Why it matters
Feeding a growing population requires the agriculture sector to produce food, fiber and fuel while balancing trade-offs between economic, environmental and social dimensions. By leveraging our global scale, distribution networks, agronomic expertise, innovative offerings and direct grower relationships, we believe that we are positioned to lead and transform the agriculture industry.
Our work with growers supports the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We measured and documented approximately 1 million acres in North America and Australia on crops harvested in 2022. We continue to provide growers with whole-acre solutions that support sustainable and productive agriculture and aim to deliver improved environmental outcomes. Our extensive grower and partner networks will enable us to continue piloting and scaling.
We are committed to transforming agriculture and doing what is right for our stakeholders and our planet. Nutrien’s vision is to be the leading global integrated agriculture solutions provider, and our Feeding the Future Plan strives to create lasting change and sustainably feed a growing population by leveraging innovation and collaboration. We believe Nutrien is uniquely positioned to drive sustainability across the agricultural value chain for improved economic, social and environmental outcomes.
Nutrien’s sustainable and productive agriculture approach aligns with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ("FAO") principles to increase productivity while protecting natural resources and enhancing grower resilience. Each aspect of sustainable and productive agriculture is interconnected and therefore requires an integrated systems approach. Productive and sustainable agriculture is enabled by data driven agronomics and precision agriculture, and has the following dimensions:
At Nutrien, we believe that we succeed when growers succeed. In today’s world, growers must thrive in ever-changing and unpredictable environments. The solutions we offer growers help strengthen food security; advance climate-smart agricultural practices; and enhance our technological capabilities and those of our growers.
Sustainable and productive acre defined
To achieve our goal of 75 million sustainable and productive acres by 2030, we must first define a sustainable and productive acre, which is having one or more of our whole-acre solutions applied in a phased approach:
- Fundamental: Application of sustainable products, conservation practices, technology and/or services.
- More advanced: UUse of our digital platform, including Agrible®, to track and measure outcomes such as yield, soil health, water quality and biodiversity outcomes to support precision agriculture.
- Most advanced: Verification of sustainability outcomes, including GHG emission reductions/removals through third-party verifiers such as SustainCERT and/or verified by our execution partners utilizing industry accepted protocols and standards.
Our whole-acre solutions
Farming is complex. Every farm is different because every acre is unique, and solutions need to be tailored to meet the growers’ needs including the specific environmental needs of each crop, local geography, climate, soil and agricultural market. Our experts provide agronomic advice throughout each growing season and span across multiple crop rotations. Our whole-acre solutions begin with agronomic analysis and strategic field planning sometimes years in advance followed by precise application of crop inputs during the growing season, and end with measurement to quantify results and analytics to inform next season’s program.
The need to feed a growing population while improving the environmental and social impacts of agriculture is an opportunity for Nutrien to provide the right solutions for growers’ most pressing challenges and promote safe and responsible product use. Whole-acre solutions include products, services and programs that aim to improve soil health, protect existing carbon sinks, increase soil organic carbon (“soil carbon”) sequestration, optimize nutrient-use efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, improve water quality and retain water, while conserving and improving biodiversity. Additionally, crop yields can increase, further building soil organic matter, enhancing nutrient recycling and reducing land conversion.
The Nitrogen Cycle and Nitrogen Loss Explained: Nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients for plant growth. Although nitrogen gas in the atmosphere represents the largest quantity of the nutrient in the environment, it is unavailable to most plants as a direct source. The “nitrogen cycle” is affected by inputs, losses, components in the soil, and other factors that affect nutrient and fertilizer management. Learn more
Nitrogen loss may result from the on-field application of nitrogen-based fertilizers as well as organic amendments like manure. The following types of losses to the environment can occur:
- Volatilization, the loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere as ammonia (NH3) gas (not a GHG), primarily from urea-based fertilizers.
- Leaching, the movement of nitrogen and other nutrients with water beyond the root zone.
- Denitrification, the process where anaerobic organisms strip oxygen from nitrate, releasing nitrogen gas (N2), nitric oxide (NO) or nitrous oxide (N2O) into the air. N2O represents a small portion of such losses but is a potent GHG (1 tonne of N2O is equivalent to 298 tonnes of CO2).
