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New program to help Sask. producers deal with threats from agricultural pests

New program to help Sask. producers deal with threats from agricultural pests
Canada
The program intends to create a network of plant health officers across the province, in addition to providing three rebate programs to minimize the impacts of agricultural pests.

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Saskatchewan has introduced a new program to enable producers and rural municipalities to help reduce threats from agricultural pests.

On May 3, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, along with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) announced the details of the Pest Biosecurity Program.

With $2.85 million invested each year from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Pest Biosecurity Program will be delivered in partnership with SARM.

The program intends to create a network of plant health officers across the province, in addition to providing three rebate programs to minimize the impacts of agricultural pests.

“Farmers know that pests can be a significant liability to the environment and the economy,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “This funding will ensure local programming exists to mitigate pest issues, helping Canadian growers protect their agricultural crops and keep their businesses strong.”

The governments have confirmed that there will be six full-time plant health officers and six seasonal staff members who will work with rural municipalities and First Nations to provide training support to ensure that there is a consistent and proactive approach across the province.

The plant health officers will also help monitor, survey, and report on pests, prohibited plants, and noxious weeds in their divisions.

“Having a consistent approach to eliminating and recording pests across Saskatchewan will minimize the impact of agricultural pests such as invasive plants, rats, beavers and new diseases, such as clubroot,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said.  “By joining with SARM, we’re ensuring producers across Saskatchewan will have access to the training and tools they need to protect their livelihoods and be responsible stewards of the land.”

Costs for the three rebate programs are shared up to 50 per cent between rural municipalities and First Nations.

The new programs are as follows:

“SARM is pleased to be awarded the opportunity to administer these programs,” SARM president Ray Orb said.  “Resolutions passed by SARM members continue to ask for more support, specifically for clubroot.  SARM is hopeful that this programming will provide the assistance rural municipalities need to proactively manage these pests.  We will continue to work with the province to monitor the effectiveness of these programs as they are introduced.”

For more information on Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs and for details on the application, visit the Saskatchewan.ca website .
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