On-farm grain drying should be exempt from carbon pricing to save food production from high costs
Guelph, ON – June 22, 2021 – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers, today calls on Members of Parliament to vote in favour of Bill C-206: An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel).
The House of Commons held its final hour of debate at third reading on Bill C-206 on Monday, June 21. On Wednesday, June 23, Parliamentarians will vote on whether the Bill clears the House of Commons and moves on to the Senate.
The Bill exempts on-farm grain drying from the federal carbon pricing system and is a good first step in ensuring that food production is not taxed at the farm level. Currently fuel used to dry grain is subjected to carbon pricing, despite the necessity of drying grain to make it usable for food and other products.
“The production of food should not be political. It only makes sense to remove the carbon price on grain drying as there is no alternative for farmers who absolutely have to dry the grain, or it will be ruined. Until we can find alternatives that allow farmers to preserve fuel, this Bill is a good starting point to reducing costs on food production at the farm level,” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Grain Farmers of Ontario has calculated the federal carbon price, which is increasing every year, will cost an average farm an additional $29 to $46 per acre in direct drying costs by 2030. On an average 800-acre corn farm, that’s an increased cost of operations of between $23,200 and $36,800.
Ontario grain farmers are consistently looking for ways to better their environmental impacts including, reduced tillage, cover cropping, and crop rotation.
Over the last 30 years, grain farmers in Ontario have:
- Reduced their climate impact by 45 per cent for corn production and by 36 per cent for wheat production
- Increased land use efficiency by 39 per cent for corn production and by 37 per cent for wheat production
- Reduced energy use by 43 per cent for corn production and by 37 per cent for wheat production
Learn more about Grain Farmers of Ontario sustainability initiatives here.