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 evaluate both common and innovative soil management practices — including the timing of fertilizer application, the use of winter cover crops and the use of winter plastic mulches — to identify soil management practices that can increase resilience to changing precipitation patterns.
Across much of BC, climate change is altering the availability of water during the production season, with increased fall and spring precipitation and reduced summer precipitation and streamflows. How soils are managed will influence the ability of vegetable farmers to adapt to these changing conditions.
Twelve collaborative on-farm field trials are being established in three regions of BC: Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and Kootenay & Boundary. These sites will provide an opportunity to monitor and measure the impacts of various soil management practices over a four-year period.
This project will also develop recommendations for beneficial soil management practices that account for variation in soils and climate. The recommendations will consider field trial results as well as computer modelling of the impact of farm practices as the climate changes throughout future decades.
Field days will be held at demonstration sites, and project results will be shared through producer associations, workshops and digital planning tools.