The Federal Government recently announced Canada's goal of reducing fertilizer emissions by 30 percent for on-farm use by 2030.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently held a town hall industry consultation focusing on that announcement.
Rick White, President and CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, says fertilizer is critical to farming operations, and they need to realize that sustainability is more than environmental.
"Farmers, if they're not economic, they're not sustainable in the first place. So, if we're going down this path, we need to focus on fertilizer emissions reduction, and certainly not a reduction of fertilizer use in this country, because that will create significant financial hardship for farmers."
He says this is coming at a time when the global population is increasing, and we see a need for more food.
"If you just go out and cut fertilizer production tanks and people starve. So, that's where we're coming from too, and quite frankly, we don't even have any baseline data about what fertilizer emissions are right now with current farming practices. We need some baseline data to work out first, so we know what the reduction is going to be made from and know if we're going to make headway in that direction and how best to do it."
He says they also stressed that AAFC needs to have a real, open and transparent consultation for grassroot farmers to voice their views on the issue.
White also participated in a review of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which is focusing on transparency and their regulatory approach.
"We insist and continue to ask that they maintain a science based approach to approval of pesticides and renewal pesticide as we go forward. Stick to the science and make sure that there's no political interference in that decision making process."
He notes it will be a few months before any decisions are made.