A majority of farmers are saying that they do not want to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer they use. That is according to a recent study completed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Over 70 per cent of farmers surveyed said the yield of their crops and overall food production will be significantly altered if the federal government requires them to use less nitrogen fertilizer. Mike Wind, a potato and grain farmer near Taber says he’s disappointed that the Trudeau Liberals didn’t consult farmers and that this mandate will have a huge impact on them if implemented.
“It kind of goes against what the government was trying to do with greenhouse gases. Because when you reduce nitrogen, or all fertilizers actually, what you’re doing is you’re having a larger footprint to grow the same crop. Our yields will be cut, obviously. We don’t use fertilizer because we want to- we need to. So when you use less fertilizer you have less yield. That’ll mean you have a larger footprint. The other thing that’s going to happen is the cost of production is going to climb. I mean, the cost of fertilizer isn’t that big, but if our yields are down we need to grow more acres. So our all around costs, which we will end up passing onto the consumers.”
The federal government is currently conducting consultations on its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen fertilizer by 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. CFIB is urging the government not to mandate a reduction in the use of nitrogen fertilizer. The CFIB has sent a submission letter on the fertilizer emissions reduction target to the federal government urging it to keep its target voluntary.