The Gleaner
Agriculture

Free seeds will help farmers grow network of riparian strips

A ditch (riparian buffer strip) in a field during the summer.
An example of a riparian buffer strip in an agricultural field in the Montérégie PHOTO Fédération de lUPA de la Montérégie

 

The Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie is distributing free seeds this spring to farmers participating in the second phase of the riparian strip protection initiative. The project is aimed at restoring these sections of agricultural land near waterways to better retain soil nutrients, help protect marine wildlife, and slow erosion.

The first phase of the project (2018-2020) revolved around informing agricultural producers of the importance of respecting riparian buffer strips through awareness tools and training activities. Phase two (2021-2024) provides technical and financial support to producers in the field, where the aim is to establish 900 km of regulatory herbaceous riparian buffer strips by the end of next year. The project is being financed by the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation through the Fonds regions et ruralité and will be deployed province-wide in 2023.

Participating farmers will be provided with a select mixture of seeds free of charge during 14 local distribution days across the Montérégie, including two nearby on March 19 at Jean-François Riendeau and Sylvie Thériault’s farm in Sainte-Martine (6 chemin du Grand Marais) and on April 11 at Équipements Agrileader in Ormstown (750 route 201). A seeding service is also being made available to interested producers.

Two information meetings on the project have been scheduled at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 6 and Thursday, March 9. Farmers interested in learning more about the deployment of the project, its advantages, and admissibility criteria, can register for either meeting by emailing jlacombe@upa.qc.ca.

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