June 19, 2001
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new $1.5 million Agricultural Environment Management Initiative will facilitate the conservation and enhancement of the natural resources used by the agriculture sector and minimize the impact of agricultural practices on the environment. The initiative was announced today by Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Paul Robichaud.
"The New Brunswick Agricultural Environment Management Initiative is the outcome of our departmental commitment to encouraging and supporting the sustainable development of agriculture in this province," Robichaud said. "Farmers are committed to carrying on their farm operations in a way that generates a fair return on their investment. They recognize the need for sustainable farming practices that ensure a safe environment in their local community and provide safe food for their consumers."
There are six programs under the initiative, targeting specific areas of practices or opportunities to enhance the quality of the environment as it relates to the agriculture industry. The programs include nutrient management, soil conversation, on-farm stewardship, agro-environmental clubs, integrated pest management and livestock odour reduction.
A total budget of $400,000 will be allocated to the Nutrient Management Program whose objective will be to optimize crop productivity and minimize environmental risk associated with the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers.
The adoption of soil conservation practices that will ensure good arable land for future generations of New Brunswick farmers is the objective of the Soil Conservation Program. A total of $300,000 has been allocated to this program, mainly to help farmers control soil erosion by adopting conservation systems on their farms.
The On-Farm Stewardship Program will provide assistance to help farmers improve the environmental practices on their farms. The establishment of buffer zones and fencing off watercourses to prevent livestock access are examples of projects eligible under the program that has been allocated $250,000.
A sum of $200,000 will be allocated to the Livestock Odour Reduction Program that has been developed to encourage the demonstration of new, innovative technologies that reduce odours coming from livestock facilities.
A further sum of $200,000 will be allocated to the Agro-Environmental Club Program to encourage farmers to share the development and application of the technical support needed to advance the environment agenda on New Brunswick farms.
The objective of the Integrated Pest Management Program is to promote and accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices for the control of pests in the crops. A total of $150,000 will be invested in this program.
"We recognize the importance of the agriculture industry to the economy of this province," Robichaud said. "We also recognize environmental sustainability is a challenge that we must continue to face and we are committed to working with the farming community in securing its future, not only for the present generation, but for generations to come."
The funding for the Agricultural Environment Management Initiative is from the provincial Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture budget. It will match federal dollars for other programs under the three-year federal-provincial Framework Agreement on Agricultural Risk Management signed in July 2000.
Information about the New Brunswick Agricultural Environment Management Initiative and application forms are available at local agriculture offices of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Following is a description of the six programs. MEDIA CONTACT: Alain Bryar, communications, Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-457-6766.
Programs under the New Brunswick Agricultural Environment Management Initiative
1. Nutrient Management Program - The objective of this program is to develop and implement a Nutrient Management Program that will optimize crop productivity and minimize environmental risk associated with the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers. The total budget for this program is $400,000.
a) Enhanced Farmer Awareness - up to a maximum of $5,000 per farm organization to develop materials and hold regional workshops to introduce nutrient management concepts to producers.
b) Training and Certification of Nutrient Management Planners - funding available to develop a training and certification program for the development of Certified Nutrient Management Planners.
c) Introduction to Nutrient Management Plans - up to $1,500 contribution per farm toward the preparation of a Nutrient Management Plan, prepared by a certified Nutrient Management Planner, and submitted to NBDAFA for approval.
d) Nutrient Application Systems - 50 per cent of the cost of approved (low odour, improved distribution) manure application systems to a maximum of $10,000 per farm unit.
e) Adaptive Research - up to 60 per cent to a maximum contribution of $40,000 per project for science-based research on the management of manure as a fertility resource and on the management of nitrogen and phosphorus to minimize water contamination.
2. Soil Conservation Program - The objective of this program is to encourage the adoption of soil conservation practices thereby reducing soil degradation and the discharge of soil, nutrients and pesticides into watercourses. The total budget for this program is $300,000.
a) On-Farm Conservation Systems - 50 per cent of approved project cost to a maximum contribution of $25,000 per farm.
b) Adaptive Research - up to 60 per cent of approved project cost to a maximum contribution of $40,000 per project for science-based research on residue management, mulching, cover crops, conservation tillage, improvement of soil physical properties and alternatives to natural topsoil.
c) Residue Management - On-farm trial of residue management plus winter cover (cover crop or mulching) at a contribution rate of $40 per acre to a maximum of 25 acres (maximum of $1,000), on a one-time basis only.
3. On-Farm Stewardship Program - The objective of this program to protect New Brunswick water resources and to reduce the impact of agriculturally generated noise on neighbouring land users. Financial assistance will be 50 per cent of approved project cost to a maximum contribution of $5,000 per farm unit. The total budget for this program is $250,000. Eligible activities include:
a) Fencing of watercourses
b) Livestock watering devices adjacent to watercourses
c) Watercourse protection and riparian enhancement
d) Barnyard runoff control systems
e) Milk house wastewater disposal and treatment
f) Purchase of tanks and equipment for mixing at field Site versus the water source
g) Construction of proper pesticide storage facilities
h) Petroleum storage
i) Noise abatement
4. Livestock Odour Reduction Program - The objective of this program is to encourage the demonstration of new, innovative technologies that reduce odour from livestock facilities and liquid manure storages. Financial assistance will be 50 per cent of approved project cost to a maximum contribution of $20,000 per farm unit. The total budget for this program is $200,000.
5. Agro-Environmental Club Program - The objective of this program is to increase producer awareness of environmental issues and facilitate the adoption of new environmental farming practices. Financial assistance will be 75 per cent to a maximum contribution of $40,000 per recognized club over the lifetime of the agreement. Eligible applicants under this program are the Fédération des agriculteurs et agricultrices francophones du N.-B., the NB Federation of Agriculture and the NB Soil and Crop Improvement Association and their regional chapters. The total budget for this program is $200,000.
6. Integrated Pest Management Program - The objective of this program is to promote and accelerate the adoption of IPM principles for the management of pest populations in an effective, safe, economical and environmentally-sound manner. The total budget for this program is $150,000.
a) IPM Program Development - Develop education materials and provide financial assistance to training for growers and scouts. Financial assistance up to 100 per cent of approved project costs. However, applicants are encouraged to generate revenue toward project costs.
b) Evaluation and demonstration of IPM - Develop, refine, validate and demonstrate existing and new IPM programs and components. Financial assistance of 60 per cent of approved project cost to a maximum contribution of $15,000 per project.