Green Party backs farmers in bid for carbon tax break on 2019 grain drying

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is supporting calls by prairie grain farmers to exempt 2019 grain drying operations from the carbon tax.

Last year’s unusually wet fall harvest forced producers to dry their grain to prevent spoilage, an expensive process made even more so by the carbon tax on fuel. While most fuel used in agricultural operations is exempt from the carbon tax, fuel used in grain drying is not.

“We support the grain producers of Canada in their appeal to the federal government to waive the carbon tax on fuel used for grain drying during last year’s harvest,” said Green Caucus agriculture critic Paul Manly (MP, Nanaimo-Ladysmith). “The disruption and expense of last year’s weather-plagued harvest is already causing widespread hardship. Carbon tax relief is justified and necessary.

“In the face of increasingly unpredictable weather, we urge the government to invest in the development of energy efficient grain drying technology and short season crop varieties, and to promote farming techniques for early maturity and quick harvest," said Mr. Manly.

The party’s shadow cabinet agriculture critic, Kate Storey, an organic wheat farmer, called 2019 the 'harvest from hell' as farmers struggled with mud and rain to get the crop into the bin.

"Farmers are always looking for efficiencies and would certainly adopt energy efficient grain dryers if they were available,” said Ms. Storey. “For now, we have few choices. If nature fails to provide the sun and wind required to dry the grain in the field, we are forced to use grain drying equipment which adds cost to food production.

“In a wet year, the carbon tax on fuel needed for grain drying just adds insult to injury.”

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