Reducing Environmental Impacts at the Farm Level
How We Affect Environmental Impacts at the Farm Level
Nutrients play a unique role in replenishing our soils and sustaining the world's growing need for food, fiber and fuel. They also contribute to the farmer’s ability to generate profits that keep growers in business. Agrium is proud to be part of an industry that provides these life-sustaining resources and maintains the quality of one of the world's most precious resources – our soil.
By working with growers, industry associations, government, and researchers, Agrium strives to ensure nutrients are applied in amounts that sustainably replenish soils.
What We Are Doing
Beyond selling high quality products to our customers, our retail outlets also provide services that help reduce environmental impacts. By analyzing yield, soil and plant tissue tests, and weather and crop scouting data, our agronomists and certified crop advisors are able to help growers make better decisions to optimize inputs to reduce nutrients lost to the environment, and overall costs. With advances in technology, we are moving toward customized production prescriptions. Because we also apply to our customers’ fields a significant portion of the crop inputs we sell, we are able to follow the best management practices we help to develop. For example, through the use of global positioning systems we are able to apply nutrients and crop protection products more precisely to reduce drift and overall application rates.
On the product side, our expanding production and sales of ESN (controlled-release nitrogen) helps to deliver nitrogen when the crop needs it, with significant reductions of nitrogen loss to the air and surrounding watershed. The improved nutrient efficiency allows farmers to reduce the volume of fertilizer required. Also as a significant retailer of seed, we market improved varieties with new traits that reduce the requirement for chemical inputs such as herbicides.
The 4Rs of Nutrient Use
Agrium is committed to reducing the impact of our products on the environment after they leave our hands. We are a key supporter in the development of the Global 4R Nutrient Stewardship Framework. This science-based system identifies best practices for producers who apply nutrients. We believe that following the 4Rs — applying the right source of nutrients at the right rate, right place and right time — can result in significantly reduced environmental impacts from fertilizer use. 4R practices minimize nutrient losses to air and water, replenish and protect soil quality, and can help minimize impacts on wildlife habitat. Protecting the environment doesn’t have to come at the expense of economic and social goals. The 4R system helps to produce more food for growing populations, and provides growers with the economic returns required to support their families and to build communities. We have been active in making sure this approach grows globally.