CANADA - The Canada and Manitoba governments are funding two new beneficial management practices (BMPs) to help reduce the risk of spreading crop and livestock diseases between farms and to support more environmentally responsible fuel storage.
"Canadian farmers are continually improving the sustainability of their operations and putting best management practices into place," said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
"This support will help further protect the environment while ensuring the long-term health and economic strength of the agriculture industry."
Eligible farmers will receive up to 30 per cent of the cost of installing new on-farm fuel storage systems, to a maximum of $5,000.
These projects will help reduce the risk of soil or water contamination from older units. Under the second new BMP, commercial manure applicators can apply for up to $15,000 or 50 per cent of the cost of new sanitation equipment including all necessary items for a mobile hot-wash unit.
This will help reduce the risk of spreading diseases like porcine epidemic diarrhea virus or club root between farms.
"These two new BMPs are the result of feedback received from farmers and the agricultural industry as part of our ongoing evaluation of Growing Forward 2's programs," said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn.
"This funding will help farmers and agri-businesses better protect the environment and ensure strong biosecurity measures are in place to for the entire industry."
The ministers noted the agricultural landscape provides environmental benefits enjoyed by all Manitobans including water storage and wildlife habitat. As a result, Manitoba's farmers manage or create environmental benefits with an estimated value of $2 billion.
Applications for these BMPs will be accepted beginning on July 13. The program will run until the program budget is fully allocated. For the on-farm fuel storage BMP, producers must have a valid environmental farm plan (EFP) statement of completion and own or control a minimum of 320 acres within Manitoba.
For the sanitation equipment BMP, applicants must have completed and passed the manure applicators training course offered by Assiniboine Community College and have a valid applicator's license.
"Farmers who've completed environmental farm plans and had them reviewed by KAP have told us that a program to help them improve on-farm fuel storage is a priority," said Dan Mazier, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers.
"I'm pleased that both Minister Ritz and Minister Kostyshyn have demonstrated their continued support for the EFP process by acting on KAP's recommendations for a fuel storage BMP."
Projects will be funded under Growing Forward 2's Growing Assurance - Environment program. The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.
For more information about this program and funded BMPs, go to www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Environment.
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