Producers in Manitoba have paid nearly $1.7 million in carbon tax related to the cost of drying grain, according to calculations done by Keystone Agricultural Producers.

KAP president Bill Campbell said that the organization is firm in its position that farmers should be exempt from the carbon tax.

“There needs to be an exemption for farmers under the carbon tax framework for all costs associated with drying all-grain, as well as for heating barns and farm buildings,” said Campbell. “Now that Manitoba falls under the federal backstop, farmers are left paying prices that, as price-takers in the global economy, cannot be passed along”

Following the meeting of agricultural ministers from across the country last year, KAP worked with producers in Manitoba to compile the data necessary to plead a case against the carbon tax. Federal Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Provincial Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen requested the information.

The data collected show that on average, producers paid $3.69 per acre in carbon tax on grain drying, including propane and natural gas. A farmer growing 500 acres of corn, for example, would have paid around $14,000 on fuel for drying, with the carbon tax adding $1,722 to costs.

Due to a wet harvest, many producers in the province had to dry grain that normally wouldn’t have had to be dried.

At Ag Days this week, KAP is asking producers to stop by their booth with their fuel bill from drying grain, so that they can strengthen their case against the carbon tax.

KAP also hopes to work with the province to present a unified case to the federal government, as to why farmers across the country need to be exempt from the carbon tax.

In November 2019, Campbell had requested a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau on the topic.