Soil Health Improvement Plans (SHIP)
What is a Soil Health Improvement Plan (SHIP)?
A Soil Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) is a new advisory service developed to help farmers assess their current soil health status and set actions to support soil health. The service is delivered by Soil and Water Conservation Specialists at the PEI Department of Agriculture.
Why do I need a SHIP?
A SHIP provides an opportunity to take a comprehensive look at the management and health of your individual fields and properties. The SHIP process is a window into both current and potential future results of management practices on the long-term sustainability and productivity of the soil.
A Soil Health Improvement Plan will also be required for agricultural irrigators applying for water withdrawal permits.
What is needed to apply for a SHIP?
In order to apply for and complete a Soil Health Improvement Plan, the following is required:
- Soil Health Test Results for each property to be included in the SHIP;
- Field management information for each property to be included in the SHIP;
- A completed application form (application can be obtained by contacting the PEI Department of Agriculture).
What is involved in the SHIP development process?
Using the field management information and soil health test results supplied by the applicant, a model is used to assess both soil loss potential and soil condition. The model provides indicators of soil health based on current and future field practices. The indicators, along with the soil health test results, are used to discuss various beneficial management practices that might maintain or improve soil health.
Plans are discussed and developed for each individual field. Beneficial management practices discussed include, but are not limited to, crop diversification, soil-building crops, conservation tillage, use of amendments, construction of soil conservation structures, winter cover crops, etc.
Who can I contact to participate and learn more?
For more information and to request an application form, contact:
Soil and Water Conservation Specialists
PEI Department of Agriculture
11 Kent Street