Growing grain in Western Canada is getting "greener".Application of Sustainable Agriculture Metrics to Selected Western Canadian Field Crops looks at two decades of environmental progress for eight western Canadian crops. The report follows a similar approach developed by Field to Market, the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture in the U.S. but was tailored to fit with western Canadian geographic and climatic conditions.
Over a period of two decades, each crop shows an improvement in land use, soil loss, energy use and climate impact indicators. The improvement in the sustainability indicators is largely driven by a combination of yield improvements, reduced tillage, improved crop rotations and improved nutrient management which has occurred from 1986 to 2006.
The report includes western Canadian production of peas, lentils, spring wheat, winter wheat, durum wheat, canola, oats, and flax. The project was supported by Pulse Canada, the Canadian Wheat Board, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, General Mills, the Flax Council of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada.