Crop rotation trial wraps up

Colin MacLean
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SUMMERSIDE – The trial of a Prince County farmer charged with breaching the P.E.I. Crop Rotation Act concluded on Friday.

Knutsford farmer Avard Smallman, 65, and Sweet Farms Inc. of O'Leary, are both facing one charge each under the act.

Both cases were called on Friday, but the trial dealt solely with the charge against Smallman.

The proceedings lasted most of the day and included a handful of witnesses.

Judge Jeff Lantz will return with his decision on April 8. The charge against the company will be called for a status update on that date as well.

The information presented in court alleges that Smallman planted a potato crop on the same field in Mount Royal in both 2010 and 2012 (in 2011 there was a grass planted.)

The Crop Rotation Act states that no one can plant a regulated crop on any field, larger than a hectare, within the same three-year period.

Smallman was originally charged back in June of 2013.

Initially, he fought the charge using a Charter of Rights application, claiming that the that Section 7.2 of the act infringed on his rights because of "grammatical errors" and that it is "ambiguous, which makes it unconstitutionally vague or overly broad.”

Lantz, who also presided over that case, disagreed, calling the suggestion "absurd.”


Note: This article has been edited from its original version.

Organizations: Sweet Farms, Mount Royal

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