Manitoba Minister Calls for Cooperation Over Nutrient Loading Concerns

CANADA - Manitoba's minister of agriculture is encouraging stakeholders to work together as the province takes action to reduce the amount of nutrients ending up in Lake Winnipeg, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 4 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Last month, following the release the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission report on the environmental sustainability of hog production in Manitoba, the province announced plans for moratoriums on hog barn expansion in three regions.

The affected area, which includes Southeastern Manitoba, the Red River Valley Special Management Zone and the Interlake, accounts for about two thirds of the province's pork production.

Agriculture minister Rosann Wowchuk suggests, while steps are being taken in these sensitive areas where there is a large amount of production, there have also been steps taken that will affect other sectors to control the amount of nutrients ending up in the waterways.

Rosann Wowchuk-Manitoba Agriculture Minister

We're reviewing the recommendations and the minister of conservation will be coming forward with recommendations on how we should deal with that.

We will also be meeting with the industry and looking for their input.

We do know that in some of these areas where there are very sensitive soil conditions that the number of hogs is quite high and with the regulations that we have for manure spreading, really there probably isn't room for more growth because of the requirement for more land.

Wowchuk suggests the recommendations brought forward by the clean environment commission as well as the regulations already in place have to be examined.

She concedes the nutrients that end up in Lake Winnipeg come from several sources but she notes the province has also taken steps to eliminate phosphorus from dish washing detergents, to reduce the numbers of septic fields in the province, to reduce the nutrient load coming from the city of Winnipeg as well as to reduce the nutrient load coming from agriculture.

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