Compliance Assessment of Manure Application Practices in the Chilliwack and Agassiz Areas of the Lower Fraser Valley

February 7 - March 4, 2005

This report fulfills a recommendation of the report entitled "Compliance Assessment of Agricultural Practices over Two Sensitive Drinking Water Aquifers in the Lower Fraser Valley, British Columbia October 2003 - February 2004".

The findings in this report come from an aerial assessment of manure application practices in the Agassiz and Chilliwack areas of the Lower Fraser Valley. Six flights were made, three before spreading on grasslands was advised (February 15, 2005) and three after. A total of 40 spreading occurrences were observed on the six flights approximately evenly split before and after February 15. The report found an overall compliance rate of approximately 88% with reduced compliance in all areas for those activities occurring prior to February 15. Six cases of overflowing manure lagoons were observed and these were followed up with ground inspections and discussions with producers.

The study developed several recommendations which have or will be acted upon through joint efforts of government and the agriculture sector.

Below, you will find the six key recommendations from the above named report and actions taken to date, or planned. The full report is available through the link below.

Recommendation 1:

A late summer manure spreading advisory was produced in 2005 to remind producers to allow for adequate storage over the winter months. Late summer advisories will continue to be produced.

Recommendation 2:

Ministry staff continue to support and encourage producers to take advantage of the Canada-British Columbia Environmental Farm Plan Program.

Recommendation 3:

Additional ways to disseminate information to producers are being discussed at the Nutrient Management Working Group.

Recommendation 4:

All producers who had overflowing manure pits were visited prior to the 2005-06 winter period and manure lagoon levels were confirmed to be low.

Recommendation 5:

The findings of this report have been presented to the Partnership Committee on Agriculture and the Environment, the B.C. Milk Producers Association, and various local government agricultural advisory groups.

Recommendation 6:

A follow-up assessment over a greater area was completed in January 2006 and the final report will be released in the Fall of 2006.