During the recent FPT Ag Minister meetings they had to really push to have a discussion around the Federal Governments targets for fertilizer emissions reduction.
Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says Minister Bibeau and her staff made it clear that the actual target, the 30% wasn't something that was on the table to be consulted, or changed, or amended.
"So we have definitely expressed some disappointment that we felt like all along, this was a number that they just plucked out of the air. We had hoped that after some time to reflect and understand what that potentially could mean to the ag sector, that they'd be willing to at least have a conversation around changing it. But it appears that they are not."
Horner says he understands their ambitions around emissions, but we want to hear them say that there's a few different challenges and opportunities facing agriculture beyond that.
"We think it's imperative that they communicate to everyone that they know that Canadian agriculture needs to increase production. That's something we hear every day that the amount of food we need to produce in the coming years greatly exceeds what we produce now. We're one of few jurisdictions that can produce more than they consume. So, we know we're a solution to global problems."
He points out that it's fine to have aspirational targets, we just want to know that they won't hinder the actual increasing of yields and production on the prairies.
"We're confident that research and technology will get us there, but we don't want it to be done with a stick. We don't want to make inputs more expensive for producers."
Fertilizer companies and producers have been very vocal about their concerns over Ottawa's goal to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030.
Horner points out that part of the problem is that they (Ottawa) didn't have a baseline to go on.
"They're just targeting a blanket reduction in emissions without understanding the consequence and we think that's frankly reckless. When you we should gather the data, understand what's actually being used, instead of just throwing out these numbers that may very well be unachievable, add cost to the producer and the consumer."
He says it's just, not having a baseline and not understanding the consequences, seems well, frankly ridiculous.
Horner is encouraging people to go online and take part in the consultation process.
The consultation will be open until August 31, 2022.