A new report from Fertilizer Canada and the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) shows how Canada can continue to increase crop yields while significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fertilizer application using available tools and technology, a Sept. 7 news release said.
The release noted a 14 per cent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 can be achieved without jeopardizing food security through the adoption of aggressive, but attainable levels of 4R best management practices.
“We support the federal government’s strong push to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions, but we cannot sacrifice food productivity,” Karen Proud, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada, said in the release. “The approach to 2030 must be realistic, balance agricultural emission reductions with food production, and remain voluntary.”
The report looked at three scenarios for major Canadian cropping systems across Canada and built a path forward to 2030 based on broader implementation of 4R practices. The study looked at the impact of 4R BMPs on GHG emissions and the economic impact to growers.
By increasing crop yields and reducing fertilizer emissions through the adoption of an aggressive, but attainable level of 4R BMPs farm incomes would increase by $4.3 billion dollars by 2030, the release said. The cost to implement the necessary level of 4R BMPs would be $495 million per year.
The level and type of BMP adoption needed, and therefore cost, varies by region. Government policies and programs to encourage 4R adoption must take this into consideration by working with provinces, farm groups, and the fertilizer industry, the release noted.
“This report helps underscore the need to work collaboratively with farmers and industry across regions to ensure farmers have the flexibility and support to use the practices that are best suited to their farms and injects some new science-based data and economic analysis into this ongoing discussion,” Jim Everson, president of the CCC, said in the release.