By Brittany Neumeier, AAg, Agri-Environmental Specialist, North Battleford
With the holiday season fast approaching many people are considering how they can "give back" to their communities. For Saskatchewan producers, the spirit of giving doesn't end after the holidays. Many producers are already doing the right thing by implementing sustainable practices on their farms that give back to the landscape all year round. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership has a suite of programs that support these environmentally sustainable and resilient practices. Each year, more and more producers are accessing funds to help implement these practices on their farms. With this year coming to a close, we want to highlight some of the most popular programs producers are using.
With over 700 applicants accessing the program, the Permanent Tame Forage Beneficial Management Practice (BMP) is one of the most popular programs. This pre-approval program offers 50 per cent cost share for seed costs and establishment to convert marginal annually cropped land into permanent tame forage. Marginal lands require more inputs and are susceptible to erosion; so converting them to permanent forage saves you money, stabilizes the soil and sequesters carbon.
Over 40 riparian health assessments have been created to aid producer's efforts in protecting the health and function of their riparian areas (the green zones adjacent to lakes and watercourses). The Riparian Grazing Management BMP requires pre-approval and offers a 50 per cent cost-share to establish fencing around these areas for exclusion or properly managed timing, intensity and duration of livestock grazing. Riparian areas improve water quality by stabilizing stream banks and shore lines, filtering impurities and trapping sediment.
Producers continue to invest in the health and long term sustainability of their native rangelands. Almost 50 grazing management plans have been created through the Native Rangeland Management BMP. This pre-approval program provides producers with a health assessment and grazing plan for their native rangeland, as well as a 50 per cent cost-share on the implementation of cross-fencing. Native rangelands are among some of the most important landscapes in Canada. They provide habitat for animals, sequester carbon, and are home to many native plants that are adapted to the variable climatic conditions of the prairies.
Saskatchewan producers have shown their commitment to giving back to the landscape in which they work by making responsible management decisions on their farms. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership offers programs to support their efforts. For more information, please contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1‑866‑457‑2377 or visit our CAP web pages.