Sask. producers are looking forward to the 2023 growing season | Pro IQRA News

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Saskatchewan growers are busy harvesting, but for grower Jay Writh, his mind is already on the 2023 growing season.

“We are looking at putting slow-release ESN in the fertilizer mix next year,” he said.

Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) is a specially coated fertilizer designed to slow nitrogen release.

While a good concept in theory, Writh said it’s not the most cost-effective.

The federal government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen fertilizer to below 30 percent of 2020 levels by 2030.

That’s a goal that should be reconsidered, according to a report commissioned by Fertilizer Canada and the Canola Council of Canada.

“It’s their direction and their north star, and for us, we’ve taken that and looked at it practically. We’re thinking about where we can go now and into 2030,” said Karen Proud, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada.

The report examined the trends and found that emissions could be reduced by about 14 percent without putting food security at risk.

According to the Canadian government website, Canada exported about $82.2 billion in agricultural and food products in 2021.

“We have to feed the world,” Writh said. “If you only reduce it in Canada, that means you’re going to severely handcuff farmers here, and the rest of the world is going to benefit.”

For this goal to work, Proud said, there needs to be a global or economic solution.

“Now is the time to start the conversation, especially as we look to impact the 2023 growing season,” he said.

It’s a discussion some manufacturers want to be a part of.

“We’re going to do what’s best for us, we’re going to do what’s best for the environment, just join the conversation,” Writh said.

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