All right, everybody, welcome to today's session.
I'd like to begin with a very important announcement today by acknowledging it's our colleague Will Amos' birthday. It's very important.
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: Happy birthday, Will.
We're going to continue for about the first hour and a half, up until five o'clock, on the existing study, which is agriculture, forestry and waste. We were to have four organizations today, but unfortunately, there was a technical issue with First Carbon Credits Corporation. We're trying to see if we can get that resolved by next Tuesday to bring them in.
Today we have the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canola Council of Canada and the Canadian Canola Growers Association. Each of the presenters will have 10 minutes, and then we'll go into a series of questions for six minutes each. Then at five o'clock we're going to go into a closed session to do committee business.
Mr. Warawa, do you have a point of order before we get started?
Thanks, committee members, for your time.
I'm very pleased to be here today to speak on behalf of the Canola Council of Canada to share how the canola industry is contributing to clean growth and climate change mitigation for Canada.
Before I start, I would like to describe the Canola Council of Canada.
The Canola Council of Canada is a value chain organization representing the industry: the 43,000 canola growers, the seed developers, the processors who crush the seed into oil for humans and meal for livestock feed, as well as exporters who export canola for processing at its destination.
Canola is a Canadian-made crop. The canola industry contributes $26.7 billion to the economy every year and ranks the highest in farm cash receipts.
Our industry is working very hard to meet the world's growing appetite for healthy oils and protein. Keep it coming 2025 is our industry's plan to increase demand for canola oil, meal and seed, and to meet this demand through sustainable production and yield improvement, achieving 26 million metric tons of production by 2025. With this plan, our industry is well positioned to contribute to the federal government's $75-billion export target and the recently released agri-food economic strategy table target of $85 billion by 2025.
However, the future for Canadian canola will not be bright if it is only about increased production. We must also be a partner in achieving society's environmental goals like preserving soil and water health, improving air quality, and maintaining biodiversity. That's why in my remarks today I'll outline the five bold environmental targets of the canola industry and explain how our industry is working to achieve them. These are bold targets that recognize the importance of leadership, leadership for the environment and leadership for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Canadian farmers over the years have adopted numerous practices to improve their environmental footprint. Our 2025 sustainability targets complement this progress while charting a path towards continual improvement.
The first goal is to use less energy. Using less energy per bottle of canola oil is something the canola industry is making good progress on over time, but we're not done yet. As we increase yield on every acre of canola, we will increase production and we'll be able to use 18% less fuel for every bottle of canola oil.
The second goal is to increase land use efficiency. When we grow more on every acre, we're making more efficient use of the land, and this can have remarkable impacts over time. Our goal is to increase production without bringing more land into canola production. This means that by 2025 we'll achieve a 40% reduction in the amount of land that we grow one tonne of canola on. We'll do this by targeting our agronomy and research efforts, which the council executes in conjunction with the industry, to take cutting-edge science from the lab, from the science bench, and transfer this knowledge to farmers so they can implement these practices in their fields.
The third goal is about sequestering more carbon in the soil, something I understand the committee has talked a lot about. By sequestering more carbon in the soil, we will put five million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the soil every year. That's the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road. We're very excited about what the canola plant can do to take carbon dioxide out of the air, produce healthy oil for people and protein for animals, and turn those greenhouse gases into organic matter that helps enrich our soils. Recent research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientist Brian McConkey has highlighted how canola is the workhorse of Canadian crops when it comes to sequestering carbon.
We're not done yet. One of the research projects that we as an industry are funding is looking at how the canola plant can be adapted to sequester even more carbon.
Research that the Canola Council is funding is looking at how we can improve starch biosynthesis. It's a technique that has already been used to increase yields by about 400% in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We're really excited about what this research can do, what it can do for canola yields and what it can do to take carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into organic matter that enriches our soils.
The fourth goal is about improving soil and water health. We're planning on improving soil and water health by having 50% of canola production under 4R nutrient stewardship by 2025. Nutrient stewardship is about putting the right crop nutrients or fertilizer in the right place, in the right amount and at the right time. The agronomy team of the Canola Council is committed to helping farmers make the best use of precision agriculture and to use new technology that makes fertilizer more stable.
