PEI

Sustainable P.E.I. potato message comes with free fries

Some farms on the Island have been using the 4R method — picking the right source of fertilizer, right amount, right time, and putting it in the right place — to help keep nitrates and phosphorus out of the environment.

Fertilizer Canada says 4R method 'a game changer' for environment

French fries from P.E.I. potatoes were handed out on Parliament Hill earlier this week. (Fertilizer Canada)

Sustainable P.E.I. potatoes were featured in a promotional event on Parliament Hill earlier this week.

A local food truck served up free paper pouches of hand cut fries during a day-long get together with politicians.

Garth Whyte, CEO of Fertilizer Canada, says it was a way to promote the agreement the group signed with the province, PEI Federation of Agriculture, the PEI Potato Board and the Kensington North Watershed Association in 2012.

Cardigan MP and federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay eats fries outside a chip truck by Parliament Hill with, from left, Garth Whyte, CEO of Fertilizer Canada, Kathy Jordison, chair of Fertilizer Canada’s board of directors, and Brian Mark, vice chair of the board. (Mark Holleron)

He said 51 demonstration farms on the Island have been using the 4R method — picking the right source of fertilizer, right amount, right time, and putting it in the right place — to help keep nitrates and phosphorus out of the environment.

"We have found, by putting fertilizer to the plant and not to the environment, you can significantly reduce the environmental impacts and you can increase yields from $80 to $200 per acre," he said.

"And it's a game-changer. Our studies have shown, for example, you can reduce nitrous oxide, which is 300 times worse than carbon, by 30 per cent just by using the four R's."

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With files from Laura Chapin

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