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The Future. Faster.

The Pursuit Of Sustainable Success With Nutrien Ag Solutions

Episode 27

In earning the distinction of being "carbon neutral," Ontario-based Maple Leaf Foods had to reduce its carbon footprint, and then invest in projects that offset its remaining output of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It certainly wasn't an easy process. But it was absolutely worth it, according to Director of Sustainability Strategy and Partnerships Mauricio Alanis. So in this episode, we ask Mauricio why it was so important for Maple Leaf Foods to achieve this goal, how they made it happen, and what it has meant for the company's bottom line. He also shares insights from Maple Leaf's ongoing carbon partnership with Nutrien Ag Solutions. Plus, Tom and Sally discuss how this summer's water management efforts are playing out across North America, where many growers are dealing with historic drought conditions, while others are stuck with submerged farm fields from *too much* rain.

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Episode 26

The agriculture industry isn't the only one grappling with massive supply chain disruptions right now.

But any grower can tell you they're feeling the pinch in the cost of their inputs, which have risen as a result of a cascade of global pressures and unexpected interruptions.

So in this episode, we talk to Mat Taylor, Senior Director of Procurement at Nutrien Ag Solutions, about his experience managing the company's fertilizer supply chains.

He'll help us understand what's causing the disruptions, how ag inputs are shipped around the world, why economic sustainability is an important factor in long term decision making, and how growers can take steps today to help address tomorrow's potential supply chain issues.

Plus, Tom and Sally will discuss notable news from Indigo Agriculture, which has announced that its carbon farming program has produced 20,000 tonnes in soil carbon credits that it will sell as emissions offsets to buyers including JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the North Face.

They are the first agricultural soil carbon credits to be verified and issued by the Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit registry with the distinction of being the largest state-level climate market.

Read more about the story here.

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Episode 25

It's been a busy year full of insights on the Future. Faster. Podcast.

And if you missed even one episode, you missed a lot.

So in this, our 25th podcast episode, we're listening back to some of the highlights from the last year of the Nutrien Ag Solutions podcast project.

We'll hear some of the most important lessons, and some of the most memorable moments, including actionable insights for cover cropping this fall, how last winter’s climate predictions have held up this summer, and so much more.

The guests from whom we'll hear clips include:

Jeff Tarsi, President of Global Retail at Nutrien Ag Solutions

Patrick Reed, Vice President of Sales and La Crosse Seed

Christine Chitwood, Northern High Plains Division Research and Sustainability Manager

Brent Smith, Global Vice President of Sustainable Ag, Innovation, Marketing and Proprietary Products at Nutrien Ag Solutions

Eric Snodgrass, Science Fellow and Principle Atmospheric Scientist at Nutrien Ag Solutions

Ryan Bond, Senior Director of Crop Protection and Nutrition Innovation at Nutrien Ag Solutions

David Elser, Senior Vice President for North America Retail at Nutrien Ag Solutions

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Episode 24

Most crops are in the ground for the summer here in North America. But that just means that the time is upon us to look ahead to the fall and winter.

And so in this episode, we’re going to review some of the sustainability programs that Nutrien Ag Solutions is rolling out for later this year, so that you can get prepared to maximize your yields, capitalize on those new sustainability revenue sources and do right by your growing ecosystem.

Plus, Tom and Sally explore some of the new ways that technology is supporting growers in their efforts to add value to their crops, including blockchain tracking and biofuels carbon intensity research, and discuss plans for expanding Nutrien Ag Solution's sustainability offerings westward.

Learn more about the Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes program and sign up now.

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Older Episodes

Episode 23

The State of Iowa is home to some of the richest, most productive farm fields in North America. But it’s also the site of one of the greatest agricultural climate disasters of all-time, the 2020 Derecho storm event that flattened six million acres of crops. In this episode, we talk with Bill Northey, former USDA Under-Secretary and the new CEO of the Agri-Business Association of Iowa, about how growers in that state are adjusting their practices to promote climate resilience and nutrient management.

He explains how extreme weather events have elevated growers’ awareness of climate issues, and about how the Agri-Business Association of Iowa is expanding its 10-year test plot project to explore how variable rate nitrogen application can be used to maximize nutrient retention and crop yield in varying soil and planting conditions. Plus, Tom and Sally discuss how a Spring season full of economic and policy volatility, like the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes, will effect growers at a farm-level.

Read more about the relationship between interest rates and land value.

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Episode 22

The State of Florida is as unique a place to farm as it is important to the North American food supply, serving as America's "winter vegetable basket."

But whether it's citrus or tomatoes or cabbage or one of the other 300 crops harvested in the Sunshine State, David Royal from the Nature Conservancy says 4R nutrient management principles are as important as ever when it comes to protecting Florida's complex and varied watersheds and keeping growers growing.

