The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) will provide solutions for producers and end users of grain commodities. Solutions will respect the need to deliver and retain value for the entire value chain – including producers – and be relevant to the global marketplace.

The following are resources for members to use:

Literature reviews of priority research

Farmers and their organizations are interested in understanding how actions on farm to enhance sustainability have impacts on their sustainability goals and their bottom line. To this end, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) has developed a research strategy, to inform CRSC research investments and those of their members. However, the CRSC did not have sufficient information on two specific topics to determine what research was needed. They therefore commissioned two literature reviews, to permit a comprehensive view of existing results of research that are relevant to Canadian cereals, oilseeds and special crop farmers, whether or not that research was conducted in Canada. These literature reviews were fully funded by the Western Grains Research Foundation.

Literature review on Consequential Life Cycle Assessment (CLCA) Research of Grain and Oilseed Crops

This literature review is a survey of research that has been conducted on the impact of specific on-farm actions that could impact Greenhouse Gas emissions, known as Consequential Life Cycle Assessment (CLCA). It was conducted by the University of British Columbia, by graduate researcher Nicole Bamber under the supervision of Dr. Nathan Pelletier. For the complete literature review, see Bamber_et_al._Review_of_CLCA_research_of_grains_1.pdf

Literature review of Economic Benefits of Biodiversity to Crop Producers in Canada

This literature review is a survey of research that has been conducted on the economic benefits of specific on-farm actions to improve biodiversity. It was conducted by the University of Alberta, by Violet Muringai and Dr. Ellen Goddard. The literature review cites a number of studies in Canada and outside of Canada that can inform farmers and their organizations of the benefits of specific actions to enhance on-farm biodiversity. For the main literature review see Economic_benefits_of_biodiversity_FINAL_main.pdfTo access the Appendix to the literature review, see  Economic_benefits_of_biodiversity_FINAL_appendix.pdf.

Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform

The Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform is a data-based platform that provides measurements of Canadian grain production sustainability performance, populated with information that is responsive to market requirements.

Sustainability is defined as: social responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic viability. Sustainability performance of Canadian Grain Production is presented in twelve sustainability reports:

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Air Quality
  2. Agrochemical management
  3. Nutrient Management
  4. Water quality & Quantity
  5. Waste & Pollution
  6. Soil Health & Productivity
  7. Land Use and Biodiversity
  8. Financial Viability
  9. Work Safety & Security
  10. Working conditions
  11. Labour Relations
  12. Community Relations

Three types of data is used to highlight sustainability performance:

  1. The legal and program infrastructure in which the industry operates (such as pesticide registration and application regulations and labour standards)

  2. Aggregate outcomes of the activities of the industry (such as greenhouse gas emissions and amount of land under conservation tillage)

  3. Aggregated practices of producers (such as how many producers have adopted various beneficial management practices)

Where available, data has been collected and is able to be sorted by province and regional unit. Where possible, data has been collected and reported for grain producers/production. However, in some cases, data is only available for all crop producers/production, or all agricultural producers/production. A limited number of data series is available for the following crops: barley, canola, corn, durum, field peas, flax, lentils, oats, soybeans and wheat. Data sources include federal and provincial governments, the CRSC studies and industry and partner research.

Explore the Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform.

AgroEcosystem Working Group

During the first three years of the CRSC, the AgroEcosystem Working Group informed and supported the environmental sustainability work of the CRSC. The Agroecosystem Working Group developed a vision statement for the agricultural landscape from an environmental perspective, which was adopted by the CRSC members.

The current areas of focus of the AgroEcosystem Working Group are:

  • The identification of research priorities (both metrics and practices); and
  • Dialogue with research institutions and funders

Completed Working Group reports will be posted when available.

To view the project's Vision Statement, click here.
To view the media release issued in December 2016, click here.


The CRSC commissioned a number of studies to ensure relevant and up-to-date information is available for the Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform. The results of the following two studies are presented within the relevant section of the Metrics Platform:

  • The Carbon Lifecycle for ten major grains (barley, canola, corn, durum wheat, field peas, flax, lentils, oats, soybeans and wheat)
  • A survey of Canadian grain producers on relevant sustainability practices

Members of the CRSC have access to the full studies through the Metrics Platform website. Non-members should direct enquiries to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photos supplied courtesy of the Canola Council of Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario, and Syngenta Canada.