The environment module builds on the success of provincial environmental farm plans. Over the last 20 years, about 70% of dairy farms in Canada have had such a plan in place. These plans have been successful and have greatly improved the impact of farming practices on the local environment. This module specifically targets reducing environmental risks related to manure storage, nutrient management, water management and farm inputs.
To evaluate the environmental impact of practices on Canadian dairy farms, questions will be evaluated through self-declaration or by independent validators.
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Environmental Farm Plan
- Do you have a valid provincial (individual) environmental farm plan (EFP), Agri-environmental Support Plan (Plan d’accompagnement agroenvironnemental, PAA) or PAA-equivalent to identify and address environmental risks on your farm?
Manure and silage storage:
- Do you manage manure to avoid contamination of surface water and groundwater?
- Do you manage silage storage to avoid contamination of surface water and groundwater?
Manure and nutrient management:
- Do you avoid application of manure in winter, or on frozen or saturated soil?
- Do you have a nutrient management plan (Plan agroenvironnemental de fertilisation) for all of your fields and pasture that receive manure? If not, do you use practices to reduce the loss of nutrients and pathogens into the environment?
- Is your milking centre wash water contained within proper storage or managed within approved treatment systems?
- Do you restrict access of your cattle to watercourses? If not, do you mitigate the impact of cattle on watercourses?
- Do you maintain setbacks from a ditch, well or watercourse when applying pesticides, manure and fertilizers? If yes, what distance?
- Is the applicator of pesticides on your fields certified? If not, and certification is not required, are they trained in proper pesticide use?
- Do you manage the risk of potential fuel storage leaks?
- Is your emergency response plan posted and are employees aware of it?
The Environment Toolkit, which includes a manual, workbook, forms, and tips for recording farm procedures, will become available in 2017.