GHGMP News Releases

Zero tillage gaining interest in New Brunswick

Fredericton, New Brunswick, July 26, 2004

While not a conventional practice in the province, New Brunswick farmers are starting to take interest in zero-till and other related soil conservation practices with the help of several demonstration projects.

Organized through the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the demonstration projects are showing producers the benefits of adopting reduced and no-till farming practices.

"More farmers are interested in making zero-till work," says Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture. "Producers should be able to grow high-yielding, economic crops under zero-till. It's a matter of figuring out the right conditions."

A total of nine demonstrations sites have been established across the province for the 2004 growing season. Along with the demonstrations, producers are also able to rent two zero-till corn planters through the Association for use on their own land. Funding for the equipment and the demonstration sites comes from the federal Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture (GHGMP).

Conventional production practices involve plowing fields in the fall and making a combination of passes with a disc and harrows to prepare a seedbed. However, under a zero-till system, crops are planted directly into crop residue with either a zero-till planter or a stubble grain drill. Zero-till systems help reduce farm input costs while at least maintaining and hopefully improving yields. They also reduce the risk of soil erosion, improve soil quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Zero tillage is new territory for most producers in New Brunswick," says Toner. "Farmers need to see the systems work and see what tools are available to help them adopt the system."

The GHGMP supports a broad range of projects across Canada with the goal to promote awareness of agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC) administers the delivery of the soil and nutrient management sector component of the program. A feature report on this project is available on the SCCC's Web site at www.soilcc.ca.


For more information, contact:

Pat Toner
New Brunswick Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Phone: (506) 453-2109

Jerome Damboise
Project co-ordinator, GHGMP
Phone: (506) 475-4040
Email: info@soilcc.ca
Web site: www.soilcc.ca