New Governing Body for Fertilizer Certification Program

New Governing Body for Fertilizer Certification Program

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has announced that a new international body, the Global Nutrient Stewardship Certification Council (NSCC), will govern the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program. 
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The 4R Certification Program 
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The 4R Certification Program is an initiative by the North American agriculture industry to work to reduce and prevent fertilizer from running off fields into the water supply. There are significant environmental issues with agricultural runoff, including algae blooms. 
4R practices include a focus on using the right fertilizers | Learn more on Commonshare | at the right rate, right time, and in the right place. Companies that participate in the program go through annual, independent, third-party audits. The audits demonstrate their understanding, following, and recommendation and implementation of 4R principles.  
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Working Toward Sustainable Fertilizer 
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The NSCC is composed of representatives from a few different groups: The Fertilizer Institute, Fertilizer Canada, and The Nature Conservancy. Together, these groups will help the fertilizer institute to work toward solutions for the environmental challenges and problems the industry faces. 
Originally, the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program was created in 2014 as a partnership between TFI, The Nature Conservancy, and the Ohio Agribusiness Association. They were focused on the Western Lake Eerie Basin. 
Programs are now available in Florida, New York, and Ohio in the United States, and in Ontario and Prince Edward Island in Canada. In the U.S., other states are working on implementing the program: Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri. 
As Fertilizer Canada President and CEO Garth Whyte explains, “Fertilizer Canada and TFI have worked together to develop a robust science-based certification program that recognizes the climate smart agricultural practices of North American agri retailers.”
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The Nature Conservancy 
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The Nature Conservancy was an early champion of the 4R Nutrient Certification Program. The Conservancy views the effort as a crucial part of its Sustainable Agriculture | Learn more on Commonshare | strategy for North America. 
As Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, strategic engagement director for The Nature Conservancy in North America, explains, the 4R framework “is a proven, science-based approach that works for the farmer and for nature.” 
Indeed, as Vollmer-Sanders explains, the 4R framework “helps farmers and agribusinesses ensure the long-term sustainability of crop production, while also protecting lands and waters for future generations.”
With the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program under the supervision of the NSCC and growing in more American states, the future of fertilizer is looking greener. 

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