Agricultural Community Consultations on
Best Management Practices

Stakeholder consultations on the Beneficial Management Practices list began in December 2019 when the Beneficial Management Practices report prepared by the Technical Working Committee in July was presented to a focus group of potato producers; members of the Research and Environment Committee of the PEI Potato Board. A follow-up meeting was held in February 2020. As a result of the feedback received from these meetings, several refinements were made to the BMP list in preparation for broader industry consultations planned for March 2020.

Major feedback from consultation sessions:

  • It is clearly articulated that the focus is to be on land farmed near watercourses and wetlands
  • That the emphasis is on fields/areas identified as priorities for runoff control
  • That the practices focus on broader goals – be less prescriptive
  • That implementation is over a period of years, not months, and will require considerable extension effort
  • More support will be needed to address barriers to implementation of some BMPs, land retirement was cited as a primary example
  • Some practices, particularly cover cropping, can be highly dependant on the weather

Determining priority sites for runoff control:

  • Watershed personnel can play a role in determining critical sites
  • Experienced personnel who are familiar with the entire watershed can point out problem areas very quickly
  • Working with the watershed people on site selection is a good way to foster engagement
  • Many farmers rely on advice from Provincial Soil & Water and Environment staff
  • Enhanced GIS data currently being developed can further assist in identifying and prioritizing areas. Can be used in combination with other risk analysis exercises (EFP, consulting with specialists, or on your own with PEI LANDONLINE)

The series of four grower consultation meetings on the proposed BMP list scheduled for mid-March 2020 were canceled due to COVID-19. An online survey on the Beneficial Management Practices was conducted. The results are summarized below.