Too Much Water or Too Little: Climate Resilient Vegetable Farming [fi23]
|Region||Kootenay & Boundary, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island|
|Status||in progress: Aug 2019 to Jan 2023|
|Project Lead||University of British Columbia|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, UBC|
|Other Partners||Delta Farmers' Institute, Dr. DeLisa Lewis, Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors, Orbis Mesh Technologies, Ltd.|
This project will examine the impacts of soil management on biophysical and economic outcomes over 10 and 20 years and recommend best practices for vegetable producers, given regional climate change projections and soil type.
As a result of climate change, the availability of water throughout the year is predicted to change with increased fall and spring precipitation, reduced summer precipitation and a decrease in winter snowpack. Either too much or too little water could impact annual cropping of high value vegetables throughout BC.
This project will assess the field performance of a suite of novel soil management practices on soil-water dynamics in comparison to, and in combination with, existing practices. The coordinated study will include controlled experiments, on-farm demonstration trials, and modelling of longer-term impacts and associated farm economics.
Using results from 12 collaborative on-farm field trials in three regions of BC (Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Kootenay & Boundary), chosen to represent a variety of soil types, the researchers will develop a set of site-specific recommendations for beneficial water management practices that account for variation in soils and climate, to share through farmer networks, producer associations, workshops and digital planning tools.