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Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction (NERP)


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At the Hague conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, Farming First held a side event ‘Best practices in agricultural value chains’, where spokespeople presented examples of initiatives that aim to increase resilience and productivity at different points in the value chain.

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Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction (NERP)

  1. 1. Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP): What’s Next Nov. 3, 2010 Den Haag Clyde Graham
  2. 2. What the heck is NERP?
  3. 3. Nitrous Oxide Emission Reduction Protocol (NERP)  Reduces on-farm emissions of nitrous oxide in a quantifiable, credible and verifiable way that would allow farmers to earn carbon credits.  Approved in the Canadian province of Alberta, the first jurisdiction in North America to actively regulate Greenhouse Gas(GHG) emissions and establish a regulatory carbon trading market.   NERP is based on applying fertilizer using Best Management Practices. The 4R nutrient stewardship system is applying the Right Source @Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®.  Three levels of application (basic, intermediate and advanced),  NERP addresses the pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic.
  4. 4. The bottom line 15% to 25 % reduction in Nitrous Oxide emissions from fertilizer application New science could almost double those estimates Manages the risk of Nitrate accumulation in soils
  5. 5. Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®
  6. 6. Performance Level Right Source Right Rate Right Time Right Place Reduction Modifier Basic • Ammonium-based formulation; • Apply N according to recommendation of 4R N stewardship plan*, using annual soil testing and/or N balance to determine application rate. • Apply in spring; or • Split apply; or • Apply after soil cools in fall Apply in bands / Injection 0.85 Intermediate • Ammonium-based formulation; and • Use slow / controlled release fertilizers; or • Inhibitors; or • Stabilized N • Apply N according to qualitative estimates of field variability (landscape position, soil variability) • Apply fertilizer in spring; or • Split apply; or • Apply after soil cools in fall if using slow / controlled release fertilizer or inhibitors / stabilized N Apply in bands / Injection 0.75 Advanced • Ammonium-based formulation; and • Use slow / controlled release fertilizers; or • Inhibitors; or • Stabilized N • Apply N according to quantified field variability (e.g. digitized soil maps, grid sampling, satellite imagery, real time crop sensors.) and complemented by in season crop monitoring • Apply fertilizer in spring; or • Split apply; or • Apply after soil cools in fall if using slow / controlled release fertilizer or inhibitors / stabilized N Apply in bands / Injection 0.75
  7. 7. Right Source Any fertilizer which releases more than two-thirds of its N in the ammonium form. Slow or controlled release fertilizers/inhibitors/stabilized N
  8. 8. Right Rate Soil Test Variable Rate Landscape specific
  9. 9. Right Time •Spring Application •Split Application •Soil Temperature – if
  10. 10. Right Place Banding – concentrating the application
  11. 11. Putting NERP to the test
  12. 12. The Second Green Revolution “The challenge for your industry is to be at the head of this green revolution as you were at the head of the last one. Just as you have helped turn farming from a subsistence business into a flourishing industry that feeds the world, I now call on you to work with farmers, environmentalists and governments to help fine-tune agriculture into a business that feeds the world without harming the natural world.” - Hon. George Webster, P.E.I. Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry
  13. 13. FAO says Agricultural production will need to increase by at least 70 percent to meet demands by 2050 Food security requires agricultural production systems to change in the direction of higher productivity. Higher productivity tends to increase GHG emissions The sustainable intensification of production, especially in developing countries, can ensure food security and contribute to mitigating climate change by reducing deforestation and the encroachment of agriculture into natural ecosystems
  14. 14. Climate-Smart Agriculture High production Intensified Resilient Sustainable Low‐emission
  15. 15. Climate-Smart Agriculture FAO NERP High production NERP supports increased production of crops through better management Intensified NERP rewards higher intensity on existing farmland Resilient NERP promotes conservation agriculture Sustainable NERP is environmentally AND economically sustainable; Social: supports food security Low‐emission NERP reduces emissions per kilo of grain or oilseeds
  16. 16. NERP Benefits Drives practice change Comprehensive, professionally developed 4R plan advances better N management. Support for NERP enhances infrastructure to continue advances in N management. Provides leading edge for ecosystem services Documentation prescribed by NERP requires assessment of total farm N balance. Documentation provides proof of claim
  17. 17. What’s next for NERP?
  18. 18. NERP: What’s Next Science Cluster to refine science Training for professional advisors Farmer extension -- under Global Research Alliance Funding Expanding NERP: Saskatchewan, Ontario, U.S. states, Europe, Australia NERP as the basis for eco-labeling
  19. 19. Science Cluster Fertilizer industry support for scientific research projects in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Two projects under way. Focus is to improve measurement of the impact that the NERP can have on reducing Nitrous Oxide (N2O) emissions in crop production. Goal is to increase offset payments by refining the scientific understanding of N2O reductions.
  20. 20. Farmer Extension Global Research Alliance 2011-12 Access portion of $27 million in Canadian funding Grant deadline Dec. 7
  21. 21. NERP Professional Training Agricultural Professionals seeking certification as an Accredited Professional Advisor (APA). Project Developers Agricultural Producers Verifiers Government Students/Teachers
  22. 22. Accreditation Process APA
  23. 23. NERP adoption in Canada
  24. 24. Spreading NERP Saskatchewan, Ontario showing strong interest Manitoba may be looking at non-offset adoption Other provinces? The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has been promoting NERP in the United States Europe showing new interest
  25. 25. NERP Lessons Learned Change should be a challenge 4R Nutrient Stewardship is flexible and adaptable Practice-based approach is better than performance if you want results Broad scientific consensus is essential Be conservative in emission reduction estimates Get scientists, government, farmers in on the ground floor It takes longer than you think
  26. 26. NERP and Corporate Environmentalism
  27. 27. NERP as an eco-label NERP could be adapted as an eco-label to meet growing demands by Tropicana, Walmart, Sobey’s, European biofuels industry for carbon/environmental footprint NERP could be an internationally recognized standard
  28. 28. Thank You