Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada



Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 09, 2005 11:03 ET

AAFC/New Incentives for On-Farm Environmental Practices in Saskatchewan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 9, 2005) - Farmers and ranchers who make environmental considerations a business priority could now be in line for financial assistance through the Saskatchewan component of the Government of Canada's National Farm Stewardship Program.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Andy Mitchell and Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Wartman today announced details of the Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program (CSFSP).

Funding for the CSFSP comes as part of $40 million the Government of Canada has committed to developing and implementing environmental measures in Saskatchewan. This new initiative under the federal-provincial-territorial Agricultural Policy Framework will help to improve on-farm environmental practices in Saskatchewan.

The Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards for Saskatchewan Inc. (PCAB), a non-profit organization, will deliver the province's Environmental Farm Plan Program. Completed environmental farm plans are the access point for farmers to participate in the CSFSP, being delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA).

"Environmental sustainability is a shared priority for the Government of Canada, the province of Saskatchewan, the agriculture industry and Canadian producers. Initiatives such as the Farm Stewardship Program allow producers to play an active role in environmental stewardship on their farms," said Minister Mitchell.

"Having incentive dollars will help our producers put their plans into action," Minister Wartman said. "This program provides an opportunity for our producers to capitalize on their management practices and increase their ability to compete globally."

Alex Mitchell, Chairman of the Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards, said PCAB's goal is to develop and deliver a voluntary, confidential environmental planning process to Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.

"Environmental farm planning is a very important program for the agriculture industry," Mr. Mitchell said. "Farmers and ranchers will have the opportunity to further enhance the stewardship of our farmlands. The partnership that we have with the federal and provincial governments strengthens our ability to work with producers."

"The Environmental Farm Plan and Farm Stewardship programs are proactive, relevant and responsive to today's agricultural and environmental issues and concerns," Saskatchewan Agri-Environmental Advisory Council Chairman Germain Dauk said.
"These programs will provide a long-term benefit to our children and grandchildren."

Producers can participate in the CSFSP by first attending an Environmental Farm Plan workshop in their area. The workshops will help participants assess the environmental strengths and risks on their farms, and develop an action plan to address those risks.

Once producers have completed their environmental farm plans and have them endorsed by PCAB, they are eligible to apply for financial assistance through the CSFSP to help with the implementation of specific beneficial management practices (BMPs) on their farms. In Saskatchewan, producers can choose from a list of 30 approved BMPs designed to reduce environmental risks. The CSFSP will pay either 30 per cent or 50 per cent of the eligible costs of implementation, depending on the BMP. A producer can receive a maximum of $30,000 from the program. The program ends on March 31, 2008.

For more information on environmental programming, producers may contact the AAFC Client Service Centre at 1 800 667-8567, the Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1 866 457-2377, or their local PCAB facilitator listed on the PCAB Web site: www.pcab.com.



Backgrounder

Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program

Program Overview:
The Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program (CSFSP) is a new
initiative designed to help Saskatchewan producers address on-farm
environmental risk. The CSFSP is the Saskatchewan component of the
National Farm Stewardship Program (NFSP), launched under the
Agricultural Policy Framework.

The CSFSP will provide financial and technical assistance for
Saskatchewan producers to develop and implement viable and
environmentally sustainable agriculture practices.

Program Objectives:
To provide technical assistance and financial incentives to producers
for the adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs) on farms
to address environmental risks identified in the environmental farm
plan process. A BMP is defined as any agricultural management
practice which:

- Ensures the long-term health and sustainability of land-related
resources used for agricultural production;
- Positively impacts the long-term economic and environmental
viability of the agricultural industry;
- Minimizes negative impacts and risk to the environment.

CSFSP and the Environmental Farm Plan program:
The CSFSP process begins with completing an environmental farm plan
(EFP). The Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and
Diversification Boards (PCAB) is a non-profit organization which
delivers the EFP program in Saskatchewan. Through a series of
workshops, PCAP offers interested producers a voluntary, confidential
self-assessment process to increase awareness of farm practices and
environmental sustainability, and to provide tools for developing and
implementing environmental farm plans.

The process includes two workshops, led by an experienced local
facilitator. Each workshop takes approximately four to five hours.
The workshops and workshop materials are provided free of charge.

The introductory workshop provides producers with the tools to assess
soil and site characteristics, an overview of the EFP worksheets, and
how to develop a plan of action. Producers are then able to assess
their own operations, and prepare a draft plan. The second workshop
helps producers review their worksheets and share ideas for options
to address identified risks.

The workshop process helps finalize an environmental farm plan that
will be reviewed by a committee of experienced farmers. The Peer-
Review Committee is not told who prepared the plan. The committee
identifies any high-risk areas that are not adequately addressed in
the plan. It may also suggest additional options for addressing
specific risks.

Once an EFP has been endorsed by the Peer-Review Committee, a
certificate will be issued to the producer, and they become eligible
for funding under the CSFSP.

How CSFSP works:
Once a producer has a peer-reviewed environmental farm plan, they are
eligible to apply for federal funds through the CSFSP to address on-
farm environmental risks. Applications are available through PCAB or
by calling 1 800 667-8567. Project approval is required by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada prior to implementation.

Each registered farm business is eligible for a total of $30,000 in
funding for projects identified in the EFP action plan that are also
on the approved list of BMPs. Each project is subject to a 30 per
cent or 50 per cent cost-sharing level and maximum funding caps will
apply for each type of project on the approved BMP list.

Eligible projects:
In 2005, projects under 30 different categories may be eligible for
funding through the CSFSP. Projects contributing to improvements in
water, soil, air or biodiversity are eligible, include:

- Improved manure storage and handling
- Manure treatment
- Manure land application
- In-barn improvements
- Farmyard runoff control
- Relocation of livestock confinement and horticultural facilities
- Wintering site management
- Riparian area management
- Erosion control (riparian areas)
- Erosion control structures (non-riparian areas)
- Land management for soils at risk
- Improved cropping systems
- Winter cover crops
- Improved pest management
- Nutrient recovery from waste water
- Irrigation management
- Shelterbelt establishment
- Invasive alien plant species control
- Enhancing wildlife habitat and biodiversity
- Species at risk
- Preventing wildlife damage
- Nutrient management planning
- Integrated pest management planning
- Grazing management planning
- Soil erosion and salinity control planning
- Biodiversity enhancement planning
- Irrigation management planning
- Riparian health assessment


Contact Information

  • Minister Mitchell's Office
    Elizabeth Whiting
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    AAFC, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    1 (866) 345-7972
    or
    Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, Regina
    Scott Brown
    Communications
    (306) 787-4031
    or
    PCAB
    Shelanne Wiles Longley
    EFP Program Coordinator
    (306) 955-5477 ext 203