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Helping B.C. farmers prepare for extreme weather

Helping B.C. farmers prepare for extreme weather

Farmers can apply for funding through the Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The B.C. government is providing farmers with financial support to help them prepare for extreme weather events.

Until Aug. 15, and on a first-come, first-served basis, farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance through the new Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture Program.

This provincial government has allocated $1.5 million for this new program in 2022, which is designed to help farmers conduct risk assessments and make necessary upgrades on their farms.

“Agriculture and being able to feed British Columbians is intricately tied to climate change, and by taking increased steps to focus on how we can best prepare for and mitigate future climate impacts, we will be able to better protect the livelihoods of our food producers while strengthening our food security and food economy,” Lana Popham, B.C.’s ag minister, said in a statement.

Funding is available under three streams: wildfire preparedness, flooding preparedness and extreme heat.

Applicants can receive a maximum of $35,000 towards a project.

Examples of eligible projects include:

  • Farm building retrofits for wildfire preparedness,
  • Enhanced watering and shade to mitigate crop and livestock heat stress, and
  • Reconfiguration of high-value feed storage for flood preparedness.

Farms and ranches must also be a primary production agriculture business, be a taxable entity and have the farmstead and file farm income taxes (form T2042 or T1273) in B.C., to be eligible to receive support.

Given the flooding and wildfires B.C. producers have navigated recently, making necessary investments to minimize weather-related damage is important, said Kevin Boon, general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.

“It goes without saying that we have experienced some extreme weather in the past, and we will continue to see it in the future,” he said in a statement. “The best opportunity we have is to be prepared.”

The B.C. government expects to offer this program again in 2023 and 2024.

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