After record-breaking heat, wildfires and flooding wrought havoc on B.C.’s agricultural sector last year, the province has announced new supports to help farmers prepare for extreme weather.
B.C. has allocated $1.5 million to the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture program this year. Eligible farmers and ranchers can access as much as $35,000 each in cost-shared funding.
The program will help fund projects like FireSmart infrastructure assessments, improved on-farm fuel storage and well protection for flood preparedness, farm building retrofits to improve cooling during extreme heat, as well as enhanced watering and shade to mitigate crop and livestock heat stress.
Kevin Boon, general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, called the funding a welcome investment.
“The best opportunity we have is to be prepared. An investment in preparedness and sound planning on the landscape is crucial to be able to continue to produce high-quality, affordable food for British Columbia’s consumers and steward the land responsibly while we do so.”
The program is open to farm and ranch businesses throughout B.C., with applications initially being accepted from July 25 to Aug. 15, 2022. The program is anticipated to continue in 2023 and 2024, with the potential for adjustments based on experiences in the pilot year. Funding for the 2022 pilot intake will be allocated for eligible agriculture businesses on a first-come, first-served basis.