Non-BRM Agreement May Help With Manure Storages

Manitoba hog producers required to expand their manure storage facilities could get some financial help from a federal-provincial agreement signed last week.

The $117.5 million Growing Forward agreement between Manitoba and Ottawa includes $18.8 million for eligible beneficial management practices (BMPs) involving water and nutrient management.

That should include manure storages, although the available money might not go very far, said Ian Wishart, Keystone Agricultural Producers president.

“Assuming there’s anything left out there, (manure storages) should qualify under one of the BMPs,” Wishart said.

Manitoba livestock operations under 300 animal units will be banned from spreading manure on fields in winter by 2013 under a recently proposed provincial regulation.

That means small operations which normally spread manure year round will have to construct winter storages if they don’t have them already.

The Manitoba Pork Council is sharply critical of the move, saying if government expects small farmers to build or expand storages, it should compensate them for it.

The recent provincial budget contains no specific reimbursement for livestock manure storages facilities, although it does include more resources to inspect them.

Most of the $18.8 million will be delivered through an environmental farm plan (EFP) program administered by the Farm Stewardship Association of Mani toba (FSAM) , said Wishart.

Environmental farm plans previously covered over 30 BMPs, although not all were used. The list of BMPs will now be narrowed down to about a dozen focusing on water and nutrient management, Wishart said.

Environmental programs are part of last week’s agreement covering non-BRM (business risk management) programs under Growing Forward.

Other non-BRMs under Manitoba’s agreement include:

$26.9 million for competition and innovation initiatives

$12.3 million for specific innovation projects

$4.5 million for business development

$1.6 million for northern agriculture

$15.7 million for food safety

$11 million for environmental information.

Growing Forward puts forward $1.3 billion for non-BRMs over the next five years. Ottawa and the provinces share the funding 60/40.

British Columbia and Ontario also announced their non-BRM agreements with Ottawa last week. Other provinces have reportedly signed agreements but not all have been announced yet. [email protected]

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