Assistance Available For Restoring Eroded Land

Before some Manitoba farmers seed next spring they have weeds to work down, others have ruts to smooth out, while some have big washouts to repair in the wake of spring flooding.

Farmers can apply for financial assistance to restore farmland scarred by water erosion, an official with Manitoba’s cabinet communications said last week. Each case has to be assessed to see if it qualifies. Only land damaged by water flowing from the Hoop and Holler breach is eligible for full restoration under the Building and Recovery Action Plan.

Other claims will go through the Disaster Financial Aid program ( www.gov.mb.ca/emo/home/dfa), the official said.

Farmers can get more information from their local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) GO office as well as Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s website ( www.masc.mb.ca).

Some of the erosion will require more equipment than farmers have, Souris-based MAFRI farm production adviser Lionel Kaskiw said during a webinar last week.

Where there’s a risk the restored land could erode again the farmer should seed it to grass to make a permanent water runway, MAFRI soil fertility specialist John Heard said. Although out of annual crop production, this vulnerable land can still produce hay.

If the eroded soil is still on the farmer’s property it can be returned to fill in the washout, he said.

Eroded soils are usually low in organic matter, which can be res tored through techniques such as zero tillage, he said. In the meantime applying fertilizer can boost productivity. [email protected]

About the author

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Allan Dawson

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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