A new committee will help Island farmers approach farm-related environmental issues.
The P.E.I. Agri Watershed Partnership (P.E.I.-AWP) came together in the winter of 2019.
The P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture had approached the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance to discuss working in partnership to encourage beneficial land management practices.
“The farming community recognizes our role as stewards of the land and water and is very pleased to be a part of this initiative,” said David Mol, president of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture.
“We strongly believe in our shared goal of achieving higher sustainable farming practices that not only improve our rivers and streams but keep farmers profitable at the same time.”
Together with the P.E.I. Potato Board, the P.E.I. Agri Watershed Partnership will work to reduce and eliminate land-use-related fish kills, keep soil on the land and out of waterways and develop an industry-standard code of practice for agricultural cropping.
Supported with $300,000 from the province, the committee will include representatives from the departments of environment, water and climate change as well as agriculture and land.
The committee will meet regularly until December 2020. Outcomes will include a list of beneficial management practices, criteria for identifying on-farm high-risk environmental areas as well as the opportunity to pilot practices with farmers.
All Island watershed groups seek to work co-operatively with farmers to help protect and improve our watersheds and support sustainable agricultural practices, said said Mike Durant, chairman of the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance.
"We are very excited to partner with the Federation of Agriculture to promote and assist farmers in implementing effective solutions to the challenges we face,”
Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson said collaboration with watershed partners provides an opportunity to discuss best-management practices and build on sustainable activities already adopted by the agriculture industry.
“This partnership demonstrates a valuable relationship that can be built on in the future.”