Our fifth and final goal of the industry is to safeguard and protect biodiversity by keeping the 2,000 beneficial insects in the canola canopy and surrounding natural habitat. It may come as a surprise to committee members that farmers are keenly interested in having lots of insects in their canola, the beneficial insects, that is. Hopefully, members have had a chance to see the beautiful canola fields in July, when the sea of yellow flowers attracts pollinators, like honey bees and other sorts of bees and insects, to that canopy because of the quantities of nectar and pollen that canola produces. Our industry wants to protect these beneficial insects and maintain the biodiversity in and around our canola fields.
While there are beneficial insects, there are also insects that can destroy a canola crop in as little as 36 hours. These insects destroy the crop for the farmer and for all of the other insects that may enjoy that crop. To control these insects, the canola industry requires access to safe crop protection products. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada ensures that crop protection products are safe, but unfortunately, the current approach to risk assessment does not consider how their decisions impact beneficial insects.
We would like that the PMRA risk evaluation process be broadened to consider both the risks and the benefits of the products they review. For example, broader environmental benefits from targeted crop protection products, like seed treatments, help protect the ecosystem and help maintain biodiversity in the canola canopy. These benefits should be considered by PMRA's risk evaluation process because safe and timely access to crop protection products is required to achieve our sustainability targets and maintain those 2,000 beneficial insects in and around the canola canopy.
I'd like to conclude my remarks by commenting on what the canola industry needs from the pan-Canadian framework to remain globally competitive. My colleague Rick will cover what's important to growers and what's possible with the clean fuel standard. I will focus my remarks on the processing sector.
For Canada to have a significant processing sector, we must remain a competitive place to invest and to operate facilities. Otherwise, our processing plants will go to other countries and we will ship our raw product and our jobs to somewhere else.
The output-based pricing system is very positive, but it needs to be designed carefully so that a trade-exposed sector like ours, which exports 90% of what it produces, remains competitive.
Regulations must be designed carefully to balance carbon pricing with competitiveness for all canola processors. It's very important that we take the time to get the design and implementation right.
In closing, the canola industry is working towards a bright and sustainable future. It will be a bright future, with more jobs, more prosperity and a future with improved environmental outcomes. We're really excited about how clean and sustainable growth can transform Canada.
Thank you. I look forward to answering your questions.
Good afternoon, and thank you for the invitation to speak to the committee.
My name is Rick White, and I'm the CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association. CCGA is the national association representing the 43,000 farmers who grow canola. We are a member of the Canola Council of Canada, on whose behalf Brian spoke just now. Together, as Brian mentioned, we represent $26.7 billion as an industry. The farm gate value of that to farmers is around $10 billion. It's a big deal for western Canadian farmers.
Today I want to speak with you about the environmental accomplishments of canola farmers and about how their commitment to continue improving their environmental footprint will help the government achieve its goals under the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
Farmers, more than those in other businesses, are impacted by climate and dependent upon the environment for their success. As affected stakeholders, CCGA appreciates the opportunity today to provide our perspective to the committee.
I'd like to now talk about our environmental accomplishments. I'm going to go back a little way in history to focus on where we've come to.
Since it was first developed by Canadian plant scientists in the 1970s, canola's innovation journey has had a monumental impact on farming in western Canada. Advances in the canola plant and in the way farmers grow canola have successfully reduced agriculture's environmental footprint while improving farm profitability. Today, canola is seeded on about one-third of all the cropland in western Canada and is the number one commodity in terms of cash receipts. That's the $10-billion number that I mentioned.
All Canadians should be proud of the fact that our farmers are world leaders in environmental stewardship and sustainability. In fact, canola production in Canada produces 42% less greenhouse gases compared with that of our international canola-growing competitors. Canadian farmers have become world leaders in environmental performance as a result of their willingness to rapidly adopt modern and innovative technologies that have both economic and environmental benefits. These technologies include no-till seeding, precision agriculture, and biotechnology.
Where possible, canola farmers practise no-till farming. This practice allows farmers to conserve moisture, reduce soil erosion, and keep carbon in the ground. In 1991, only 7% of western Canadian farmland was seeded with no-till practices. By 2016, this number had dramatically increased to 65%. This change was triggered by the adoption of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant canola. When soils are left untilled, they sequester greenhouse gases. Because of such practices as no-till farming, Canadian cropland now sequesters 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.
