KAP Calls for More Research Into Water Quality Management Before Imposing Regulations

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2061. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 14 February 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2061

Keystone Agricultural Producers is calling for more research before the Manitoba government imposes potentially onerous new water quality management regulations on farmers.

A series of public consultations examining a draft Water Quality Management Zone Regulation for Nutrients, developed as part of the Manitoba Water Quality Protection Act, begins later this week.

The proposed regulation, which divides Manitoba into water quality management zones, outlines management practices and sets nutrient application limits designed to reduce the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that end up in the province's waterways.

Keystone Agricultural Producers Vice President Ian Wishert fears the proposed regulation, while placing a burden on farmers, will do nothing to improve water quality.

"A lot of the approaches that they're taking us to are not necessarily well based in science. We don't have the data.

There's a lot of unanswered questions, how we have an impact in terms of reducing lost phosphorus, a lot of questions about buffer strips, do they really work? How should be applying the manure or any fertilizer because certainly they intend to get to fertilizer in the end? Can we continue doing things like spreading at certain times of the year?

Can we compost? Can we do winter grazing? All these questions are very important and must be addressed. Producers have got to know what they can and can't do. We have offered several times to the department to sit down with them and consult with them and try to work out a workable set of regulations that meet their needs and will deal with the loss of nutrients from farmland in a way that farmers can also live with.

We don't want an onerous set of restrictions put in place that will cause some producers to leave the industry or have great economic hardship which may in the end not actually result in any significant improvement."

Wishert suggests we need to adopt a more cautious approach and make sure the regulations we put in place are correct before they are implemented.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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