Provincial monitoring of nitrates in 10 P.E.I. rivers reveals ranges are rising, in response to a lately launched report.
In three of the streams — the Wilmot, Dunk and Clyde — nitrate ranges have been over the Canadian Water High quality Guideline for Aquatic Life. The supply of the nitrates is generally agricultural fertilizer, the provincial report says..
Atmosphere Minister Steven Myers stated latest droughts are the anticipated perpetrator. With out well timed rain crops cannot soak up the fertilizer, after which it washes into streams.
“Whereas that is a straightforward excuse I believe we all know that we have to sort out nitrates at the next stage and we have to discover a solution to cut back nitrates,” stated Myers.
“That is precisely what we’ll attempt to do.”
Timber, biochar, precision agriculture could assist
Myers stated a present analysis challenge is displaying promise — a partnership amongst farmers, environmental teams and Dalhousie College that crops willow bushes round farms to soak up extra vitamins.
The province can be taking a look at utilizing biochar, an engineered charcoal produced from non-wood natural substances corresponding to compost. Biochar unfold on fields can cut back nitrate leaching by enhancing moisture retention.
Enhancements in precision agriculture, which applies fertilizer extra precisely when and the place it’s wanted, might additionally assist, stated Myers.
Irrigation is an integral a part of precision agriculture, he stated, and that is one motive why the province is lifting the moratorium on high-capacity wells for agriculture.