April 24, 2002
FREDERICTON (CNB) -- A $2.4 million investment is being made in the Agricultural Environment Management Initiative for 2002-2003. The investment was announced today by Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Rodney Weston.
"This initiative was created last year to assist in conserving and enhancing the natural resources used by the agriculture sector and to minimize the impact of agricultural practices on the environment," Weston said.
There are seven programs under the initiative this year, targeting practices and 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, livestock odour reduction and other strategic initiatives.
A new program has been added to the initiative for this year. The Strategic Initiatives Program will encourage innovative projects that promote agro-environmental management. Program information and benefits will be communicated to producers and the public.
"We recognize the importance of the agriculture industry to the economy of this province," Weston said. "We also recognize environmental sustainability is a challenge that we must continue to face. 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 this initiative comes from the departmental budget and will match federal funding 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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Following is a description of the seven programs.
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 minimise environmental risk associated with the use of organic and inorganic fertilisers.
a. Enhanced Farmer Awareness - up to 100 per cent up to a maximum of $5000 per farm organisation to develop materials and hold workshops to introduce nutrient management concepts to producers.
b. Nutrient Application Systems - 50 per cent of the cost of approved (low odour, improved distribution) application systems up to a maximum of $10,000 per farm unit.
c. 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 minimise water contamination.
2. On-farm Stewardship Program - The objective of this program to protect New Brunswick's 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 up to a maximum contribution of $10,000 per farm unit for those farms with an Environmental Farm Plan approved by the NB Agriculture Environment Council. Financial assistance will be 50 per cent of approved project cost up to a maximum contribution of $5,000 per farm unit for those farms without an approved Environmental Farm Plan.
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. Wash Water 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
j. Livestock Mortality Holding and Disposal Facilities
3. 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 our watercourses.
a. On-farm Conservation Systems - 50 per cent of approved project construction cost and 100 per cent of engineering surveying and planning up to a maximum combined contribution of $25,000 per farm
b. Adaptive Research - up to 60 per cent of approved project cost up 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 and/or winter cover (cover crop or mulching) at a contribution rate of $20 per acre per treatment up to a maximum of 25 acres (maximum of $1,000 for both treatments), on a one-time basis only.
4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 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.
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. 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 up to a maximum contribution of $15,000 per project.
c. Development, Evaluation and Demonstration of Non-Chemical Pest Control Techniques. Financial assistance of 60 per cent of approved project cost up to a maximum contribution of $20,000 per project
5. 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 storage. Financial assistance will be up to 50 per cent of approved project cost.
6. Agro-Environmental Club Program - The objective of this program is to increase producer awareness of environmental issues, to demonstrate improved technology and facilitate the adoption of sustainable farming practices. Financial assistance will be 75 per cent up to a maximum contribution of $40,000 per approved club. 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 and the New Brunswick Agriculture Environmental Council.
7. Strategic Initiatives Program - The objective of this program is to encourage innovative projects that encourage agro-environmental management, communicate the benefits to producers and disseminate information to the public. Financial assistance may be up to 100 per cent of approved project cost.