New Programming Addresses Agricultural Pests
Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), producers and rural municipalities will have access to new programming to help reduce threats from agricultural pests. Today, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, along with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) announced details of the Pest Biosecurity Program.
With $2.85 million invested annually from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Pest Biosecurity Program will be delivered in partnership with SARM. The program will create a network of Plant Health Officers across the province, as well as provide three rebate programs to minimize the impacts of agricultural pests.
“Farmers know that pests can be a significant liability to the environment and the economy,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “This funding will ensure local programming exists to mitigate pest issues, helping Canadian growers protect their agricultural crops and keep their businesses strong.”
Six full-time Plant Health Officers and six seasonal staff members in this network will work with rural municipalities and First Nations. These officers will provide training and support to ensure a consistent and proactive approach across the province. They will help monitor, survey, and report on pests, prohibited plants, and noxious weeds in their divisions.
“Having a consistent approach to eliminating and recording pests across Saskatchewan will minimize the impact of agricultural pests such as invasive plants, rats, beavers and new diseases, such as clubroot,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said. “By joining with SARM, we’re ensuring producers across Saskatchewan will have access to the training and tools they need to protect their livelihoods and be responsible stewards of the land.”
The three rebate programs are cost-shared up to 50 per cent between rural municipalities and First Nations.
The new programs are:
- The Invasive Plant Control Program, which provides rebates to producers to subsidize the cost of chemicals to eradicate controlled, prohibited and noxious weeds, up to $500,000 per year across Saskatchewan.
- The Rat Control Program, which replaces the Provincial Rat Eradication Program that was funded through Growing Forward 2. Funds in the first year will support the transition to the new program, and beyond that will supply bait rebates with rural municipalities and First Nations to a maximum of $500,000 per year.
- The Beaver Control Program, which will provide up to $450,000 per year in funding, will focus on humane removal of beavers and will require licensed trappers.
“SARM is pleased to be awarded the opportunity to administer these programs,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “Resolutions passed by SARM members continue to ask for more support, specifically for clubroot. SARM is hopeful that this programming will provide the assistance rural municipalities need to proactively manage these pests. We will continue to work with the province to monitor the effectiveness of these programs as they are introduced.”
For more information on Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs and application details, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/CAP or visit www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership.