“Where did the 30 per cent number come from? I would like to know where the hell the number came from. Why not 25 per cent why not 20. Where did the number come from?” Saik said.
He said Canadian farmers already have a great track record for nitrogen efficiency use compared to other countries.
“Many farmers around the world in warmer climates broadcast fertilizer and have a nitrogen use efficiency of 50 per cent which means 50 per cent goes into the environment,” he said. “Western Canadian farmers have a nitrogen use efficiency of somewhere between 70 and 80 per cent because of the technology we use, and our climate.”
Saik said there is always room for improvement as new technology is developed.
“You’ve got to take into account sectional shut off, soil testing, variable rate, you’ve got to take into account nitrogen inhibitors, you got to take into account split applied nitrogen, we got to take into account all of those things ,” Saik said.
He added if the government comes up with some sort of a program to arbitrarily pressure farmers to reduce the amount of nitrogen that would be punitive to agriculture.
Saik made his comments during the AgSmart field day at Olds College in central Alberta.
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