The Sprout: Fertilizer Canada wants feds to rethink emissions target

Good day and welcome to the Sprout, where your host hopes everyone celebrating had a marvellous Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for ways to use up those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers, Canadian Living has you covered with the classics like pot pie and turkey sandwiches. If you’re looking for something a bit more eclectic…apparently Thanksgiving Leftovers poutine is a thing..

Now, here’s today’s agriculture news.

The Lead

Canada’s fertilizer sector is asking the federal government to rethink its target for emissions stemming from fertilizer usage.

As the Western Producer reports, Fertilizer Canada says the Canadian government’s unilateral decision to establish a voluntary 30-per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 will have far-reaching and unintended economic consequences. Fertilizer Canada president Karen Proud told the Western Producer that achieving a 30 per cent reduction “would require a reduction in fertilizer use.”

“There’s no other way at this stage to achieve it,” Proud said.

Around Town 

Manitoba Egg Farmers has received $1.5 million in funding from the governments of Canada and Manitoba to establish an Egg Layer Research and Public Engagement Facility at the University of Manitoba. Real Agriculture has more.

Food banks in Ottawa are reporting higher usage of their services as rising food prices and job losses push many in the city to seek out meals and grocery boxes from local food programs. CBC News reports.

In Canada

Potato processors are facing contracting headaches and supply issues because of poorer than average potato yields this year in Western Canada, Idaho, and the United States’ Columbia Basin. As Real Agriculture reports, the tight supplies are having significant effects on the retail channel.

Invasive wild pigs have have been found in Elk Island National Park for the first time. As The Canadian Press reports, wild pigs are considered to be one of the most destructive and rapidly spreading species on the continent, tearing up landscapes and eating everything form root to bird eggs to deer.

Meanwhile, pumpkin farmers in Newfoundland have had a good harvest. 

Finally, the Globe and Mail looks at how an Anishinabe chef is advocating for Indigenous food sovereignty through a new urban farm in Toronto that uses traditional harvesting methods.


Mexican officials have rejected a new variety of genetically modified (GMO) corn for the first time. As Reuters reports, while Mexico has never permitted the commercial-scale cultivation of GMO corn, regulators have allowed GMO varieties to be imported, largely from the growers in the United States, to be used as livestock feed.

As deal struck with U.S. firm CF Industries to avoid a critical shortage of carbon dioxide used in the food, beverage and meat sectors has been extended to early 2022. “CO2 suppliers have agreed to pay CF Fertilisers a price for the CO2 it produces that will enable it to continue operating while global gas prices remain high, drawing on support from industry and delivering value for money for the taxpayer,” the U.K. government said, according to a report from the BBC. It is unclear how much more firms will have to pay for supplies of the gas.

ICYMI: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday that world food prices rose for a second consecutive month in September, reaching a 1o-year peak. Reuters has more.

In other price-related news: Reuters explores how U.S. prices for organic soybeans used to feed livestock and manufacture soy milk are soaring, hitting record highs and, in turn, fuelling food inflation, thanks to lower imports.

And Bloomberg looks at how inflation is coming to a food court near you.


The Kicker 

NFL offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of the 2020 football season to work as an orderly in a long-term care home during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, has set his sights on a new challenge: promoting healthier eating habits for children. As CBC News reports, the Kansas City Chiefs player has partnered with company Sodexo to promote healthier habits among students of all ages.

Until tomorrow.

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