The main sources of impacts related to the application of crop inputs at the farm level are:
Emissions to air: In certain conditions, nitrogen fertilizer applied on the soil surface without being incorporated into the soil can lose up to 40 percent of the nitrogen by volatilization within a few days of application. Additionally, under saturated soil conditions, nitrate-nitrogen is subject to denitrification through microbial conversion in the soil, releasing N2, NO, and N2O gases into the atmosphere. We address these loss pathways through controlled-release nitrogen products, nitrogen stabilizers, and nutrient stewardship (that is, the “4Rs” approach, which means the Right Source of plant nutrients at the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place, and FertCare®) practices with our expert team of agronomists, all of which form part of the approach for our Carbon Program.
Loss to water: When fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus are applied to crops, there is a risk that some nutrients may leach into groundwater or reach surface water by runoff. Nutrient enrichment of water bodies contributes to algae growth and reduced oxygen availability (eutrophication), which can adversely affect water quality and aquatic life. We promote improved management practices, and products and technologies, to minimize the risk of runoff and leaching.
Healthy plants and root systems improve water infiltration and soil moisture holding capacity, reducing the risk of nutrient runoff to surface water. Nutrien’s crop advisors promote services and advice that improve water use efficiency and reduce potential nutrient loss to groundwater and surface water starting with a nutrient management plan that provides sufficient nutrients and reduces the risk of residual excess nutrients in the soil. Conservation practices such as reducing tillage, planting cover crops and structural waterway protection to mitigate runoff and erosion while keeping moisture and nutrients in the field are other possible recommendations.
Impacts to land: Growing healthy, high-yielding crops is one of the best ways to maintain soil health on farmland. Nutrien supplies the necessary plant nutrients to grow healthy plants and root systems which increases plant biomass production that contributes to soil organic carbon sequestration potential. Soil organisms require the same nutrients as plants: appropriate levels of nutrients along with the addition of organic carbon all stimulate greater and more diverse soil organisms, enhancing the soil microbiome.
Nutrients in excess or deficit can weaken crops and reduce yields. Nutrien’s agronomists and crop advisors recommend the optimal balance of macro- and micronutrients to support soil and crop health. Utilization of precision agricultural technologies enables growers to better match requirements by field to improve yields and soil health, while reducing nutrient loss to the environment.
Nutrien products, services and programs
Here are some of our key products, services and programs that support our efforts to provide whole-acre solutions and foster a more sustainable agriculture sector.
Advanced products (such as nitrogen inhibitors and stabilizers and Environmentally Smart Nitrogen® ("ESN") help minimize nitrogen loss to the environment and associated GHG emissions. Also, advanced naturally derived products (such as C2 Technology and biocatalysts) enhance soil and plant function via increased nutrient availability.
Nutrients are essential for growing healthy crops. When improving nutrient use efficiency, more uptake of nutrients by the crop means decreased nitrogen losses to the environment, resulting in a more sustainable use of inputs. We have numerous enhanced nutritional products that also improve the environmental performance, including nitrogen inhibitors, stabilizers, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, our C2 Technology and biocatalyst technologies.
- Nitrogen inhibitors, stabilizers and enhanced efficiency fertilizers are synthetic or biofertility products that are combined with nitrogen-based fertilizers to minimize nitrogen loss and maximize utilization. Nutrien’s ESN® is a controlled-release urea granule that protects the nitrogen from loss into air or water, and releases nitrogen at a rate that is controlled by soil temperature and matches the nitrogen demand of the growing crop. Environmental benefits of these products include reduced nitrous oxide emissions from applied fertilizer, reduced leaching to ground and surface waters, reduced ammonia loss to air, and improved nitrogen-use efficiency.
- Nutrien’s Loveland Products C2 Technology is a proprietary combination of carbon and carbohydrates reacted with crop nutrition. The carbohydrates act as a food source while the carbon serves as a storage structure, enhancing soil microbial biodiversity and activity, boosting soil health, and improving nutrient uptake and use efficiency, along with improving soil water-holding capacity.
- Agricen’s biocatalyst technologies are based on proprietary biological extraction processes that yield highly active microbial metabolites and other compounds proven to enhance soil and plant function. By utilizing biological extraction, rather than chemical, we can offer our customers naturally derived end products with superior functional, handling and compatibility characteristics.
We continue to develop and launch advanced plant nutrition products. In 2022:
- Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas, our Brazilian Nutrien Ag Solutions operations, launched UP Algas in Brazil, our first fertilizer made from seaweed skeletons, a renewable material that is retrieved from a seaweed “cemetery” in the state of Maranhão. The production process of UP Algas is aligned with regional environmental studies and follows strict local regulatory quality and safety standards.
