Grain farmers reduced emission intensity by 50% over 20 years
Grain farmers reduced emission intensity by 50% over 20 years

Even before the Liberal government introduced its fertilizer emission reduction target, Canadian grain farmers were leading the way in reducing agricultural emissions. 

According to the Grain Growers of Canada, between 1997 and 2017, grain farmers surpassed the entire economy in reducing emission intensity. Emission intensity measures a farmer’s emission output relative to the production of a single bushel. 

Over that period, grain farmers reduced their emission intensity by 50%, while the entire Canadian economy saw a 36% reduction. 

“For decades, grain farmers have been at the forefront of sustainability, making Canada a global leader in producing grain with the lowest emissions possible,” said the advocacy group’s vice-chair, William van Tassel. 

“Yet, boosting our competitiveness and commitment to emission reductions demands a significant increase in research and development investments. These investments are essential for overcoming current obstacles and leveraging future opportunities.”

Although the Liberal government has called grain growers the world’s worst emission offenders, more research is coming out that disproves that claim. 

According to the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security, Canadian farmers outpace the rest of the world when it comes to low-emission agricultural practices. 

For example, Canadian canola farmers had a carbon footprint that was 60% lower than the global average, while Saskatchewan farmers overall saw a staggering 67% reduction in emissions.

“These impressive results are driven by the widespread adoption in Saskatchewan of agricultural innovations and sustainable farming practices that have significantly reduced the amount of inputs and emissions needed to farm each acre of land,” said researcher Prof.Steve Webb.

Despite farmers making headway in emission reductions, the Liberal government has asked farmers to voluntarily reduce fertilizer emissions by 30% by 2030. 

Some agricultural groups warn that this reduction is impossible without threatening global food security

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