Partnering with The Nature Conservancy to Improve Water Quality
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Partnering with The Nature Conservancy to Improve Water Quality

July 02, 2014   |   ShareThis

4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program to Help Retailers & Farmers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan Reduce Runoff

In years past, massive, blue-green algal blooms on Western Lake Erie have grown large enough to be visible from outer space.

Phosphorus runoff from surrounding agricultural lands has been identified as a major source of the problem—and groups, from government and businesses to farmers and NGOs, are joining together and taking action.

At Mosaic, we’re committed to protecting critical water resources through habitat conservation, watershed restoration and nutrient stewardship. For these reasons, The Mosaic Company Foundation has chosen to partner with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in support of a multi-sector initiative, governed by the Nutrient Stewardship Council, to pilot a nutrient application standard. The goal is to improve water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

“As a global leader in the crop nutrition industry, we support the safe and responsible use of our products,” said Mark Kaplan, Mosaic Senior Vice President – Public Affairs. “Innovative approaches, like the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, will help protect our water resources for future generations—and promote best management practices that reduce potential impacts of fertilizer use on the environment.”

Helping Retailers & Farmers Support 4Rs Best Management Practices

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program encourages agricultural retailers, service providers and other certified professionals in the Western Lake Erie Basin to adopt proven best practices through the 4Rs, a concept originated by The Fertilizer Institute: using the Right Nutrient Source at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place.

This voluntary new program builds on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles to provide a consistent, recognized standard for agricultural retailers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan—where surrounding waters drain into Lake Erie. The program ensures that social, environmental and economic sustainability objectives are met through the adoption of 4R nutrient management.

“This certification program is good business for farmers as well as water quality—not just for the fish in Lake Erie but also for the people who rely on the lake and its tributaries for drinking water,” said Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Director of the Western Lake Erie Basin Project for The Nature Conservancy. “Fertilizer run-off into waterways contributes to harmful algal blooms. This certification program will help make sure that fertilizer grows crops, not algae.”