- Loveland Products launched Accomplish MaxTM, a next-generation biocatalyst that provides nutrient efficiency and uses natural, biologically extracted kelp to enhance crop tolerance to stressors such as cold temperatures, drought and fertilizer salts.
- Loveland Products launched Radiate Next, a plant growth regulator that drives root growth and development tailored to increase nutrient and water use efficiency and tolerance to abiotic stress (for example, soil salinity, drought and extreme temperature) while increasing photosynthetic rate to improve energy production and realize higher yields.
Herbicides and pesticides aim to reduce crop loss (due to diseases, weeds and pests) and maximize crop yield
Crop protection products and practices are designed to maintain crop quality and minimize yield losses by managing plant diseases, weeds and pests. We carry a complete line of products from leading crop protection manufacturers, including Nutrien’s Loveland Products.
Between 26 and 40 percent of the world’s potential crop production is lost annually because of weeds, pests and diseases. We evaluate the economic threshold and risk of impact to offer environmentally sound pest management solutions. These solutions can include preventive practices, identification and monitoring of pests, agronomic interventions to reduce crop losses, and record keeping for planning purposes. We promote integrated pest management (“IPM”) to focus on endangered species, habitat, pollinator, and beneficial insect protection, while combating resistance to crop protection solutions and protecting biodiversity.
Pest management products are part of the solution for many of our customers. We carry a complete line of products from leading crop protection manufacturers, including Nutrien’s Loveland Products. They include the following:
- Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
- Biological pesticides and organic pest management products that provide plant protection using natural materials or biocontrol mechanisms, such as beneficial insect release.
- Adjuvant products that improve the performance of a pesticide, generally leading to better plant absorption and more efficient use of the pesticide. They improve environmental safety through drift reduction and removal of pesticide residues from spray tanks. Loveland Products is an industry leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of Leci-Tech® Technology, our soybean-derived adjuvant products.
We continue to emphasize innovation of ag biological products that are derived from naturally occurring microorganisms and provide environmental benefits. In North America, Nutrien Ag Solutions has established a research and commercial development partnership with an ag-tech firm that harnesses the power and potential of naturally derived peptides aimed at improving crop performance in high-value specialty crops. In 2023, Loveland Products expects to launch a novel biofungicide called Aura Citrus, targeting citrus greening, which causes significant farm gate losses per year.
Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas is working to offer innovative natural products and biological solutions to solve farmers’ challenges and make agriculture more sustainable. In 2022, we launched:
- In partnership with Plant Health Care, our first Industrial Seed Treatment (“IST”), the SaoriTM biofungicide, a nature-based peptide used for effective management of Asian soybean rust (a devastating disease that can damage up to 90 percent of the crop and make plants resistant to other crop protection measures). ISTs combine a wide range of bio-based plant protection with bio stimulants, inoculants (which promote plant health) and nutritional technologies into a single seed treatment.
- The Loveland Bio line of Biocontrol and Inoculation portfolio, consisting of seven products that target the pest or disease rather than the crop. These products were developed for use during the 2022-2023 soybean season and are planned for use in corn, citrus, coffee, sugarcane, tomato and potato crops for the 2023 season.
Responsible manufacturing and application of our chemical, fertilizer and seed products reduces negative impacts of crop protection products to non-target species. Nutrien determines product suitability and use based on scientific evidence, regulatory requirements and a holistic product rating system. We promote the safe and responsible use of our products by providing information to customers on appropriate use, handling and application.
 OECD/FAO (2012), OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2012, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/agr_outlook-2012-en.
Advanced plant breeding and genetics resulting in seeds that may be more resistant to pests and drought, maximizing crop yields.
We provide customers access to a broad portfolio of seed and only offer products that meet high quality standards. Across crops, hybrids and varieties combined with the latest trait technology are thoroughly tested across a range of geographies and environments to help Nutrien deliver increased yield and yield stability to our customers. Learn about Nutrien’s innovative seed treatment technologies and our seed breeding programs.
We provide customers access to a broad portfolio of seed and only offer products that meet high quality standards. Across crops, hybrids and varieties combined with the latest trait technology are thoroughly tested across a range of geographies and environments to help Nutrien deliver increased yield and yield stability to our customers.
