Grain farm­ers call for com­pre­hen­sive fuel re­lief from car­bon price

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

Grain Grow­ers of Canada Grain farm­ers across Canada are ask­ing the Govern­ment to pro­vide ad­di­tional re­lief from the Fed­eral car­bon pol­lu­tion back­stop given the im­pact it will have on their abil­ity to com­pete in mar­kets at home and around the world.

“The car­bon price will add costs to farm in­puts and to trans­port­ing our grains to mar­ket mak­ing it more ex­pen­sive to be a grain farmer in Canada com­pared to our key com­peti­tors around the world,” said Jeff Nielsen, Grain Grow­ers of Canada Pres­i­dent. “Pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional re­lief will not im­pact grow­ers’ com­mit­ments to re­duc­ing GHG emis­sions. Grow­ers are al­ready do­ing that, and they will con­tinue to work hard to grow more, with less.”

Grain grow­ers have made sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in their en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and are pro­duc­ing more grains with sig­nif­i­cantly lower GHG emis­sions. For ex­am­ple, modern plant sci­ence, agro­nomics and biotech­nol­ogy have helped re­duce the cli­mate im­pact of On­tario corn by 37 per cent over the last 34 years. Canola grow­ers have been able to use biotech­nol­ogy to re­duce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions by 1 bil­lion kilo­grams, the equiv­a­lent of tak­ing 500,000 cars off the road.

“Grain farm­ers are part of the cli­mate change so­lu­tion,” said Saskatchewan grain farmer Doyle Wiebe. “Long be­fore the Govern­ment put a price on car­bon we have been work­ing hard to re­duce our emis­sions, se­ques­ter­ing car­bon and in­no­vat­ing con­stantly to in­crease on-farm sus­tain­abil­ity.”

Mid­dle-class grain farm­ers sell into global mar­kets and op­er­ate on nar­row mar­gins where ev­ery added cost has an im­pact on their com­pet­i­tive­ness and abil­ity to op­er­ate. Nat­u­ral gas and propane are es­sen­tial farm fu­els, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing a wet fall like the one farm­ers are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing across Canada. The fed­eral back­stop in­cludes re­lief for propane and nat­u­ral gas used by green­house grow­ers and grain grow­ers are re­quest­ing to be given the same ex­emp­tions.

“We wel­come the ex­emp­tion for diesel and gas in the fed­eral back­stop,” said Markus Haerle, who farms in On­tario. “The Govern­ment must at a min­i­mum go a step fur­ther and in­clude re­lief for propane and nat­u­ral gas used in grain dry­ers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.