NB agriculture groups warn against banning Glyphosate in province

Blueberries

The agency reprsenting the province's blueberry producers is warning election candidates that a ban on Glyphosate in the province would spell disaster for its wild blueberry industry.

In a media release Wednesday, Bleuets New Brunswick Blueberries says Glyphosate is used as a production tool by the province's blueberry industry, which represents an annual economic impact of more than $38 million and 700 jobs.

The agency says the sector is growing and that 24,000 acres of Crown land out of a total of 35,000 acres was used to produce blueberries in 2019.

The group says local government should not be allowed to dictate the use of pesticides approved by Health Canada, adding producers are required to follow guidelines put in place by both provincial and federal governments.

BNBB adds its farmers require a valid applicator license to purchase and use commercial chemicals.

Because 80 per cent of production is exported, the group says producers have a choice of fewer than 30 pesticide products out of the approximately 75 approved by Health Canada.

The BNBB says Canadian food products are in high demand because the country has one of the safest food supplies in the world, and producers who use the best and safest tools available.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick said Thursday that a ban on Glyphosate would deeply affect a wide variety of farmers in the province who grow crops  such as potato, fruit, vegetable, cereals, pulse, corn, canola and soybean.

The AANB says products such as Glyphoste are some of the most important and safest tools available for crop management.

It says the agriculture industry is the heart of rural communities and is responsible for creating thousands of jobs in the primary and value-added food sectors.

To remain competitive, AANB president Lisa Ashworth says local farmers need access to the most effective tools to manage weed, insect, and disease problems that threaten the quality, value, and quantity of their crops.

Ashworth says farmers across the province are concerned that potential decisions are being made too quickly and creating an unpredictable environment that reduces growth and investments in the agriculture sector.