Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines

Purpose

Canola 4R Advantage encourages farmers to initiate or advance 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices when growing canola. Growers can apply for funding to help pay for best management practices (BMPs) in four areas: soil testing, enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF), preferred application and field zone mapping consulting services.

Funding has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF). The CCC is one of 12 partners selected across Canada to deliver OFCAF, which is designed to support farmers in adopting BMPs that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The focus of the CCC program is nitrogen management that supports increased productivity and profitability while reducing nitrous oxide emissions. In addition to providing financial incentives, the program will collect data that will help show the progress Western Canadian farmers are making in GHG reductions as part of the annual National Inventory Report (an inventory of GHG sources and sinks in Canada).

Canola 4R Advantage is a two-year program, with the 2022 application intake covering BMPs implemented in the 2022 or 2023 planting season. Learn more about the key dates for the 2022 application.

How much you can receive

  • Canola growers will be eligible to receive funding for up to two BMPs per year. The annual funding limit for each BMP is $6,000 per farm business, making a total of $12,000 available to each farm business per program year.
  • The program reimburses up to 85 per cent of eligible expenditures. You will need to submit receipts for 100 per cent of the eligible cost. The program will then reimburse you for 85 per cent of this amount.
  • If the grower will receive any other funding for the BMP(s), the source(s) and amount(s) must be disclosed. All funding amounts from federal, provincial and municipal governments, including the requested funding under the CCC program, cannot exceed 85 per cent of total eligible project costs.
  • A farm business can receive a maximum combined amount of $75,000 in OFCAF funding across all programs delivered by OFCAF recipient organizations for activities completed between February 7, 2022 and March 31, 2024.
  • Please note that incentive payments must be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency as taxable income for the farm business. Every grower receiving a payment will be issued an AGR-1 Statement of Farm Support Payments form for that calendar year.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible participants

  1. The program is open to canola growers, including sole proprietorships, corporations, cooperatives, or registered partnerships, located in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.
  2. Applicants must:
    a. Have current operational control over the field(s) included in the application
    b. Plan to seed those fields to canola to complete the BMP
    c. Be authorized to legally bind the farm business to the terms and conditions of the program
    d. Work with a 4R designated agronomist (CCA or P.Ag.) to complete a verified 4R plan for the BMP(s) and field(s) included in the application
    e. Be implementing new BMP(s) that have not been part of a 4R plan for the field(s) in the past
  3. Please note that:
    a. All Canola 4R Advantage incentive payments are deemed taxable income for the farm business.
    b. Only one grower can apply on behalf of the farm business.

A verified 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan is essential

To participate in this program, growers are required to have a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan that has been verified by a 4R designated agronomist.

Growers who don’t yet have a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan can apply for this program. However, the plan must be completed and verified within six weeks of applying, and the application must identify the 4R designated agronomist that they will work with to complete the 4R plan.

To find a qualified CCA or P.Ag. in your area, visit the Fertilizer Canada website for a listing of 4R designated agri-retailers. If you have questions about the 4R program or 4R designation, please email: 4rdesignated@fertilizercanada.ca

Eligible BMPs

A grower may select up to two of the following eligible BMPs, when all other eligibility requirements are met:

  • Soil testing
  • Enhanced efficiency fertilizer
  • Preferred application (covering a portion of fertilizer costs for growers switching from fall nitrogen application to spring banding, or from fall nitrogen application to a split of spring banding and in-crop application)
  • Field zone mapping consulting services for variable rate nitrogen

Learn more about detailed requirements for each BMP.

For the 2022 application intake, BMPs are eligible if:

  • Eligible expenses are fully paid by the grower between February 7, 2022 and March 31, 2023, and
  • BMP activities are completed and canola is planted on the identified fields no later than June 30, 2023.

BMPs must be new for selected field(s)

To qualify for funding, the grower can’t have used the same BMP on a selected field as part of a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan in the past. The overall intent is to encourage growers to initiate or advance their use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices.

For example, if soil testing has been part of a 4R plan for that field, then soil testing for that field would not be an eligible expense under this program. However, the grower might be able to submit a funding application for a different BMP for that field – or for the same BMP on a different field.

Funding can’t be sought from another OFCAF program for the same BMP/field combination

A grower may submit applications to more than one OFCAF program, but not for the same BMP on the same field(s). Growers need to attest that they will not participate in or receive funds from any other OFCAF program for the same BMP and the same field(s).

Eligible costs

Growers will be reimbursed for up to 85 per cent of the eligible costs listed below, to a maximum of $6,000 per BMP, upon submission of receipts and proof of payment, and completion of all program requirements. Receipts/invoices and proof of payment must be issued in the name of the applicant/farm business. All eligible costs are pre-tax amounts.

