The Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association and ten producers groups all say that a carbon offset system needs to recognize zero-till and continuous cropping.
The federal government’s proposed regulations use the terms ”additionality” and ”business as usual”, which would essentially exclude no-till continuous cropping from being eligible for carbon credits.
Jocelyn Velestuk farms near Broadview and is a director with the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association.
She says no-till continuous cropping needs to be recognized in a carbon sequestration system.
That’s because an estimated 9 million new tonnes of carbon is sequestered in our province each year.
She says there are incremental positive changes to carbon soil even 30 years after adoption of the no-till practices.
She says it should be measured to develop a protocol to pay money back to farmers for this work.
Velestuk says the carbon sequestered each year by Saskatchewan farmers can help Canada meet climate change goals.
The Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association says any offset program must also include farmer ownership of soil carbon credits, a registry that allows farmers to “bank” their credits, an effective price discovery mechanism and full transparency basis costs.
Needless to say, she says the discussions with government are lengthy and detailed.
The carbon tax is a lightning rod in Saskatchewan and many believe farmer conservation efforts over the last 30 years have not been recognized by the federal government.
Velestuk says producer groups are doing their best in presenting a science based argument to federal officials.
The 60 day comment period on the proposed carbon offset regulations are open until May 5th.
The Soil Conservation Association and all ten producer groups are encouraging farmers to express their views.
Jocelyn Velestuk from Broadview is a director with both the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association and the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission.
(with files from cjww)