Canadian grain farmers will have a voluntary code of practices to follow by next spring.
A draft code has been prepared by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops and will be circulated to farmers and industry stakeholders for feedback during the winter.
The Responsible Grain Code will assure customers around the world that crops they buy and consume were grown in a sustainable manner, said Ted Menzies, head of the project.
“We don’t think this is going to create any onerous work for farmers,” said Menzies, a former MP in the Harper government. “Farmers are acting responsibly.”
A presentation of the matter at an international virtual conference zeroed in on soil quality, discussing how farming practices have increased the level of organic soil matter and reduced soil erosion.
A side benefit of these practices has been increased underground storage of carbon and reduced emission of greenhouse gases.
The code of practice will also focus on water.
Menzies said the code will fit with other programs on environmental issues, but won’t replace any other programs.
“We’re going to listen and we’re going to learn from what farmers say, because if farmers don’t like this, and this isn’t going to work on your farm, and we’ve said this is voluntary, you’re not going to sign up. So we have to make it so this is functional,” says Menzies.
The code will be similar in style to one for livestock producers that was developed by the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef.
Ron Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org