The provincial government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is announcing new funding for a project to support seed potato producers in adapting to ongoing trade suspensions by planting soil-building crops.
The Department of Agriculture and Land says in a press release that the “Soil Building for Seed Producers Project” is a $3 million provincial investment into Prince Edward Island’s seed sector funded through the Potato Emergency Contingency Program and will focus on the continued implementation of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) on fields currently used for seed potato production.
“In our meetings with industry and the PEI Potato Board, the need for additional supports for our seed sector were identified, specifically so that those growers can assess and address alternative crops as they deal with ongoing trade suspensions. We always have, and always will support our local farmers, so to be able to deliver a program that will support them and at the same time help build our Island soil, is something we are proud to deliver,” said the Minister of Agriculture and Land, Bloyce Thompson.
The project was developed in collaboration with the PEI Potato Board and will focus on a variety of BMPs, including incorporating new soil-building crops into rotations and extending rotations with soil-building perennial crops to increase carbon sequestration and contribute to reducing net carbon emissions in the province.
“The Board is very pleased to work with the province on the development of this project, as our seed growers still face a lot of uncertainty and challenges for 2022 and beyond,” said Chairman of the PEI Potato Board John Visser.
“This project will help those most affected by the restrictions on seed movement to cover fixed costs while gaining some time to assess how they move ahead, and it is very positive that they will be able to take advantage of this support while benefitting the environment and improving soil health.”
Source: Govt of Prince Edward Island, Department of Agriculture and Land. Original release here
Further information: Soil Building for Seed Producers Project
Photo: A farmer works a potato field in North Tryon, Prince Edward Island. Courtesy and credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan