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Saskatchewan no-tillers certainly aren’t in a cheerful mood these days when it comes to carbon sequestration. It’s because they recently learned growers who use minimal tillage or low-soil disturbance cropping systems could be shut out of the potentially lucrative Canadian market for carbon credit offsets.
As reported by Brian Cross in the Western Producer, officials with Saskatchewan’s environmental ministry indicate any carbon-sequestration activity must currently have less than a 40% adoption rate to qualify for government payments. This means no-till will not be eligible since it’s already used on 74% of Saskatchewan’s grain acres.
John Bennett, chair of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Assn.’s carbon committee, maintains the 40% adoption rule will disqualify all but a handful of Saskatchewan grain growers from selling carbon credits. This is despite the fact that the only practical cropland stabilization program for carbon occurs with no-till.
Big dollars are at stake, as the Saskatchewan provincial government expects to sequester up to 12 million metric tons of carbon a year. The goal of the all-Canada program is to encourage Canadian industrial companies to invest in cleaner technologies through the adoption of greener production practices.
Making the situation worse by not allowing no-till carbon credits, Canadian farmers…