In response to a new study which shows the strong contribution to global warming of certain agricultural practices, the Farmers for the Climate Transition group is calling for Ottawa to help.
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According to the new study published in the scientific journal Nature, the use of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the biggest sources of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, a greenhouse gas (GHG) 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2).
According to figures from Statistics Canada, the use of nitrogen fertilizers has doubled since 1993 in the country.
“If we are serious about reducing agricultural emissions, there is an urgent need for government programs that help farmers scale up and scale up these practices,” said Darrin Qualman, member of Farmers for Climate Transition and director of policy and of action for the climate crisis at the National Farmers Union (UNF).
In its Speech from the Throne, the federal government embarked on a plan to support farmers across the country to look after their lands in a way that limits GHG emissions.
Research by Fertilizer Canada, an industry association of producers and distributors of fertilizers of all kinds, has found that Canadian farms could reduce their use of nitrogen fertilizers by up to 35% without affecting land productivity.
“Other practices employed by Canadian farmers to reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers include planting legumes, which naturally fix nitrogen from the atmosphere in the soil through their roots, extending crop rotations to diversify crops and avoid depleting certain soil nutrients, and sowing cover crops that contribute to soil health ”, it is written in a press release issued by Fermiers pour la transition climatique.