Region 6 | Media Release

New Report—Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK—The National Farmers Union (NFU) today released Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Saskatchewan: A Comprehensive Assessment. This report brings the rigorous methodology of previous national reports to bear on provincial data provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The most detailed report of its kind, it subdivides Saskatchewan agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil-carbon changes into 42 categories to better understand the specific sources of emissions.

Please see the graph below for an indication of the detail contained in this NFU report.

The report is available at:

Key findings include:

  1. Total GHG emissions from Saskatchewan agriculture and the production of agricultural inputs are steadily rising: emissions have roughly doubled from 11.1 million tonnes (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year in 1990 to 22.0 Mt CO2e per year in 2021.

  2. Rising emissions from nitrogen fertilizer production and use are a key factor driving up overall emissions. The tonnage of nitrogen fertilizer applied annually in Saskatchewan has quadrupled since 1990.

  3. Rising emissions from fossil-fuel use also contribute to increasing total emissions. Emissions from farm fuel use in Saskatchewan have more than doubled since 1990.

  4. Soil carbon sequestration in Saskatchewan is high but smaller than annual emissions, averaging about 16 Mt CO2e in recent years.

NFU Policy Assistant John Mills prepared the report. He commented: “Agriculture varies widely across Canada, so national data necessarily obscures some regional nuances. By understanding where the agricultural emissions are coming from in a given province, we can craft better targeted solutions to reduce those emissions. With roughly 40% of Canada’s cropland and 30% of Canada’s agricultural emissions, Saskatchewan is a key province to examine in greater detail.”

As the report states: “To properly plan and implement the many on-farm changes needed to achieve emissions reductions and to design and fund the government programs needed to accelerate and support those on-farm changes, farmers and policymakers need to understand emissions: we need detailed, comprehensive numbers.  …  [However,] clear, accessible, complete analyses and graphs are often lacking. This report is a contribution to filling that gap.”

This report detailing Saskatchewan emissions is the first of several to look at various provinces. Also planned this year is a report on agricultural emissions from Ontario and a report on the Maritime provinces. For a look at the national picture, please see our most recent report on Canadian agricultural emissions, available here.


For more information:
John Mills, Policy Assistant, (778) 721-8383,