In this episode, he updates Tom and Sally on some of the innovative approaches growers are taking in Florida, and how they're doing a better job of telling their sustainability story to regulators and to the public.

Plus, Tom and Sally dig in on the volatile global market conditions and the uncooperative weather that have hampered planting this year, and analyze what it will mean for growers going forward.

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Episode 21

Most crops are in the ground for the summer here in North America. But that just means that the time is upon us to look ahead to the fall and winter.

And so in this episode, we’re going to review some of the sustainability programs that Nutrien Ag Solutions is rolling out for later this year, so that you can get prepared to maximize your yields, capitalize on those new sustainability revenue sources and do right by your growing ecosystem.

Plus, Tom and Sally explore some of the new ways that technology is supporting growers in their efforts to add value to their crops, including blockchain tracking and biofuels carbon intensity research, and discuss plans for expanding Nutrien Ag Solution's sustainability offerings westward.

Learn more about the Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes program and sign up now.

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Episode 20

To till or not to till is an issue that many sustainability-conscious growers grapple with each year.

But with the right equipment, strip till offers an attractive third option, allowing growers to reduce the impact of tilling while minimizing their fertilizer application with targeted, variable-rate application technology.

In this episode, Dave Sender, the regional sales manager at Environmental Tillage Systems, joins us to discuss how strip till can help lower an operation’s carbon footprint, build soil health, reduce inputs and improve yields. ETS produces the Soil Warrior line of strip till equipment, and Dave will tell us why it's is an increasingly popular practice for growers who want the best of both worlds.

Also, Tom and Sally provide an update on the Nutrien Ag Solutions Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes Program, which has gone live.

Growers who enroll can get paid to participate in practices that keep nitrogen applications on crops in the field, reducing runoff into reservoirs or aquifers. But it also prevents nitrogen from being exposed to the environment and being released as the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.

Click here to learn more or get involved in the Nutrien Ag Solutions Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes Program.

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Episode 19

In this day and age, consumers have high expectations for how their food is grown and the practices that growers employ.

And for farmer Janette Veazey-Post of Lamb Farms, Inc. and Lakeshore Dairy, LLC, meeting those expectations is an important way to generate new revenue and give back to the land on her 13,000-acre operation.

In this week's episode, Janette joins us to discuss what prompted her jointly-run family operation in New York and Ohio to get involved in the Nutrien Ag Solutions carbon pilot, how she collects data on their operation, and how they benefited from incorporating sustainable practices in their farm fields last year. 

Plus, Tom and Sally talk about when growers can expect to learn more about Nutrien Ag Solutions sustainability program announcements for 2023 and what those might look like.

Learn more about the Nutrien Ag Solutions Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes Program

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Episode 18

When Nutrien Ag Solutions rolled out its Carbon Pilot Project last year, we knew that getting the idea from plan to execution was going to take a concerted effort by all our stakeholders—our sustainability team, our leadership and our growers especially.

So at Commodity Classic this year, we brought these stakeholders together for the Nutrien Ag Solutions Carbon Summit to find out how it went—what worked, and how can we build on the success of this program as we continue to scale up?

So in this episode, we parse the feedback we received:

What did they like?

What did they dislike?

What would an ideal carbon program look like?

What value do they see in other sustainability practices beyond carbon?

And what are their long term goals for their growing operations?

Unpacking this feedback with us is Christine Chitwood, Northern High Plains Division Research and Sustainability Manager for Nutrien Ag Solutions, who will share her unique insights as well.

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Episode 17

A sustainable climate is the top priority for Nutrien Ag Solutions as it continues to lead the ag industry in efforts to mitigate climate change and protect the environment.

But, from a corporate perspective, there's more to the company's ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy than that.

So in this episode, we're joined by Candace Laing, Nutrien's Vice President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, to discuss how the company's ESG strategy intertwines climate protection with other important issues, like equity, diversity, inclusion and safety—and why that's important for stakeholder relations. She also recalls growing up as a rural farm girl, and how women have come to play a larger role in the business side of agriculture throughout her lifetime.

Plus, Tom and Sally unpack the 2021 whole acre solution projects in carbon pilots to see what insights they can take away as the company continues to expand these critical, forward-looking initiatives.

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Episode 16

Extreme weather events—like droughts, heavy rains and tornadoes—are becoming more frequent, as the effects of climate change take hold on our weather patterns. And that means that growers will need to adapt their practices to help them stay resilient in an era where the weather is expected to be increasingly unpredictable. So in this episode, Nutrien Ag Solutions Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist Eric Snodgrass joins us to help get the politics out of the discussion on climate change. Eric will discuss real data about how weather patterns are changing, offer some predictions for the growing season ahead and discuss what growers in different parts of the country should prepare for in the long-term. Then, Tom and Sally will highlight some sustainable practices that growers can implement that can help counteract the effects of climate change. Plus, with many new growers enrolling in the Nutrien Ag Solutions Sustainable Nitrogen Outcomes program, Tom and Sally will answer some of the frequent questions they're asked about the program.

