Canada joins Efficient Fertilizer Consortium

Canada joins Efficient Fertilizer Consortium
Feb 01, 2024

The federal government will commit about $1.3 million over four years

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canada has joined an organization whose goal is to support fertilizer product development and environmental stewardship.

Along with the United States, the United Kingdom, and other ag industry stakeholders, Canada has become a founding member of the Efficient Fertilizer Consortium (EFC).

The EFC is a 4.5-year public-private partnership which is funding research that accelerates “development and wide adoption of novel fertilizers that increase nutrient-use efficiency and reduce loss to the environment through nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, leaching and/or runoff,” the EFC’s webpage says.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that builds public-private partnerships to support science that addresses food and ag challenges, created the EFC.

Canada will contribute $1.3 million to the consortium over the next four years.

Its involvement will set Canadian farmers up for future success, said Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of agriculture.

“We're helping ensure that our farmers and producers are well-equipped to make informed decisions that are good for the environment and their bottom line,” he said in a statement. “International collaboration is vitally important to addressing global food security and putting healthy and affordable food on tables right across Canada.”

An EFC white paper indicates enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEF) are important products for farmers.

These fertilizers work by providing the crops nutrients as the plants need it.

“There is evidence, that, if used appropriately, these EEFs can support optimum crop yields while reducing nitrate leaching, ammonia volatilization and nitrous oxide emissions,” the white paper says.

Research from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada suggests this is the case.

Between 2019 and 2021, a research project supported by AAFC, P.E.I. farmers and Dalhousie University, studied the use of an EEF in potato crops.

“The project revealed that farmers adopting the use of enhanced efficiency fertilizers could maintain their current potato yields at the same costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 30% or more; which is certainly exciting news for Canadian farmers and the environment,” AAFC said in a media release.

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