APAS was one of a number of farm groups taking part in the Federal Governments consultations on the proposed 30 per cent fertilizer emission reduction target.
President Ian Boxall says there needs to be a balance between production and ag policy.
"We are doing what we can. We care about the environment, we care about all this stuff. At the same point we also have a role to play in the production of key agricultural products for the world. We need to ensure that policy is all a balance within all these tiers, environment, agriculture, all of that."
A summary of the APAS submission includes several points:
- The initial 30 percent fertilizer emissions reduction target was set without adequate consultation with producers and was based on an incomplete understanding of the technology and nutrient stewardship
practices currently used on Saskatchewan farms.
- APAS strongly advocates for an "intensity-based" approach to measuring emissions, which would allow for production increases, while also ensuring continuous improvements in efficiency and a lower
- Emissions reduction strategies must be based on sound science with verifiable research showing emissions savings and the benefits of adopting new practices. Measuring emissions from farm practices is an evolving area of research and Canada cannot afford to get ahead of the science when
setting targets for the sector.
- Emissions measurement must be based on modeling that is clear, accurate and accounts for regional variations. The expectation that models will improve calls into question the appropriateness of setting a baseline year to measure reductions.
- Emissions reduction strategies should not interfere with Canada’s contributions to global food security or introduce additional risks to family farm businesses. The submission also addresses concerns with the design of offset protocols in Canada and the competitive constraints that carbon pricing and
climate change policies have on producers in world markets.
APAS’ submission also highlighted the joint submission from the Saskatchewan Crop Commodity Commissions which APAS also supported during the consultations.
He notes we are at a time right now when Canada is being looked at to be leaders in safe agriculture products including food.
"Starving people is, I'm sorry, more important than nitrous oxide emissions."
Boxall says yes the environment is important, farmers are on the front line of climate change with the environment and how it affects our farms.
"We care more than we ever get credit for."
Saskatchewan has 46 per cent of the acres in Canada.
He notes when it comes to the adoption of technology and new practices. we're the leaders here in Saskatchewan.
"Zero till was invented here, deep banding fertilizer is something we already do, and the government needs to remember that."