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Agriculture's contribution to carbon sequestration must be recognised

20 April 2018, at 12:00am

The President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan says the contribution of Canadian agriculture in helping reduce Canada's carbon footprint, and without a carbon tax, needs to be recognised.

The Government of Saskatchewan has rejected a Federal Government ultimatum to the provinces to implement a carbon price or have one imposed, a position which is supported by Saskatchewan's umbrella farm organisation.

Todd Lewis, the President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, says the agriculture sector has been increasing its efficiencies with new technologies and new agronomic practices and is producing more pounds of protein – be it pork or beef – and more grains and oil seeds with a lower carbon footprint than ever before – without a carbon tax.

Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, speaks to Farmscape on this matter:

“Farmers have always been driving efficiencies for lower fuel consumption, new agronomic practices, a lot of which have been invented right on the prairies and certainly within Saskatchewan things like direct seeding and all of that technology has been exported around the world.

“We've done a good job of lowering our carbon footprint and increasing fuel prices aren't going to make farmers burn less fuel.

“If we're going to grow crop we need to burn fuel and if you put the price of it up we're just going to increase our cost.

“It's not going to make us burn less fuel because we already are burning as little as we possibly can. There's low margins in agriculture and we don't burn fuel without good reason.

“With an economy like Saskatchewan where we're export oriented all of our commodities are on the world market and there's no real way to pass on to our customers carbon pricing.

“It'll be taken off the bottom line of our producers and we see that as a major flaw with the carbon tax.

“It's a competitive issue that we'll be less competitive in the world market.”

As reported by Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape.Ca

Photo: Steve Browne & John Verkleir