Recognizing the positive contributions our cropland makes to Canada's national greenhouse gas inventory, canola farmers have specifically set a goal to nearly double their carbon sequestration, by a further five million tonnes a year by 2025, as Brian mentioned. We will meet this goal by maintaining current levels of no till and by investing in plant-breeding innovation and better management practices. Sequestering 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases would be the equivalent of removing more than 3.4 million cars from the road every year.
Thirty years ago, the military was the only organization using global positioning systems, GPS. Today, GPS is an essential part of farming in Canada. This technology allows growers to farm with precision, applying fertilizer and pesticides exactly where they are needed and using resources in the most efficient way possible. This cuts costs and emissions associated with fuel use and also cuts fertilizer application. Over a 30-year period, these types of practices have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 53% per tonne of canola. As Brian mentioned, farmers are committed to further reducing emissions through the adoption of this type of technology.
Canola growers were early and rapid adopters of biotechnology. Advances in breeding technologies have allowed farmers to make fewer passes over their fields, reduce the use of pesticides, use less fuel, and help our crops better withstand disease pressures in ways that were not possible 20 years ago. We are growing more canola with fewer carbon-based inputs and lower emissions, thanks to biotechnology.
Unfortunately, around the world today, some of the voices that are the loudest in demanding climate change policies are also the loudest in opposing the plant and agronomic science that is helping farmers produce more with less.
International leadership to facilitate the trade in biotech crops is not just an agriculture issue, it is a climate change issue. The Canadian government as a whole should embrace modern agricultural technologies and their benefits during their international climate advocacy.
No-till farming, precision agriculture and biotechnology have facilitated our environmental accomplishments to date. They are the platform from which we will achieve our ambitious environmental and sustainability goals in the future. As I've already mentioned, farmers have a history of rapidly adopting new technologies that reduce their environmental footprint. We have committed to strong environmental targets absent government intervention.
We are moving on our sustainability goals because they are the right thing to do. Farmers would rather be incentivized to help the government achieve its climate change goals rather than be taxed.
As I hope you can see, our farmers are not the problem. They can be part of the solution, if we do it right.
I'd like to talk a little bit now about opportunities.
One area within the pan-Canadian framework that would help further these goals is the development of meaningful offset protocols for both cropland sequestration and fertilizer application. Recognizing the important work canola farmers have done to increase cropland sequestration and reduce fertilizer emissions—and will continue to do by implementing these protocols—will go a long way.
Another area within the pan-Canadian framework where the industry stands ready to help is the clean fuel standard, or CFS, which is under development to encourage the use of low carbon fuels and technologies. The goal is to reduce emissions by 30 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents by 2030. With canola being an excellent input into biofuels, there are considerable opportunities to increase the demand for Canadian canola with a well-designed CFS. Canola growers strongly support the government's decision to move forward with the CFS for only the liquid fuel stream portion at this time.
Currently there is a federal mandate to include 2% renewable content in diesel. Canola's contribution to this policy has resulted in a reduction of 800,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents each year. Canola represents roughly 40% of the feedstock to biofuel in Canada, which is using about 500,000 tonnes of canola seed. The new CFS could drive demand for Canadian input such as canola. Canola biodiesel emits up to 90% less greenhouse gas than diesel from fossil fuels. It is proven. It's ready and it's available.
If the mandate for biofuels was increased to 5% of the diesel fuel, Canadian canola production could easily fill this demand using 1.3 million metric tons of canola. This is easily accommodated within our growth targets to 2025, as Brian expressed. With a 5% mandate, based on current blend levels, canola would contribute reductions of 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents annually.
I have some closing thoughts.
As Brian mentioned, canola is very trade dependent, with 90% of the crop being exported every year. Because canola farmers are price takers in a global market, any additional cost placed on them affects their profitability as these costs cannot be passed on.
Canola farmers must be able to compete internationally. This should be a key consideration as we move forward with the pan-Canadian framework. Additional consideration should include effective carbon offset programs and increasing the current federal mandate for renewable content in diesel.
In conclusion, CCGA remains optimistic about the future for Canada's canola farmers and their ability to continue to contribute positively to Canada's environment and climate change goals and the economy. Canadian agriculture should be viewed as a strategic partner in this dialogue.
Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss this topic of great importance to canola farmers.
I look forward to your questions.
Thanks for the invitation to appear before the committee.
