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July 22, 2016
Climate adaptation strategy strengthens resilience of Okanagan agriculture for future

cover-RegionalStrategies-Okanagan-200An increase in hotter and drier summers, insect and disease pressures, and extreme weather events are some of the impacts of climate change that are expected to affect agriculture in the Okanagan. A new adaptation plan outlines the priority impact areas and a series of strategies to strengthen the resilience of the Okanagan agriculture sector in a changing climate.

Read full media release.

View the Okanagan Regional Strategies document.

June 20, 2016
Request for Proposal: Okanagan Agriculture Drought Status Outreach Pilot

photo by Emrys Damon Miller

Agricultural water – for irrigation, livestock watering, and crop protection – is essential to maintain the health and viability of food crops and animals in the Okanagan. Agricultural production is also one of the main economic drivers for the Okanagan region. Earlier snow melt and increasingly warm and dry summer conditions have made it important to share clear, accurate, and targeted information to the agriculture sector about the status of their water sources. The purpose of this project is to develop and test outreach materials and methods for communicating with the agriculture sector before and during drought about water supply and drought status.

To learn more, download the Request for Proposals – Okanagan Agriculture Drought Status Outreach Project (closed July 19, 2016).

May 24, 2016
Request for Proposals: Fraser Valley Agricultural Pest (activities, gaps & priorities) Assessment

As average annual temperatures increase, particularly winter temperatures, the range and prevalence of pests and pathogens is anticipated to shift. These changes may result in an increase in the quantity and distribution of agriculturally significant pests already within the Fraser Valley region. Perhaps even more concerning, is the potential for new insects, diseases, weeds and invasive species to be introduced and become established.    

In contemplating the need to adapt to changing pest threats, producers who contribute to development of the Fraser Valley Adaptation Strategies (completed in 2015) indicated there would be value in a broader and more coordinated effort to address surveillance, monitoring and management challenges. However, prior to developing any new resources or tools, it is important to review and document recent and current activities across the sector (for crops and livestock) and the region.

This project will complete a cross-commodity inventory and assessment identifying activities underway, gaps and priorities pertaining to surveillance, monitoring and management. 

In partnership with the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association, and other partners, the Climate Action Initiative is looking for the right individual or team to complete this project, please see the Request for Proposals – Fraser Valley Agricultural Pest Assessment (closes June 14, 2016) and apply if interested and qualified.

February 16, 2016
Request for Proposals: CVRD Cowichan Livestock Relocation and Management Plan Project

Supporting planning and preparedness to reduce vulnerability to extreme events was one of the priority strategies identified through the Cowichan Adaptation Strategies.To address this priority, the Cowichan Agriculture Extreme Weather Events Preparedness and Mitigation pilot project brought Cowichan producers together to discuss the range of potential preparedness and mitigation actions for extreme events. Of particular concern for many producer participants, was how to manage livestock in the case of an extreme event. 

The Cowichan Valley Regional District, the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, and other partners are working together on a new climate adaptation project in the Cowichan Valley, the Livestock Relocation and Management Plan project.

This pilot project will develop a regional relocation/management plan (including a separate component for dairy) and will develop and test a template for individual livestock relocation and management plans (which may then be utilized more broadly). Planning will include consideration of transportation and feed requirements during an extreme event, as well as a system to return animals back to the farm after the emergency has been rescinded.

We are looking for the right team to complete this important project, please see the Request for Proposals – Cowichan Livestock Relocation and Management (closes March 8, 2016) and apply if interested and qualified.

 

January 15, 2016
Cowichan Water Storage & Management 2016 Farm Tour & Panel

photo by Allen Dobb

photo by Allen Dobb

The Climate Action Initiative is partnering with the Islands Agriculture Show to host a farm tour and two panel sessions on Water Storage and Management for Cowichan farmers. Read the info below or download the flyer.

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Farm Tour: Developing Water Storage on Your Farm

Need more water on your farm in dry summer months? This tour and panel session will describe what’s involved in creating and using water storage on your farm. It will help you determine whether water storage is a good option for you and if so, how to move from concept to action. The day will begin with a tour of local farm water storage examples, followed by lunch and a panel session of experts to explain the steps involved in undertaking a water storage project. This will include information about design, construction, operation, and maintenance, as well as how to obtain permits and licensing (if required).

Full day: $20. Lunch is provided. 
Registration required. Space is limited.
Learn more and register at www.iashow.ca/farm-tour.html .

9:30am, Friday, February 12, 2016
Panel Discussion: Water Management on Your Farm

Scientists are predicting last summer’s drought will be more common in coming years. If you’re interested in learning how to manage water on your farm in order to deal with drier conditions, this panel’s for you. This session will highlight local examples of innovative approaches to water management, including water storage options and pilot projects underway on Vancouver Island. Experts will also demonstrate other water management tools that can help optimize the use of water.

Panel: $15. Includes admission to the Islands Agriculture Show. 
Registration required. Space is limited.
Learn more and register at www.iashow.ca/conference-schedule.html .

About the Islands Agriculture Show

The 2016 Islands Agriculture Show will be held in the Cowichan Valley, BC at Cowichan Exhibition Park. The Islands Agriculture Show is the only agricultural trade show and conference serving the farm and food community on Vancouver Island, Coast and Gulf Islands. Bringing together farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations equipment dealers, service providers and the general public, the Islands Agriculture Show provides a venue for participants to learn, connect and engage.