Not only do dairy farmers produce safe, nutritious food, but continue to do so in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way that benefits Canadians.
In fact, dairy producers are paving the way in sustainability. Across the country, Canadian dairy farmers are implementing sustainable practices on their farm from generating renewable energy to learning how to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
What Farmers are Doing
Environmental Farm Plans
Environmental Farm Plans (EFP) can be implemented on farms that seek to improve water quality and nutrient management. In many cases, especially in BC, an EFP can make farmers aware nutrient densities of their soils, sensitive fish habitats, and promote water quality.
Farmers may also implement the 4Rs of Environmental Stewardship in order to ensure that a balanced mixture of fertilizers and manures are applied to each field during the right season. This may involve:
the Right Source
the Right Rate
the Right Time
the Right Place
Because every field is different, Crop Advisors or Agrologists can produce a nutrient management plan together with the farmer to show how crops can grow differently in each soil and may require a different nutrient plan.
Programs such as Cleanfarms are beginning to look at each province to promote and implement recycling for farm plastics. On-farm plastics, such as grain totes or plastic containers can be recycled to create new materials!
With high energy costs to run a farm, some are turning to renewable energy. This may include anaerobic digesters, which involves turning organic matter such as manure or food waste and turning it into a methane-rich gas (biogas). Biogas is carbon neutral and can produce heat and electricity!
Canadian dairy farmers are hard at work to make sure that each glass of milk has quality put behind it. Stewardship to the environment, animals, and to neighbours, is crucial to being a Canadian dairy farmer!