Alternative Land Use Services 2 (ALUS2) Program
The ALUS2 program is a voluntary program for PEI landowners. This program has four purposes, to :
- reduce soil erosion and siltation of watercourses and wetlands
- improve water quality
- improve and increase wildlife habitat
- reduce the impacts of climate change
Who is eligible for funding?
- Landowners who own and/or lease agricultural land on PEI
- Farmers who own and/or lease agricultural land in PEI
Note: Applicants applying for an ALUS payment on leased land require a form signed by the landowner acknowledging that the applicant can receive the annual payment for the term of the agreement.
What activities are eligible for funding?
Buffer zone tree planting
Eligible applicants losing agricultural land as a result of the 5 meter increase in the regulated buffer zone may receive payment for this land provided that;
- trees either currently exist in the first 5 meters adjacent to the watercourse or wetland or
- the applicant agree to allow trees to be established in the first 5 meters.
- Eligible applicants can receive a payment if they allow trees to be established on any remaining portion of the regulated 15 meter buffer if it is currently cleared land.
- Trees can either become established through natural regeneration or they can be planted. Eligible applicant will not be responsible for planting or for costs associated with establishing trees.
- If eligible applicants agree to receive a payment for establishing trees in the buffer zone, they will be contacted at a future date to indicate their preference of native tree species to be planted.
Sensitive Land Retirement
- Expanded buffer zone - Expanded buffer zones are areas of land, adjacent to the legislated buffer, that are retired to give added protection to the watercourse or wetland.
- Allowable management practices are similar to those required for regulated buffer zones; no tillage, no annual cropping and no pesticide spraying.
- Expanded buffer zones can be left in forage or they can have trees planted on them. Forage can be cut and harvested.
- To qualify for a payment, the expanded buffer area must have been in annual crop production at some point since the year 2000.
- Non regulated grassed headlands - Non regulated grassed headlands are those that are established at distances greater than 200 meters from watercourses or bufferable wetlands. Regulated grassed headlands do not qualify for payment.
- To be eligible for payment, the field must be in a rotation that contains row crops thatt drain towards the headland.
- To qualify for a payment, grassed headlands must be a minimum of 5 meters in width. The maximum width eligible for payment is 10 meters.
- If the grassed headland requires maintenance, it can be re-established with spring tillage in a year when the field is not in row crop production.
- High sloped land - High sloped land is agricultural land that is identified by its red colour in the Prince Edward Island Sloped Land Inventory (PEISLI) GIS layer. Other non PEISLI land can be retired as high sloped land if the topography warrants it.
- To qualify for a payment the field must have been in active annual crop production at some point since the year 2000.
- Retired high sloped land can be left in forage, planted to an agroforestry crop or planted to trees. Forages can be cut and harvested.
- Tillage and/or annual crop production would not be permitted.
Land under soil conservation structures
Land that is taken out of production to establish soil conservation structures is eligible for payment. Soil conservation structures include diversion terraces, farmable berms, and grassed waterways.
- Natural hollows that are left in permanent grass are eligible for a payment if the grassed area is a minimum of 30 feet wide.
- To qualify for a payment, the field must be in active annual crop production and soil conservation structures must meet minimum standards that have been approved by a soil conservation specialist.
- Grassed waterways and farmable berms should be reshaped and reseeded as required. This maintenance work must be performed in the spring in a year when the field is not in row crop production.
Maintaining livestock fences adjacent to watercourse and wetlands
Fences have been constructed on most livestock farms in the province to eliminate cattle access to watercourses and wetlands. This annual payment recognizes there are ongoing costs associated with maintaining fences and alternate watering systems to ensure livestock continue to be denied access.
- Fences must be constructed in a manner that ensures total exclusion of livestock from watercourses and wetlands.
- To qualify for a payment, the field must be in an active pasture rotation, the fence must be a minimum of 5 meters from the edge of the watercourse or wetland and the field must have the necessary alternate watering infrastructure and livestock stream crossings.
What funding assistance is available?
|Buffer zone tree planting||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: Expanded buffer zone||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: Non regulated grassed headlands||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: High sloped land||$150/ha/yr|
|Land under soil conservation structures||$250/ha/yr|
|Maintaining livestock fences adjacent to watercourses and wetlands||$0.30/meter/yr|
Eligible applicants will automatically receive an annual payment for all the subsequent years of the contract before March 31 of each subsequent year to:
- Remove land from agricultural production or
- Establish/maintain beneficial management practices that protect soil and water quality or improve fish and wildlife habitat.
The length of the agreement will depend upon the year of application. All agreements will expire on March 31, 2018 at which time the agreements will be reviewed.
How do I apply?
- A detailed application form is available from the Program Lead and on-line
- All applications will be reviewed by the Program Lead. Eligible projects will be reviewed by an internal body, which will determine approval or denial. The decision of this body will be conveyed in writing to the applicant.
- Farmers should also attach a list of all properties that are leased if the land will be farmed until at least March 31, 2018 and be prepared to have the landowner sign a consent form agreeing to have the annual payment issued to the farmer.
What is the claiming process?
- For ALUS2 projects, a payment may be issued once per year following the audit process.
- Maps will be generated for each of the properties listed in the application form
- Program staff will contact the applicant and arrange a visit to discuss eligible ALUS features on each property and provide suggested management advice.
- All features receiving an ALUS payment will be entered into a GIS data base and a map will be produced outlining those features for each property.
- A table will be produced identifying the eligible ALUS features on each property, the area of the feature, the payment for the individual feature and the total eligible ALUS2 payment.
- A second short visit will be arranged to confirm the information is accurate and provide copies of the table and maps outlining the ALUS2 features.
- An agreement will be issued, which must be signed and returned to the Program Administrator. If ALUS2 payments are claimed on leased properties, consent forms must be signed by the owner agreeing to have the annual payment issued to the farmer.
- Upon receipt of the signed agreement and consent forms for leased land, an ALUS2 payment will be issued for the current year.
When will the program end?
This program is effective April 1, 2013 and will terminate on March 31, 2018. This program may be altered or discontinued without notice by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Forward completed applications to:
PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Attention: Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Program Administrator
PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, PEI