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Can Canada reduce GHG emissions from fertilizer use without jeopardizing food security? Report

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A new report released today from Fertilizer Canada and the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) shows Canada can continue to increase crop yields while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fertilizer application using available tools and technology.

The report shows a 14 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 can be achieved without jeopardizing food security through the adoption of aggressive levels of 4R best management practices (BMPs). 4R best management practises (BMPs)—Right Source at Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place—help producers optimize fertilizer to reduce environmental impacts while maximizing economic outcomes, according to fertilizer Canada.

In a recent public opinion poll conducted by Abacus Data, 64 per cent of Canadians say they agree that Canada should focus on food production, even if means we can’t reach a 30 per cent reduction in fertilizer emissions.

The report looked at three scenarios for major Canadian cropping systems across Canada and built a path forward to 2030 based on broader implementation of 4R practices. The study looked at the impact of 4R BMPs on GHG emissions and the economic impact to growers.

By increasing crop yields and reducing fertilizer emissions through the adoption of the aggressive level of 4R BMPs, farm incomes could increase by $4.3 billion dollars by 2030. The cost to implement the necessary level of 4R BMPs would be around $495 million per year.

The level and type of BMP adoption needed and therefore cost, varies by region. Government policies and programs to encourage 4R adoption should take this into consideration by working with provinces, farm groups, and the fertilizer industry, says the group.

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