Pulse growers, as farmers we understand the challenges and the stresses that each of you have been facing this growing season.

Pulse Growers

As farmers, we understand the challenges and the stresses that each of you have been facing this growing season. Weather constraints and harvest quality have been at the forefront of our minds as we work hard to make the best of a difficult situation.

Adding to concerns to this growing season has been the very visible lack of focus and support for agriculture issues from each of our Federal political leaders throughout the election campaign.

The challenges facing the pulse and broader agriculture industries have only been growing over the past several years. We have experienced devastating trade disruptions and trade barriers that have halted access to our major pulse market India, resulting in excess supply and some of the lowest prices for lentils we have seen in 10 years. Consumers and governments in export markets are scrutinizing the use of important crop protection tools such as glyphosate even though scientific evidence has deemed these products to be safe with current use patterns. Also important is the threat to continued use of important crop production tools such as neonics without identifiable alternatives.

SPG is calling on each of our Federal political leaders to highlight how they will address these issues as part of their plans for Canada. The circumstances facing the agriculture industry cannot be ignored and requires urgent and immediate attention by our political leaders. Each of these areas is in need of strong government leadership and global advocacy to reach solutions that help us stabilize our industry.

With the focus on climate change this election season, it is also imperative that the contribution of Canada’s farmers to mitigating climate change is recognized. The widely-adopted practice of zero-till farming allows for more carbon to be sequestered in the soil as organic matter, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Pulse crops are also a positive contributor to sustainable crop rotations. Adding pulse crops into rotations results in nitrogen fixation in the soil that reduces the requirement for additional fertilizer inputs and leaves the soil healthier, and more nutrient rich, for subsequent crops. These are important contributions to be acknowledged in the progressive role that farmers play related to climate change.

With these issues and more facing the Canadian agriculture industry, it is critical that Federal political leaders not only pay attention to agriculture but that they present workable solutions. We challenge each Federal political leader to share their plan for how they will help Canadian farmers.

Brad Blackwell
Chair, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers