Agriculture Canada says it expects to see an increase in cropland losses and a decrease in production in the coming years.
The agency said the situation is more severe in Alberta and the Pacific Northwest.
“It’s very concerning for agriculture, especially the North, that we are seeing a loss of croplands, that there are fewer crops producing and that we’re going to see this trend continue,” said Mike Ouellette, a spokesman for the agency.
The news comes as the country struggles to deal with a record-high crop loss.
Last year, Canada lost more than $1 billion worth of crops, according to Agriculture Canada.
The loss is due to a combination of factors, including drought, crop pests and climate change.
The drought, combined with a warmer-than-normal winter, has caused many crops to be lost or damaged.
Ouellett said in Alberta, the worst affected regions, losses are expected to continue for years to come.
“In the North it’s going to continue, in the Pacific it’s very likely to continue.
In the Northwest it’s a very challenging situation, but it’s not going to be sustainable,” he said.
Oiellette said the losses have already begun to take a toll on agriculture in the Northwest.
In 2016, the area affected by the worst drought in decades lost nearly one-third of its farmland, according a report from the University of Calgary.
The report noted the drought also had a negative impact on Canada’s salmon and trout fisheries, which were severely impacted.
In Saskatchewan, the number of salmon killed dropped by 75 per cent.
“There’s a lot of things that we can do to help support the farmers,” Ouellet said.
The Canadian Association of Agriculture is calling for a mandatory five-year moratorium on all new and future farm projects.
O’Brien said there are a lot more steps to take, including a moratorium on the production of grain crops, a moratorium to limit the use of antibiotics and a ban on pesticides that are used to control weeds.
“These things are very, very hard to do,” he told CBC News.
“They’re difficult to implement and it takes a lot, a lot work.”
Ouelette said the agency has already begun the work.
“We are working very closely with our partners, our provincial governments, and we are working with our federal partners to work with them on a solution that will allow us to continue to make the necessary changes to protect our farms and our fisheries,” he added.
“But right now, there is a lot to do.”