April 16, 2021
Hon. Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
Room 226, Legislative Building
2405 Legislative Drive
RE: Recognition of Farmers’ Carbon Sequestration Contributions
Dear Premier Moe,
The Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SaskBarley), Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola), Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission (SaskFlax), Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission (SaskOats), Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, and Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission (Sask Wheat) are producer-led organizations established to provide leadership in identifying and supporting research, market development and advocacy that contributes to profitable and sustainable crop production for Saskatchewan farmers.
The commissions believe that farmers have a key role to play in helping the Provincial Government meet its climate change goals. Through zero-till practices, Saskatchewan farmers are sequestering approximately 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. However, the current proposal from the Ministry of Environment for Saskatchewan’s Carbon Offset Program would not recognize these sequestration efforts due to “business as usual” clauses and a forty percent adoption rate threshold.
These clauses are purely policy decisions and have no scientific backing. The commissions continue to support the position of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA) which advocates for separate regulations for agricultural carbon sink protocols that would not be subject to non-scientific factors such as “business as usual.” As it is currently structured, the Saskatchewan Offset Program provides no opportunity for Saskatchewan farmers as early adopters and leaders of zero-till technology.
At the majority of our 2021 Annual General Meetings, a resolution was passed calling for commissions and associations to lobby to have Saskatchewan farmers recognized and rewarded for carbon sequestered through continuous cropping and reduced or zero-till practices that correlates to the price of pollution set by governments. Farmers are concerned about the impact the federal carbon tax has on their competitiveness. A balanced approach would see farmers provided credit for conservation practices with that value returned to the farmgate.
The commissions strongly encourage our elected officials to ensure Saskatchewan farmers are recognized and compensated for the new and incremental carbon sequestered each year from zero-till and continuous cropping practices.
Matt Enns – Chair, SaskBarley
Chris Rundel – Chair, SaskOats
Bernie McClean – Chair, SaskCanola
Shaun Dyrland – Chair, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers
Greg Sundquist – Chair, SaskFlax
Brett Halstead – Chair, Sask Wheat