FERTILIZER REDUCTION

Updated: September 27, 2021

About Fertilizer Reduction

The Federal Government has signalled that it will require a reduction of nitrous oxide as a part of an emissions reduction strategy.

Although that sounds sensible, solutions must be practical, realistic, and not at odds with other government objectives, nor risk food sustainability.

The target of an absolute reduction in nutrients used to produce our food was done without consultation with the fertilizer industry or Canadian grain and oilseed farmers.

The Issues

  • Fertilizer Canada has prepared a comprehensive report here.
  • Highlights include:
    • A focus on an absolute emissions reduction, rather than an intensity-based target, is misplaced and will likely cause severe economic harm.
    • Using modeling software, we’ve estimated that a 30% absolute emission reduction for a farmer with 1,000 acres of canola and 1,000 acres of wheat would have their profit reduced by $38,000 to $40,500 annually.
    • Across Western Canada this would mean canola revenues would be reduced by up to $441 million, while wheat revenue could experience a reduction of $400 million.
    • More emissions can be reduced through increased uptake of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program, while actually improving the competitiveness and profit of farmers.
  • A reduction in fertilizer use is contrary to the UN goal of eliminating world hunger by 2030.
  • The Federal government has set a target to increase Canadian agriculture exports from $55 billion in 2015 to at least $85 billion by 2025. This 55% increase is not attainable if the Federal Government reduces nitrogen fertilizer use by 30%.

Our Position

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers support the position taken by Fertilizer Canada for the Federal Government to work with industry and grain farmers alike in order to recognize steps that have already been taken as well as workable solutions for the grain industry going forward.

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers are supportive of biological and breeding technologies that improve a plants nutrient efficiency.

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers support the adoption of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program.

What We Are Doing

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Wheat Growers Challenge Proposed Fertilizer Reduction – “Will lead to broke farmers, food insecurity, inflation” – Submission to Federal Government

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