ertilizer Canada is pleased to celebrate yet another two sites that have successfully become 4R Certified in Ontario: FS PARTNERS Ayr and Sylvite Blenheim. Since the program’s launch, there have been eight Ontario agri-retail facilities that have completed the 4R Certification audit and passed to become 4R Certified. FS PARTNERS Ayr and Sylvite Blenheim join FS PARTNERS Delhi and Drayton, AGRIS Co-operative Cottam and Stoney Point, Thompsons Kent Bridge, and Setterington’s Cottam.
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is a voluntary program that certifies nutrient service providers across Ontario that apply or make recommendations on fertilizers in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles, using the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place. Program participants must go through an independent, third-party audit of 37 standards to demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.
“Fertilizer Canada congratulates all of our newly-certified 4R sites and their continued commitment to the growing number of service providers in Ontario becoming 4R Certified, providing the highest standard of nutrient management advice to their grower customers,” said Garth Whyte, President & CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “The Certification process offers us the opportunity to capture acres managed under 4R Nutrient Stewardship, thus quantifying the industry’s commitment to sustainable agriculture solutions.”
Our 4R Certified agri-retailers are prepared to provide their grower customers with proven 4R best management practice (BMP) advice to both maximize their customer’s financial resources and create long-term positive impacts on water bodies associated with agricultural production areas.
FS PARTNERS Agronomy Manager Stephen Rongits comments “We are very pleased with the recent certification of our Ayr location supporting the 4R Nutrient stewardship standards. This goes hand in hand with our core values at FS PARTNERS which include fostering environmental stewardship, creating value for our customers and partners, and supplying quality products and services using sound business practices.
“This is an important step for Sylvite in showing our customers and our communities that we are committed to being environmentally responsible and helping to protect our air and water quality. Sylvite will use the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program to develop nutrient plans that increase the use efficiency of nutrients thus reducing losses into the environment and increase the farmer’s economic sustainability. We need to do our part as an industry in reducing the risk of nutrients entering our waterways and air and the certification of our retail businesses ensures we are part of the solution.”
Farmland managed by 4R Certified retailers is counted towards Fertilizer Canada’s goal of verifying acres under 4R Nutrient Stewardship, which quantifies the advancement of sustainable agriculture in Ontario and Canada as a whole.
To this date, there are currently 30 Ontario agri- retail locations that have completed a pre-audit and eight that have successfully become 4R Certified. With these eight locations, we can say that the program is influencing approximately 264,206 acres and 1,283 growers in Southwestern Ontario. This accounts for approximately 7 per cent of the targeted cropland acres in the Lake Erie watershed and 8 percent of the grower customers in the region.
These acres are located in the following sub-watersheds of Lake Erie; Lake Erie – Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie – Western Basin, and Lake Erie – Eastern Basin. The pro-active efforts of the Ontario agriculture industry will continue to support the the long-term improvement of the Great Lakes water quality.
The 4R Certification Program is funded and guided by a 4R Ontario Steering Committee comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders from industry, government, conservation authorities and grower organizations including Fertilizer Canada, the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA), Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) and Conservation Ontario.
This program is administered by Fertilizer Canada. To learn more about 4R Certification or to schedule an audit, visit 4rcertified.ca.