The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have announced $19.5 million for an enhanced Pest Biosecurity Program through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The five-year Pest Biosecurity Program will be delivered by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. Funding is available to rural municipalities and First Nations to provide resources to help deal with invasive agricultural crop pests, prohibited and noxious weeds, nuisance gophers, rats, and nuisance beavers.
“Our farmers work hard to produce the high-quality crops and products that Canada and the world are looking for,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. “This investment will strengthen our sector’s resilience by ensuring producers continue to have access to effective pest management tools that are safe for them, for consumers, and the environment.”
"This support protects against the negative impact of pests and invasive weeds on Saskatchewan's crops and natural landscape," Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said. "The program is an investment in the sector's future, safeguarding the ability for Saskatchewan producers to continue growing crops and maintain the use of their land."
This program supports education and training to manage agriculture crop pests through the Plant Health Network.
SARM employs a full-time plant health technical advisor in each of its six divisions who will promote and implement best practices within their division to identify, monitor and assist in the control of invasive and emerging threats to plant biosecurity in agriculture. The plant health technical advisors will be able to help applicants access the Pest Biosecurity Program.
A new Gopher Control Program is part of the Pest Biosecurity Program to help address a significant problem for producers in the province. The program will help control nuisance gopher populations through a rebate for registered control products and for the purchase of materials to build a raptor platform as sustainable integrated pest management.
"SARM greatly appreciates the five-year enhanced investment into these programs," SARM President Ray Orb said. "It demonstrates that the crop pest control efforts rural municipalities are undertaking are appreciated not only by local producers and ratepayers but by the province and country as a whole. They enhance the profitability of the agriculture sector by supporting proactive control, the development of best practices, training, and expertise to manage pests that threaten both biosecurity, food safety, and therefore market access."
Those interested in the program can learn more information on the SARM website, or on the Government of Saskatchewan website at saskatchewan.ca/s-cap.