Polymer-coated urea approved for OFCAF funding

The federal government has added polymer-coated urea to the list of enhanced efficiency fertilizer products approved for reimbursement from its On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF).

The use of ESN — the trade name of the most commonly used polymer-coated urea product — was notably excluded from the list of beneficial management practices eligible for funding under the OFCAF nitrogen management category when the criteria was announced earlier this summer. Industry had previously expected ESN, which is made by Nutrien, to be included in the program.

The money going to farmers for implementing nitrogen fertilizer management practices comes from the $182.7 million OFCAF initiative. 12 different organizations across the country, including the Canola Council of Canada, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, RDAR, and the Manitoba Association of Watersheds, are delivering the funding, with a focus on three categories: N management, cover crops, and rotational grazing.

“In collaboration with our scientists and industry stakeholders, AAFC is committed to ensuring that the necessary OFCAF program enhancements are made, which will ensure that the program is meeting its objectives and the needs of producers and the agriculture industry at-large,” says an AAFC official in a notice sent to delivery organizations, which was shared with RealAgriculture.

Based on this review, AAFC says the use of polymer-coated ureas (PCUs) is now eligible for OFCAF funding as of September 12, 2022.

It’s still up to program administrators to decide whether — and when — they will fund PCUs under their own OFCAF-backed programs.

As with other enhanced efficiency fertilizer products — mainly nitrification and urease inhibitors, the use of PCUs would still require oversight from an agrologist, agronomist, or certified crop advisor to receive the federal reimbursement.

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