April 23, 2020

Partnering toward a more sustainable future

Paul Thoroughgood, Ducks Unlimited Canada regional agrologist – Prairies & Saskatchewan grain farmer

We need modern farming now more than ever to protect Canada’s important natural areas. But to go that extra mile, we need the right tools, and perhaps more than that, we need innovative partnerships. That’s why, with it being National Soil Conservation Week, we want to tip our cap to all our partners who have a shared vision for sustainable agriculture and put the health of the natural areas we rely on most, first. Partners like the Soil Conservation Council of Canada, who work year-round to advance the conservation of Canada’s soils, help Canadian farmers grow safe, sustainable food. We have been a proud partner of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada since its inception and soil health is at the foundation of what we advocate for through many of our extension efforts across the country. This has been our focus since the zero-tillage movement of the ‘80s and it hasn’t changed.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is often the only conservation organization involved in the discussion of sustainable crop production in Canada. That discussion focuses on how economics, environment and social values must coexist for Canadian agriculture to be sustainable now and in the future. To do this, we need to use the best available technologies and tools to farm our existing cropland better. Ducks Unlimited Canada supports GM technology, the responsible use of crop protection products, and 4R nutrient management principles. We do this because we are a science-driven organization and the research says these tools are safe and are currently the best way we can farm the cropland we have. These tools also help protect our most sensitive lands by increasing production on current, cultivated acres so our natural areas can be left to provide important benefits such as carbon sequestration, habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects, biodiversity, flood storage and nutrient removal. We believe we can meet the world’s growing need for food, fuel and fibre on our existing land base, and the way to do that is by intensively managing our current acres under production.

As a new farming season gets underway, DUC is excited to continue working with innovative partners. These leaders in sustainable agriculture make a difference in our communities and in how our fellow Canadians, and our important customers around the globe, view Canadian products and food. Ducks Unlimited Canada is proud to work alongside those who advance sustainable agriculture in Canada, and we will continue to work with partners like the Soil Conservation Council of Canada, and the many farmers and ranchers across the country who share the same vision. It is through partnerships like these that will position Canada as a global leader in sustainability.