For immediate release
Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) to provide financial support as part of the “Agroforestry – climate change adaptation” measure of the 2013-2018 “Prime-Vert” program.
Gatineau, November 13, 2018
As part of the 2013-2018 Prime-Vert program, Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) will provide financial support to the Outaouais Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CREDDO) to finance its project entitled “The fast-growing willow: a viable option for agroforestry and climate change adaptation for feed crops?”
The fast-growing willow – a viable solution for reacting to climate change?
The scientific community is predicting rising temperatures, which could impact the production of feed crops, representing 41% of farmed land in Quebec. “In Southern Quebec, decreased snow cover and frequent freezing and thawing periods could increase their mortality rate” (Bélanger, 2015).
Systems such as hedgerows (HRs) and agroforestry intercropping systems (AIS) would be possible climate adaptation solutions for feed crops. With its fibrous root system, the fast-growing willow (FGW) is known for its ability to drain soil, trap air, soil and water pollutants, as well as leached nutrients, and limit erosion. This tree also allows the production of wood biomass through short rotation forestry.
Extending over a 3-year period, the study will take place at Rupert Hill Farm in Wakefield, which grows different feed crops for their livestock. The productivity of certain parcels of the farm is affected by the wind due to the sparse tree cover in the area. An experimental design will be used, consisting of a control parcel of land without FGWs, a parcel of land with a plantation of an HR and another with an AIS of 3 rows of FGWs in order to:
- Show whether the FGWs can be a quick, low-cost solution to limit the impact of climate change on feed crops;
- Compare the efficacy of HRs and AISs of FGWs in terms of reducing microclimatic changes;
- Measure economic and social benefits in terms of yield, reduced heating costs for nearby buildings, synergy between farmers and the FGW nursery and biomass production.
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Audrey Ménoret, Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development
About the project
This project will be carried out pursuant to Component 4 of the 2013-2018 Prime-Vert program and will benefit from the financial assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) through the Fonds vert.
About the 2013-2018 Prime-Vert program
The aim of this program is to promote and disseminate good farming practices in order to help farms adopt production methods that protect the environment and help generate environmental benefits for all of society.
About the CREDDO
The CREDDO serves as a key point of contact for environmental, political and economic stakeholders in the Outaouais region. Its main mission is to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in a context of cooperation.