Will the federal government cap synthetic fertilizer use?

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The federal government has announced plans to reduce emissions related to synthetic fertilizer use, which has sparked concerns within agriculture groups, like Fertilizer Canada.

As Shaun Haney, host of RealAg Radio, noted on RFDTV recently, Fertilizer Canada was initially supportive of the government’s 30 per cent emissions reduction plan.

However, as details are rolling out about a reduction to all emissions related to synthetic fertilizer use, there seems to be a disconnect between the emissions reduction target, the Clean Fuel Standard, and the synthetic fertilizer needed to produce the ingredients needed for alternative fuels.

To gain Fertilizer Canada’s perspective on the subject, as well as other priorities for the organization, Haney was joined by Karen Proud, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada, which represents manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers of fertilizer.

“We’re quite concerned in the direction the government is going,” says Proud. The total emissions reduction is problematic for Fertilizer Canada, so the organization intends to spend time talking with the government about what that’s going to mean.

Instead of a total emissions reduction, or a cap of total emissions allowable from fertilizer at 30 per cent, which is below the 2020 level, Fertilizer Canada hopes to propose a reduction in emission intensity, or reducing the amount of emissions it takes to produce a bushel of crop.

Fertilizer Canada has approached the environment minister’s office as well as the agriculture minister and has a meeting with Minister Bibeau soon โ€” the goal being to get these two departments aligned on the objective. Getting 4R nutrient stewardship recognized as part of the objective is another goal, Proud says.

“We do have a great solution that will help the government meet its targets, and support the farmers in doing what they need to do to be productive and profitable,” says Proud.

Fertilizer Canada members are also taking action to reduce their emissions related to producing synthetic fertilizer.

Hear the full conversation between Proud and Haney on factors affecting industry competitiveness:

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