February 22, 2022

The science of farming

Ducks Unlimited Canada’s track record of working with farmers goes all the way back to 1938 when we started helping prairie producers put water back on the drought-ravaged landscape.

Since then, we have worked with farmers, ranchers and the agricultural industry across the country on win-win solutions and positive outcomes for the viability of our rural communities and our environment.

We are the leading conservation organization involved in national agricultural sustainability discussions and we are often the only such group at the table. We support modern farming practices. We believe in sound science. And we are advocating for farmers to be recognized for the good things they are doing on their land, stewarding their natural assets and contributing to a safe and sustainable food system.

We welcome partnerships from all sectors and from all regions across Canada. But the one thing we need to have in common, is a profound trust in the best available science when it comes to growing our food.

When we make conservation decisions on the landscape, we make them using science. Science is our guiding light, and it is the reason why we support growing more on the best agricultural land while finding solutions to marginal areas that are profitable for the farm and good for the environment. We support the science behind 4R Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management, GM technology and zero tillage.

Helping Canada Grow

Our partners at CropLife Canada are sharing their research and work with innovative plant science technologies and their impact on sustainability and our environment. And with it being Canada’s Ag Day, we’d like to do the same.

 According to CropLife Canada’s, Helping Canada Grow site: 

  • Without crop protection products and plant breeding innovations like biotech crops, farmers would need 44% MORE LAND (an area roughly the size of all the Maritime provinces combined) to produce what they do today.
  • The carbon sequestration and fuel savings from no-till and conservation tillage practices saved an estimated 20 billion kgs of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere between 1996 and 2018, which is equivalent to removing about 13 MILLION CARS FROM THE ROAD FOR A YEAR.
  • Almost 34 MILLION ACRES are maintained in a natural state (untouched by agriculture) due to increased production on existing farmland. This is the same amount of space as about 25 million football fields.
  • Thanks in part to plant science innovations, more farmers have been able to adopt conservation tillage and no-till farming saving 1.2 BILLION LITRES of fuel between 1996 and 2018
  • Canadian farmers continue to increase their no-till acres with 19 OF OUR 33 MILLION cropland acres (58%) being no-till in 2016.

All facts, figures and claims are adapted from a commissioned study by RIAS Inc. The Value of Plant Science Innovations to Canadians in 2020

And more research is coming out each year showing how growing more on less land is good for our environment, and how conservation and natural areas play an important role in soil health, improved crop yields and enhanced pollinator habitat.

See how plant science technologies are helping famers grow more on existing land while also securing land for biodiversity.