Untreated seed can be vulnerable to seed- and soil-borne disease. Nutrien uses innovative seed treatment technologies that help increase yields and ensure a more sustainable approach to crop production. Seed treatments offer a precise mode of product application, which minimizes potential off-target exposure and impacts on the environment. Utilizing treated seed may reduce the need for farmers to apply products over the entire field. In combination, seed treatments, biologicals and nutritionals aid in early season plant establishment, enhance control of pests and diseases very early in the growing season, and help ensure crops develop to their full potential.
Our seed breeding programs are dedicated to developing elite hybrids, varieties and traits for growers with a focus on high-yielding and yield-stable varieties across geographies. Seed breeding is the process of combining the traits of different seeds to produce improved characteristics in crops for specific environments or conditions. Nutrien currently has four seed breeding programs in North America (canola in Canada, cotton in Texas and Mississippi, rice in Texas, and cereals in Montana). We have an additional canola breeding program in Australia. Our research and development ("R&D") locations in Costa Rica and Chile provide contra-seasonal research and seed production to accelerate development and reduce time to market. Through Nutrien’s seed breeding programs for select crops, we maintain seed genetic diversity and strive to develop disease-resistant varieties and hybrids. By providing built-in protection against pests and diseases, we can help reduce the need for additional disease and pest management tools. Some of our R&D investments target improved yield stability of seeds in challenging conditions, including resistance to drought.
Our focus is on providing our growers with products that improve feed efficiency and liveweight gains and/or reduce methane emissions from livestock.
Mixed farming, when farmers grow crops and raise livestock at the same time, is common practice in Australia. Nutrien Ag Solutions in Australia offers products to improve the safety, quality and productivity of livestock, working animals and pets, with a focus on products that improve feed efficiency and liveweight gains and/or reduce methane emissions from livestock. Our staff include animal health experts and trained nutritionists.
Our digital platform combines Agrible®, Our digital solutions includes Agrible®, soil testing and other data technologies to measure the impacts of agricultural practices and recommend customized solutions to each grower.
Nutrien’s digital solutions combine location, agronomic information (crop physiology, soil characteristics, and pest or disease impact), environmental data (such as precipitation, temperature), weather forecasting and data science to make field-specific recommendations for growers. These crop management solutions help growers calculate their return on investment, maximize product efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
Our digital platform combines location, agronomic information (crop physiology, soil characteristics, and pest or disease impact), environmental data (precipitation, temperature), weather forecasting, and data science to make field-specific recommendations for growers. These crop management solutions help growers calculate their return on investment, maximize product efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
Our digital tools also enhance data traceability and connectivity to leading agricultural, food and consumer products companies that want to measure the environmental impact of agriculture in their supply chain, providing access to additional market opportunities and incentives for growers. The metrics can be anonymized and aggregated for these partners. We intend for our digital platform to also be instrumental in maintaining soil data related to carbon sequestration and providing growers the required documentation for carbon credit markets.
- Agrible®: A key component of the digital platform is Agrible®, which has significant data science capabilities to measure, benchmark and support sustainable crop production. Agrible® combines field, weather and agronomic data to provide field-level predictive analytics and enables farmers to track improvements in nutrient efficiency, soil health and environmental impact. With this information, growers can improve operational efficiency and potentially generate new revenue streams from sustainability programs. Learn more.
- Soil testing: Soil testing enables us to make specific recommendations for growers with products and application rates that supplement and optimize nutrient balance in the soil. We have invested in R&D to provide the most up-to-date soil analytical techniques to our customers. Nutrien has agricultural labs across our North American operations to test field samples including soil, plant tissue and water, including our majority ownership of Waypoint Analytical. We also have agricultural labs in Australia and South America.
- NutriScription: This is a complete nutritional prescription service that takes soil, water and tissue analysis data and creates agronomically correct and field-specific fertilizer recommendations. NutriScription has been specifically designed to provide useful information to the grower to resolve nutrient-related production problems.
Contact Nutrien Ag Solutions for digital and agronomic solutions!
Our digital precision agriculture tool, Echelon™, combines with Global Positioning System (“GPS”) data to allow us to provide specific variable rate recommendations to help improve yields and soil health, while reducing nutrient loss to the environment.
