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Devin Dreeshen: What’s happening to Dutch farmers, Trudeau is doing to Canadians

Thomas Lambert

July 8, 2022

Alberta MLA and former Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen is concerned that what’s happening to Dutch farmers is being done to Canadian farmers by PM Justin Trudeau.

What's happening to Dutch farmers, Trudeau is doing to Canadians
Devin Dreeshen: What’s happening to Dutch farmers, Trudeau is doing to Canadians

“What’s happening to Dutch farmers, Trudeau is doing here to Canadians,” Dreeshen told The Counter Signal.

“There’s no magic to grow more food with less fertilizer. Trudeau keeps making things more expensive for people that grow our food, but then he acts shocked when people can’t afford to buy groceries. It’s him.”

To this point, recent data from Farm Credit Canada shows that nitrogen fertilizer prices have increased by 148% between the 2020-21 and 2022-23 fiscal years, rising from $550 per tonne to $1,365 per tonne.

This is partly due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia, but also the Canadian government’s damaging policies.

In December 2020, the Trudeau government unveiled their new climate plan, with a focus on reducing nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.

“Fertilizers play a major role in the agriculture sector’s success and have contributed to record harvests in the last decade. They have helped drive increases in Canadian crop yields, grain sales, and exports,” a news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reads.

 “However, nitrous oxide emissions, particularly those associated with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use have also grown significantly. That is why the Government of Canada has set the national fertilizer emissions reduction target, which is part of the commitment to reduce total GHG emissions in Canada by 40-45% by 2030….”

This is a tacit admission that any attempt to lower admissions by reducing nitrogen fertilizer will consequently lower crop yields over the next decade.

And indeed, according to a report from Fertilizer Canada:

Total Emission Reduction puts a cap on the total emissions allowable from fertilizer at 30% below 2020 levels. As the yield of Canadian crops is directly linked to proper fertilizer application this creates a ceiling on Canadian agricultural productivity well below 2020 levels….

It is estimated that a 30% absolute emission reduction for an a farmer with 1000 acres of canola and 1000 acres of wheat, stands to have their profit reduced by approximately $38,000 – $40,500/ annually.

In 2020, Western Canadian farmers planted approximately 20.8 million acres of canola. Using these values, cumulatively farm revenues from canola could be reduced by $396M – $441M on an annual basis. Wheat famers could experience a reduction of $400M.

Moreover, Fertilizer Canada doesn’t believe that forcibly decreasing fertilizer use will even lower greenhouse gases but could lead to carbon leakage in other jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, Trudeau’s government is moving forward, with farmer’s groups speaking to Farmers Forum now wondering if he’s intentionally trying to cause a food shortage — which Trudeau previously told Canadians to prepare for.

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