DAWSON CREEK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 25, 2012) - The Peace River region of British Columbia will be able to put forage land to better use thanks to an investment from the Harper Government. Member of Parliament Bob Zimmer, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment that will help the Peace River Forage Association of British Columbia (PRFA) research and test the re-vegetation of agricultural land that has been affected by oil and gas drilling activities, helping reduce soil erosion and weed invasion, and bringing more land under forage crops.
"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and our forage growers in British Columbia are a great example of the hard-working farmers that help keep our economy strong," said MP Zimmer. "This investment will enable producers to work together to restore forage land, in turn increasing their profitability and sustainability."
This investment of $177,500 will help cultivate a working relationship among the PRFA, oil and gas companies, and producers so that they can engage in collaborative research and the subsequent trial of various re-vegetation practices to help reduce the soil erosion and weed invasion that occurs on agricultural land as a result of oil and gas drilling activities.
The research will explore such variables as timing, rate, and mix of seeding, and it will benefit landowners and wildlife by increasing the amount of effective and desirable forage on roadsides and pipeline rights-of-way. The increased use of appropriate seeding mixes by the oil and gas industry and other land users has the potential to increase the productivity and sustainability of the land affected by this activity.
"The Peace River Forage Association thanks the Government of Canada for their financial contribution to this project," said PRFA Research and Development Committee Chairman Glenn Hogberg. "This assistance will allow us to evaluate and improve species selection, both native and agronomic; timing; seeding rate; and seeding methods on land impacted by oil and gas activities. This project will benefit forage producers, oil and gas companies, as well as the environment."
The PRFA has been supporting the province's forage industry since 1992 by providing information, increasing knowledge, developing opportunities, and representing Peace River forage producers.
This investment is being provided by the Harper Government's $163-million Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, which aims to help the Canadian agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive in global markets. In British Columbia, this program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.
For more information about the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap.
To learn more about the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, please visit www.iafbc.ca.