At first glance, the farmer’s role in helping Canada reach its ambitious goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 appears simple: lower emissions and adopt technology and alternative management practices that boost soil carbon sequestration. Many believe addressing the carbon equation offers economic advantages, too. Farmers who cut back on inputs subject to the carbon tax save money, and those who adopt so-called regenerative practices may participate in the growing carbon economy by collecting and selling carbon credits. While this sounds straightforward, it is anything but.
Until recently, the concept of a digitally connected farm seemed far off. In fact, it is the emerging reality for modern farming. From sensors that offer constant soil analysis, to software programs that provide real-time crop data for tractor cabs, the technology is at a farmers doorstep, bringing with it a host of opportunities and challenges.
On June 5, Bill 2, The Growth and Diversification Act, passed its third and final reading in the Alberta legislature. The Act supports the creation of 3,000 tech spaces in post-secondary institutions and the provision of scholarships. Those in the agricultural sector hope some seats will go to smart farming and food production programs, but this isn’t guaranteed.