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Soil Sampling plays an integral role in nutrient management and crop production and should be conducted every 3 years 

 

Soil sampling measures the relative nutrient status of soils serving as a foundation for both economical and environmentally responsible nutrient applications. 

This involves a three-step process:
1.   The collection of representative soil samples from each field;
2.   Samples sent to lab for proper analysis of each available nutrient;
3.  Review the results with your Crop Specialist to determine optimum fertilizer/nutrient rates for each specific field, crop and achievable yield.
Monitoring soil test results every three years allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your fertilizer program overall.

 

Understanding your yield-limiting factors is vital to ensure maximization of your fertility investments & production

Soil testing has many benefits, including: 

  • Establish fertility and pH levels to determine fertilizer and lime requirements;
  • Proactively monitor soil test levels before nutrient deficiencies arise or to diagnose any existing deficiencies;
  • Indicate response to fertilizer and manage manure/biosolid applications;
  • Determine suitability for specific herbicides to be used.

 In 2019:

61% of soil samples in Ontario were below critical levels of phosphorous.*
45% of soil samples in Ontario were below critical levels of potassium.*
*SOURCE: SGS Canada Inc. 

 

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What are the 4Rs?

4R Nutrient Stewardship (Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®) lets the world know when food has been sustainably grown. The framework balances grower, industry and government goals to improve on-farm economics, crop productivity and fertilizer efficiency while benefiting the environment.* 


FS PARTNERS Involvement in the 4Rs

The 4R Retailer Certification is a voluntary program for ag retailers to take part in. The program guidelines have been adapted from a similar program in Ohio. The program encourages retailers and certified professionals to adopt and recommend science-based 4R Nutrient Stewardship Best Management Practices.

FS PARTNERS is working to adopt these standards to support our growers in an ever-evolving industry. Evidence to support our work towards the standards will be audited by a private, third-party. This review will provide a consistent, recognized 4R program for Ontario Ag-Retailers.

There are currently 16 Southwestern Ontario agri-retail facilities that have completed and passed the 4R Certification audit to become 4R Certified. FS PARTNERS has certified locations in Ayr, Delhi and Drayton.


Why is fertilizer so important?

Fertilizer is an important input for growers providing nutrients to plants that are not readily available in the soil, helping growers to foster plant growth and increase yields. 

The fertilizer industry has established the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework in cooperation with government, researchers, customers, farm organizations, conservation groups and the public.  

Adjustments in the crop nutrient source and application rate, timing, and placement methods will support agricultural productivity while also helping to improve the water quality of the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Erie and its contributing watersheds. 

By supporting the need to protect and restore the ecological health of significant water bodies, the Ontario agriculture industry is committed to being a part of the solution to ensuring the Great Lakes remain “drinkable, swimmable and fishable.” 

The industry recognizes the potential for regulations, the importance of environmental stewardship and its role in ensuring the proper use of fertilizer.


Grower involvement in the 4Rs

4R Certification in Ontario allows agri-retailers to align their business practices with the sustainability principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship in order to provide their grower customers with the best in nutrient management advice to increase grower profitability and environmental stewardship.  

Ask your FS Crop Specialist about the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program today and start implementing nutrient best management practices that can help you increase crop production and reduce nutrient loss. 

Researchers have recently proven several benefits from implementing 4R practices on Ontario farms, such as: 

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 per cent by combining the use of urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) with nitrification inhibitors at the eighth-leaf growing stage of corn; 
  • Increasing corn yields by as much as 20 per cent and eliminating harmful ammonia loss to soil by combining injection placement with UAN fertilizer, compared to broadcasting; 
  • Reducing phosphorus runoff by 60 per cent by subsurface banding instead of broadcasting. 

Sustainable farming is the future. In many cases, that future is already underway. Let’s demonstrate how we are leaders in sustainable agriculture. 
 

* SOURCE:  https://fertilizercanada.ca

 

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It's official: FS PARTNERS Ayr is the third branch to achieve 4R Retailer Certified status!

OTTAWA, Jan. 13, 2020 /CNW/ - Fertilizer 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."

Read the full release here: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/fertilizer-canada-looks-forward-to-more-4r-certified-agri-retail-facilities-across-ontario-in-2020-834077329.html  


It's official: FS PARTNERS Delhi is the second branch to achieve 4R Retailer Certified status!

Dec. 9, 2019- Ottawa, ON – Fertilizer Canada is pleased to announce that FS PARTNERS (Delhi, ON) has passed the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification audit. FS PARTNERS Delhi joins the growing list of agri-retailers to achieve 4R Certified status in 2019, including FS PARTNERS Drayton, AGRIS Co-operative Cottam and Stoney Point, Thompsons Kent Bridge, and Setteringtons. 