Precision agriculture uses digital agronomy and technology, including GPS and geospatial data processing analytics, to allow growers to apply a prescription for more precise seeding and fertilization considering variability in the field. Our crop advisors work with growers to create a precise map of their fields, giving the confidence to make better decisions in both planning and execution. They support getting growers the best results by combining local knowledge with timely, actionable data. Learn more about Nutrien’s precision agriculture platform, Echelon™
Echelon™: As Nutrien’s precision agriculture platform, EchelonTM enables growers to access full-season precision agriculture via our crop consultants from variable population seeding scripts, scouting for emergence and pest impact, yield analysis and variable rate fertility applications.
The Echelon-guided platform offers full farm management capabilities, variable rate services, data management and hands-on support. We use the latest science and technology to customize fertility and seeding recommendations for each field, including using over 10 years of accurate satellite imagery to gain a solid understanding of a grower’s soil history. Learn more
Our recommendations include following best practices in nutrient application (such as 4Rs and Fertcare®)
Nutrient management involves determining the Right Source of plant nutrients at the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place (the “4Rs” approach) to maximize plant-nutrient benefits, optimize crop-nutrient efficiency and minimize environmental impacts. We specifically aim to foster circularity in the nutrient lifecycle from production to harvest, which is where we have the largest influence. We provide a variety of services and products to deliver farm-specific nutrient management programs through precision agriculture and controlled-release fertilizers, reducing risks to water quality on and around farms.
We provide advice to growers that is aligned with the 4R Nutrient Stewardship System in North America and Fertcare® in Australia. Both organizations promote the adoption of best practices in fertilizer application. Where appropriate, the 4R nutrient management is complemented by other soil conserving practices like reducing tillage, planting cover crops and structural waterway protection.
Our eKonomicsTM website provides easy-to-understand summaries of the latest academic research and nutrient management information, including easy-to-use nutrient and profitability calculation tools to inform grower decisions. The tools allow growers to calculate nutrient needs and return on investment and are available through the website or mobile app.
Our team designs systems to optimize irrigation, especially in dry zones (for example, Australia).
Irrigation management involves infrastructure and technology to efficiently water crops in dry regions, minimizing evaporation and improving yields. Our growers rely on water for product blending and irrigation in arid growing environments. Their water dependency can vary from year to year based on weather patterns. We promote services and advice that improve water use efficiency and reduce nutrient impairment to groundwater and surface water.
Nutrien is committed to working collaboratively to address shared water‐related challenges and opportunities through water stewardship action and partnerships. We develop, work with and use opportunities for best management practices through improved technology and processes, including:
- measuring water use efficiency and offering our growers solutions with less impact on water;
- offering drought-tolerant crops that help with soil health and water use efficiency;
- supporting water stewardship in watersheds where we operate;
- improving water use efficiency in our operations; and
- promoting agronomic practices, like 4Rs, and products to optimize soil health to help improve water quality and increase drought resilience.
Effective on-farm water management is crucial in a country as dry as Australia. Nutrien owns the largest retail water business in Australia, known as Nutrien Water. This is a diverse business with specialized services for Australia:
- Our team specializes in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of the most suitable and cost-effective on-farm water infrastructure solutions, such as irrigation.
- Nutrien Water's Engineering Team provide water treatment solutions for human and stock consumption and domestic, industrial and mining wastewater management. Our West Australian business is exploring specialized solutions for remote locations.
Helping to Protect the Great Barrier Reef
The coast of Queensland, Australia is home to both the Great Barrier Reef and large fields of sugar cane and horticultural crops. Heavy rainfall is common in this area and can create a significant risk of nutrient (specifically phosphorus and nitrogen) loss through runoff into the coral reef. Nutrien supports the sustainability of the sugarcane industry by helping growers adopt practices to improve water quality within the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon Catchment area while adhering to the strict Australian sugarcane industry guidelines. In 2022, Nutrien Ag Solutions developed a proprietary software platform that reports and captures farm nitrogen and phosphorus budgets, mapping of nutrient plans, farm soil types, and capturing actual farm records required for Australian Government Legislation. In recognition of these efforts, a Nutrien Ag Solutions employee was named a 2022 finalist for the Queensland Farmers’ Federation Reef Extension Officer Champion Award, which is given for “exemplary efforts of an extension officer in working with landholders to improve their farming practices and reduce run-off entering the Great Barrier Reef”.
