A P.E.I. potato farmer and an Alberta MP are teaming up on a petition to oppose any restrictions that might influence the quantity of fertilizer used on Canadian farms, saying it may result in a dramatic improve within the worth of meals.
In late 2020, Ottawa established a 30 per cent goal to lower fertilizer emissions by 2030 as a part of the federal authorities’s total local weather change plan.
The federal government has mentioned the 30 per cent goal is a purpose and is not obligatory.
The petition, E-4133, was sponsored by Alberta MP John Barlow and is posted on the parliamentary web site for signatures.
It was initiated by Alex Docherty of Skye View Farms in Elmwood, P.E.I.
“It is partly to carry consciousness, plenty of farmers do not perceive what is going on on, or did not learn about it,” Docherty mentioned. “Each Canadian must learn about it as a result of each Canadian has bought to eat. And I simply thought we have to carry consciousness to everybody.”
Docherty mentioned farmers have adopted agricultural practices that cut back their use of fertilizer, equivalent to precision agriculture, to save cash, in addition to assist the setting.
“Farmers in Canada, we’re the most effective in all the world,” Docherty mentioned. “We do not wish to waste fertilizer, we’re doing every part we will to chop our fertilizer.”
Docherty mentioned he’s additionally involved concerning the influence decreasing fertilizer use may have on meals costs.
“Our crops are going to go down, our manufacturing shall be down, and someone’s going to need to pay,” Docherty mentioned. “I do not know the way the Canadian public goes to have the ability to afford to pay.”
I do not know the way the Canadian public goes to have the ability to afford to pay.— Alex Docherty, Skye View Farms
Docherty mentioned although the reductions in fertilizer emissions are only a goal now, he is apprehensive they may develop into obligatory sooner or later.
“They’re saying it is voluntary now, and if there is not a giant pushback from trade very quickly, hastily it’s going to simply slide by way of Parliament that it is obligatory,” Docherty mentioned.
“Good luck with that as a result of we’re coping with those that do not know. Most imagine meals comes from the grocery retailer.”
Value of meals
Alberta MP John Barlow mentioned he has additionally been listening to from producers throughout Canada.
“This is a matter that irrespective of the place you might be in Canada, what you develop, the way you develop it, this impacts you, not solely because the producers but in addition as Canadian shoppers,” mentioned Barlow, who’s the Conservative Social gathering’s shadow minister for agriculture.
“That may have a big influence on yields, driving up the price of meals, but in addition making a precarious state of affairs on Canadian farms, much more so, placing the financial viability of our farms at at a critical threat.”
Barlow mentioned he’s apprehensive that the proposed discount can have bigger impacts.
“Lowering fertilizer emissions or use by 30 per cent isn’t just a 30 per cent discount in yield,” Barlow mentioned. “Relying on the commodity, we have talked to producers saying this could possibly be anyplace between a 30 to 60 per cent discount of their crop.”
That might have an unbelievable influence on not solely meals safety right here at house, however our skill to assist feed essentially the most determined components of the world.— John Barlow, Alberta MP
“That might have an unbelievable influence on not solely meals safety right here at house, however our skill to assist feed essentially the most determined components of the world.”
Barlow mentioned Canadian farmers are already leaders in decreasing emissions.
“I feel that’s the key factor that is lacking here’s a actual lack of information of what Canadian producers are already doing,” Barlow mentioned. “They’re doing it with no large authorities program or intervention. They’re doing it as a result of it is the best factor to do. They wish to be environment friendly.”
Malpeque MP Heath MacDonald defended his get together’s place on decreasing emissions from fertilizer.
“It is necessary to notice that this can be a voluntary goal and we don’t wish to cut back fertilizer use, we’re merely making an attempt to cut back emissions from the applying of fertilizer,” mentioned MacDonald.
“No farmers can have restrictions imposed upon them about how a lot fertilizer they’ll make the most of, as an alternative we wish to work with farmers to additional sustainable practices within the agriculture trade wherever attainable.”
The petition shall be open for signatures till Jan. 2, after which shall be tabled by Barlow when the Home returns.