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Regional Adaptation Strategies series – Peace

Completed in the spring of 2012, the BC Agriculture Climate Change Adaptation Risk & Opportunity Assessment  evaluates how changes to the climate may impact agricultural production for key commodities in various regions of BC.

The assessment generated five regional and commodity specific reports including a “Snapshot Report” for grain and oilseed production in the Peace Region.

Building on the findings of the assessment, the Peace Region Adaptation Strategies plan was completed in the spring of 2013. A summary of the plan is also available. The plan identifies regionally specific collaborative strategies and actions that will enhance agriculture’s ability to adapt to projected changes.

$300,000 in Growing Forward funding is available for eligible collaborative projects identified in the plan. The Peace Adaptation Strategies plan is currently being implemented in partnership with a number of funders and local organizations. Implementation is being overseen by a local working group including:

Projects completed or underway are described in more detail below.

Regional Projects

Peace – Increasing Availability of Agriculturally Relevant Weather Data

At present many producers in the Peace region only have access to weather data that comes from stations located too far from their operations to provide relevant information. The lack of readily available agriculturally relevant weather data was identified as a significant gap in the Peace Adaptation Strategies planning process.

Developing and implementing a strategy to increase access to weather data that supports day-to-day, seasonal and longer-term decision-making and planning is a high priority for producers in the Peace region.

This study analyzes and evaluates the options for improved weather data collection and availability. The research included consultation with producers and producer organizations as well as agencies currently involved in weather data collection in the BC Peace. A detailed analysis of existing weather stations was conducted. The study identifies current gaps in monitoring and recommendations for strengthening the monitoring network, as well as options for increasing the availability of data and decision support tools for producers in the BC Peace.

A second project is anticipated to implement select recommendations for improving weather monitoring and data availability.

Related Documents

Peace – Collaborative Monitoring Pilot Project

Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Pest & Disease Monitoring: the Front Line of Climate Adaptation.

One of the most significant gaps identified through the Peace Regional Strategies planning process was the lack of monitoring for agriculturally significant pests, diseases, weeds and invasive species. While there is an extensive pest monitoring network across the Prairies, it doesn’t extend into the BC. With a changing climate, the risks associated with this gap are substantial; monitoring is fundamental to understanding, preparing for and managing associated changes in the ranges and prevalence of economically significant pests, pathogens and weeds.

This 2 year pilot project brings together a cross-section of sector organizations to jointly support BC-Peace based monitoring for pests, pathogens and weeds that have been identified as current or emerging threats. In partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada staff, a linkage is being facilitated to broader data analysis and processing capacity outside of the BC Peace. The project also includes communications activities to effectively share information back with producers in the region.

Related Documents

Peace – Evaluation of Irrigation Potential in the BC Peace Region

Dry and drought conditions are projected to increase and intensify with climate change in the Peace region. Competition for water from non-agricultural uses, and water use restrictions, have prompted some agriculture producers to question whether the current and future water demand for agriculture has been adequately considered in planning scenarios. There is currently very little irrigation of crops in the region, but the potential for irrigation needs to be established to adequately assess future agricultural water demand. Conducting an irrigation feasibility study was one of the actions identified in the Peace Adaptation Strategies to support agriculture to adapt to dry and drought conditions.

The project seeks to: 1) identify appropriate irrigation systems based on current and future cropping scenarios; 2) identify constraints related to irrigation in the region; 3) establish preliminary cost-benefit estimates for various irrigation and cropping scenarios, and; 4) help establish the future potential for irrigation and water demand for crop production in the region. The project will address these goals by looking at water supply, water demand and economics.

The findings of this project will be shared with local agricultural organizations and local governments for their consideration, and may ultimately be integrated into local and regional planning initiatives.

Related Documents

Peace – Agriculture Weather Monitoring and Decision Support Tools

Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Good Data Informs Good Decisions in Climate of Change.

During the development of the Peace Adaptation Strategies, increasing producer access to weather data emerged as a priority to support real-time, seasonal and long-term decision-making and planning. Improved baseline weather data is also needed to inform other actions identified through the Adaptation Strategies such as strengthening monitoring for pests and diseases. As a first step, a comprehensive assessment of current weather monitoring and data availability, as well as options for improvement, was completed in the spring of 2014, see Enhancing Agriculturally Relevant Weather Data (April 2014).

This project will implement the recommendation of the 2014 report to establish a collaborative approach to expanding and maintaining the weather monitoring network within the BC Peace region. Up to 15 new weather stations will be established within the region, and operators of existing weather stations will also be invited to participate in a regional data sharing initiative to increase the quantity and quality of weather data available to support producer decisions (real-time, seasonal and long-term).

Project proponents will present at workshops and meetings and develop an informational brochure for producers in the region to increase awareness of the broadened weather data network and available data/tools.

Related Farm Innovator Projects (learn more)

Innovative Management Practices for Resiliency

As weather variability and extreme weather events increase, forage producers in the Peace region will require flexible and responsive management strategies. This project will work with Peace producers using a farm systems approach to identify and to adopt nutrient management practices and forage production systems that are more resilient to weather extremes and climate change.

Three strategies will be evaluated including: 1) revitalization of forage stand options (e.g. utilizing existing on farm resources such as nutrients from confined feeding or winterfeeding sites, grazing management, seeding, fertilizing and rejuvenating forage stands to increase production); 2) establishment, production and stand longevity of legume alternatives to alfalfa; and 3) identification of ways to reduce nutrient loss. The three production strategies will be evaluated based on economic indicators, soil quality, soil and crop response and producer perspectives on the adoption of the practice.

Project findings will be shared via field days, seminars/ tours and workshops, the Peace River Forage Association’s website, newsletters and fact sheets.