Nutrien Solutions provides specialized services for non-agricultural managed lands across the US
Our Nutrien Solutions team (a division of Nutrien Ag Solutions) are specialists in vegetation management for non-agricultural managed lands (that is, the forestry, aquatics, range and pasture, roadside, railroad, and utility markets) in the US. We help keep these lands healthy with our local expertise and wide range of products and value-added services. For example, our forestry team advises landowners regarding forest management to support wildlife and optimize CO2 sequestration while maximizing their financial returns, and our aquatics specialists work with customers to maintain the functionality of irrigation canals and water quality of recreational water bodies.
Nutrien’s whole-acre solutions involve a suite of sustainability programs including carbon, measurement and traceability projects. With these programs, Nutrien develops input strategies that increase grower profitability while also improving and measuring environmental outcomes. Our goal is to build connections and drive farm productivity, profitability and natural resource management together through customized, scalable solutions. We work with our grower customers, downstream partners and third-party experts to determine and incentivize optimal practices and products for continuous improvement. In 2022, we expanded these pilot programs into Australia to support the adoption and measurement of sustainable solutions.
Nutrien’s carbon-focused solutions are positioned to help growers implement best practices and measure outcomes to support soil carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions, which can be verified or certified by third parties and create a new source of income for growers.
Nutrien is partnering with growers, value-chain stakeholders, governments and NGOs to support the advancement of multiple pathways for the monetization of measurable carbon improvements in the agriculture sector. Nutrien is uniquely positioned with our trusted grower relationships across our global network, broad offering of products and services, and agronomic expertise to bring companies across the agricultural value chain together to incentivize grower adoption of sustainable products and practices that reduce GHG emissions and maintain or increase soil carbon stocks. The co-investment of various agriculture value-chain partners provides additional incentives to growers to accelerate the adoption of climate-smart practices, as well as generate mutual carbon footprint benefits.
Read how our Carbon Program took Nutrien’s relationship with one family farm to the next level.
How can agriculture support GHG abatement? Agriculture can support GHG abatement by reducing emissions related to the use of fertilizers in the field for crop production, improving feed efficiency and manure management for reduced methane emissions from livestock production, and with the implementation of practices that act as carbon sinks. There are many options that farmers can implement to “sink” carbon in the soil or other parts of the ecosystem. Soils naturally store organic carbon through decomposing above- and below-ground vegetation and its further stabilization within mineral particles. Farming can either negatively affect this process (which results in a net soil organic carbon loss via carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions) or positively impact this process (which results in a net soil organic carbon gain). Implementing in-field practices that reduce soil disturbance, limit the amount of time in the year that there is not a living plant in the soil, adding animal manures, and improving nutrient management to improve fertilizer use efficiency and yield work together in whole-acre solutions to improve soil organic carbon stocks and decrease GHG emissions. In addition to in-field practices, farmers can implement edge-of-field practices like tree planting, buffer areas, or other permanent plantings that can sink carbon over time.
Methane is one of the contributors to the GHG footprint from agriculture. Farmers can reduce methane emissions from livestock through feeding practices that improve feed use efficiency and improved manure storge and application practices.
Our collaborations are exploring the traceability of quality and sustainability attributes in the agriculture supply chain, from the farm field through to finished consumer product, generating premium crop value.
Consumer demand for sustainable products is rising and ensuring brand integrity is top of mind for many consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) companies and retailers. As consumers more actively seek information on where and how their food and fiber were grown and sourced, the use of field-level, digitally engaged data will enable growers to meet this demand.
In 2022, Nutrien Ag Solutions increased its traceable crop offerings, supporting sustainably produced cotton and rice on over 100,000 acres.
Where did your hoody come from?
Cotton remains one of the more complex crops when it comes to traceability, as it touches many hands from seed cultivation to fiber spinning and garment production. Nutrien Ag Solutions recently piloted Common Thread, a traceability project focused on a grower customer’s ginning facility in Georgia.
We partnered with a provider of “track and trace” technology to assess the isotopic fingerprint of the cotton from the grower’s field through the entire ginning and garment manufacturing process so that increasingly conscious consumers can verify that a cotton garment was produced as advertised.
Our sustainability measurement programs use the Agrible® platform and a wide range of data to calculate indicators or metrics developed by recognized industry standard organizations.
Consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) companies and retail businesses are striving to characterize the sustainability of their supply chains and to influence them in ways that improve the level of sustainability over time. Farms can represent a large proportion of the environmental footprint of many consumer goods and, for Nutrien, this is an opportunity to engage with CPG and retail businesses to measure sustainability performance and build solutions to meet their needs. Through our products, solutions and services, Nutrien Ag Solutions is supporting downstream organizations that are deploying sustainability measurement programs at the farm and field level.
Nutrien’s systematic approach to defining and implementing sustainability measurement programs includes program establishment, data collection, data analysis, data reporting and program refinement. From this field-level data, our agronomic field teams can continually work with growers to improve their sustainable scorecard through the recommendation of whole-acre solutions.
We use our Agrible® platform and a wide range of data to calculate indicators or metrics developed by recognized industry standard organizations, which include land use, biodiversity, soil carbon and GHG emissions.
Enablers of sustainable agriculture
In addition to our whole-acre solutions (products, services and programs), we have internal capabilities and seek external partnerships that provide a foundation for a more sustainable agriculture sector. These enablers create environmental, social and economic benefits, and include the below.
One of the greatest assets we have are the people at Nutrien who work to understand the individual challenges our growers face in order to deliver solutions. Through our retail business, Nutrien Ag Solutions, we have more than 4,000 agronomists and field experts working directly with growers from more than 2,000 global locations. In Australia, where mixed farming is common, we also have livestock and animal health experts.
Contact Nutrien Ag Solutions for digital and agronomic solutions!
We pair agronomic and financial expertise to help growers optimize production through convenient access to capital and innovative cash management strategies. Financing is often a key enabler to broad adoption of sustainable agricultural practices including climate-smart agricultural practices. Nutrien Financial provides financing options such as low-rate, extended credit terms for all sustainable supplier products sold by the organization including our suite of proprietary products, enabling growers to invest in the long-term environmental and social health of their business and land.
Across North America, we offer various forms of training and educational materials to teach growers about our industry-leading portfolio of products and services using online training tools, including a wide range of educational videos. We actively listen to our customers’ needs through feedback surveys to better understand future training needs. We also promote proper nutrient stewardship and best management practices through a variety of training activities for growers, including webinars, podcasts and live Certified Crop Advisor training sessions.
- Listen to our podcast – The Future. Faster – to hear from industry leaders on all topics related to sustainable agriculture.
- Nutrien’s Model Farm and Agricultural Resource Centre in Trinidad and Tobago is a state-of-the-art 75-acre facility that offers free training to local farmers and students, with ongoing access to experts and best practices for sustainable crop production and profitable farm enterprises.
- Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas has opened 33 Nutrien Experience Centers to raise the bar on innovation and partnership with our growers in Brazil. These centers are designed to create an experience for connection and knowledge expansion, providing growers with support related to products, service, technology and financial management needs.
- Agrichem Nutrition Academy is a classroom and online training for professionals and farmers on the topics of soil fertility, plant physiology, plant nutrition and crop management best practices.
At Nutrien, we aim to invest in the next generation of farmers and engage youth in agriculture. We promote agriculture and leadership skills development with our support of organizations like the National FFA Organization, Agriculture Future of America and National 4-H Council.
Nutrien has provided scholarships for agricultural studies and funding for ag programs in secondary and post-secondary schools.
In 2022, Nutrien partnered with 175 non-profit and community partners to reach more than one million youth around the world with agriculture sustainability education programs that are hands-on, and science- and curriculum-based.
Nutrien’s R&D programs are designed to provide science-based solutions to the agronomic challenges that agriculture and our growers face today and in the future. Our R&D teams focus on innovative solutions for nutrient use efficiency, micronutrient deficiency, crop quality, sustainability and yield enhancement. Each R&D project meets the following criteria:
- Superior science: Technologies originated and advanced within our portfolio offer unique combinations of chemistry, biologicals, genetics or traits.
- Differentiated functionality: Products developed and commercialized have features and functionality differentiated from those of existing solutions.
- Sustainable agriculture: Technologies and products increase input efficiency, minimize nutrient loss, reduce environmental impact, and/or improve production agriculture and food safety.
Nutrien is well positioned with a network of owned and leased farm assets spanning more than 2,300 acres to test digital and crop input innovations that improve grower productivity, profitability and sustainability in a real farm operating environment.
Strong partnerships are the base of achieving sustainable progress across the agricultural supply chain.
