CALGARY, AB: Today, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers launched a petition against new carbon taxes on farmers and food, calling on Ottawa and the provinces to realize the positive environmental story of modern farming, how farmers are sinking carbon, and how carbon taxes will wreak havoc throughout the entire agriculture value chain in Canada.
“Modern western farmers have a great news story to tell on the environment,” said Levi Wood, President of the Wheat Growers. “Today, prairie growers use modern farm equipment with cleaner-burning and more efficient engines, we use precision agriculture such as no-till farming, modern crop protection products, and advanced agronomic practices that also reduce carbon—this is all really good news.”
Today, farmers use less land, water, and fuel than ever before, while producing more food. But farmers still have to use inputs to grow food. Those inputs create emissions. Those inputs also grow crops that yield more food each and every year. Those higher-yielding crops sequester carbon in the soil. This is good news.
“There’s lots of talk about possible farm fuel exemptions, which is a good step, but what about primary fertilizer production in Saskatchewan?” said Wood. “What about our world-leading fertilizer production in Alberta? What about the craft brewer in BC, and the food processor in Toronto? Carbon taxes will go right through the entire value chain from the farm to the grocery store aisle and kitchen table, taxing everything along the way.”
Farmers are also concerned about carbon taxes making them less competitive with their fellow agriculture producers in North Dakota, Montana, Australia, and other jurisdictions without a similar carbon tax on farming and food. With most grain, oilseed, and pulse crops being grown for export, carbon taxes will put our western Canadian farmers at a competitive disadvantage globally.
“With farmers already sinking carbon and improving our environmental footprints every year, it would be a perverse public policy decision to punish us for already achieving the desired outcome of government,” said Wood. “People in the city can so-called ‘green their lifestyle’, which is great, but as we’ve said recently, I can’t pull my air seeder with a Prius.”
The Wheat Growers petition against a carbon tax on farmers and food can be signed at: carbontax.wheatgrowers.ca
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.