Why it matters

Nutrien’s grower solutions — our “whole-acre” products, services and programs — aim to help increase agricultural productivity and improve grower economic and environmental outcomes through the promotion of sustainable and precision farming practices.

Growers around the world face ever-changing conditions with each acre requiring a unique and optimum use of crop inputs to maximize production. As the world’s largest provider of crop inputs, Nutrien has an opportunity to help growers feed a growing population while providing the right solutions for their most pressing challenges, promoting safe and responsible product use, and improving the environmental and social impacts of agriculture.

Our work with growers supports the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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2023 highlights

  • We measured 2 million sustainably engaged acres in North America, South America and Australia.
  • In our Carbon Program, we enabled emissions reductions on approximately 900,000 sustainably engaged acres in North America, working with growers and collaborating with 15 suppliers and downstream partners. 
  • Developed the first validated pathway and verified GHG insets for grain crops in Canada, and verified GHG offsets and insets in the US, based on grower data.

Our approach

Our goal is to develop and offer products and innovative solutions that help our business and growers profitably tackle challenges facing the agriculture industry. To do so, we provide our grower customers with whole-acre solutions to increase production in a sustainable manner.

  • We define “sustainably engaged acres” as acres that participate in programs that track field-level data that is, or can be, analyzed for sustainability metrics and/ or acres that participate in sustainable agriproducts programs that incentivize growers to adopt additional sustainable products and practices resulting in quantifiable, incremental benefits that may be verified and used for reporting purposes.

Our whole-acre solutions

Nutrien’s whole-acre solutions are made available to help growers promote a more sustainable and productive industry through planning, application, measurement, and facilitating verification of field-level metrics.


We leverage our digital platforms, including Agrible®, to track and measure outcomes such as crop quality, soil health, GHG emissions, water quality and biodiversity. Leveraging this data, we aim to independently verify sustainability outcomes, such as GHG emission changes. Our combined 2023 US and Canada GHG insets and offsets resulted in approximately 1,500 tonnes CO2e of emissions reductions and removals from improved agricultural practices in three unique projects. They are as follows: 

• Working with Climate Action Reserve and a third-party verifier, following the US Nitrogen Management Protocol Version 2.1, our Carbon Program in the US achieved verified GHG emission reduction offsets from the 2021 crop season based on improved nitrogen management with credits being sold to Royal Bank of Canada. 
• Working with Ecosystem Service Market Consortium (“ESMC”) and SustainCERT, in the US, we achieved verified GHG insets. 
• Working with SustainCERT, in Canada, we established a validated pathway and verified GHG outcomes being shared with Maple Leaf Foods.


We conducted GHG emission assessments and invested in our digital measurement capabilities, planned for release to customers in 2024. We have assessed GHG emissions across over 800,000 acres. In cropping, pasture and horticulture systems, we are trialing the use of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer (“EEF”) products including nitrification and urease inhibitors to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and assess their impact on yield and quality. In livestock systems, we are piloting opportunities to reduce methane emissions while endeavoring to maintain productivity through animal nutrition, improved management practices and emerging methane-reducing technologies. These assessments and pilots have informed our investment in digital, advisory and product solutions that aim to support growers to reduce GHG emissions and environmental impacts while growing productivity and profitability.


We leverage our digital capabilities to support our grower customers in improving their yields and profitability by better understanding soil needs and optimizing fertilizer use. Nutrien Recomenda (Nutrien Recommends) is a digital platform that we piloted in 2023 which offers crop input recommendations based on agronomic data and soil health information. It provides customized recommendations to farmers based on the specific needs of their crops and soils, and allows continuous monitoring throughout the cultivation cycle, helping farmers to make informed decisions. This also helps farmers to avoid wasting agricultural inputs and to mitigate possible environmental impacts.

Products, services and programs

Our whole-acre solutions continue to evolve with our investment and advancement in methodologies, technology and partnerships. Below are some of our solutions.


Nutrition products including enhanced efficiency fertilizers (“EEFs”) that aim to provide environmental benefits.

