The term ‘agri-environmental’ refers to the impact of agricultural practices on the environment, including soil, water, air, habitat and biodiversity. Farmers are challenged with feeding a growing population while minimizing detrimental impacts on the environment. Nova Scotia producers are continually implementing innovative farming methods and beneficial management practices to reduce environmental impacts. These include things like cover crops to protect the soil over the winter months, using reduced tillage when possible or leaving enhanced buffer zones along watercourses. In Nova Scotia, the foundation to reducing risk on-farm is the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program delivered through the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. This program helps farmers identify areas of potential environmental risk and provide practical solutions. In 2020, approximately 70% of farms in Nova Scotia had an active Environmental Farm Plan with 62,000 ha of land managed under the program.

To provide a more comprehensive approach to support the industry and collaboration on agri-environmental initiatives, the Agri-Environmental Program was launched in 2020. This is a three-way partnership between the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc. and builds upon each individual organization’s strengths. The vision of the program is for Nova Scotia to be recognized as a national and international leader in agri-environmental sustainability with the mission to deliver a comprehensive, relevant program to reduce environmental risk on farm, increase public trust and expand market access.

For more information, please contact Agricultural Environmental Specialist Mackenzie Rathgeber (902) 890-7716.