For those of you who might not know, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture represents farmers from right across the country, through general farm organizations and a number of commodity organizations, and deals with a number of issues that cross commodities. This is one of those issues that does cross a lot of commodities.
One of the things I'll say at the outset is that I'm pleased to see that the committee is looking at what we really accomplish moving forward to deal with climate change, because farmers are the first to feel the impact of climate change with volatility in weather patterns. We've seen crop issues in P.E.I. this year with potatoes, and crop issues out west with some of the grains. There's a lot of support for looking at how we can contribute to dealing with climate change and how to mitigate some of the stuff that's coming along.
First, I'll mention the carbon sequestration potential. It has been mentioned by the previous contributors. Back in 1999, a paper published by the National Climate Change Process identified that agriculture would put down approximately 22 million tonnes of carbon annually. That was before some of the new technology and the new plant technology was in place. There's an immense amount of growth, and as Rick mentioned, we're sequestering between eight million tonnes and 11 million tonnes right now. We've implemented a number of methods over the last number of years to realize this potential: conservation tillage, elimination of summer fallow, crop rotation and strategic fertilizer application, to mention a few.
The other thing that should be recognized in the livestock sector is that the unit of carbon for every pound of meat has gone down dramatically just because of improvements in genetics and crop production at the farm level.
It presents that there's a clear need to figure out how to incentivize the carbon capture and storage properties of Canadian agriculture. To incentivize this capture, agriculture must be recognized as an eligible carbon offset sector under the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. The framework will apply an ISO standard to select eligible carbon sinks. It does not have a restriction on project types, and as such, the CFA recommends that it recognize a full array of agricultural carbon capture processes.
To further incentivize carbon storage, we must have an appropriate approach to measurement. We recommend following the precedent set by programs in other countries, such as Australia's 2018 carbon farming initiative. This initiative allows farmers to earn credits under an increased range of activities, including pasture, crops, horticulture and mixed farming activities. It also allows for land management practices to be tailored to the specific region and farm in order to respond to changing market forces and climate during the crediting and permanence periods.
Next we must address one of the chief drivers of the incentive: investment in innovation. Ensuring that farmer families throughout Canada have funding to implement carbon sequestration activities is crucial to success. There is concern that farming families without means to transition to low-emission fuels will be forced into paying carbon surcharges in the long term. This money that would be paid into surcharges would be better spent on retrofits that would eliminate the use of some of those fuels altogether.
The onus must be placed on raising awareness of available programs, and where required, generating new federal funding to increase access to sequestration technologies. There is also immense carbon sequestration potential to be realized through incentivized conservation. Initiatives such as the alternative land use services program, or ALUS, provide an example of a framework that offers per acre annual payments to farmers engaged in conserving carbon sinks, such as wetlands and forest stands. It is recommended that the federal government work with existing organizations such as the Canadian Wetlands Roundtable to evaluate the carbon capture potential of conservation efforts in the Canadian agriculture, forestry and other natural resource sectors.
With respect to bioenergy and bioproducts, there is immense potential in these fields in looking at how you can commercialize those operations. Agricultural waste and purpose-grown feedstock can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of many products when it replaces oil and gas feedstock. This goes above and beyond fuels to include composites, fibre, specialty chemicals and sugars.
The challenge has been a lack of investment in the processing capacity and the building of the supply chains in most areas. It is therefore recommended that the federal investment be targeted to incentivize the development of the bioeconomy through increased funding for innovation.
It is is also important to address the role of genetically improved productivity in reducing the per unit product amount of emissions in agriculture, which has been mentioned by the two previous speakers. The genetic approach may be one of the most tangible pathways to produce more food, fuel and fibre for a growing and more affluent global population while reducing emissions.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture sees the need for a more holistic approach through climate smart agriculture; that is, one that sustainably intensifies yields, mitigates climate impacts and implements adaptation. I should mention that this does not just apply to crops. It also applies to livestock. If you take a look at the unit amount of grain that goes into producing a pound or a kilogram of meat, it has changed dramatically. By looking at genetic improvements in livestock as well as grains, you can reduce that carbon footprint.
In conclusion, our key recommendations are to recognize agriculture as an eligible offset sector, recognize the full range of on-farm carbon sequestering practices, implement regionally adaptive carbon sequestering measurements, and also look at the improvement in productivity in both livestock and crops.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to your questions.
Yes. Thanks so much for the question.