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Episode 15

It's time to start crop planning for 2022, and many growers are interested in fertilizer enhancers as a way to maximize crop yield and sustainable outcomes.

Fertilizer enhancers speed up the breakdown and availability of key nutrients, enabling growers to more strategically apply fertilizer and manage their inputs.

So in this episode, we'll discuss nutrient management with Brian Cornelious, Director of Applied Sciences at Agricen. He'll discuss eye-popping new data from a pilot plot in Kentucky, review some of the new technological innovations Agricen has brought to market, and highlight the impact of some of their key products, like Titan XC and Maritime.

Plus, Tom and Sally offer tips for growers when it comes to incorporating the 4R nutrient stewardship principles into their cropping plans for 2022:

Right Source

Right Rate

Right Time

and Right Place

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Episode 14

Brian Arnall spends his days drilling out soil samples from Texas to Nebraska, and everywhere in between.

As the Precision Nutrient Management Extension Specialist at Oklahoma State University, he knows that every acre of every farm field is unique. And without a precision plan for the variable rate application of fertilizers that accounts for that uniqueness, growers could be missing out on opportunities to improve their margins and their sustainability metrics.

In this episode, Brian discusses the true "cost" of soil sampling, why growers need to back up their sustainability efforts with solid data reporting, and some of the extreme soil conditions he's encountering in the southern Great Plains.

Plus, Tom and Sally discuss a new USDA supplemental crop insurance program for growers looking at improving their Nitrogen use efficiency. The Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) program provides supplemental coverage when a producer is prevented from post/split applying nitrogen in the 2-3 week V3-V10 corn growth stages due to wet weather and field conditions.

PACE is available for non-irrigated corn in select counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The deadline to apply is March 15. Learn more from these resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Crop Criteria

New Supplemental Insurance

Topics / Conversation

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Episode 13

Farmers face a unique slate of challenges as they prepare to build on their sustainability successes in the 2022 growing season.

Supply chain, labor and policy uncertainties have come to a head, leaving growers in search of opportunities to improve their margins and solve problems that they may never have faced before.


And that means that Nutrien Ag Solutions will be a more valuable partner than ever before, according to newly-promoted Senior VP for Retail North America David Elser.


He believes that 2022 is poised to be the Year of the Agronomist, as Nutrien Ag Solutions' experienced team helps growers overcome these challenges and thrive in uncertain times. In this episode, David explains how his roots on a family farm in Iowa are an asset in the C-Suite, how he's continuing to build trust with growers, and why sustainable ag needs champions in the field.


Plus, Tom and Sally wrangle with the definition of sustainable agriculture, and decide that maybe "do the right thing" is a pretty good start.

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Episode 12

Adapt or perish. It's an imperative as old as agriculture itself.

But as the modern ag industry grapples with the need to reduce costs for growers, improve margins and improve sustainability outcomes, Nutrien Ag Solutions must double down on innovation in order to meet those demands.

In this episode, Ryan Bond, Senior Director of Crop Protection & Nutrition Innovation at Nutrien Ag Solutions, outlines some of the cutting edge developments that the company can offer its grower customers and shares examples of how those input technologies are creating sustainable efficiencies on the farm.

Plus, Tom and Sally remind us that, even though agriculture is rooted in our local fields, what happens on a global level affects us on our own operations... and vice versa. They discuss how big picture issues like international climate agreements and climate change-driven extreme weather are a concern no matter where you grow.

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Episode 11

Nutrien Ag Solutions can't get to its ambitious goal for sustainable ag program and practice enrollment all on its own.

It's going to take a dedicated group of partners to reach 75 million acres by 2030... not just grower and industry partners, but NGOs too.

So in this episode, Sarah Fox, Director of Sustainable Ag Strategic Partnerships at Nutrien Ag Solutions, joins us to lay out why it's so important for the company to foster these nontraditional relationships. We highlight that growers have often been on the front lines of sustainability, but how Nutrien Ag Solutions and its new partners are making sure that the ag industry is better positioned to tell its ESG story to the world.

And, it's that time of year when growers can enroll in sustainable ag programs for the year ahead. Tom and Sally talk through some of the best options available to them, and highlight some factors that growers should consider as they weigh their options.

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Episode 10

Growers enrolled 575,000 acres in Nutrien Ag Solutions' sustainability programs this year.

And while that's an impressive milestone worth celebrating, the company is setting even bigger goals for next year, and rolling out new program offerings for growers who want to capitalize on the increasing supply chain value to be found in sustainable practices.

