Kensington North Watersheds Association

County Line Courier Articles

Flagship Project

(2013-06-05) The Nitrates Stakeholders Committee of the Kensington North Watersheds Association recently completed an Adaptive Plan to Reduce Nitrates in the Upper Watersheds of the Southwest River. The committee, made up of farmers, residents, and business people in the Southwest River general area, laboured for 2 1/2 years to produce this plan. Experts from various fields were consulted, and issues were debated, often passionately. In the end, a plan was produced that gives strong direction on how these committee members feel nitrates can be reduced in groundwater and surface water.

Our Kensington North community is fortunate to have a strong agricultural sector. The section of the province from French River/Malpeque in the north to Borden Carleton is arguably the most productive land in Atlantic Canada. Our economy and culture is largely defined by farming. It has brought our communities wealth and prosperity, and also a few challenges.

Nitrates in our groundwater and surface water come from various sources, but in the Kensington North area, the chief source is fertilizer. Our committee recommended that the means be found to engage an agronomist to aid in applying "Knowledgeable Nutrient Management" to our farms. Using fertilizer as wisely as possible is a key recommendation of the committee.

To that end, Kensington North Watersheds and the PEI Federation of Agriculture have teamed up to hire Harvey Cairns, a Certified Nutrient Planner and a Certified Crop Planner, to assist farmers in nutrient management decisions and to aid in on going nitrate research. Harvey is known by many of our farmers, and has good knowledge of the area. He will take the nitrate issue from the planning stage to the field, where real differences can be made to both keep our agricultural sector profitable, and to reduce the impact of nitrates on ground water and surface water.

The article can be found online in The County Line Courier, Vol. 21, No. 11, Pg. 17.

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