Visit our program overview page for more information on year two program enhancements.
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, field zone mapping consulting services, enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) and preferred application. Growers can also be reimbursed for a portion of the consulting fees paid for a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan, for the purposes of this project, to be developed by a Certified Crop Adviser or Professional Agrologist who has earned the 4R Nutrient Stewardship designation from Fertilizer Canada.
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 13 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 year one covering eligible costs incurred and paid between February 7, 2022 and March 31, 2023, and year two covering eligible costs incurred and paid between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.
For year two applications
|Timeframe for eligible costs to be invoiced and paid by growers||April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024|
Eligible costs for reimbursement must be invoiced to and fully paid by growers within the program fiscal year.
|Applications – currently being accepted||Deadline: November 30, 2023|
Approval decisions will be emailed within six weeks of submitting a complete application.
Upon approval, grower and CCC will enter into a written agreement for the approved funding.
|Claims – currently being accepted||Deadline: April 30, 2024|
Claims should be submitted as soon as BMP activities are complete and costs are invoiced and fully paid by the grower.
You are encouraged to submit ahead of deadlines to avoid processing delays.
|Final attestations – currently being accepted for 2023 planting season claims||Deadline: June 30, 2024|
Final attestations should be completed after a claim is submitted and once canola is planted to the fields claimed for that planting season.
|Reimbursements – currently being processed for 2023 planting season||Grower will be notified within six weeks of submitting a complete application with a verified 4R plan in place.|
Upon approval, grower and CCC will enter into a written agreement for the approved funding.
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).
In year two, growers can be reimbursed for a portion of the agronomist consulting fees to develop a 4R Nutrient Stewardship plan, for the purpose of this project, by a 4R designated agronomist. A grower seeking this assistance would list the plan development cost in their Canola 4R Advantage application, pay the agronomist and then submit the invoice and proof of payment with their claim for reimbursement from the program. Agronomists are expected to provide growers with documentation that meets the program requirements.
An agronomist may also initiate an application or a claim for reimbursement on a grower’s behalf (with their consent), and/or assist with the grower’s claim preparation once approved for funding.
How much you can receive for year two
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:
- Canola growers can apply to receive up to a maximum of $75,000 per farm business. This funding is limited to:
- Up to $20,000 per eligible BMP
- Up to $5,000 for development of a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan for the purpose of this project, by a Certified Crop Adviser or Professional Agrologist who has earned the 4R Nutrient Stewardship designation from Fertilizer Canada
- Note: A farm business can receive a maximum combined amount of $75,000 in OFCAF funding across all programs delivered by OFCAF recipient organizations over the two-year OFCAF program lifetime. You are responsible for ensuring that your application won’t result in exceeding this limit.
- 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 up to 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.
- 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.
- The program is open to canola growers, including sole proprietorships, corporations, cooperatives, or registered partnerships, located in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.
- 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) prior to February 7, 2022
- 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 developed and verified by a 4R designated agronomist, and covers the BMPs included in the application. In year two, the program can reimburse a portion of the agronomist consulting fees to develop the plan.
An application can’t be submitted for funding consideration until the verified 4R plan is in place, but you can complete the rest of the application in the meantime and save it as a draft. Once the 4R plan is in place, the grower and 4R designated agronomist can each update their attestations that the 4R plan is in place, and then the application can be submitted.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A grower may select up to four of the following eligible BMPs, when all other eligibility requirements are met:
- Soil testing
- Field zone mapping consulting services for variable rate nitrogen
- 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)
NOTE: The preferred application BMP is paused until 2024 when seasonal price differentials for nitrogen fertilizer can be determined.
Learn more about detailed requirements for each BMP.
For the year two application intake, BMPs are eligible if:
- Eligible expenses are invoiced and fully paid by the grower between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024, and
- BMP activities are completed and canola is planted on the identified fields no later than June 30, 2024.
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 prior to February 7, 2022. 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 prior to February 7, 2022, 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 BMP costs
Growers will be reimbursed for up to 85 per cent of the eligible costs listed below, to a maximum of $20,000 per BMP, upon submission of invoices and proof of payment, and completion of all program requirements. 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 from approved labs
- Costs for third-party soil sampling
- NOTE: Costs for soil lab analysis and third-party sampling may be billed within a single line item on invoices/receipts.
- NOTE: If enhanced lab analysis (beyond a basic soil testing package for macronutrients) is included in the cost item on invoices/receipts, a quote for the price difference between the basic and enhanced lab analysis must be provided, to determine eligible amounts.
- For field zone mapping for variable rate nitrogen*
- Costs of soil mapping to support variable rate application to enhance nitrogen fertilizer efficiency
- For enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF)
- NOTE: Nitrification and urease inhibitors must be used together to be an eligible practice under AAFC’s OFCAF program guidelines.
- The price difference between standard nitrogen fertilizer and fertilizer with dual inhibitor products, i.e., products containing both nitrification and urease inhibitors. If there’s a case where you intend to use individual nitrification and urease inhibitor products to be blended together, please contact us to ensure the products you are using will be eligible.
- The price difference between standard nitrogen fertilizer and polymer-coated urea (ESN).
- 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:
- NOTE: The preferred application BMP is paused until 2024 when seasonal price differentials for nitrogen fertilizer can be determined.
- Higher costs (up to 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
- NOTE: the higher cost of spring fertilizer must be demonstrated by invoices or quotes for fall versus spring fertilizer purchases, as proof of the eligible incremental cost of adopting this BMP.
*If eligible costs for the soil testing and field zone mapping BMPs are billed as bundled services, you will be asked to allocate a fair market value portion of the bundled cost to each applicable BMP (excluding any portions for ineligible costs). Please visit How to Apply and Make Claims for more details.
Learn more about detailed requirements for each BMP, including lists of approved labs.
4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan costs
In addition to BMP costs, growers can be reimbursed for up to 85 per cent of the agronomist consulting fees to have a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Plan developed, to a maximum of $5,000.
- The plan must be developed by a 4R designated agronomist for the purpose of this project, covering the BMPs included in the application.
- Eligible costs of developing the plan must be paid by the grower and then submitted along with the BMP claim for reimbursement.
- 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.)
- 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 (for year one applications) or before April 1, 2023 (for year two applications)
- 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/proof of payment not issued in the name of the applicant/farm business
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.
Grower claims may be subject to audit by the CCC. 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
- With the grower’s 4R designated agronomist (CCA/P. Ag.) and other collaborators invited to the grower’s application by either the grower or the 4R designated agronomist 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. This data could be aggregated on a national basis, or by reconciliation units or Soil Landscapes of Canada ID number across Western Canada.
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.
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.