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Cdn. ag group asks Ottawa for green incentives

Cdn. ag group asks Ottawa for green incentives

Farmers for Climate Solutions includes provincial and national organizations

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal government should provide Canadian producers with incentives to encourage them to implement green and climate-friendly solutions on their farms, an industry group says.

Farmers for Climate Solutions (FCS), a national organization made up of existing industry groups and supporters, believes “that agriculture must be part of the solution to climate change,” its website says.

The national group launched on Feb. 11 to coincide with Canada’s Agriculture Day. Its members include such organizations as the National Farmers Union (NFU), Canadian Organic Growers and Rural Routes to Climate Solutions.

“Climate-friendly practices will look different from one farm to the next, but every farmer has the capacity to be part of the solution,” Stewart Wells, second vice-president of the NFU, said in a February statement.

FCS also involves farmer advocates like Brenda Barritt to help guide the organization with their policy requests.

“We bring a bit of a reality check at the front end and help demonstrate what high-level policy looks like and how it affects the day-to-day farmer,” Barritt, a rancher from Alix, Alta. told Farms.com.

The approach to how the government shapes any potential incentive programs is just as important as the program’s goals.

Farmers may not want to see a prescribed idea, Barritt said.

The federal government should look at “how to enable farmers to make better choices and reward results,” Barritt said. “Each farm is different and that needs to be taken into consideration.”

One area of the industry with potential for improvement is moving into perennial-based tillage systems.

Research should be done into how leaving land undisturbed for multiple years can affect the climate and individual farm economics, Barritt said.

“When we take an annual-based tillage system and convert it into pasture because we’re only tilling it maybe once every 15 or 20 years so we can do rejuvenation, we’re not being incentivized to do that and we’re not having that conversation widely in agriculture,” she said.

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