Alternative Land Use Services 2 (ALUS2) Program

Logo with green text that says Alternative Land Use Services ALUS Prince Edward IslandThe 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

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
Applicants losing agricultural land as a result of the 5 meter increase in the regulated buffer zone are eligible for payment on this land on condition that trees either currently exist in the first 5 meters adjacent to the watercourse or wetland or they agree to allow trees to be established in the first 5 meters.
Eligible Practices

  • 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. You will not be responsible for planting or for costs associated with establishing trees.
  • You will be contacted at a future date so that you can indicate your 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.
    Eligible Practices
    • 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.
    Eligible Practices
    • To be eligible for payment, the field must be in a rotation that contains row crops and the rows must 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 color 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.
    Eligible Practices
    • 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.
Eligible Practices

  • 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 has to 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 that there are ongoing costs associated with maintaining fences and alternate watering systems to ensure that livestock continue to be denied access.
Eligible Practices

  • 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?

ALUS2 funding assistance
ALUS Feature Assistance
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 sign an agreement to receive financial compensation annually 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?

  1. Complete the ALUS2 application form
  2. Applicants must attach a list of all properties that they own/ lease that will be farmed the leased land until at least March 31, 2018

Additional Requirements

  • Maps will be generated for each of the properties that you listed in your application form
  • Program staff will contact you with respect to your application and arrange a visit to discuss eligible ALUS features on each of your properties and provide you with suggested management advice.
  • All features that you agreed to receive an ALUS payment for will be entered into a GIS data base and a map will be produced that outlines those features for each of your properties.
  • A table will be produced that identifies the eligible ALUS features on each property, the area of the feature, the payment for the individual feature and your total eligible ALUS payment.
  • A second short visit will be arranged with you to confirm that all the information is accurate and you will be given a copy of the table and a copy of each of the maps that outlines where the ALUS features are for which you will be receiving payment.
  • You will be issued an agreement, that you must sign and return to the program administrator. If you are claiming ALUS payments on leased properties you will also be required to have consent forms signed by the owner indicating that he/she is in agreement with you receiving the annual payment.
  • Upon receipt of the agreement and all signed consent forms on leased land you will be issued an ALUS payment 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
C1A 7N8

George Piercey
Phone: (902) 314-0790
Fax: (902) 368-4857
Shawn Hill, ALUS Coordinator
Phone: (902)836-8916
Fax: (902) 368-5830

Published date: 
April 1, 2016
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General Inquiries

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
5th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PEI   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-4880
Fax: (902) 368-4857

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Agriculture Information Desk
1-866-PEI FARM (734-3276)