January 31, 2022
Saskatchewan grain farmer recognized internationally as Climate Positive Leader in agriculture
Kristjan Hebert is on a mission to teach Canadian farmers about profitability and sustainability
January 31, 2022 – (Moosomin, SK) – From his home in southeastern Saskatchewan, Kristjan Hebert regularly takes calls from around the world. Politicians, company CEOs and other farmers want to know his secret – how to remain profitable in an industry that is constantly balancing high costs and volatile prices with respect for the land and soil. According to Hebert, the two are not mutually exclusive.
“To me, it’s not an either-or discussion,” says Hebert, a second-generation farmer and chartered professional accountant. Hebert is the Managing Partner of Hebert Grain Ventures, a 30,000-acre grain and oilseed farm in Moosomin, SK.
Widely thought of as the face of modern farming practices in Canada, Hebert recently received the Climate Positive Leader award from Corteva Agriscience. As part of the program, he was invited to attend the Global Farmer Network Roundtable in Brussels, aligning with COP 26, and will receive guidance from the Carbon Management and Sequestration Centre at Ohio State University.
The Climate Positive Leader program recognizes early adopter producers who are successfully implementing, scaling and sharing climate positive practices. As the only Canadian winner of this global award, Hebert is proud to showcase the innovative systems that support the farm’s productivity goals while protecting the land and water.
“We were honoured to be recognized as a farm that, despite our large size, is able to effectively implement sustainable practices, both those that happen naturally and those that are aided by new technologies,” says Hebert.
Some of those practices include:
- Grid soil sampling every four acres – allows for highly customized nutrient prescriptions even on a large field
- Treating all nitrogen with nitrogen inhibitors – prevents nitrogen breakdown and carbon burnout
- Variable-rate fertilizer application – there is no “flat rate” for fertilizer; only use what the soil requires for yield goals
- Precision equipment with sectional control mechanisms – sensors prevent overlap or double applications
- Rotational and fall cropping – increases soil health by lengthening the number of days the land has vegetation that absorbs carbon dioxide
- Zero tillage/low till farming – reduces soil disturbance and carbon loss
- Focus on data to prove rates of carbon sequestration
“Congratulations to Kristjan Hebert on being selected as the Canadian Climate Positive Leaders Program winner,” said Bryce Eger, President, Corteva Agriscience Canada. “Hebert Grain Ventures has been a pioneer in applying climate positive practices on their operation for nearly 30 years and continues to implement new and scalable on-farm sustainability practices. These climate positive practices are a prime example of how agriculture can be a solution to climate change, benefiting our planet, our industry and the global food system.”
Hebert advises farmers to work with multinational companies to continue implementing climate-positive practices. While many will say it’s too expensive, Hebert says sustainable practices can increase profitability by allowing them to control the cost of inputs, have bigger yields and create a regenerative and resilient farm operation.
“Sectional control, for example, prevents over-application and translates into an 11% reduction on our cost of inputs,” says Hebert.
“Sustainability can’t stop scalability or it just won’t work. We need to scale over many acres or we just aren’t going to feed everybody,” says Hebert. World demand for Canada’s grain and oilseed supply remains strong. In 2019, Canada exported $24.2 billion of grains and oilseeds.
Hebert is a regular speaker to a variety of agricultural groups, a mentor to young farmers and a member of the Global Farmer Network. Over the next few months, he is focused on sharing agriculture’s positive role in decarbonization and advising other farmers on how to prepare for future carbon pricing legislation.
Kristjan Hebert and Bryce Eger are both available for interviews upon request.
About Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV):
HGV is a progressive 30,000-acre grain and oilseed operation in Moosomin, SK. HGV is obsessed with solving agriculture’s puzzles. Awarded Top Producer of 2020 by Farm Journal, HGV is built on the belief that it leaves the land and the financial statements in a better state for future generations.