Greenhouse Canada

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Seeking solution to anticipated climate change


April 22, 2010
By Dave Harrison

April 22, 2010, Ottawa – Canada’s plant science industry is focusing on
developing new technologies in anticipation of the impact climate change
will
have on farming here in Canada and around the world.



April 22, 2010, Ottawa – Canada’s plant science industry is focusing on
developing new technologies in anticipation of the impact climate change will
have on farming here in Canada and around the world.

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“Earth Day brings to mind for all of us the importance of protecting our
environment and of preparing for a future that may be significantly different
as a result of climate change impacts,” said Lorne Hepworth, president of
CropLife Canada. “Canadian farmers are well-aware of the importance of
protecting the land in their care and our industry is well aware of our
obligation to help farmers do that.”

With studies warning that climate change will increase the number of
challenges facing farmers, Canada’s plant science industry is already hard at
work developing solutions for expected problems such as reduced access to
water, changes in growing seasons and new considerations about how climate
change will impact pests (such as higher over-winter survival rates and
increased habitat ranges that could introduce new insects and plant diseases).

One example of how the plant science industry is preparing for a new
future is research into developing crops that are tolerant to heat, drought and
salinity, all considerations given predictions that one in five countries will
face water shortages or salt water intrusion by 2030. Here in Canada,
drought-tolerant corn and canola are already at the field-testing stage and are
expected to be on the market in the next five years.

In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from farming practices have already
been significantly reduced thanks to existing plant biotechnology and pest
control products.

For example, pest control products that reduce or eliminate the need for
farmers to till their land in order to control weeds reduces the amount of fuel
a farmer needs to use by 40 to 70 per cent for low-tillage and no-till
practices respectively. No-till and low-till also increases the amount of
carbon that remains in the soil, something that has enabled Canadian farmers to
begin collecting and trading carbon credits. Meanwhile, plant biotechnology
crops with built-in pest resistance also help reduce emissions by cutting down
on the amount of time a farmer spends driving equipment to apply herbicides
and/or insecticides.

“Care of the environment is everyone’s responsibility and Canada’s plant
science industry is proud of the ways our technologies contribute to that
common goal,” Hepworth said.

CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the manufacturers,
developers and distributors of plant science innovations – pest control
products and plant biotechnology – for use in agriculture, urban and public
health settings.


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