by Jim Wiesmeyer, AgWeb.com
Canada is urging farmers to reduce fertilizer emissions to curb greenhouse gases, triggering a backlash. The government of Justin Trudeau is proposing a 30% reduction by 2030 from 2020 levels in emissions from fertilizer as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gases.
Some farmers say the plan could force them to use less fertilizer and reduce crop yields, which would impair Canada’s ability to ease a global food crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine.
“We are really committed to the fight against climate change,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Fertilizer use “is one activity we have identified that can have a significant impact on reducing emissions.”
CANADA’S IMPACT ON FOOD PRODUCTION
Canada is the eighth-largest exporter of agricultural products and seafood in the world. It is a major producer of wheat and one of the world’s biggest exporters of pulse crops like peas and beans. Canada is also a major producer of potash, a fertilizer, and canola oil and seed, used to make animal feed and vegetable alternatives to sunflower oil.
The Canadian government’s proposal is part of its plan for a 45% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. Canada’s agricultural sector is responsible for roughly 10% of total emissions, according to Canadian government statistics. Almost a fifth of those industry emissions come from fertilizer.
FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION OR REQUIREMENT?
Canada says its target is a recommendation, said a spokeswoman for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Farmers who don’t comply with the Canadian recommendations won’t face any consequences, said the spokeswoman for the agriculture department, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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