Agriculture

Farms, orchards and ranches affect the climate, but they’re also affected by climate change.

Agriculture is a driver of climate change in B.C.

How we use fossil fuels on farms

In 2020, agriculture caused 5% of emissions in B.C. We use fossil fuels to power farm equipment like tractors and trucks, and to heat greenhouses. Farm animals release methane gas when they digest food. Storing the manure and compost we use to fertilize crops can release nitrous oxide and methane. We use fossil fuels to manufacture fertilizers, which can release nitrous oxide into the air.

Getting food producers ready for change

Farms, orchards and ranches affect the climate, but they’re also affected by climate change. Here’s how:

Shifting winter weather. Unpredictable frosts can damage crops when they are most vulnerable. Warmer winters make it easier for pests to survive, and create conditions for new pests and invasive species to move in.

Intense rain in spring and fall. Heavy rainfall causes floods and saturates fields, which can endanger animals and make it hard to plant and harvest crops.

Hot, dry summers. Drier weather and droughts make us change the crops and livestock we farm or find more efficient ways to get them the water they need.

Frequent and severe wildfires. Wildfires endanger livestock , crops, homes and equipment.

Tracking pollution from agriculture

Farming and food production are also sources of greenhouse gases. The biggest source of agricultural emissions in B.C. comes from the digestive processes of cattle.

Agriculture caused 5% of emissions in B.C. in 2020.

We measure climate pollution from:

  • Growing crops
  • Raising livestock
  • Using fossil fuel on farms

Agriculture caused 5% of emissions in B.C. in 2020.

Reducing pollution from agriculture

Close-up shot of the fluffy tops of golden stalks of wheat against a bright blue summer sky.

Each farm in B.C. has different challenges when reducing climate pollution.

We’re promoting good farm practices such as:

  • Giving fields time to recover after livestock graze on them 
  • Switching to electricity and cleaner fuels  
  • Changing how livestock are fed 
  • Storing compost and manure in climate-friendly ways 
  • Using the right manure and fertilizer at the right time and place 

B.C. is taking action

Learn how B.C. is working with food producers to make cleaner choices and prepare for the future.

Extreme weather preparedness and water infrastructure for agriculture

Working with farmers and ranchers to help them assess risks and reduce their vulnerabilities, especially around water infrastructure.

Reducing emissions from agriculture

Supporting new technologies like electric tractors, manure and nutrient management, and local and sustainable food production.

Agricultural carbon sequestration

Supporting carbon storage projects and research, as well as regenerative agriculture processes and technology.