The Farm Adaptation Innovator Program – which began as a pilot in 2014, delivering $1.75 million in funding to 15 projects, involving more than 140 organizations and partners – is currently supporting a wide variety of applied research projects that are exploring solutions for crop resilience, soil health and water management issues. In collaboration with nearly 50 partners from government agencies, industry and research institutions, including the University of British Columbia, the various studies are implementing on-farm trials throughout the province until 2023. The Farm Adaptation Innovator Program is focused on preparing for the predicted climatic changes in the region, such as increased average temperatures and overall precipitation, shorter growing seasons and “increased variable and extreme conditions.”
The program is funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, as part of a $6-million Climate Change Adaptation Program supported by federal, provincial and territorial governments. Topics of past and current studies include vineyard irrigation practices, innovative corn production technologies, integrated pest management practices, pasture rejuvenation and climate-resilient vegetable farming. The working framework for the program was established by the Farm Practices & Climate Change Adaptation, which determined six on-farm practices to reduce risk or increase resilience in a changing climate. Information was then collected from 29 farms to identify potential barriers to implementation, or areas for further research. Reports on the six areas of focus – conservation tillage, drainage, management-intensive grazing, nutrient management, shelterbelts and water storage – can be found at: bcagclimateaction.ca/farm-level/farm-practices.