From The Counter Signal, in italics with my bolds
As per a Government of Saskatchewan news release, both the Alberta and Saskatchewan’s Ministers of Agriculture have expressed “profound disappointment” in Trudeau’s decision to attempt to reduce nitrogen emissions from fertilizer.
“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit said. “The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers.”
According to Alberta Agriculture Minister Nate Horner, “This has been the most expensive crop anyone has put in, following a very difficult year on the prairies. The world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages. The Federal government needs to display that they understand this. They owe it to our producers.”
“Fertilizers play a major role in the agriculture sector’s success and have contributed to record harvests in the last decade. They have helped drive increases in Canadian crop yields, grain sales, and exports,” a news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reads.
And indeed, according to a report from Fertilizer Canada:
- Total Emission Reduction puts a cap on the total emissions allowable from fertilizer at 30% below 2020 levels. As the yield of Canadian crops is directly linked to proper fertilizer application this creates a ceiling on Canadian agricultural productivity well below 2020 levels….
- It is estimated that a 30% absolute emission reduction for a farmer with 1000 acres of canola and 1000 acres of wheat, stands to have their profit reduced by approximately $38,000 – $40,500/ annually.
- In 2020, Western Canadian farmers planted approximately 20.8 million acres of canola. Using these values, cumulatively farm revenues from canola could be reduced by $396M – $441M on an annual basis. Wheat famers could experience a reduction of $400M.
Moreover, Fertilizer Canada doesn’t believe that forcibly decreasing fertilizer use will even lower greenhouse gases but could lead to carbon leakage elsewhere.
Why WEF Elites are Attacking Agriculture
Cameron Smith explains in his ACHS article ‘Regenerative’ Farming: AOC’s Overhyped Climate Change Solution excerpts in italics with my bolds.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently came out in support of “regenerative” farming as a solution to climate change. There is little evidence to justify her advocacy.
The reality is that regenerative agriculture, as commonly defined today, can’t “protect” the global food supply from climate change; it can’t even feed a small country. To achieve the kinds of sustainability gains Ocasio-Cortez described, we need technology-driven farming that utilizes every available tool.
What is regenerative farming?
It’s actually difficult to pin down a clear definition. Most growers and agricultural scientists are interested in sustainable, efficient farming practices that allow us to feed more people while preserving our natural resources. But that’s not what advocates of regenerative farming typically mean when they use the term; their definition is often couched in ideological assumptions.
NRDC went on to explain that “Regenerative farmers and ranchers make every effort to reduce their reliance on synthetic inputs, such as herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers.” The problem with using this sort of technophobia as a guiding principle is that it excludes workable solutions to the problems everybody wants to mitigate.
Genetically engineered (GE) crops that require less water or naturally fight off pests are two very practical, innovative tools that “regenerative” advocates almost universally disdain. There is no justification for this bias since the genetics of a plant have little to do with how you grow it. A few agroecology advocates have made the same observation; they see no problem in growing GE crops according to agroecological principles.
The same goes for low-toxic pesticides. Widespread use of the weed killer glyphosate, the boogeyman in modern environmentalism, allowed many farmers to reduce or eliminate tillage as a form of weed control, significantly cutting their CO2 emissions. Herbicide-tolerant seeds introduced in the 1990s accelerated the adoption of no- and low-till agriculture.
In 2018 alone, farmers who cultivated these GE crops reduced their carbon emissions by 23 billion kilotons, the equivalent of pulling 15.3 million cars off the road. NRDC acknowledged the value of no-till farming, calling it “a technique that leaves the soil intact when planting rather than disturbing the soil through plowing.” But the group has also lambasted glyphosate as “a toxic weed killer.”
This isn’t to say that agrochemicals have no negative impact on the environment, because they certainly do. But that externality has to be balanced against the enormous production increases pesticides and fertilizers enable, which reduce the amount of land we dedicate to farming while feeding more people.
In any case, the solution isn’t to ban technologies that have proven their efficacy in spades. We instead have to devise new solutions that build upon earlier innovations. The end result is an increasingly sustainable food system. This is the key concept Ocasio-Cortez and other ideologues miss when they wax poetic about “regenerative farming techniques.” Let’s give Nordhaus and Saloni the last word:
… [t]here is no shortage of problems associated with chemical-intensive and large-scale agriculture. But the solutions to these problems—be they innovations that allow farmers to deliver fertilizer more precisely to plants when they need it, bioengineered microbial soil treatments that fix nitrogen in the soil and reduce the need for both fertilizer and soil disruption, or genetically modified crops that require fewer pesticides and herbicides—will be technological, giving farmers new tools instead of removing old ones that have been proven critical to their livelihoods.
Footnote When Will Justin Trudeau Stop Acting Like Dumb and Dumber?