Released on July 22, 2022
Saskatchewan and Alberta Ministers of Agriculture are expressing profound disappointment in the federal government's fertilizer emissions reduction target.
"We're really concerned with this arbitrary goal," Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit said. "The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers."
"This has been the most expensive crop anyone has put in, following a very difficult year on the prairies," Alberta Minister of Agriculture Nate Horner said. "The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The Federal government needs to display that they understand this. They owe it to our producers."
Fertilizer emissions reduction was not even a topic on the agenda of the annual meeting of Federal-Provincial-Territorial ministers of agriculture, who just finished 3 days of meetings in Saskatchewan. Provinces pushed the federal government to discuss this important topic, but were disappointed to learn that the target is already set. The commitment to future consultations are only to determine how to meet the target that Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bibeau have already unilaterally imposed on this industry, not to consult on what is achievable or attainable.
Western Canadian farmers already produce the most sustainable agri-food products in the world, and they're continually being asked to do more with less. We cannot feed the growing world population with a reduction in fertilizer.
Western Canadian producers base fertilizer inputs on realistic targets based on moisture availability. Producers are conservative in the use of fertilizer inputs and don't add more than what is needed. They alone simply cannot shoulder the impact of this shortsighted policy.
4R Nutrient Stewardship is a made-in-Canada approach that promotes environmental stewardship through best practices in science-based nutrient management. This innovative partnership is an example of government, industry and farmers working together to achieve better environmental outcomes without reducing much needed food production. Western Canada already accounts for almost all of the acres under 4R management in Canada.
For more information, contact:Drew Lumbard
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development