Federal climate policy, fertilizer plans will cause devastation, Saskatchewan farmers say

Farmers in Saskatchewan, a state that occupies almost half of Canada’s cultivated land, said production would drop sharply if they were forced to use less fertilizer and pay increasingly higher carbon taxes on fuel. increase.

The government is moving that goal forward, First announced In December 2020, reduce the absolute level of greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer use by 30% from the 2020 level by 2030.Specifically, aim for reduction Nitrous oxide emissions It is related to the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

however, report According to Fertilizer Canada, a leading fertilizer industry, a 30% reduction in emissions from farmers who own 1,000 acres of canola and 1,000 acres of wheat will save $ 38,000 to $ 40,500 in annual profits. Nationally, this means a loss of $ 400 million for wheat farmers and a loss of $ 441 million for rapeseed producers.

A September 2021 report Consulting firm MNP assumes that Canadian canola, corn and spring wheat farmers will have 30% less emissions by 2030 if they use 20% less fertilizer between 2023 and 2030. Based on that, we calculated that we would lose a total of $ 48 billion in profits. This loss is $ 550 million in 10 years The federal government has announced that it will help farmers reach their emissions targets.

In the town of Abbey, Saskatchewan, Brian Bonogovsky sells farm tools and covers six-quarters of the farmland. He says federal action is a “mainly western attack” that stimulates farmers.

“They are probably the most carefree people out there until you put them back in the corner, and then they have to come for your jugular vein,” he said in an interview. “They are proud to produce food for the Canadians and for the world, so they have to do so.”

According to the latest World Bank statistics, Canada’s arable land in 2018 was 38,687,000 hectares, making it the third highest country in the world. In rural areas Statistics Canada reported in 2017 Saskatchewan accounted for 46.8% of agricultural land, Alberta 26.8% and Manitoba 12.7%.

“It’s time for urban people to understand the seriousness of what would happen if fertilizers, land use, and even electric tractors and combines were reduced by 30%, and productivity would definitely decline. “I will,” said Bonogofski.

“You’re not going to buy food. You can secure $ 5 million for tomorrow’s grocery bill, but [there’s no food] On that shelf, you’re not going to get it. “

Bonogofski predicts that reducing fertilizer usage is “catastrophic” for production. He believes that federal policy will do more to destroy people than to save the planet and climate.

“We are overwhelmed by government interference with many things we do, many government involvement that shouldn’t be. Losses outweigh savings. That is, you live your life. Because I’m talking, I’m talking more about people who get hungry at night, “he said.

“It’s a concern when we get a country that is trying to feed the world, not just Canada. It won’t be long before we run out of supply. And last year, our supply was for most commodities. It was already low. “

Soaring diesel costs

The current carbon tax of $ 50 per ton is $ 170 by 2030.. Farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, where Ottawa controls carbon taxes, are taxed by the federal government. rebate.. However, according to Canadian grain producers, these farmers do not benefit equally from the rebate program, and some farmers only receive 20 to 30 percent of their carbon tax. The clean fuel standard will come into effect on July 1, 2023, and gasoline and diesel costs will increase by up to 13 cents per liter by 2030.

That’s not good news for Douglas Davidson. He says diesel costs are skyrocketing on his farm south of Swift Current.

“The first batch of diesel I bought for 43.9 cents per liter in 2020. I had it refilled here about a month ago and it was $ 1.739 per liter,” Davidson told The Epoch Times. I did.

“In full-go mode, you can use up 1,000 liters a day, and in some cases 2,000 liters, so you just have to do math.”

The demonstration followed a ban on fertilizers in Sri Lanka and a policy to reduce nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions in the Netherlands. Davidson says he is “with them” protesting in the Netherlands because of the serious impact on farmers.

“They are terribly reduced so that they lose their livelihood and their property and everything,” he said.

“We don’t necessarily talk about Dutch farmers. I think we’re talking about agriculture in general — they all come from the same place. Trudeau makes the same plans in Canada. And they will actually do this all over the world until they are stopped. “

John Graf, a shepherd in the Whitewood region of eastern Regina, pledged in January 2021 that Canada and 50 other countries would secure 30% of land and sea in the name of biodiversity protection. I am concerned.

“They have already been signed, sealed and delivered. They are finished. The difference is that the Dutch farmers know it and are doing something. The Canadian farmers don’t. I haven’t done anything about it, “Graph said in an interview.

“I can’t believe policymakers are so stupid and informed to make such decisions.”

Graff states that fertilizers are essential for high-intensity food production, but government policies are also undermining alternatives.

“They are also chasing livestock producers, which reduces the amount of fertilizer available. Organic production can only be maintained at production levels by using fertilizer and tillage. [crops], Like clover and alfalfa. But in doing so, they deprive production of land for one year to cultivate and then maintain sustainable production levels for the next few years.

“Therefore, there is no arguing that no matter how you cut this fertilizer, you can produce enough food to feed the world.”

“There is no common sense”

Blairbrost, a farmer near Maple Creek in southwestern Saskatchewan, does not understand the logic behind the policy.

“You really wonder where these people get their information. I don’t know. They have no common sense. It’s as if the tail is waving a dog or something. That’s totally meaning. No, “Brost told the Epoch Times.

“They could deal with this cheaply, taxing everyone’s junk and starving their homes, and it was far more environmentally friendly than they were doing. The easy thing they can do to get over this hump. There are many, but they seem to be digging holes deeper and faster than we can catch up with. “

Tree planting is far more effective in addressing carbon issues, Brost said. If Canadians swallow “carbon BS” instead of food, “they will pay a lot for it and they will be hungry,” he says. He says farmers are already trying to minimize their input.

“They are trying to grow as many crops as possible, cheaply and at maximum production, because land prices are insane, and because plants need carbon to grow. , Its maximum production removes the maximum amount of carbon from the air, “he said.

“This carbon is the biggest kick start of the domino effect,” he added, referring to the pressure that taxes put on farmers.

“If [Trudeau] They will chase the farmers, hit them hard with high carbon taxes, etc. and they will just leave. Many of these people are only running on very tight wires, so they are always only two bad crops away from bankruptcy. And they already have two bad things. “

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.