More Alberta farmers managing environmental risks online

Top Crop Manager
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 | Leduc, Atla.
By Top Crop Manager
The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan launched a new updated design for its online tool, the Webbook, which allows producers to complete an environmental farm plan online.

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a voluntary assessment for farmers that identifies areas of environmental strength and concern, as well as helps set action plans to improve environmental conditions.

Between January and June of 2018, 95 per cent of environmental farm plans were completed online. Alberta EFP stated in a release that the new updated tool is a direct response to this increased online activity and notes many benefits for producers such as reduced travel time, easier access to information and flexible scheduling.

The content of the EFP workbook will remain the same but the new design will be more mobile and user-friendly with the ability to be updated on the go. There will also be the opportunity to chat with EFP technicians online, where farmers can receive feedback or ask questions regarding their plan.

The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan started in 2003 and since then over 10,000 farmers have completed an environmental farm plan, including 1000 producers who completed it online. These farmers represent only 17 per cent of the total registered farm operators in Alberta according to the 2016 Census of Agriculture. Since 2009, just under two million acres of agricultural land has been added to coverage under EFPs. This number could grow as consumers demand more transparency and accountability surrounding environmental standards from producers.

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