Prairie Steward Newsletters

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20 Mar

Climate change and its possible ramifications have certainly garnered the attention of the public and therefore the politicians.

This is not only in Canada but also in the United States. In January, Doyle Wiebe and I attended a carbon market conference in Washington, DC. The meeting was very well attended, far exceeding the organizers’ expectations. Almost 600 delegates attended (only 300 were originally expected). The delegates represented a very broad range of interests including academia, government (federal and state), industry, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and finance.

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21 Jan

After spending the summer ruminating on environmental issues, the Federal Government released, in October, 2006, the much-anticipated “Clean Air Act”.

The government is taking the approach that blends the issues of air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Legitimately, both issues need significant attention but the strategy will create challenges in communicating priorities. Specific to carbon trading, the Government wants to consult with the provinces and various industry groups on a course to reduce GHG emissions. The Government indicates that it will not spend taxpayer dollars on carbon credits but does encourage industry to develop whatever tools it feels appropriate to meet eventual domestic environmental targets.

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21 Jun

Fallow acres in Saskatchewan have dropped dramatically over the past 15 years, largely due to direct seeding and producers using more diverse rotations.

However, for the 2006 season, I suspect the fallow acres will increase. The reasons vary somewhat; some areas will increase fallow because the soil is too wet to seed. In other areas, such as the southwest, fallow is more commonly found as a risk management tool. However, the most significant influence resulting in increased fallow acres for this year is the almost across the board low commodity prices. Inputs remain very high and profits are made at every level in the food chain - except at the farm level.

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