Thursday, 07 December 2017 11:27

Still time to apply for Farm Stewardship Rebate Projects under the Growing Forward 2 funding

Written by  Dallas Peters
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After the dry conditions of this summer, many areas that have been too wet to seed in prior years now are dry enough to seed.


Many of these areas have saline soils or are susceptible to erosion leaving producers with decisions about how to keep these areas productive both in dry years and wet years. The answer for many of these areas is to seed a forage mix into these areas to control salinity and erosion. Seeding these areas to forage provides some filtering of water going into to aquifers or surface water bodies, salts are kept from coming to the surface improving surface water quality.
By seeding forages into these areas erosion is controlled reducing sedimentation into waterways and soil integrity is maintained by the extensive root structure of the grasses seed.
Finally by seeding low lying areas to forage, producers do not have to worry about getting stuck in spring when seeding and can ensure that there is production on these acres every year.
This fall is a good time to seed these saline and erosion prone areas. Dormant seeding in fall is a good way to have the forage crop get a head start in the spring and the moisture we have received this earlier this fall will give it an even better start. If you do seed forages on saline and erosion prone areas this fall you may be eligible for a rebate for 50% of the cost of the seed used up to $10,000.
The land seeded to forage must meet certain qualifications in terms of soil type, erodibility, or salinity. SCCWS will work with you to determine if the land you plan on seeding qualifies for the rebate. The type of forage seeded must also be eligible and contain at least one creeping rooted grass species and cannot contain any invasive grass species such as smooth brome or crested wheat grass.
Funding for the High Risk Erodible and Saline Soils Seeding is provided through Growing Forward 2.
This program is offered to Sask. farmers and ranchers through a provincial, federal, territorial policy framework. It is a five-year program that assists in the costs of implementing Beneficial Management Practices or BMP’s. These practices lessen or remove negative environmental impacts to soil, water, and air. The program is now in its final year, but there is still time to apply for Farm Stewardship Rebates as the deadline to apply for the rebate is January 31, 2018.
Other rebate projects include: fencing to protect surface water, irrigation management planning, manure application equipment and technologies, shelterbelt establishment, used oil storage, plastic grain bag roller, weather data information collection and monitoring, variable rate fertilizer equipment, and variable rate mapping.
The Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards are involved in the Growing Forward 2 program through participating in the Agri-Environmental Group Plan or AEGP. This allows us to work with farmers and ranchers within the Swift Current AEGP boundary to assist them with technical support and to complete funding and rebate applications.
The Stewards work to enhance water quality and stream health of the Swift Current Creek Watershed by promoting education and awareness to all users. Assisting landowners to implementing a BMP such as seeding forage into a saline or erosion prone area is a great way to improve water quality and watershed health and to educate users about practices that will achieve that goal.
For more visit the website at sccws.com or call 306-770-4606 or visit www.saskatchewan.ca or call toll free 1-877-874-5365.
(Dallas Peters is a AEGP Technician is the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards)

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