While there are people on social media trying to cast a shadow on the quality and safety of Canadian butter due to a perceived change in its melting point, industry experts say butter consistency, cheese texture, and the composition of milk change every year — and throughout the year — based on ration changes of the…
Alberta pork processing plants have been impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks and control measures, and as such, plants have closed or reduced slaughter capacity. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau today announced the AgriRecovery Framework will kick-in for Alberta, with up to $3 million available to assist hog producers impacted by processing shut downs. An additional $1 million will be…
Alberta pork processing plants have been impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks and control measures, and as such, plants have closed or reduced slaughter capacity.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau today announced the AgriRecovery Framework will kick-in for Alberta, with up to $3 million available to assist hog producers impacted by processing shut downs.
An additional $1 million will be provided by the Alberta government as a grant to Alberta Pork to cover incidental costs and support Alberta foodbanks, says a representative from provincial agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen’s office.
The initiative was initially announced last May, with a dedicated $50 million to help pork producers deal with closure situation.
“It has already been a rollercoaster year and the Olymel closure is yet another challenge for pork producers,” says Minister Bibeau. “Our government has the back of pork producers and will assist them with the extra costs to deal with the associated backlogs. We also care deeply about the health and safety of food production plant workers, who are doing essential work, and we have implemented a range of emergency safety and worker benefit programs to support their safety and wellbeing.”
Funding for the initiative is cost shared on a 60/40 bases between the federal and Alberta governments. The province will administer applications and payments.
“Alberta’s government is committed to protecting lives and livelihoods. We want to make sure that hog producers are getting the supports that they need so that they can continue to do what they do best, which is producing safe, high-quality food, not just for Alberta families but for families all around the world,” says Dreeshen.
Many hog producers are being forced to keep hogs on-farm for longer, beyond the standard life cycle, which cause excess feed maintenance costs. The initiative will provide assistance for up to 90 per cent of the cost to feed market-ready hogs that are held back. As of today, there’s an estimated 100,000 hog backlog in processing.
Producers who own market-ready hogs that are intended for processing between February 8 and March 31, 2021 are eligible. The program will pay $0.95 per hog per day for maintenance costs.
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced an update on its Penitentiary Farm Program, which runs at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions at Kingston, Ontario. Offenders involved in the program have…
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced an update on its Penitentiary Farm Program, which runs at Joyceville and Collins Bay Institutions at Kingston, Ontario.
Offenders involved in the program have had the opportunity to learn technical, transferable and soft skills through their involvement in on-the-job and vocational training associated with the farming operations.
Since 2019, CSC has been gradually implementing the Penitentiary Farm Program, where offenders have been involved in various employment program assignments related to the agricultural operations.
Anne Kelly, CSC Commissioner says the Penitentiary Farm Program helps federal inmates find meaningful employment, which is an important contributing factor to their successful reintegration.
“Offenders who find jobs in the community are three times less likely to return to CSC’s custody for a new offence,” Kelly says. “We will continue working with our partners and stakeholders to strengthen our programs to meet the needs of inmates and the community.”
Following consultations with community members and stakeholders, CSC has been building the dairy cow herd since 2019, which is currently housed in renovated barns at Collins Bay Institution, while plans are finalized for building new dairy barns at Joyceville Institution.
Due to the unplanned financial challenges to address the global COVID-19 pandemic across the organization, CSC has decided to focus its dairy operations on the dairy cow program and temporarily pause the implementation of the dairy goat operation.
The dairy goat program will resume once the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be fully assessed.
CSC began planning for the reopening of its farm operations after receiving $4.3M over five years in Budget 2018 to support the initiative.
The federal government has unveiled the draft regulations for its Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, which is designed to facilitate the generation and trade of credits for projects and practices…
The federal government has unveiled the draft regulations for its Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System, which is designed to facilitate the generation and trade of credits for projects and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The development of the Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System will mean farmers can be recognized and rewarded for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions on their farms by implementing practices that improve the carbon sequestered in their soil,” notes Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, in a statement.
While the regulations are published in the March 6 edition of Canada Gazette, they mainly cover the over-arching requirements under the system — the actual details on how farms will earn and get paid for these offsets is still to be determined.
As we’ve previously covered, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is developing four initial offset protocols for generating and measuring reductions in emissions, one of which is focused on soil carbon in agricultural land. The others pertain to landfill management, refrigeration systems, and forest management.
“The proposed Enhanced Soil Organic Carbon protocol aligns with increased interest in potential climate benefits from the adoption of regenerative agriculture land-management practices that go above and beyond business as usual,” says a briefing document published March 5. “Farmers who reduce or remove GHG emissions through regenerative agriculture practices carried out in accordance with the protocol may be able to generate offset credits which can then be sold, providing a financial incentive.”
The department is in the process of establishing a technical expert panel to provide input into the soil organic carbon protocol. ECCC says there will also be an opportunity for members of the public to comment on draft protocols as part of the development process.
ECCC says it plans to develop the initial four protocols over the summer, and have them ready to implement in the fall of 2021 when it expects to introduce and implement the final regulations.
While the initial focus for agriculture is on soil carbon, ECCC says it’s also considering developing a protocol for emissions reductions through livestock feed management. Beyond that, protocols for “Avoided Conversion of Grasslands, Reduced Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Agriculture Fertilizer and Livestock Manure Management may also be considered.”
The draft regulation proposes January 1, 2017 as the start-date for eligibility, coinciding with when the Trudeau government announced its “Pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution.” Any project or practice started prior to that date would not qualify.
The government has emphasized that it will only issue offset credits for projects or practices that go beyond what would have occurred otherwise, which appears to rule out the potential for significant credits for the increased carbon sequestration from zero-till practices adopted in the past. ECCC says eligible projects must create “real, additional, quantified, verified, unique, and permanent reductions and removals of greenhouse gas emissions.”
For biological sequestration projects, the briefing documents say there will be a monitoring and reporting requirement for 100 years after credits have been issued to ensure reductions are permanent.
Projects that are already receiving credits from provincial protocols or other carbon pricing mechanisms, such as the Clean Fuel Standard, would also not be eligible.
The regulations are now subject to a 60-day comment period, through May 5, 2021.
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