Farmers can learn about getting more bang for their fertilizer buck while protecting the environment at 4R nutrient management farm demonstration tours near MacGregor, Manitou and Morris July 6, 7 and 8, respectively.
“The focus will be on wheat and soybeans,” Amanda Giamberardinon, Fertilizer Canada’s manager of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, said in an interview June 23. “Farmers will get a chance to see applications of both phosphorus and nitrogen, some banding techniques, look at ESN and some of the timing aspects — when do they apply it and how.”
The tours are on working farms with farmers trying different techniques and will share what they’ve learned, Giamberardinon added.
4R is short for using the right source of fertilizer, applied at the right time, at the right rate and in the right place.
Farmers and their fertilizer use — whether manufactured or from livestock manure — are increasingly under scrutiny. Crops feed people and animals and nutrients are essential to feed crops. Nutrients that move from the field to waterways or into the atmosphere not only hurt farmers through reduced crop yields and higher production costs, but society through reduced water quality and more greenhouse gas linked to climate change.
In 2013 Fertilizer Canada partnered with the Manitoba government and Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) to promote 4R nutrient stewardship. Fertilizer Canada contributed $150,000 over three years to fund an extension program, which includes online learning, workshops and demonstration plots. The deal was renewed in 2015.
“This particular project (with farm demonstration tours) is in its first year,” Giamberardinon said. “We want farmers to come out and get to know these growers and have a look at what they are doing and what they have learned so far about using this type of approach.
“When you evaluate whether a practice will work on your farm you test it out and do it to see if the practice is effective for that farm. It takes a very site-specific approach. What is right for one farm may not be right for another. It depends on the farm, the conditions, the soil profile, the climate of the region and those kind of things.”
In addition to the tours Fertilizer Canada has online training (elearning.fertilizercanada.ca) for farmers and agricultural retailers who work with farmers on crop production.
An online, three-part course, is also available to Certified Crop Advisors for $50. Successful students earn 5.5 continuing education units.
The tours will be held at the following locations:
- July 6 at Beaver Creek Farms, near MacGregor, Man., from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Lunch provided.
Directions: 6.5 km east of MacGregor on Highway 1 turn north on RM Road No. 54 West. Travel five km north. The farm is located on the west side of the road.
- July 7 at R&D McLean Farms, near Manitou, Man., from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Directions: 6.5 km south on Highway 528 from the junction of Highway 3, turn east and travel 2.5 km.
- July 8 at Marsh River Farms, near Morris, Man., 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Directions: East of Morris travel 13 km on Highway 23, turn south on Road No. 12 and travel three km to Road No. 22. Turn west after one km. The farm is on the north side of the road.
RSVP by emailing [email protected] or by calling 1-613-786-3032.