SUMMERSIDE - The P.E.I. Potato Board says farmers are doing what they can to protect the environment.
Chairman Gary Linkletter said P.E.I. farmers have the highest level of enhanced environmental farm planning in Canada.
Linkletter said enhanced environmental farm planning is a plan farmers and the government come up with, establishing ways to maximize crop while caring for the environment.
“You sit down and go through the farm field by field.”
Linkletter said farmers do care about the environment.
“A lot of people are looking at better practice. We’re making enormous changes.”
A pilot program introduced farmers to farm planning, and it takes time, Linkletter said.
‘’We all had tube TV’s. Then flat screens came out. We think ‘Why didn’t we have this 20 years ago?’ Technology grows and we learn. Similar to a farm, we have to start somewhere.”
But how does P.E.I. compare?
John Jamieson, Executive Director of the Federation of Agriculture, said 90 per cent of farmers have farm planning, while some provinces have none.
“Some provinces don’t deliver. Alberta and Ontario have none,” Jamieson said.
The federation is in charge of these farm plans.
Jamieson said farm plans look at water, plowing, fertilizer, and soil erosion and give farmers recommendations.
“We rate farmers on a scale of one to four. A rating of one and two is managing acceptable, and a rating of three or four means we need an action plan.”
“We ask them questions. How do you decide about your crops? Where do you get your advice?”
Jamieson said most buyers and markets are demanding farm planning.
He said customers want to know farmers are doing all they can for the environment.
Each plan is renewed every five years, and they have implemented an electronic program with up to date information.