National Newswatch

Ottawa- Fourteen farm organizations have come together to speak in a common voice with the federal government on carbon pricing issues such as offsets, rebates, and exemptions.

The Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) has its roots in the campaign to convince the government to exempt grain dryers and barn heaters and coolers from the carbon tax, which compound the rising production costs facing farmers. “With no alternative fuel sources available, these necessary practices are unfairly penalized by any increase in the price of carbon.”

ACA also wants farmers who took measures before 2017 to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon retention in the soil to get credit for it as is being offered to those who acted since Jan. 1, 2017. It also wants the government to work with farm groups to build carbon policies that support the ag sector.

“Farmers have a history as environmental stewards who, in addition to adopting new technologies, have proven their ability to soften their environmental footprint while protecting their profitability.”

Federal policies must maintain maintains farmers’ competitiveness while supporting their livelihoods and leveraging their critical role as stewards of the land. ACA plans to initiate critical research, analysis and information sharing that supports the continued growth and sustainability of Canadian agriculture. “Farmers have a history of rapidly adopting new technologies that have proven to soften their environmental footprint while protecting their profitability.

Other priorities are getting the federal Enhanced Soil Organic Carbon Protocol to apply to no-till, intercropping, grazing, and winter cover cropping. “We also look forward to engaging on future protocols for Livestock Feed Management, Avoided Conversion of Grasslands, 4R Climate-Smart Offset Protocol, and Livestock Manure Management.,” ACA said.

While the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF) commits a portion of revenue collected by the carbon tax for rebates and retrofits that reduce carbon emissions for small and medium size enterprises such as farms., it has not been “open for applications since the summer of 2019 and ACA will look to engage the federal government on how to efficiently return this revenue for critical emission reduction projects.”

It also wants further engagement on “the Nature Based Solutions Fund for

Agriculture and other forms of research, particularly with the recent announcement to expand the living labs into model farms throughout each province. It is critical that these initiatives engage with farmers to ensure that critical innovations in sequestration are developed into offset protocols as soon as possible.”

The ACA was formed to ensure that Canadian farmers and ranchers are included in important discussions about environmental policies and regulations that directly affect their businesses and livelihoods.

Its members are the Canadian Canola Growers Association, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Grain Growers of Canada, Canadian Pork Council, Egg Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadian Horticultural Council, the Canadian Egg Hatching Producers, the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, the National Sheep Network, the National Cattle Feeders’ Association, and the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Alex Binkley is a freelance journalist and writes for domestic and international publications about agriculture, food and transportation issues. He’s also the author of two science fiction novels with more in the works.
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