Climate Change

Climate Change Project – Green House Gas (GHG) reductions in Agriculture.

Project Dates: Jan 2016 – April 2017

Manitoba farm families have been hard hit by extreme weather: rains, flooding, storms, and unusually hot and cool weather. Climate change is an increasingly significant issue for family farms across Canada. New policies and approaches are needed to help us deal with climate impacts.  Further, while farming contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, farmers are reducing their emissions by changing tillage and seeding patterns, altering livestock raising practices, and changing rotations and integrating new crops. Farm families are investing and making changes to be part of the solution.  

The NFU is undertaking a major project in Manitoba looking at agriculture, climate change, the larger food system, GHG emissions, reducing energy use, soil carbon and fertility, and water. We are taking a big-picture look at how farming and food production may have to change in order to reduce emissions (in line with provincial and national commitments) and how we can make our farms, communities, soils, and food systems healthier and more resilient in the face of looming climate impacts.

And we are also working to come up with detailed and practical measures farmers and policymakers can implement in the near term. In the coming 14 months, we will be consulting with farmers and academics, publishing reports, developing a website and mobile portal aimed at reaching farmers with practical advice, and we will be developing recommendations for all levels of government. At all stages of the project, we will be talking to NFU members to gain their input and guidance.

This work is made possible by generous funding from Manitoba’s provincial government and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship’s Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF).  Manitoba NFU Board members Ian Robson and Dean Harder will be providing leadership to this initiative, assisted by a Steering Committee.  

We are pleased that researcher Darrin Qualman will to play a lead role in coordinating this project and researching these issues. Though it will be expanding its work on climate change over the coming year, the NFU will not diminish its activities on the broad range of other issues it pursues on behalf of farm families. 

More to come on climate change mitigation work being done in Manitoba.

If you are interested learning more on this work or have ideas to add please e-mail: climate@nfu-mb.ca