Although all fertilizers provide nutrients that are essential for growing healthy crops, advanced plant nutrition products enhance crop nutrition and at the same time may improve environmental outcomes. Nutrien develops EEFs and advanced nutrition products including our controlled-release ESN®, nitrogen inhibitors and stabilizers, our C2 Technology and our naturally derived biocatalyst technologies. These products aim to provide environmental benefits including 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 Smart Nutrition™ MAP+MST® integrates micronized elemental sulfur in the manufacturing of Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (“MAP”) granules for uniform distribution of each granule, providing maximum soil to fertilizer contact and increased oxidation rate for quick crop use. In 2023, Nutrien launched several new nutrition and nutrient efficiency products. For example, ReaX Plus is a new liquid micronutrient designed to maximize nutrient efficiency while also improving crop tolerance to environmental stress. This leads to healthy crop growth even in sub-optimal conditions.


Herbicides and pesticides that 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. We continue to develop products that are derived from naturally occurring microorganisms and aim to provide environmental benefits. 

Nutrien determines crop protection product suitability based on scientific evidence, regulatory requirements and a holistic product rating system. We promote the safe and responsible use of products. Learn more in our Product Stewardship section.


Pest- and drought-resistant seeds that can help maximize crop yields.

We offer customers a broad portfolio of high-quality seed options. Seed hybrids and varieties combined with the latest trait technology are tested across geographies and environments to help Nutrien deliver increased yield and yield stability to our customers. Learn about Nutrien’s seed breeding programs and our innovative seed treatment technologies.


Products that improve feed efficiency and liveweight gains and/or reduce methane emissions from livestock.

Mixed farming is common practice in Australia. Nutrien’s Australian livestock business connects clients with buyers and provides products and services to manage and improve animal health, productivity and efficiency in the livestock, dairy and equine industries. Our staff includes livestock agents, animal production specialists and stud stock specialists. Our role as a trusted advisor and provider of inputs for the Australian livestock industry means we are well placed to assist in the advancement of industry decarbonization efforts, including through the sale of emerging methane-reducing feed supplement and reduction technologies.


Recommendations following best practices in nutrient application such as 4R Nutrient Stewardship (“the 4Rs”, the Right Source of plant nutrients at the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place) and Fertcare®.

One of the greatest assets is our people who work to understand the individual challenges our grower customers face in order to deliver customized solutions. Through our Retail business, we have more than 4,000 crop consultants working directly with our grower customers from more than 2,000 global locations.

We provide agronomic advice in many forms. New to select US Retail selling locations, we provide soil health grower reports, which provide insight into biological nutrient cycling and the impact of nutrient input applications and outcomes on key regional crops. We expect to launch the reports across our retail network in 2024. Growers can also access our digital platforms on their own or through an advisor for customized seed and input recommendations based on regional and field-level data.

Our crop advisors promote best practices in fertilizer application, including:

  • The 4R Nutrient Stewardship: An international program promoting the application of the “Right Source of plant nutrients at the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place.” Our North and South American retail operations provide recommendations that are aligned with the 4Rs. 
  • Fertcare®: An Australian-based program that offers training and advice for fertilizer application to optimize productivity and minimize environment and food safety risks. 

We also participate in fertilizer industry initiatives to advance nutrient management, including:

  • Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance: North America’s central forum and advocate for the sustainable use, recovery and recycling of phosphorus in the food system. 
  • International Fertilizer Association (“IFA”) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sustainable Potash Project: Potassium plays an important role in the growth and development of plants by activating enzymes, enhancing photosynthesis, aiding nitrogen uptake and helping the plant withstand stress. It also aids in water retention and improves the quality of crops. Potassium chloride (KCl) is commonly called potash. The Sustainable Potash Project is an initiative to compile and analyze comprehensive global data on potassium deficiencies in cropping systems, which are poorly understood and may be limiting crop yield and quality in many regions. Nutrien is participating to help drive sustainable intensification through improved nutrient management and fertilizer recommendations.

Digital platforms, soil testing and other data technologies that measure the impacts of agricultural practices and inform customized recommendations for each grower. Our precision agriculture tool(s) help improve yields and soil health and reduce nutrient loss to the environment.

