Twenty-five recommendations to help Manitoba farmers mitigate climate change


1. Consider a new permanent cover program to compensate producers for taking marginal land out of production.

2. Encourage insurance programs to promote the use of novel crops and ensure programs respond more quickly to the impact of climate change.

3. Continue to promote policies that reward and incentivize best management practices, including reforms to insurance, extension activities and other government programming.

4. Continue to develop the Excess Moisture Insurance program so that premiums and coverage reflect the risk and improve the long-term viability of the program.

5. Work with the federal government and other provinces to renew the AgriStability program in a way that deals with the expected effects of climate change.

6. Consider predictable compensation for producer’s losses in designated areas due to mitigation measures, and discuss shared funding options with the federal government.

7. Consider reforming AgriInvest so it can act as an incentive for best management practices among producers.


8. Support the Aquanty HydroGeoSphere modelling project to provide data to better inform decisions on policy and programs.

9. Examine practices employed by irrigation districts in Alberta to see if Manitoba can learn from them to improve water management through its conservation districts.

10. Explore development of whole-farm revenue insurance.

11. Research use of weather derivatives as a business risk management tool for producers.

12. Encourage ongoing and new research into perennial grain and win- ter cereals with a view to determine how different crop varieties handle wet and dry conditions.

13. Restore federal funding to public research, including research in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation for the agricultural sector.


14. Recognize that mitigation activity requires a federal funding arrangement and should be part of negotiations for Growing Forward 3 or an equivalent program.

15. Support the BASIC program as a pilot program that encourages infra- structure investment by creating a fund for mitigation works.

16. Continue to develop and promote best practices program (Environmental Farm Plan focus) to encourage best management practices (e.g. tillage, crop rotation, tile drainage, equipment).

17. Renew investment in conservation districts — outcome to improve drainage or storage of water in current problem areas.

18. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the role catastrophe insurance could play in mitigating the financial impact of weather-related disasters on the province (e.g. reinsurance for Manitoba and municipalities).

19. That the Manitoba government and its departments consider work- ing with the International Institute of Sustainable Development to develop advanced climate and weather forecasting programs.


20. Remove permanent Class 4 wetlands from municipal taxes through federal-provincial cost sharing.

21. Create a province-wide comprehensive approach to LiDAR to provide additional elevation and water management data to benefit agro-environment policy, program decisions and on-farm best practices and productivity.

22. Continue to encourage more constructive use of biomass (e.g. cattails).

23. Share best practices in municipal water management and infrastructure.

24. Ensure any subsequent negotiations with neighbouring jurisdictions such as the Prairie Provinces Water Board and the International Joint Commission include a focus on climate change.

25. Continue to invest in education and extension programming.

Get the full report at the MAFRD website.

About the author


Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.


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