When we look at our sustainability targets, all of them are about lowering our environmental impact. Specifically to your question about which ones will have the greatest impact on sinking carbon into the soil, when we look at increasing production on every acre of land, that has a direct impact on the amount of greenhouse gases produced per bottle of canola oil, so that will certainly result in reduced emission intensity.
When we look at how we're able to reduce our emissions over time, we're really excited about the opportunities for research and to enhance what our plants do to sink more carbon into the soil. I mentioned one project, but there are others as well, where research into plant genetics and the way we farm can result in more carbon put into the soil.
The last thing I'll summarize is that, when we look at using nutrients or fertilizer in a better way, this is about reducing emissions. It's about taking those nutrients, whether it's nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or sulphur, and using only the nutrients that the plant needs and putting those nutrients directly into the soil, so we prevent greenhouse gas emissions from the application of fertilizer.
For example, nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that can come from fertilizer application, if the nitrogen doesn't go from the fertilizer directly into the soil to be used by the plant. Ammonia gas volatilization is another one.
Therefore, when we do better fertilizer management through our nutrient stewardship, that means we're able to reduce the amount of emissions that are happening because the nutrients are going from the fertilizer, then into the soil and then into the plant, rather than into the air.
My thanks to the witnesses for participating in this exercise. Once again, this afternoon, as a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, I am very pleased to hear some good news. There are measures, people regulate themselves, they take the initiative and they care about our environment. This is to your credit and, above all, to that of your members.
Mr. Innes, in your opening remarks, you mentioned that you must also partner in achieving society's environmental goals, such as preserving soil and water health, improving air quality and maintaining biodiversity. I think that's honourable. I want to highlight this mission you have taken upon yourself and congratulate the canola producers.
Now, I would like to understand one thing. Your Keep it Coming 2025 contains some very specific figures and objectives. I see that the verbs used are “we could” and “we want”. Is your position clearer? Do you have mechanisms and measures in place to achieve your targets? Are those targets achievable?
You are saying that you will be able to use 18% less fuel for each bottle of canola. You also said that you wanted to reduce the amount of land required by 40%. You also mentioned that you will eliminate 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. In addition, you say you plan—which is the same kind of verb—to improve soil and water health by ensuring that 50% of canola production will be under the 4R nutrient stewardship principles by 2025.
So you have intentions and wishes and your members are taking the initiative. However, those are intentions. Is it more specific than that? Does this confirm that you would like to, but are not sure that your members will take part in achieving the objectives?
Thank you very much for your question.
I appreciate the spirit of your comments.
I can give you some background on the goals we, in the canola industry, have had in the past, and our success in achieving those goals.
For example, as an industry we take the targets that we set very seriously. They're ambitious targets, but in the past we have had a very strong record of achieving targets, and we intend to achieve these targets.
For example, when we started to set targets as a canola industry in the early 2000s, it was a rough time for the industry, and we set a target of getting to seven million tonnes of production by 2007. We met seven million tonnes of production, and we asked ourselves where we wanted to be by 2015. We set a target of 15 million tonnes of production by 2015. We actually attained that level two years early, in 2013, and we asked where we were going now. That's when we set our 2025 targets of 26 million tonnes of production, based on 52 bushels per acre, by 2025.
As an industry, we have a record of coming together and including all links of the value chain. We look out into the future and set bold targets, to motivate change within our industry and to motivate change in the environment that we operate in, including the regulations around innovation and the practices that we need to get there.
When we look at the targets that were outlined, it's very much our intention to achieve these targets. We have a plan in place at the Canola Council.
For example, we have professional agronomists working with industry to address important issues.
One of the big issues is sustainability. Others are things like disease, and really transferring knowledge from the science bench to a farmer's field. We, as an industry, voluntarily invest in that through our agronomy and research program. There are many items that line up in the activities that we do to help achieve these targets. We plan on achieving them, and I hope you ask us in 2025 whether we have succeeded.
It's becoming more prominent. I mentioned the alternative land use services program.
The other thing, though, that has been in place for a number of years is the environmental farm planning process. Each province has different incentives they can provide.
I can describe what we did on our farm. We have a cow-calf livestock farm. We used some of that money to fence off all cattle access to any open water sources. We had a fairly wide flood plain that we fenced them out of. We purchased solar-powered water pumping systems. We actually fenced the property and moved to rotational grazing.