Nutrien’s digital solutions combine location, agronomic information (crop physiology, soil characteristics and pest or disease impact), environmental data (such as precipitation and temperature), GPS data, weather forecasting and data science to make field-specific recommendations for growers. Our digital solutions help growers get better results by combining local knowledge with timely, actionable data, giving growers the confidence to make better decisions in both planning and execution. Some of our key digital tools are:

  • Agrible®: This digital agronomy tool uses information growers collect from their fields and combines it with decades of Nutrien’s agronomic data to inform and optimize crop production planning. Agrible® is also used to help growers track improvements in nutrient use efficiency, soil health and environmental impacts, including carbon emission reductions for verification and potential sale. 
  • NutriScription/Nutrien Recomenda: NutriScription in the US and Nutrien Recomenda in Brazil take soil, water and plant tissue analysis data and create agronomically correct and field-specific fertilizer recommendations. Our sales representatives and growers can use NSPro, the NutriScription® app, to easily access NutriScription recommendations. 
  • EchelonTM: Nutrien’s precision agriculture platform uses geospatial data processing analytics to help growers precisely apply seed and fertilizer to their fields. Working with our crop advisors, growers create a precise map of their fields using GPS data, targeting inputs on the areas that need it most. See the sidebar on the next page for an example of Echelon™ in use to optimize potato farming. 

Contact Nutrien Ag Solutions for digital and agronomic solutions!


Financial services to help growers access Nutrien’s products and services when they need them.

We pair agronomic and financial knowledge 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. In December 2023, in collaboration with Scotiabank, we launched a promotional financing offer for qualified Canadian customers that participate in the Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes program. Those customers are provided with a lower promotional financing rate relative to the standard financing annual percentage rate. This subsidized financing offer is intended to support growers who participate in a measured outcome program aimed at reducing their carbon emissions. Learn more


Design services 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 provide services and advice, such as the 4Rs, that promote water use efficiency and reduce nutrient loss to groundwater and surface water. Some of our water-related activities include 

  • In 2023, we launched a new product, Aqua Express, which is designed to be used primarily through drip irrigation. It aims to support water infiltration, distribution and retention, improving water use efficiency especially in drought-prone areas or regions with challenging soils. 
  • Nutrien Water is one of the largest retail water businesses in Australia. 
  • We continued to implement the Programa AWA (AWA Program) in Chile which combines three of Nutrien’s products (AccomplishTM, Waterlock® and Acidos humicos, or Enersol® in Chile) as a soil conditioner that aims to improve nutrient- and water-use efficiency. 

Specialized services for non-agricultural managed lands across the US.

Our Nutrien Solutions team (a division of Nutrien Ag Solutions) specializes 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 aim to help keep these lands healthy with our local knowledge and wide range of products and value-added services. For example, our forestry team advises landowners regarding forest management to support wildlife and optimize biological CO2 sequestration while maximizing their financial returns, and our aquatics specialists work with customers to maintain the functionality of irrigation canals and the water quality of recreational water bodies.


A suite of comprehensive programs offered, including Nutrienʼs measurement and sustainable agriproduct programs, which establish baselines, identify opportunities for improvement, and connect growers to downstream value-chain partners to explore and scale initiatives that create value.

Whether they are related to carbon, water or biodiversity, our grower programs are centered on two key features. The first is our ability to drive change through the incentivization and adoption of best management and sustainable practices throughout the agricultural value chain. The second is our role as an intermediary and facilitator, connecting growers to downstream value-chain partners. 

Benefits of our programs 
Together with our program partners, we can build on and scale growers’ existing efforts. There are many environmental benefits of connecting growers with downstream value-chain partners, environmental groups and regional partners, which include: 

  • improving soil health and optimizing nutrient-use efficiency 
  • reducing GHG emissions, increasing soil organic carbon (“soil carbon”) sequestration and expanding the protection of existing carbon sinks 
    • Soil organic carbon is derived from the decomposition of plant and animal materials. Increasing the input of plant residues, plant roots and manure can increase the amount of organic carbon in soil. The terms “total organic carbon”, “organic carbon” and “soil carbon” are used interchangeably to represent soil organic carbon.
  • improving water quality and soil water retention 
  • conserving and improving biodiversity by increasing crop yields, building soil organic matter, enhancing nutrient recycling and reducing land conversion 
    • Soil organic matter is the portion of the soil that contains plant or animal tissue in various stages of decomposition. Soil organic matter contributes to soil productivity.

