Ducks Unlimited Canada launches a new program for grain growers in Alberta
New Marginal Areas Program aims to help Alberta farmers make every acre count.
Edmonton, AB. – After several years of successfully helping Manitoba and Saskatchewan farmers increase profits while supporting biodiversity, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is excited to announce its Marginal Areas Program is expanding across Alberta.
“The Marginal Areas Program was initially created for grain growers to trial the use of forages to address salinity and other agronomic challenges,” says Janine Paly, agricultural programs and extension specialist with DUC in Alberta.
Today, the Marginal Areas Program offers an option for farmers who have identified areas on their farm where they are realizing negative return on their investment. The program pays farmers a financial incentive of $125 per acre to seed these areas to forage.
Along with providing a financial incentive, the program also supplies a bonus pollinator-friendly seed pack that includes a mixture of short- and long-lived perennial species.
“Research shows that healthy landscapes that host mixed natural areas aid in increased biodiversity and safe spaces for pollinators. And more pollinators mean increased production of our crops,” says Paly, who actively employs the Marginal Areas Program on her own mixed farming operation in Central Alberta.
“When we include mixed natural areas on the landscape, we all benefit from resulting carbon storage, biodiversity, increased soil retention, and water filtration,” adds Paly.
Paly says that the program may be ideal for growers looking to establish forages to help reduce herbicide-resistant weeds, and act as a buffer zone to meet product label guidelines.
The new Marginal Areas Program is just one way DUC is partnering with Alberta growers to increase the profitability of their land. Growers and eligible program participants who sign up for the Marginal Areas Program before Aug. 15, 2022, will be entered to win a YETI prize pack that DUC will deliver to the winner in the field at harvest.
Communications Specialist – DUC