Environmental Farm Plans must be renewed

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

The county’s agricultural fieldman is reminding residents to renew their Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) to be able to access cost-share funding with the Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change programs of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP).
Todd Green told council last Thursday as of April 1, 2018 all plans must be within 10 years of age.
Anyone who submitted their plan before April 1, 2008 and who didn’t receive a completion letter certifying the plan, must resubmit everything before April 1, 2018.
If your completion letter is older than 10 years a new workbook and action plan is required, according to the Alberta EFP website.
If you have lost the letter, you need to complete a new EFP to be considered current, unless your EFP is online.
Technicians cannot give out completion letters without doing a full review of a new EFP (both workbook and action plan).
“Producers will need to have an EFP completion letter dated within the last 10 years to be considered current and eligible for cost-share funding with the Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change programs of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP),” states Alberta EFP website.
“That means, for example, if you apply in September 1, 2018, your EFP will need to have been approved on or after September 1, 2008 to be considered for current funding.”
According to the website Alberta is the only province without a renewable period.
Currently the period is set at every 10 years but it could change to five years or less in the future.
Current plans are used as a document when applying for Growing Forward or other grants.
Producers can register to be assigned a technician at http://www.albertaefp.com/start-an-efp.
Catherine Christensen, the county’s vegetation management technician can help, or Barb Archibald, the province’s Growing Forward extension specialist can travel to Brooks to help, said Green.
“The benefit of the Environmental Farm Plan is it allows us to assess our situation on the farm and determine what things we need to change in our operation to get better,” said Green.
He said if improvements align with the provincial funding there is money available, however, it’s almost on a first come first served basis.
“If you have two guys with the exact same project but one put it in on April 2 and the other June 3, that first guy might get it instead of the second guy,” said Green.
In addition, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a survey online seeking input on the program concepts for CAP which begins in April 2018. The survey is available, until March 19, at www.growingforward.alberta.ca under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership News tab.