alberta farms through collaboration and sharing of BMPs based on 4R Nutrient Stewardship and the Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP) for associated GHG offset reductions. This project is funded through the Biological GHG Management Program, administered by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AIBIO) with funding from the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation.

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.

Lakeland College offers an university-caliber college education in Alberta through a variety of college programs specializing in hands-on live learning.

SOURCE Canadian Fertilizer Institute

For further information: Cassandra Cotton, Canadian Fertilizer Institute, ccotton@cfi.ca, (613)762-8178