Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, announced the closing of an exclusive agreement with Capital Power to develop carbon offsets eligible for use in the Alberta Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program. This partnership formalizes the parties’ April 2014 commitment to develop a project under the Alberta Nitrous Oxide Emissions Reduction Protocol (NERP). The project builds upon the Farming 4R Land Program, which was developed by the Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI), in partnership with Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, and funded by Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation.

Industry association, CFI, has been instrumental in developing and championing the implementation of the NERP Protocol in Alberta. The NERP is based on the concept that improving nitrogen management practices will increase nitrogen use efficiency. The basis of the NERP program is the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system, which is applying the Right Source @Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place®. The 4R system uses an integrated model of best management practices to improve nutrient management within a framework of environmental, social and economic goals for the farm.

Farmers Edge is committed to working directly with the grower to develop sustainable cropping practices that help them improve profitability and sustainability. Using the 4R Nutrient Stewardship system paired with innovative agricultural tools and technologies, Farmers Edge connects all points of the supply chain by combining advanced agronomy with an industry leading data management platform to provide verifiable records that measure sustainability. Farmers Edge has also incorporated carbon offset crediting into its custom Precision Solutions packages as an added incentive for growers to optimize crop inputs and minimize environmental impacts.

Power producer, Capital Power, has been acquiring offsets for over a decade and has entered into more than 42 offset purchase agreements across North America. Some of these projects include the Edmonton Composting Facility, the Red Deer Ethanol Expansion Project and the 4.8-MW Clover Bar Landfill Gas Generating Station. Capital Power follows best practices to ensure that all offset credits represent real, permanent reductions that are not double counted. Verified carbon offsets are critical to the successful functioning of a carbon-trading system and Capital Power’s approach to buying and selling only high-quality offsets has helped to develop this important market.

“We see implementation of the NERP protocol as very positive for agriculture and our clients in Alberta. Agriculture gets a bad rap when it comes to the environment. The NERP Protocol showcases the fact that farmers are not part of the program but in fact a major part of the solution when it comes to climate change. Farmers Edge provides a complete technology solution for our clients which makes implementing a very heavy data and technology program like NERP easy. We bring all components together including technology, big data and agronomics to make a meaningful impact on production while keeping the farm sustainable for the long term. Farmers Edge has an established history of partnering with both farmers and industry to deliver products which will benefit the farmer and his trusted partners,” notes Wade Barnes, President and CEO of Farmers Edge.

“The Farmers Edge partnership is another example of how we are drawing on best practices,” says Chelsea Erhardt, Environmental Markets Specialist for Capital Power. “Our successful track record in creating, buying, and selling offsets, helps shrink the carbon footprint from power generation while supporting the responsible development of the carbon trading market in Alberta and other North American jurisdictions.”

“Generally, if a farmer improves their best management practices when it comes to fertilizer use, our very conservative estimate is they can reduce their N2O (nitrous oxide) emissions by 15 to 25 percent,” said CFI Acting President, Clyde Graham. “The program’s effects are not just environmental, these practices can also result in economic benefits of up to $87 an acre.”