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Delta farmers tackle greenhouse gases

Federal government funding project with UBC researchers to amend farming practices
Delta MP Carla Qualtrough was at Emma Lee Farms on Westham Island to announce federal funding.

A grant from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will help UBC researchers and Delta farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) within their farming practices.

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough was at Emma Lee Farms on Westham Island this month to announce a $1.8 million investment with UBC to determine carbon sequestration and GHG emissions and develop management practices for increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use in blueberry, potato and forage crops.

The project with UBC is one of 20 supported by the $27 million Agriculture Greenhouse Gasses Program, which is a partnership with universities and conservation groups across Canada. The program supports research into GHG mitigation practices and technologies that can be adopted on the farm.

“I’d like to thank Kevin and Joanne Husband here at Emma Lee Farms for hosting this event today and for your leadership in the region’s agricultural sector,” said Qualtrough. “You are a terrific example of the many progressive farmers here in the Delta area who are taking action to advance the sector while safeguarding our soil, air and water.”

Qualtrough said along with the Delta Farmers’ Institute and the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, the work with UBC creates strong results for farmers and the industry as a whole.

“I have no doubt that your work and research will have significant impacts in the way we look at climate change and sustainable farming practices, not only in our community, but beyond.”

The UBC research, which will engage farmers in Delta and lower Fraser Valley, is expected to quantify and mitigate GHG emissions in agriculture, leading to improved crop yields while using less nitrogen fertilizer.

Dr. Rickey Yada, dean of the faculty of land and food systems at UBC, said the research team will use state-of-the-art instrumentation and automated measurement techniques to quantify annual GHG emissions.

“The results of this research will be shared with Canadian producers, policy makers and the scientific community in order to help reduce the climate aspects of these systems,” he said. “We will also provide farmers with a set of best management practices which will allow them to protect the environment, while sustaining their farm productivity.”