In this episode, Tom and Sally revisit some of the big wins they had in 2021, and unveil new goals and new program offerings for next year.

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Episode 9

Dr. Chuck Rice has been an expert in the field of sustainable agriculture for years.

And his work on soil nutrients and farm productivity has changed our understanding of the way that growers conduct their operations.

So in this episode, Tom and Sally dig deep with Dr. Chuck Rice, University Distinguished Professor of Soil Microbiology at Kansas State University, on some of the biggest breakthroughs they've made over the years....

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Episode 8

A trip down the aisle at the grocery store today includes all kinds of labels that you wouldn't have seen 20 years ago.

And while the definitions of some of these terms are still being sorted out, one thing is clear: consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that they can feel good about buying and feeding to their families.

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Episode 7

With new food labeling practices and evolving downstream partnerships, it might seem like the sustainable agriculture supply chain is more complicated than ever before.

But these trends are creating new value at the consumer level, and by adopting a few simple practices and documenting them properly, growers can make sure they are capturing their fair share of the profits.

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Episode 6

While return on investment (ROI) is top-of-mind for growers and their trusted crop consultants, Tom and Sally reiterate the true value of sustainable ag practice implementation and why 1-2 changes can be tough to calculate among a wide array of growing season conditions + factors. Specifically, how the two hot topic practice changes (cover crops and no-till ) can provide value above and beyond carbon program eligibility. 

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Episode 5

While the topic of carbon sequestration is hot in the streets, recent Farm Journal research indicates that only 3.32% of growers surveyed are currently enrolled in a non-governmental carbon market. But while enrollment stays lean, interest does continue to rise, with 55% of growers surveyed confirming they plan to participate over the next three years.

In this episode of The Future. Faster, Tom and Sally discuss the recurring, but yet unanswered questions that are creating hesitancy among growers. How will the industry support the tedious data collection lift? Will the program payment cover the costs of the practice change, creating a positive ROI? Can growers participate if they conducted a practice before enrolling in a carbon program?

Plus, Patrick Reed, Vice President of Sales at La Crosse Seed, joins us to to share how to effectively plan for and manage cover crops, the appropriate way to evaluate ROI on cover crops and some overarching pros and cons that Nutrien Ag Solutions crop consultants and grower customers should be aware of.

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Episode 4

Doing the right thing is its own reward, especially when it comes to sustainability practices.

But when you can get compensated for doing that right thing? That's even sweeter.

And that's basically the concept behind carbon markets--creating an economic incentive for growers to help in the fight against global climate change.

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Episode 3

We all hear about global climate change regularly on the news.

But what does it really mean, both on a global level and in your own farm field?

And how is it that farmers find themselves in a position to help combat climate change, while also benefitting from doing the right thing?

In this episode of The Future. Faster. Tom and Sally cover the basics of climate change and carbon markets, where growers can be compensated for their integration of sustainability practices.

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Episode 2

With planning underway for next year's crop, there are a field full of reasons why growers should consider adopting new sustainable practices.

From cover crops to nitrogen management, the decisions that will dictate success or failure in 2022 are being made right now. But what's the best approach, and how will your farm's history and geography impact the best practices?

In this episode of The Future. Faster, Tom and Sally take a look at some of the top-of-mind issues for growers who are adapting to include more sustainability in their operations, and lay out some of the advantages, both short- and long-term.

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Episode 1

There's an entire world of opportunity in sustainable agriculture, so let's start at the beginning.

We've all heard the buzz over sustainability. But what's it really all about? What are the opportunities for growers? How can growers get involved, or do they even want to be involved?

In this episode of The Future. Faster. we'll answer all these questions and more with our hosts Tom Daniel and Dr. Sally Flis, two prominent leaders on the Nutrien Ag Solutions sustainability team.

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About the Podcast

The future isn’t just written by the past. It’s written by the right now. And right now, we’re focused on what’s next. Welcome to “The Future. Faster.” A sustainable agriculture podcast created for growers. For partners. For the planet. To us, it’s not about changing what’s always worked. It’s about continuing to do the little things that make a big impact. And we’re here to share insights on sustainable ag market opportunities, practices, products and programs from the front lines...

Meet the Hosts

Tom Daniel

Director, NA Retail and Grower Sustainable Ag

Sally Flis, Ph.D.

Sr. Manager, NA Sustainable Ag, Carbon

Join Tom Daniel (Director, NA Retail and Grower Sustainable Ag), and Sally Flis, Ph.D. (Sr. Manager, NA Sustainable Ag, Carbon), of Nutrien Ag Solutions every other week as they share company, industry and partner updates, plus engage with agricultural and environmental professionals to generate dialogue about sustainable agriculture. So follow along as we stay a step ahead and pursue sustainable success.

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