Farm tour finds growers investing in sustainable agriculture

A tour of Island farms shows that growers are working to improve the health of PEI soil and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.  

Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson along with agricultural specialists from the department recently visited more than 15 farms across the province to hear from farmers and workers about their experiences, challenges and opportunities for growth in the industry as they prepared for this year’s harvest.      

”Farmers were keen to discuss everything from drought and irrigation to technology and pest control. I think it’s really important to see and hear about these things directly from the farmers and having these discussions about innovation and growth certainly benefits our industry.”

- Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson

The tours allowed farmers to showcase a number of new agriculture approaches including the raising of dairy/beef cross calves for the Island beef market, research into new crop rotations and varieties, and upgrades to poultry processing facilities.

“On our visit to the Visser family’s farm in Orwell I was able to see how a good crop rotation is allowing a potato grower to improve soil quality while growing rotation crops that build organic matter and discourage potato pests,” the minister said.

William Visser said farmers are trying to improve the way they produce crops and to reduce their environmental impact.

“I’m very encouraged as I see farmers continue to adapt as we become more aware of areas to improve. Many, many farmers are making investments in sustainability in soil health and protecting the environment,” Visser said. “Perfection is hard to attain but I’m really encouraged when I see people working together and individually to do what they can to improve things.” 

Feedback from the farming community will assist the department as it reviews programs and supports to ensure they meet the needs of Island farmers, support innovation and environmental stability, and encourage continued economic growth for the province. 

“Through these farm tours we were able to meet with almost every farming industry on PEI, and I want to thank all the farmers from West to East that shared their thoughts with us, as well as the staff that helped us visit each farm safely,” the minister said. 

Department specialists also had the opportunity to speak with farmers about programs that ranged from the new Soil Health Analysis Package and Product & Market Development Program to larger funding opportunities covering multiple sectors including the Agriculture Stewardship Program

For more information on all programs available, visit: Department of Agriculture and Land.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Agriculture and Land

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