- The British Columbia government is funding programs and projects to help B.C. farmers prepare for emergencies and changing weather conditions.
- The B.C. and the federal government have invested approximately $3 million to help farmers and ranchers throughout the province prepare and adapt to changing climate and weather conditions.
- The B.C. government is committed to working with the sector to improving the resilience of agricultural production in a changing climate.
- Regional adaptation strategies have been developed in six key agricultural areas of the province: Cowichan, Delta, the Peace, the Cariboo, the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan: http://www.bcagclimateaction.ca/regional/overview/
- More than 40 projects have been funded, addressing climate related risks such as drought, excess moisture, flooding, pests, diseases and wildfires.
- B.C. farmers are recognized for their leadership in sustainable agriculture, whether that be through developing new products, practices that support a sustainable environment or Environmental Farm Plans.
- Environmental Farm Plans are a guided process to help farmers and ranchers identify on-farm environmental strengths and weaknesses to reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment. The program is no-charge, confidential and voluntary.
- The governments of B.C. and Canada provide funding to address environmental risks identified in completed farm plans that can include:
- nutrient management improvements
- riparian protection
- irrigation planning
- integrated pest management
- product and waste management
- CO2, N2O and CH4 emission reduction
- B.C. began the Environmental Farm Plan program in 2004, with over 4,200 Environmental Farm Plans developed since then, and more than 1,000 additional plans estimated to be complete by 2018.
- In partnership with the federal government, the Ministry of Agriculture has developed an Agricultural Water Demand Model to determine how much water the agriculture industry needs today and in the future for a number of regions including Metro Vancouver, Nanaimo, Cowichan, Okanagan, Similkameen, Kettle, Nicola, Bonaparte, Salmon River, North Thompson, South Thompson, Comox, Fraser Valley, Lillooet, Pemberton, East Kootenay, Southern Gulf Island and the Cariboo.
- The model results can be used by each of the regions in developing their watershed plans and water reserves for agriculture.
- Wildfires and drought can:
- cause damage to forage supplies,
- result in cattle mortality,
- increase production costs and decrease revenues for affected ranchers, and
- affect crops.
- When wildfires and other emergencies occur, Ministry of Agriculture staff work with Emergency Management BC and local governments to provide support to the response when agriculture is involved.
- Planning resources including Emergency Management Guides for BC Beef Producers, BC Dairy Producers and BC Pork Producers are at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/farm-management/emergency-preparedness
- The British Columbia Premises ID program allows for rapid notification of livestock and poultry producers during emergencies. To register, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/food-safety/premises-id-for-livestock-poultry
- The Ministry of Agriculture has also developed other resources to help farmers and producers prepare for emergencies, including agriculture drought strategies: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/emergency/Drought/Drought.htm
- In general, Production Insurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest are the available provincial agriculture risk management programs to compensate producers for losses: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/agriculture-business-and-economy/insurance-and-income-protection
- Different crops have different coverage options and deadlines. Coverage cannot be purchased retroactively or after a deadline has passed.
- Private insurance providers can insure livestock, as well as buildings and their contents (e.g. stored feed etc.) against wildfire and other perils.
- For producers with Production Insurance, crop losses caused by naturally occurring perils are insurable for standing crops up to the point of harvest. Production Insurance does not provide coverage for livestock.
- Production Insurance is available for plant and yield losses caused by drought and other naturally occurring perils, such as hail, spring frost, excessive rain, flood and fire.
- Individual Production Insurance coverage varies depending on the choice of coverage purchased.
- AgriStability protects a farmer from farm income declines, including when a production loss is caused by drought conditions. A payment is made if the current-year income falls more than 30% below the average of prior years.
- AgriStability covers a portion of any additional income decline when drought or wildfire increases allowable expenses such as feed costs or decreases revenue from commodity sales.
- AgriStability will cover a portion of the additional income decline where fire increases allowable expenses such as feed costs or decreases revenue from commodity sales.
- AgriInvest helps producers manage small income declines.
- Producers with AgriInvest accounts can withdraw available funds at their discretion.