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For the past 10 years, I have set a goal of 5,000 kms of road bike cycling from April to October, which affords me thinking time, a-plenty. While focusing on the road and traffic, there are many questions I have yet to resolve regarding Canadian ag production direction, policy, and regulations, says Mitch Rezansoff, CAAR Executive Director.

When did the federal department of Environment and Climate Change Canada become a lead policy driver of the Pest Review Management Agency and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada?

Over the past two years, Federal committee meetings relating to agriculture have invited a disproportionate number of organic associations or farmers. Why?

Urban farming is advocated to create food security in Canada. Fifty to 75 years ago, most Canadians had a backyard or balcony garden. Is this not the same thing? All continued to shop at local grocery stores.

Do agriculture supply managed industries encourage efficiencies and re-capitalization within the operation? Is it acceptable for the same industries to destroy substantial volumes of product to maintain market prices?

According to Dan McTeague, Canadians for Affordable Energy, in 2008 the price of gasoline was $1.50 per litre. Retail margin was $0.08 per litre. First week of July 2022, gasoline is averaging $2.00 per litre in Western Canada, with a retail margin of $0.32 per litre. Why such a significant increase?

After a year of logistics and production issues relating to treated seed, fertilizer, crop protection products, combined with significant price increases, many farmers are considering increasing farm storage capabilities to hedge for price predictability and input supplies. Volumes can be as large as ag retail inventory. To prevent environment issues, should agriculture retail regulations and best management practices apply to higher product volumes stored on farm?

Are we seeing the lingering effects of drought 2021? Canola seed produced in 2021 having a poor emergence and vigor in 2022. Fea beetles, fea beetles, fea beetles. Grasshoppers. Herbicide carryover impacting 2022 crop emergence and vigor of growth of all crops.

Yield stable plant characteristics. Significant interest in developing varieties and hybrids with drought tolerance. What about saturated soils? Soybeans perform very well in these conditions. Canola does not.

Why did the province of BC transfer flood mitigation responsibilities and resourcing to the local rural municipality of Fraser Valley? Why did Fraser Valley not factor a 1-in-100 year rainfall and flood event when issuing building permits to farmhouses and barns? It should be flood-proof. Are streams and rivers not a federal responsibility?

A significant quantity of technical ingredients for common pesticides is produced in China. Over the past two years, significant logistics and geopolitical disruption have occurred. Is it time to view crop input production as critical industries in North America, and bring home the critical material production to North America? Do we demand that 75 percent be produced in North America?

Most railway worker contracts are negotiated at 2-5 years, yet we have experienced constant labour and geo-political disruptions with both our railways. Should railway service be identified as an essential service? Appropriate penalties to companies, organizations, and individuals disrupting railway service?

How much credibility does urban opinion carry on Canadian farm production practices? Granted, considered, mandated? How knowledgeable are they? How critical is it?

Has anyone challenged the UN FAO report stating that Canada has the highest nitrous oxide emissions from farm-applied commercial fertilizer? Who sourced that? Calculated vs real world infield data? Does it matter? Absent from the UN FAO fertilizer emissions list is China, the world’s largest fertilizer consumer. Canadian average wheat yields have doubled over the past 20 years with little increase of fertilizer consumption. If we measure nitrous oxide emissions, should it not be on per bushel of production?

I don’t confess to have all the answers. I like to challenge the implied solutions or why we have chosen a particular path.

Canadian agriculture is robust and continues be a global leader. It’s easy to follow other countries or state it’s for the collective good. There is a made-in-Canada solution that is practical to farmer, sustainable, economical viable and is not global virtue signaling

If you would like to discuss some of these issues in more detail, please send a note to Mitch Rezansoff, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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