Québec pork producers on board for global water conservation
March 30, 2009 by Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec
March 30, 2009, Longueuil, Que. – In honor of World Water Day, the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec (FPPQ) recently released results from a 2007 industry survey.
Québec pork producers are no strangers to the challenge of water conservation, as seen in the results of the Suivi 2007 du Portrait agroenvironnemental des fermes du Québec, the 2007 follow-up on the environmental portrait of Quebec farms. The survey was presented jointly to the UPA and Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in February 2008.
Québec pork producers were the first in the agricultural world to voluntarily adopt environmental plans back in 1997. Under its terms, they have been governed ever since by some of the most stringent regulations in effect anywhere. The recent survey results allowed the FPPQ to review its action plan and to determine that a number of important objectives had been reached.
According to the results of the survey, the majority of pork producers (94 percent) in Quebec operate under an environmental plan for fertilizer use that was drawn up by an agronomist with a view to minimizing contamination of ground and surface waters. Pork producers have also reduced phosphorus contamination by 40 percent through the use of new husbandry and feeding techniques.
The survey results also indicate the nearly universal use of sealed manure holding structures. This practice increased dramatically in 1998 and was stable at close to 100 percent of farms by 2007. This type of manure storage plays a major role in controlling local pollution, particularly contamination of rivers and streams.
The use of low-boom spreaders for spreading liquid manure on fields has also meant far greater control during this process and has greatly reduced runoff. This method of spreading increased from 33 percent in 1998 to 96 percent in 2007. Today, low-boom spreaders are mandatory for all producers.
Significant efforts have also been made to identify potable water wells on agricultural lands.
In light of these indicators of substantial progress, the FPPQ is committed to continuing its efforts and meeting major and emerging challenges in the years ahead, ensuring a clean and green future for generations to come.
“The Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec is extremely proud of the environmental progress made so far,” said FPPQ president Jean-Guy Vincent. “Water and soil are fundamental to our work. We need to care for them if we wish to survive. No one wants their children exposed to polluted water, which is why pork producers are so focused on water conservation.”