Canadian grain farmers are stepping up to the plate with the launch of “Road to 2050,” a set of policy recommendations that tackles three critical challenges simultaneously: feeding a growing global population, combating climate change, and ensuring the economic viability of Canadian grain farms.

Canada’s breadbasket is taking a proactive approach to ensure a sustainable future. The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) recently unveiled its “Road to 2050” policy roadmap, urging the federal government to join forces with farmers in creating a thriving and environmentally responsible grain sector.

“Feeding a growing population, combating climate change, and maintaining farm profitability – these are the pressing issues facing Canadian agriculture,” said Andre Harpe, Chair of the GGC. “Canadian grain farmers are at the forefront of innovation, implementing sustainable practices that minimize our environmental impact. These efforts are critical for Canada to achieve its climate goals.”

The good news is that Canada’s grain sector has a strong track record in sustainability. Grain production has risen over the past two decades while greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have remained level. This rise in production translates to a remarkable 50% reduction in GHG emission intensity within the agriculture sector – a feat exceeding the national average reduction of 36% during the same timeframe.

Canada’s $30 billion grain industry recognizes the need for continuous innovation to ensure long-term success. “Throughout the years, grain farmers have led the charge in sustainability, establishing Canada as a top global producer with minimal emissions,” stated William van Tassel, 1st Vice Chair of GGC. “However, to enhance our competitive edge and dedication to emission reduction, substantial boosts in research and development funding are imperative. These investments are crucial for surmounting present challenges and harnessing forthcoming prospects.”

The GGC’s “Road to 2050” recommendations propose a collaborative approach between farmers and the government to reduce emissions, incorporating increased public and private breeding research funding, expanding access and funding for existing climate programs, and the development of a robust data management strategy.

“Grain farmers are committed to working alongside the government to tackle climate change while boosting production to meet global food demands,” concluded Harpe. “A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach won’t work across Canada, but by working together, we can ensure the grain sector remains a key contributor to a sustainable future.”

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