The Environment and Preserving the Land
Prince Edward Island has some of the most variable day-to-day weather experienced anywhere in the country. The Island is affected by a mixture of weather systems, bringing polar, maritime, continental and tropical air from the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and from the Gulf of Mexico.
PEI experiences conditions that lend to environmental degradation – highly erodable soils with high fine sand and silt content, 1,100 mm of rain annually, high winds and, in many of the past few winters, there is not adequate snow cover to protect the soil. Also, PEI has a vast network of small, low flow streams with fish populations which are important to our recreational fishery.
To help counteract these forces and to protect fish populations, government and industry have made some positive steps including:
- Many farms on PEI have completed an Environmental Farm Plan where farmers evaluate the environmental risks and strengths of their operations and develop a plan to address those risks. Completion of these plans are needed to be involved in other government programs
- Support programs are in place to help farmers address any environmental sensitivities brought up in their Environmental Farm Plan
- Buffer Zone Legislation that states farmers cannot grow crops within a minimum of 10 meters from watercourses and wetlands
- A restriction on row crops being grown on land with more than a 9% slope
- All pesticide spraying must be done when wind is below 20 km/h
- All applicators of pesticides must have an annual certification which includes courses or testing
- Agricultural Crop Rotation Act ensures that row crops cannot be grown on a field more frequently than 1 in 3 years without an approved management plan.
- In excess of 25 years of Soil Conservation Support Programs and, to-date, approximately 50,000 acres of crop land has some form of soil conservation measure.