To give you an idea of the change in the carbon footprint, with the same base of land that we started with when we moved from dairy to cow-calf, we're carrying twice as many cattle and producing twice as much beef. At the same time, because we're using rotational grazing, we've reduced the amounts of fertilizer that we're putting on.
It applies to cropland, as well. There are some areas that are not suitable for farming. Looking at conservation-type programs and other ways to encourage some of those wetlands and more fragile areas to be set aside actually does work.
Another interesting thing we found on our farm was that once we had the cattle fenced away from the water sources and the rotational grazing system set up, the rates of gain on our calves went right through the roof, and the risk of disease loss of nursing calves from mothers that had their udders covered in mud just disappeared. Sometimes, a small incentive like that is enough to make a dramatic change.
I know we've been talking a lot about what canola is doing, but you can look at any number of crops or livestock operations. One of the key focuses has been productivity increases and utilizing the land for its best purpose.
Going back to your comment about conservation, there are certain areas of land that likely shouldn't be farmed. Trying to find a way to incent setting them aside is a worthwhile endeavour.
I'll build on what Ron said with respect to research.
Research in agriculture has been an investment of the federal government for more than 100 years, since the country was founded. The reason we invest public money in agricultural research is that once we produce a result, it's really hard for any particular entity to capture the benefit of that. The benefits are spread to farmers all across the country, and indeed, farmers all around the world if they're farming in similar conditions.
Public investment in agricultural research around agronomic practices, things you can't capture the benefit from as a private enterprise, are really fundamental for helping our sector move forward to adopt best management practices, to understand what those best practices are in a changing world and in an environment where we're trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
From our sector's point of view, I outlined some of the research we're funding. Our members contribute voluntarily. The canola growers contribute voluntarily to fund research. Some of that is matched by federal government funds. We haven't seen an increase in funding for the types of agricultural research that I'm referencing where we can see real benefits spread across the sector that can have real impacts on mitigating climate change and reducing emissions.
We are very fortunate to be able to have funding that encourages growers and industry to invest, but we're not seeing those funds increase over time at the same time as we're growing our economic footprint and really conscious that agriculture has a lot of land across Canada and can have a real impact to mitigate emissions from Canada.
Mr. White, I appreciate those comments. I'll address each of your comments and invite your further thoughts.
At around page 57 of the fall economic statement, it goes specifically to data collection systems, computers, and buildings. The tax writeoffs that will be available in year one across the board for a number of those items that you've just mentioned, including fibre optic cable, will represent significant savings for our farmers.
I represent a very rural region in western Quebec. I have some canola farmers, not many but some. I truly believe what we're doing is enabling those who want to be the leaders, who want to innovate, so I'm really keen to hear more about what the most climate-forward, innovative canola farmers will be looking to invest in to take advantage of these measures. I leave that question open to you.
On research, I couldn't agree more. Our government, if anything, has been playing catch-up, effectively, in terms of investing, after 10 years of cutbacks in climate research. There are a lot of aspects of climate research that require investment. I agree that more partnerships are needed, although there are significant partnerships already enabled through the pan-Canadian framework.
Chair, I see you and I'll finish with this: It would be helpful to our committee if we went back to the Government of Canada and sought information specifically on the agriculture and climate research investments that have been made and how those compare to the decade prior.
Thank you very much, gentlemen, for being here and for your expertise.
I want to congratulate the canola industry on its successes.
We often think about the climate as our generation's biggest concern, but too often we forget about the fact that it's potentially our biggest opportunity. You're seeing that, and that's great. Your goal is to decrease GHGs, use less fuel and increase production. You've shown that you've cut GHGs, increased your yield and increased your profits. It's astounding. I just saw on the Internet that there were 15 million tonnes for 2013 and there will be 26 million tonnes by 2026. I think I saw that on the Internet, or perhaps, Brian, you said it.
You were presented with a problem. You're providing the solution and you're reaping the economic benefits as far as your industry goes. I think that's fantastic.
I want to talk a bit about innovation. We talked about the fall economic statement and the government's funding of innovation. You've talked about some cool things like the no-till and the precision agriculture. What else is out there?
You've suggested, Brian, that with the fall economic statement, the capital cost allowance, you can innovate even more. Tell me more about some of the things you can do.
You could chime in as well, if you like, Rick.