Farmers express fertilizer cut concerns

Reducing fertilizer emissions

If you follow online new sources, you may have run across a few headlines this week on the theme of “(Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau pushes ahead with fertilizer cut as farmers and provinces cry foul”.

Already a few inquiries have come into my office as farming is an active concern in many of the rural areas in our region.

What do these headlines mean?

Currently the government has indicated it intends to attempt to reduce fertilizer emissions in agriculture as part of the Liberal’s plan to reduce emissions by 30% in the year 2030.

This announcement has resulted in serious backlash, not just from farmers but several provincial governments as well.

The primary concern is the potential reduction in the use of fertilizer will in turn decrease crop output, which will result in lost revenue for farmers as well as higher prices for Canadians consumers in grocery stores.

If you follow international news, similar measures recently announced in the Netherlands resulted in massive protests by farmers that shut down many parts of the Dutch economy, including some key infrastructure.

The farmers I have already heard from point out fertilizer is expensive and is only used sparingly when and where needed.

They are seriously concerned that having unelected bureaucrats in Ottawa, with little to no experience in farming, picking arbitrary limits on fertilizer use will have disastrous results for them, as well as Canadian consumers.

The government has stated its intent is not to reduce the use of fertilizer but rather to encourage “research and innovation” so, hopefully, better practices will be found through technology.

Another concern raised is for those countries that do not implement climate-related restrictions on fertilizer use. They may end up with a competitive advantage, yielding more crops at less cost over Canadian farmers. This is a valid worry given that Canada, in 2021, exported roughly $82.2 billion in agriculture and food products. That works out roughly just under 7% of our annual gross domestic product.

Any trade related losses will have serious repercussions to many Canadian farmers.

As we are also in an inflationary period and the hike in groceries has been repeatedly raised on my summer listening tour, in every part of our riding, we must also consider that if basic inputs like fertilizer are more expensive—costs of production get passed onto consumers—in this case in in higher grocery prices.

More and more people have told me they want to support local and search out Canadian produce wherever they can but new, costlier policies make that more difficult.

My question this week:

Are you concerned with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s intention to potentially impose a 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions in Canada by 2030?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the official Oppositions's finance critic.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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