For growers, our programs offer an opportunity to expand on current stewardship practices, differentiate their product and potentially add a new revenue stream to their operations. 
For Nutrien, our programs are an opportunity to amplify and document the value of sustainable agricultural practices.

Two types of programs 

Measuring outcomes from current practices: Many growers had long-standing sustainable agricultural practices in their operations but lacked a way to demonstrate their value. We use our digital platforms, such as Agrible®, to measure baseline and intervention outcomes of sustainable practices at the farm level and help growers document the environmental and economic value of these existing practices using key metrics from recognized global standards. 

Measuring outcomes from sustainable interventions: In addition to measuring outcomes from current agricultural practices, our agronomic field teams are working with some growers to improve their environmental performance by recommending whole-acre solutions, tracking improvements from baseline performance, and connecting them with downstream certification bodies and customers. Learn more 

Our vision for the sustainable agriculture programs, once fully operational, is to generate long-term value for growers by making each acre more profitable as a result of more sustainable farming practices. It also offers Nutrien and our value-chain collaborators the opportunity to reduce a source of Scope 3 emissions, while maintaining crop production and quality, and supporting global food security.


Our Carbon Program aims to empower growers and our industry to accelerate sustainable agriculture and soil carbon sequestration while rewarding growers for their efforts. Together with our value-chain partners, Nutrien incentivizes practices and offers products and services that support the creation of carbon offsets or insets. Nutrien uses our digital platforms, such as Agrible®, to measure and track the results that growers share. 

In 2023, we successfully demonstrated proof of concept for verified and tradeable carbon outcomes. Our combined US and Canada insets and offsets resulted in approximately 1,500 tonnes CO2e of emissions reductions and removals from improved agricultural practices. The groundwork accomplished a new validated pathway in Canada and verified GHG outcomes, which positions us to continue to support increasing grower accessibility and potential scale moving forward. Learn more


How does nitrogen fertilizer application generate GHG emissions?

GHG Fertilizer Application

Nitrogen fertilizer application can produce two types of GHG emissions: carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent GHG with a significantly higher global warming potential compared to CO2. CO2 is released from urea forms of nitrogen fertilizer because it is part of the urea molecule.

N2O is released when nitrate forms of nitrogen fertilizer are converted by microorganisms in the soil. In both cases, managing nitrogen fertilizer is critical to reducing emissions from agriculture. Learn more about the nitrogen cycle or watch a video.

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 strong GHG.

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.

Strong partnerships are the base of achieving sustainable progress across the agricultural supply chain. Examples of Nutrien’s partnerships and memberships include:

  • Field to Market, an alliance that brings together a diverse group of member organizations from across the food and agriculture value chain to define, measure and advance the sustainability of food, feed, fiber and fuel production in the United States. Learn more.
  • Cool Farm Alliance, a community of collaborators that aim to accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture by sharing globally aligned, credible and science-driven metrics tools and resources for creating impact. Learn more.
  • Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (“ESMC”), a non-profit that compensates farmers and ranchers who improve the environment through their agricultural practices. Learn more.
  • Carbon Market Institute, an independent member-based organization with a mission to accelerate climate action. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.
  • 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. Learn more.
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (“WBCSD”), whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world by making more sustainable businesses more successful. Learn more.
  • Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, an initiative which is convened by WBCSD and the World Economic Forum and aims to scale up affordable natural climate mitigation solutions for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Learn more.
  • Value Change Initiative (“VCI”), an effort to drive down value chain emissions by defining best practices and solving practical challenges to meet climate targets. Learn more.
  • 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.
  • Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, a group of organizations that work together to find sustainable solutions to agricultural challenges. 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. Learn more.
  • 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

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