Last week, the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) participated in a town hall meeting as the first step in providing canola sector input to the industry consultation in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Fertilizer Emissions Reduction Target.
“Now more than ever, customers around the world are looking to Canada to meet their food security needs and to help fight climate change,” said CCC President Jim Everson. “Ensuring canola growers have access to nitrogen fertilizer is a critical part of meeting this global challenge.
In a news release, the groups say Canadian canola growers are leaders in adopting agricultural practices and technologies that increase productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including labor conservation soil, pod-burst tolerant seed varieties, precision farming technologies and 4R nutrient management practices. The growing demand for healthy vegetable oils, along with the impact of concurrent challenges affecting people’s access to food around the world, is creating even more demand for Canadian canola.
The town hall event included presentations from AAFC representatives on the emissions reduction goal and the issues identified in the discussion paper, followed by a question and answer session.
“The proposal presented by AAFC has a direct impact on the sustainability and profitability of farms, and it is essential that farmers are consulted,” said Rick White, President and CEO of the CCGA. “We requested that AAFC provide farmers with the opportunity to participate directly in the process through a virtual town hall.
The CCC and CCGA noted that Canada’s nitrogen emission reduction effort must:
– Commit wholeheartedly to helping growers meet the global demand for canola while striving to maintain long-term economic and environmental sustainability, including reducing nitrogen emissions.
– Focus on reducing emissions, not reducing nitrogen use, recognizing the critical role efficient fertilizer use 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 adopting practices that work for their farms.
– Addressing the need for reliable data to accurately measure fertilizer emissions and progress.
CCC and CCGA are working with provincial canola associations to respond to AAFC by the June 3, 2022 consultation deadline.