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 of nutrients at the Right Rate, at the Right Time and in the 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 FS PARTNERS’ 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.”

Read the full release here: https://fertilizercanada.ca/news-events/news/second-fs-partners-site-achieves-4r-certified-status/ .

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It's official: FS PARTNERS Drayton is the first branch to achieve 4R Retailer Certified status!

November 7, 2019- Delhi, ON: Great work to the team on a job well done, and for committing to the 4Rs in the future. FS PARTNERS management and staff celebrated in Drayton with lunch and cake to commemorate their accomplishment.

The 4R Certification Program is funded and guided under a 4R Ontario Steering Committee comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders from industry, government, conservation authorities and grower organizations. Acreage managed by agri-retailers who are 4R Certified add to the total farmland in Fertilizer Canada’s goal of verified acres under 4R Nutrient Stewardship. This program is administered by Fertilizer Canada. 

To learn more about 4R Certification or to schedule an audit, visit 4rcertified.ca.*

Read the full press release here:  https://fertilizercanada.ca/fs-partners-joins-the-growing-…/
#FSproud #4RCertified Fertilizer Canada

 

4R Nutrient Stewardship 

The fertilizer industry has established the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework in cooperation with government, researchers, customers, farm organizations, conservation groups and the public. Adjustments in the crop nutrient source and application rate, timing, and placement method will support agricultural productivity while also helping to improve the water quality of the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Erie and its contributing watersheds.

4R Nutrient Stewardship best management practices (BMPs) must be customized to fit each farm’s unique climatic, soil, cropping and operational conditions. This is achieved, as needed, with professional input from recognized and qualified specialists such as Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) who work with farmers to assess their situations and develop management plans. Continuous improvement can be achieved by employing science that optimizes the economic, social and environmental performance of BMPs utilized in implementing the voluntary 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Ontario. The 4R Certification standards were created by the 4R Ontario Steering Committee in close collaboration with the Nutrient Stewardship Council, the Ohio Agri-Business Association and The Fertilizer Institute in the U.S. to ensure alignment between cross-border efforts to implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship and minimize nutrient losses under the 4R Certification program. 

The standards are reflective of the best available science, technology and regulatory requirements for Ontario conditions. Members of the 4R Ontario Steering Committee represent a diversity of stakeholders including Fertilizer Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA); the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA); the Grain Farmers of Ontario; the Ontario Federation of Agriculture; the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario; Conservation Ontario; The Nature Conservancy – Ohio; the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change; the International Plant Nutrition Institute; the Ontario Certified Crop Advisor Board of Ontario; and Ontario agri-retailers. In implementing this 4R Certification program, the 4R Ontario Steering Committee sought feedback to ensure a consistent, recognized program for agricultural retailers, agricultural service providers, and certified professionals to help ensure that 4R Nutrient Stewardship goals are adopted and that in turn lead to long term positive impacts on water quality. While these standards do not apply to individual growers, on-farm adoption of the recommendations made by Nutrient Service Providers (NSPs) that become certified under the standards is critical to meeting the goal of improved water quality.

In addition to general principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, the standards have incorporated specific criteria for the purpose of addressing regional priorities for water quality, including references to regional soil fertility recommendations and requirements to prevent nutrient application on frozen ground. 

SOURCE:  https://fertilizercanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/fc_standards-manual2018_en_vf-web.pdf

 

It's not only about high yields. 

FS cooperatives remain committed to serving farmers in other ways. FS crop specialists across North America work with growers to manage nutrients sustainably. This helps preserve the water and soil. The award is designed to encourage and promote 4R practices. The 4R approach to nutrient stewardship involves using the right source, place, time, and rate of fertilizer. Agriculture industry professionals outside the GROWMARK System served as judges. Our 2017 Endure Awards winners included our own Precision Ag Manager Nicole Penney!

 

Nicole Penney - FS PARTNERS

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Nicole Penney is the Precision Ag Manager at FS PARTNERS. She works with their six main agronomy hubs across southern and central Ontario. Weber holds her Certified Crop Adviser and 4R Nutrient Management Specialist designations in Ontario.

In 2016, she was named a GROWMARK 4R Endure Advocate, designed to encourage and promote 4R practices. The 4R approach to nutrient stewardship involves using the right source, place, time, and rate of fertilizer.

"Not only are we utilizing the 4Rs to make nutrient recommendations based off of scientific principles and best management practices," said Penney. "There's also an environmental and economic benefit by minimizing losses and maximizing crop nutrient uptake."

 

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