By Kari Burnett, PAg, Agriculture Programs Specialist, Swift Current
Under the Farm Stewardship Program, there is a Variable Rate Mapping Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) available to assist producers in obtaining zone maps for variable rate fertilizer and variable rate irrigation application. Through this BMP, producers can reduce their environmental impacts to soil and water resources and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Through this rebate, funding is available at a rate of 30 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $2,000 per applicant. The maximum eligible costs for variable rate mapping are $8 per acre, which works out to a maximum reimbursement of $2.40 per acre.
To be eligible for the Variable Rate Mapping BMP, producers must earn a minimum of $50,000 of gross farm income in Saskatchewan. Those producers who own, lease or rent property where livestock and poultry are grown, bred, kept, raised, displayed, assembled or disposed of require a Saskatchewan Premises Identification number to qualify for the BMP.
Producers must also have an Environmental Farm Plan Certificate or other sustainability initiative such as Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), 4R Nutrient Stewardship or an International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC). Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a free, online self-assessment tool designed to help producers identify environmental risks on their farm and create action plans to address those risks. Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) is a voluntary, market-oriented, producer managed, forward-looking program, enabling Canada’s beef industry to anticipate and meet emerging and growing demands for beef production systems throughout the Canadian beef value chain. 4R Nutrient Stewardship provides a framework to achieve cropping system goals, such as increased production, increased farmer profitability, enhanced environmental protection and improved sustainability. The objective of the International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC) is to contribute to the implementation of environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production techniques and the use of biomass in global supply chains.
Eligible activities for reimbursement under the Variable Rate Mapping BMP are one-time consulting services and associated costs for the purposes of creating zone maps for variable rate fertilizer and variable rate irrigation application on fields that have not previously been mapped. All invoices for eligible expenses must be dated April 1, 2018, or later.
Ineligible activities or items include:
- Soil sampling or soil conductivity testing, if not done as part of a consulting service for the purpose of creating zone maps for variable rate fertilizer or variable rate irrigation application;
- New or used equipment;
- Equipment modifications;
- Hardware or software related to yield mapping or data capture for the purpose of creating zone maps;
- GPS guidance units;
- Hand-held GPS units; and
- In-kind labour.
For more information on this BMP and other available Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs, contact an agriculture programs specialist at a regional office near you or call the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.