Changes to Environment Amendment Act Endorsed

CANADA - Keystone Agricultural Producers has voiced its support for amendments that would ease proposed restrictions on hog industry development in much of eastern Manitoba, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 18 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Bill 17, the provincial environment amendment act, calls for a permanent moratorium on swine barn construction or expansion in southeastern Manitoba, the Red River Valley Special Management Zone and the Interlake.

Manitoba Pork Council has unveiled a proposed amendment which would replace the moratorium with limits on hog manure nutrient application rates, a ban on winter spreading and requirements for incorporation of spread manure within 48 hours.

KAP president Ian Wishart says his organization supports the proposed change.

Ian Wishart-Keystone Agricultural Producers

It would provide individual producers with the opportunity to look at their own farm operation and say I could expand my hog operation to deal with some of the extra costs that are coming down to me from other regulations and still be within the ability of my farm base to manage particularly the phosphorus nutrient.

You still have to manage nitrogen as well but phosphorus specifically and still do it in an environmentally sustainable way.

Frankly, given the high cost of phosphorus fertilizer these days, this is environmentally very positive and economically very positive.

It sends the right message out there that we don't have to go to a chemical fertilizer base.

We see Bill 17 as very negative, a non-scientific approach to dealing with nutrient management.

We've always said we're prepared to go considerable distances dealing with the nutrient loading issue and Lake Winnipeg's issue but on a scientific basis, not on a politics basis and so we clearly support this shift which would move the bill much more towards a science based approach.

Wishart notes a number of organizations including Keystone Agricultural Producers have proposed similar amendments to Bill 17.

He observes they're all based in science on site specific nutrient management and he believes it would be very positive for the government to introduce this type of change.

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