On December 12th, 2022, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced the launch of consultations to develop a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy (SAS) with the goal of “helping to direct collective action to improve environmental performance in the sector over the long-term, support farmers’ livelihoods and strengthen the business vitality of the Canadian agricultural industry.” SaskCrops, a collaboration of SaskBarley, SaskCanola, SaskFlax, SaskOats, Sask Wheat, and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, submitted a response on behalf of Saskatchewan’s annual crop producers.
Saskatchewan accounts for 43% of the annually cropped acres in Canada. Alone, it produces the equivalent of the entire Canadian domestic demand for most of the primary field crops grown in Canada while exporting most of its production.
Saskatchewan’s annual crop producers operate in a world where the prices they receive for their production are largely determined globally. If policies, targets, and timeframes impose costs that do not contribute to improved efficiency or increased output at the farm level, producers will have to absorb the costs at the risk of becoming globally uncompetitive and unprofitable.
The SaskCrops SAS submission illustrates that Saskatchewan’s annual crop producers are unique across Canada in their low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and high agricultural intensity. They have made and continue to make meaningful contributions that will help Canada meet environmental goals and increase Canadian agriculture’s resiliency.
In addition, Saskatchewan’s annual crop producers have invested millions of dollars through commodity organizations into research. SaskCrops views variety development and agronomic research as primary ways to overcome barriers and increase agricultural sustainability and resiliency. Such research, which is crucial to the adoption of new practices and technologies and ultimately the success of the SAS, also requires adequate time for testing, beyond the short-time frame to the fertilizer emissions reduction target of 2030 and ongoing, possibly past the ambitious goal of net-zero by 2050 set by the Government of Canada.
To read the complete SaskCrops SAS submission, please CLICK HERE.