The Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) is warning Quebecers that the smell of manure will be more noticeable this year due to the war in Ukraine, which has pushed up fertilizer prices.
• Also read: War in Ukraine: The UPA fears a domino effect on the price of many products
“We have no choice but to switch to liquid manure and apply more to save on fertilizer. So, yes, it may smell more this spring, this summer and even this fall,” warns Martin Caron, president of the UPA.
As far-fetched as it may sound, it was the war in Ukraine that caused fertilizer prices in the fields to skyrocket. Mr. Caron explains that Russia is one of the main suppliers of these products on the planet.
However, since March 4, the Russian government has been recommending its producers to suspend their fertilizer exports. This is the reason for the price increase.
The cost of nitrogen fertilizer, which is the most popular among farmers, was around $630 per tonne in Quebec in 2021. This year, however, they have more than doubled to $1,500 per ton, according to the UPA.
“It is of great concern to our farmers in Quebec who are suffering the effects of this conflict. We see that the war between Ukraine and Russia also has direct consequences for us,” Martin Caron worries.
In this context, the President of the UPA argues that to avoid using too much fertilizer, his farmers have switched to manure to optimize the growth of their crops.
“We used to only fertilize in the fall. But there, with the inflation of all prices and the geopolitical conflicts, the fertilizer is too expensive. So we have to reckon with the fact that there will be a stronger smell of manure, because we will not exhaust this resource as much from now on [coûteuse] in spring, summer and fall,” notes Mr. Caron.
The President of the UPA reminds that the manure is put in the fields to feed the Quebecers.
“We spread liquid manure in good practice. People support our local agriculture and know that we do it for their good. Our goal is to have as much Quebec food as possible on our grocery store shelves. This requires harmonious cooperation with the farmers,” says Martin Caron.
The latter states that its members intend to “work hard” to minimize odors and are aware of the inconveniences.
Photo courtesy UPA
Martin Caron, UPA President
Mr. Caron, himself a farmer and farmer, urges Quebecers to close their windows while spreading manure.
He also says manufacturers have already planned a system to reduce odors in their neighbors, including installing “windbreak hedges” with plants.