Farms with an Environmental Farm Plan may want to check if any projects on next year’s to-do list are eligible for a financial boost from the province.
The province is about to open its next round of applications for beneficial management practice (BMP) funding. The program cost shares a range of on-farm projects between the producer and provincial government under Ag Action Manitoba.
Why it matters: Producers making a pitch for the next round of BMP funding will be able to apply for 15 different project categories, now published on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website.
While broken down into more specific projects (such as establishing a cover crop or managing riparian areas), the province has said BMP projects will cover four main goals: resource efficiency planning, soil improvement and greenhouse gas reduction, manure and livestock management or management of hazardous products.
Within that scope, producers may apply for funding on 15 project categories.
Last year, the province added five categories to the previous 10 eligible for BMP programming, many of which centred on perennial crops or livestock.
“I think, overall, it’s positive, but I think the main important thing here is that they continue to be adjusted,” Manitoba Beef Producers general manager Carson Callum said. “It’s important that there’s an ongoing dialogue between government and industry to see what works and doesn’t work with these BMPs and with business risk management programs altogether.
“I think that needs to be taken into account whenever there’s listings — to look at uptake and see what folks are using to make sure that it actually has some return for a producer and makes sense,” he added. “We welcome that continued dialogue.”
The livestock and perennial heavy trend continued this year. Producers can once again ask the government to take either a quarter of the cost of increasing perennials in an annual crop rotation or half the cost of establishing perennial cover on sensitive land, both up to $10,000.
Farmyard run-off control, relocation of livestock housing away from shorelines, cover crop establishment, livestock management around riparian areas, equipment for intercropping and forage and pasture improvement have all returned to the list.
The hog sector also got nods, with producers able to ask the government to evenly split the cost of liquid manure odour control (such as engineering costs or synthetic covers) up to $50,000. Funding will also once again be streamed for barn odour control — with the government paying a quarter of approved projects, up to $100,000.
While the Manitoba Beef Producers has no hard numbers on how many of its members reach for BMP funding, Callum says several categories have, at least anecdotally, drawn interest. In particular, he said, riparian area management has got “decent uptake,” including some use from board members.
Pesticide storage and secondary containment for fertilizer also make the most recent list of projects, along with resource management planning, subsurface drainage water management and projects meant to recycle tile drainage water.
Producers must have completed an Environmental Farm Plan to be eligible for BMP funding.
Funds have also been earmarked for service providers. Commercial manure applicators may apply for up to $60,000 to source equipment for direct manure injection, cost shared evenly with the province, or up to $100,000 for in-season application equipment, with 25 per cent covered by government.
Community pastures, meanwhile, can ask the province to pay a quarter of the cost of pasture and forage improvements, or half the cost of managing livestock access to riparian areas, both up to $10,000.
Applications for the newest round of funding will be available Nov. 4, with the submission period closing Dec. 4, 2020.
A full list of possible BMP projects can be found on the Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development website.