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For some time Flowers Canada Growers Inc. (FCG) has been working alongside our partners from the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA): the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and QuébecVert to create meaningful water use standards to help further the ornamental industry’s commitment to safe water use and environmental stewardship. Part of this endeavour involves the development of standards for some greenhouse farming types. At present we have, in draft form, standards for on-farm management of crop protection products that, when enacted on farms, will provide and demonstrate the rigor and commitment the ornamental industry shares in protecting water resources and ensuring the environmental footprint of greenhouse ornamental production in Canada.
The use of water to apply plant nutrients and pest control products is common among all farming types. For many years, groups like FCG have worked alongside provincial environmental ministries, Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CropLife Canada and other commodity groups like the Canadian Horticulture Council to reduce and minimize the potential for foreign constituents, suspended in water, to migrate off greenhouse farms. While this work is ongoing, FCG and the COHA felt it was appropriate to release a pillar of this work – ‘National Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards’. During the development of these standards, product suppliers to the industry indicated that new innovative tools which are applied when suspended in water may be withdrawn or withheld from the greenhouse industries if implementation is not embraced.In the future growers may expect that product suppliers will request evidence of compliance in order to purchase some products.
National Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards:
As many ornamental farmers are well aware the proposed standards are in many cases already being achieved through voluntary best management practices and existing legislation. As such, many of the standards will not require any change or disruption of farming approach.
At present, the scope of the initial release (Phase 1) focuses on closed greenhouse irrigation systems (i.e. recirculating). Also, products that will have controlled access based on standards compliance are to be those applied via irrigation systems (i.e. drench applied products) though a comprehensive list of products is to be made available shortly.
The standards themselves are broken into sections to reflect the core areas where protections are best placed:
- Pest Management Product Storage and Handling
- Pest Management Product Application
- Application Equipment Management
- Site Management
Standards themselves are to be implemented on farms captured by Phase 1 by 2023.
At this time, we are seeking feedback on these standards. A link below will take you to the draft standards. We would ask that farms direct any feedback via email to Cary Gates (Cary@fco.ca) or Jeanine West (Jeanine@fco.ca). Comments can also be received directly through the FCG office (519-836-5495 X228). Alternatively, CropLife Canada will accept feedback directly here (if sending to CropLife Canada please copy us at the email addresses above). We would ask that feedback on the draft standards be submitted by January 31st 2020 so we have time to add it to a formal comment summary.
Flowers Canada Growers also intends to visit farms across the country throughout 2020 – both on-farm visits and group meetings. If there is interest in us visiting you please let us know.
The National Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards
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