Expanding knowledge on the impacts of 4R Nutrient Stewardship

4R Research Fund

The 4R Research Fund was established by the fertilizer industry to provide scientific support for sustainability indicators for the implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship across North America. It supports research filling knowledge gaps on the linkage of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices to economic, social, and environmental impacts. The knowledge produced through the Fund will help expand the 4Rs beyond being solely an industry effort and toward becoming a viable strategy to address nutrient loss to the environment and crop productivity.

Funds for the 4R research effort were initially derived from within the fertilizer industry. The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and Fertilizer Canada obtained support from their members. Since its inception, additional agricultural stakeholders have also contributed to the effort.

The 4R Research Fund was established within FAR. A 4R Fund Management Committee provides oversight of the 4R Research Fund and includes representation from TFI and Fertilizer Canada, as well as agricultural industry members to ensure that industry priorities are maintained and a consistent 4R approach is executed.

A 4R Technical Advisory Group determines research needs and funding areas and provides input and support to the Fund Management Committee. The Technical Advisory group includes representatives from industry, academia, government agency experts in agronomy, environmental sciences, sustainability, government relations, and communications. It is chaired by Plant Nutrition Canada’s chief scientist, Tom Bruulsema.

4R Nutrient Stewardship

An innovative approach for fertilizer best management practices adopted by the world’s fertilizer industry. This approach considers economic, social, and environmental dimensions of nutrient management and is essential to sustainability of agricultural systems. The concept is simple—apply the right source of nutrient, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place—but the implementation is knowledge-intensive and site-specific.


Information on past and current projects are available at the following links:


The 4R Research Network is composed of up to 10 leading Canadian researchers who will qualify economic, social, and environmental benefits resulting from advanced fertilizer management systems under 4R Nutrient Stewardship(Right Source @ Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place). The project will emphasize collaboration with university researchers, professional advisors, provincial agriculture departments, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers.

The United States

The Foundation for Agronomic Research (FAR) is a non-profit research and education foundation created to improve the research, education, economic vigor and sustainability of agriculture.

International Projects

By supporting international projects and promoting best nutrient management practices in other nations, PNC can help proper nutrient stewardship and environmental protection, creating a global impact.


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