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P.E.I. farmers and watershed groups come together for environment issues


October 28, 2019
By Potatoes in Canada

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A new committee is exploring ways to help P.E.I. farmers better handle farm-related environment issues.

The P.E.I. Agri Watershed Partnership (PEI-AWP) came together in the winter of 2019 when the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture approached the P.E.I. Watershed Alliance to discuss working in partnership to encourage beneficial 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. 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,” said David Mol, president of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture.

Together with the P.E.I. Potato Board, this new 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.

“We need to champion our farmers as they develop beneficial management practices to address our changing climate, including extreme weather events. Bringing together the agricultural sector with the expertise of our watershed groups will help us explore real solutions that work on our farms and benefit our watersheds,” said Brad Trivers, minister of the environment, water and climate change, in a statement.

“Collaboration with our watershed partners provides an opportunity to discuss best management practices and build on sustainable activities already adopted by the agriculture industry,” said Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Land. “This partnership demonstrates a valuable relationship that can be built on in the future.”

Supported with $300,000 from the province, the committee will include representatives from the Departments of Environment, Water and Climate Change and Agriculture and Land.

The committee will meet regularly to work on these efforts until December 2020. Outcomes 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.