  • For soil testing
    • Cost of a basic soil testing package for macronutrients
  • For enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF)
    • Costs of approved nitrogen and urease inhibitors
    • The price difference between standard nitrogen fertilizer and fertilizer with urease and nitrification inhibitor products
    • The price difference between standard nitrogen fertilizer and polymer-coated urea (ESN)
    • NOTE: To be an eligible practice for this program, nitrification and urease inhibitors must be used together, either as a pre-blended product or blended on-farm
    • NOTE: The price difference must be supported by the invoice/receipt for the purchased eligible product, and a price quote for the same-day price of standard nitrogen fertilizer (on the same date as purchasing the eligible product)
  • For preferred application:
    • Higher costs (3 cents per pound) of nitrogen fertilizer switched from fall application to either spring banding or a split of spring banding and in-crop application
  • For field zone mapping for variable rate nitrogen
    • Costs of soil mapping to support variable rate application to enhance nitrogen fertilizer efficiency

Ineligible costs

  • Management of nutrients other than nitrogen
  • Regular nitrogen fertilizer
  • Fertilizer application equipment
  • Nitrogen management activities that are not recommended as part of a 4R plan verified by a 4R designated agronomist (CCA or P.Ag.)
  • Taxes
  • In-kind contributions
  • Any portion of costs exceeding fair market value
  • Any cost not specifically listed as an Eligible Cost
  • Costs incurred before February 7, 2022
  • Costs for BMPs applied to a specific farm area prior to the program
  • Any costs not specifically required for the execution of the project
  • Invoices/receipts not issued in the name of the applicant/farm business

Attestations

Growers and their 4R designated agronomists will be required to make several attestations when applying for program participation and payment. For details, please see How to Apply and Make Claims.

Carbon offset programs

Participation in a carbon offset program may affect participation in the CCC program.

  • Growers can receive funding from the CCC program if they are participating in voluntary offset credit programs, subject to the eligibility requirements set up by the voluntary offset programs.
  • Growers can’t use any GHG emissions reductions generated with the support of the CCC program to apply to any regulatory (government-led) carbon offset program. This restriction only applies to the GHG emission reductions generated by the selected nitrogen management BMP(s) on the farm area supported under Canola 4R Advantage, and generated between the earliest date at which costs are eligible for reimbursement and the completion date of the grower’s Canola 4R Advantage project.

Growers should also be aware that it is currently unclear whether participation in this CCC program could affect their eligibility for enrolment in future voluntary or regulated offset markets. Eligibility for participation in these markets will be determined by those developing them.

Please note that the grower is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations of any carbon offset market, whether voluntary or regulated.

Audits

Grower claims may be subject to audits. This may include verification that a 4R plan is in place, that canola was planted on the designated field (via satellite imagery or crop insurance) or other requests to support audit requirements. Please be sure to keep good records in case your claim is among those audited.

If the audit finds that there has been misrepresentation – either by the grower or agronomist – the application will be invalidated, and the funds must be returned.

Use of grower data

The CCC will collect only the operational data, business and personal information needed to deliver the program and make payments, in compliance with Canadian data privacy requirements. The information we collect may be shared in the following ways:

  • With the grower’s 4R designated agronomist (CCA/P. Ag.) to facilitate program delivery
  • With AAFC as necessary to administer and report on the program, or to evaluate the scope, direction and effectiveness of agricultural programming
  • With the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as it pertains to taxable income/benefits. All payments are considered “farm support payments” as per subsection 234(2) of the Income Tax Act R.S.C. 1985, and will be considered income and be subject to income tax. The CCC will issue AGR-1 Statement of Farm Support Payments for each recipient of funding in a given calendar year, and report the same to the CRA.

Any program data for public consumption will be reported on an aggregate basis only. For performance reporting, AAFC or CCC may publish statistics such as total acres and number of participants funded by the program incentives. This data could be aggregated on a national basis, or by reconciliation units or Soil Landscapes of Canada ID number across Western Canada.

Waiting lists

To ensure funds are fairly distributed, there will be caps on the amount of funding available for each BMP category in each of the nine Reconciliation Units (RU) across Western Canada. This means some categories could become oversubscribed. If so, waiting lists for participation will be created. The CCC will monitor program participation and consider reallocation of some funds if possible.

Key dates for 2022 intake

ApplicationsCan be submitted beginning August 17, 2022
When 4R plan must be completed and verifiedWithin six weeks of submitting an application
Approval decisionGrower will be notified within six weeks of submitting an application and completing their verified 4R plan
When approved growers can access digital portal to accept Canola 4R Advantage funding agreementEarly November
Timeframe for growers to pay eligible costs for 2022 intakeFebruary 7, 2022 to March 31, 2023
Deadline to submit receipts and proof of paymentNo later than:
· January 6, 2023 if the BMP was used for 2022 planting season
· April 15, 2023 if the BMP was used for 2023 planting season
We recommend documents be uploaded to platform within 30 days of payment by the grower (or 30 days of receiving access to the platform).
Deadline to complete activities and submit final attestations (grower and agronomist)No later than:
·  January 6, 2023 if BMP was used for 2022 growing season
·  June 30, 2023 if BMP was used for 2023 growing season
We recommend final attestations be submitted as soon as possible after activities are completed.
Incentive payments issued by CCCAfter BMP activities are completed, canola is planted to the field(s) and final attestations are submitted by both the grower and agronomist

Information for 4R designated agronomists

4R designated agronomists (CCA or P.Ag.) working with a grower to seek funding from Canola 4R Advantage will be required to:

  • Work with the grower to complete a verified 4R plan covering the BMP(s) and field(s) specified in the application
  • Ensure that the BMP(s) recommended meet the eligibility criteria of Canola 4R Advantage
  • Complete the agronomist portion of the grower’s application, including attestations about the grower’s 4R plan and BMP(s)
  • Review incentive claims submitted by the grower for approved projects, and confirm that:
    • The claimed BMP(s)/expenses meet the standards for 4R practices and eligible BMP(s), and
    • The grower has completed the BMP(s) and planted canola to the field(s).

An agronomist may also initiate an application on a grower’s behalf (with their consent), and/or assist with the grower’s claim preparation once approved for funding.


Funding for Canola 4R Advantage has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund (OFCAF).

The Canola 4R Advantage information presented on this website is the latest available, and is subject to change without notice as the program evolves.