Last week, the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) participated in a town hall discussion as an initial step to providing canola sector input into Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) industry consultation for the fertilizer emissions reduction target.
“Now, more than ever, global customers are looking to Canada to support food security needs and to help address climate change,” said Jim Everson, CCC president. “Ensuring canola farmers have access to nitrogen fertilizer is a critical part of meeting this global challenge.”
In a news release, the groups state that Canadian canola growers are leaders in adopting farming practices and technologies that increase productivity while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including conservation tillage, pod shatter tolerant seed varieties, precision ag technologies and 4R nutrient stewardship practices. Growing demand for healthy vegetable oils, as well as the impact of simultaneous challenges affecting people’s access to food around the globe, are creating even more demand for Canadian canola.
The town hall event included presentations from AAFC officials about the emissions reduction target and the issues identified in the discussion document, followed by a Q&A session.
“The proposal presented by AAFC has direct impact on farm sustainability and profitability, and it’s essential that farmers are consulted,” said Rick White, president & CEO at CCGA. “We’ve requested that AAFC provide an opportunity for farmers to have direct input into the process through a virtual town hall.”
The CCC and CCGA noted that Canada’s nitrogen emissions reduction effort must:
- Commit unreservedly to supporting growers in meeting global canola demand while working to maintain the long-term economic and environmental sustainability, including reducing nitrogen emissions.
- Focus on emissions reduction and not nitrogen use reduction, recognizing the critical role that efficient use of fertilizer plays in improving canola productivity.
- Recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and deploy a variety of incentives and solutions that support farmers who adopt practices that work for their farms.
- Address the need for reliable data to accurately measure fertilizer emissions and progress.
The CCC and CCGA are working with provincial canola associations to respond to AAFC in advance of the June 3, 2022 consultation deadline.