- In 2022, Nutrien became a founding supporter of Leading Harvest®, a non-profit organization formed to advance sustainable agriculture by creating a scalable program for independently verifying sustainable farm management and ESG outcomes. With the goal of harmonizing reporting, improving outcomes and creating transparency, Leading Harvest® developed a Farmland Management Standard that identifies sustainable farming practices based on 13 principles, 13 objectives, 33 performance measures and 71 indicators across economic, environmental, social and governance issues. Learn more.
- Nutrien is a member of the Potato Sustainability Alliance (“PSA”), a collaboration of growers, supply chain partners, non-profit organizations and advisors working together to improve the economic, environmental and social aspects of potato production in the US and Canada. The PSA supports the identification and adoption of sustainable production practices and aims to meet consumer and market expectations by benchmarking the farm level sustainability performance of potato production. Learn more.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) partnerships. Two examples are:
- Maple Leaf Foods Inc. continues to partner with Nutrien to engage growers within its Western Canada supply chain to generate carbon outcomes. The companies are working with SustainCERT to validate and verify the program and outcomes measured in fields.
- We also continued to partner with Ardent Mills in their North American Regenerative Ag Program, and increased coverage to approximately 355,000 acres and more than 30 growers. The program also expanded to measure sustainability metrics on winter wheat, spring wheat, durum wheat and chickpeas.
Innovation partnerships. Our research teams work across disciplines internally and externally with our innovation partner companies. For example:
- In 2022, the Radicle Inclusion Challenge Presented by Nutrien, announced the winners of a pitch competition that invested $250,000 each, plus mentorship, in two ag-tech entrepreneurs: AgTools and FA Bio. Learn more.
- Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas partners with AgTech Garage, an agribusiness innovation hub in South America that connects companies and start-ups. The partnership allows Nutrien to explore new and existing challenges faced by customers and share solutions through our Experience Centers and the digital platform. The partnership includes an annual Pitch Day, in which start-ups from all over Brazil present their solutions for a pre-defined challenge, and a Nutrien channel on AgTech Garage’s platform for ongoing exploration of innovative ideas in which we may invest.
- In 2022, Nutrien Soluções Agrícolas also became part of AgNest, a public-private innovation initiative with the aim of creating a technology and digital agriculture living-lab.
R&D partnerships. Our research teams work across disciplines internally and externally as well as in partnership with leading research universities. Collaborating with third parties that have expertise in specific fields is a cornerstone of the Nutrien Ag Solutions’ R&D strategy. For example:
- Nutrien joined the Decade of Ag movement, a sector-wide effort to create a shared vision for a resilient, climate-smart agricultural system that produces sustainable food, fiber and energy systems for the future, led by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action. Learn more.
- Nutrien joined the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, a group of organizations that work together to find sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges. In our first project with the collaborative, Nutrien Ag Solution’s Verified Outcomes Project encouraged corn growers in the Argo, IL area to adopt sustainable practices to reduce carbon emissions and improve water quality. Learn more.
- Nutrien and Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a strategic partnership aimed at feeding the world through sustainable, innovative and inclusive practices. Nutrien's 10-year partnership and ongoing investments will improve research capabilities, help students prepare for a career in the field of agriculture and use innovative technology.
- Nutrien aims to provide science-based solutions to the agronomic challenges that agriculture and our growers face today and in the future. In 2022, Nutrien established an independent scientific advisory council of world class academic leaders that meets twice per year with our sustainable agriculture team to help steer research focus and peer review our data, results and approach to sustainable agriculture. The council represents production agriculture in Canada, the US and Australia with the following members:
- Jerry Hatfield: former director of the USDA Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment; past President of the American Society of Agronomy; Board of the Directors of the Soil and Water Conservation Society; and member of the USDA-ARS Hall of Fame.
- Claudia Wagner-Riddle: Professor and Research Leadership Chair, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Canada; Editor-in-Chief, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology; and North America Centre Director, International Nitrogen Initiative.
- Peter Grace: Theme Leader for Healthy Environments and Environmental Monitoring at the Institute for Future Environments at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Adjunct Scientist at the Agriculture and Food Security Center in the Earth Institute at Columbia University, US.
- Rich Conant: Department Chair, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, US.
- Nutrien is a founding partner of the Global Institute for Food Security ("GIFS"). Nutrien joined forces with the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan in 2012 to create the GIFS, a Saskatoon-based innovation catalyst dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of solutions for the production of globally sustainable food, and our commitment to global food security has only grown stronger. Learn more