Carbon Taxes Could Perversely Punish Farmers — Stephen Vandervalk



With governments across the country talking about putting a price on carbon, there’s serious concern that policy-makers will end up taxing and raising costs for a group of people who have made significant progress in and are already achieving the intended outcome of sequestering carbon: farmers.

“I don’t think we’ve done a very good job telling that story to consumers and to government,” says Stephen Vandervalk, Fort MacLeod-area farmer and Western Canadian Wheat Growers Alberta vice-president, in this conversation with RealAg’s Shaun Haney.

Vandervalk and Wheat Growers Saskatchewan VP Margaret Hansen wrote an op-ed in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this week entitled “Western farming yields carbon reductions.”

Carbon taxes may not be applied directly to farms, but as Vandervalk notes, they will likely to be imposed on fertilizer manufacturers, crop protection makers and machinery companies, all of whom will pass the cost on to primary producers.

“We’re looking at potentially a 10 percent increase in some of our costs, all across the board. We’ve heard numbers as high as 30 dollars an acre,” he says. “We really need to get in front of this and tell our story.”

Listen to Vandervalk’s discussion below, and read the StarPhoenix op-ed here.


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