CAAR has issued a media release stating that a disturbing outcome for Canadian agriculture is on the horizon, due to the Government of Canada proposal to reduce farm-applied fertilizer emissions by 30% by the year 2030.
The Government of Canada has proposed a 30% emission reduction target of on-farm fertilizer use without first consulting the primary agriculture industry, processors and provincial stakeholders.
The Fertilizer Canada commissioned report by Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) released September 27, 2021 indicates that cutting fertilizer applications to meet the Federal government fertilizer emissions targets could reduce farm income by $48 billion over the next eight years—an undesirable outcome that will negatively affect our agricultural industry.
The Federal government is referencing the principles set forth by the European Union Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy which has received vocal criticism from the German agriculture industry, after the agriculture organization Grain Club commissioned a study by the University of Kiel described in detail both the negative economic and environmental impact of the strategy.
Canadian farmers supported by agriculture retailers and agronomists are leaders in the evolution of agricultural production.
Our agricultural industry drives Canada’s economy by providing a safe, sustainable and environmentally reliable supply of food, materials and employment for all regions of Canada. Our farmers have and continue to embrace new production practices that improve soil health, safeguard water and the sequestering carbon.
Adoption and expansion of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program furthers Canadian agriculture’s proactive approach by using best management practices to reduce farm-applied fertilizer emissions.
The Canadian government must recognize that innovation is best driven by the farmers and organizations that support them.
The proposed Canadian mandate will lesson our country’s ability to compete on the global market by increasing cost of production and reducing yield.
This is counter to the ambitions of the 2017 Economic Growth for Canada agri-food sector to increase exports to $85 billion by 2025—a 32% increase from the $64 billion achieved in 2017.
The MNP report demonstrates the need to institute an open and transparent Federal government engagement with all agriculture stakeholders including provinces.
CAAR has respectfully requested the Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister to engage with agricultural stakeholders at the first opportunity to develop science-backed solutions that will meet environmental targets—but avoid burdening Canadian farmers, the agriculture industry and the end consumer.