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Improving water management on farms

June 19, 2012, Quebec City, QB - Farmers are always looking for ways to improve their farming practices, increase their productivity and maintain the sustainability of the environment. The Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique will receive an investment of more than $250,000 to improve an integrated computer model that examines the economic and environmental impacts of implementing beneficial management practices (BMPs) on the farm and on a broader landscape scale.

"This program allows farmers to make more informed decisions about which beneficial management practices are right for their farm, which in the end, means more money in their pocket and less stress on the environment," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

The investment for this computer model is part of the $14-million Growing Forward Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) project. The WEBs project, established in 2004 as the first of its kind in Canada, operates within nine small agricultural watersheds across the nation in order to better understand the environmental and economic performance of BMPs. Previous to this study, the costs and environmental benefits of BMPs had seldom been measured on a broader landscape scale. Results from the WEBs projects are providing a foundation for understanding the broader applicability of these BMPs within a specific region. Farmers can use this knowledge to maintain high agricultural productivity, while minimizing the impacts of farming on the environment. Results can also be used in planning future agricultural policies and programming.

The refined computer model will help farmers and land managers decide which BMPs will be most effective in improving soil and water quality by providing a framework to maintain agricultural productivity while minimizing the impact of farming on the environment.

Over 70 other federal, provincial, academic and non-governmental organizations are also partners in this national project, which will run until 2013.

For more information about the WEBs project, please visit: www.agr.gc.ca/webs.

To find out more about Growing Forward and its initiatives, please visit: www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward.