Farm groups have been calling on the Federal Government to give farmers and ranchers an exemption on the carbon tax associated with the cost of natural gas and propane.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said she needed numbers to take to cabinet.

A costing review, done by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), puts some numbers to the federal government's Carbon Tax.

The carbon tax was implemented in Saskatchewan on April 1, 2019.

The tax started at $20/tonne of emissions in 2019 and will increase by $10/tonne per year until it reaches $50/tonne in 2022. The costing review found that a 5,000 acre grain farm can expect to pay between $8,000 and $10,000 this year in carbon tax.

Based on APAS estimates, the $20/tonne federal carbon tax has cost an average Saskatchewan grain farm $1.76 per acre in 2019. These costs will increase to $2.38 for 2020 and rise to $3.80 per acre by 2022.

Bill Prybylski is Vice President of APAS and farms in the Willowbrook area, west of Yorkton.

He’s spent about $1400 this fall on the carbon tax on the propane that he’s used for drying grain, and still has about 60 thousand bushels of grain to dry.

“We dried quite a bit, obviously this year we’ve dried more than any other year that I can ever recall. We’d be somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 thousand bushels that we’ve dried.”

APAS notes that although farm fuel is exempt from the carbon tax, farmers will still face significant cost increases on other fuel sources, like heating fuel, electricity generation, natural gas and propane for grain drying.

Producers also incur indirect costs as railways and other service providers pass the carbon tax down to producers through lower prices and higher input bills.