Nutrient Management

All plants require nutrients to grow and a significant portion of these nutrients are removed and exported when a crop is harvested. Sustainable crop production requires the nutrients that are removed to be replaced via the application of synthetic fertilizers, livestock manures, or non-agricultural inputs such as materials from municipal and industrial sources. 

If nutrients are supplied to crops at rates below crop requirements, yields will be reduced and the long-term productivity of the land will decline.  However, nutrient application rates exceeding crop requirements and removal can increase the risk of agronomic problems such as crop lodging (in the case of nitrogen), and nutrient imbalances or toxicities, as well as environmental problems such as nitrate leaching to groundwater, release of nitrous oxide (a powerful greenhouse gas) to the atmosphere and phosphorus runoff to surface water. 
The main challenge for managing nutrients in crop production systems is to provide sufficient nutrients for optimum plant growth without causing unacceptable risk to the environment.  Manitoba Agriculture encourages farmers to follow the Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place® approach of 4R Nutrient Stewardship which relies on the customized adoption of BMPs to deliver nutrients with minimized environmental risk.  

4R Nutrient Stewardship

What's in it 4R Me? --- Fertilizer Canada

Fertilizer Canada - - Manitoba

Manitoba 4R MOU Signed

4R Nutrient Stewardship in Manitoba - - Manitoba Crop Alliance (