A Matter of Timing and Source: Enhanced Efficiency Nitrogen Fertilizers and Products to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions in the Prairie Provinces

University of Manitoba

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Winnipeg, MB, Regina, SK, Edmonton, AB

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It’s no secret that Alberta’s cropping systems require fertilizer to optimize yields and economic returns. But synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are a source of nitrous oxide — a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Farmers typically apply fertilizer at the end of growing season and may over apply fertilizer to compensate for fertilizer that disappears as the snow washes it out of the soil. To help address the problem, this project tests high-efficiency fertilizers to reduce the release of nitrous oxide. The researchers are testing different prairie scenarios, different fertilizers and different crop covers. We expect that the results of this work will help not only Alberta producers, but those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well. With supporting funding from a number of project partners, this project will lead towards significant GHG emissions reductions and carbon offsets in Western Canada.