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Environmental Stewardship Branch

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Looking for resources, information and tools to help you in delivering
environmentally sustainable agriculture information?


The Environmental Stewardship Branch (ESB) of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) is committed to working closely with our agriculture industry to support innovative business opportunities, maintain or increase access to existing and new markets that value sustainability; and collaborate to improve the public’s trust in agriculture through environmental stewardship. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Farm Stewardship Centre in Lethbridge and ESB staff throughout the province are working with industry to identify opportunities for new applied research and collaborate on sustainability solutions.

We do this to provide up-to-date and relevant information to those who are delivering environmentally sustainable agriculture extension programs across Alberta.

Staff provide technical expertise; conduct applied research; measure and verify beneficial management practices (BMPs); support environmental programming and evaluation; develop tools and resources and extend information to address the following agri-environmental topics:

  • Air Quality – odour and air quality management for livestock operations.
    Climate Change – climate leadership plan, carbon levy, greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation (field sampling), and carbon offsets (science, policy and verification principles).
  • Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – energy efficiencies across farming practices, energy consumption, alternative energy and lighting.
    Environmental Extension Programming – Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Program and Environmental Farm Plan.
  • Growing Forward 2 (GF2)/Next Ag Policy Framework – GF2 Environmental Stewardship Programs (On-Farm Stewardship, Confined Feeding Operations Stewardship Program, Agricultural Watershed Enhancement Program, On-Farm Energy Program, and On-Farm Solar Photovoltacis Program). Staff will be working on developing the next suite of programs for the next Ag Policy Framework.
  • Industry & Stakeholder Engagement – staff work with commodity groups, extension partners, not-for profit organizations and other Government of Alberta ministries to support improving services that assist clients in meeting industry needs.
  • Land Use – land use and soil management, fragmentation and conversion of agriculture land, ecosystems services, conservation offsets, biodiversity, GIS, and cumulative effects.
  • Manure Management – policy related to the Agricultural Operation Practices Act (AOPA) and its associated regulations; manure management practices and BMPs to address manure related issues such as nuisances and environmental risks to surface water and groundwater; as well as wintering site management.
  • Soil Health and Nutrient Management – soil fertility and agronomic management, 4R nutrient stewardship (i.e. Phosphorus tool), Alberta Farm Fertilizer Information & Recommendation Manager (AFFIRM), Soil Information Viewer, soil characteristics, conservation and quality, crop residue/un-harvested crops and the Soil Conservation Act.
  • Environmental Performance Measurement – environmental foot printing, sustainability strategies and life cycle assessment.
  • Weather and Climate – Alberta Climate Information Service (ACIS) website, high quality weather and climate data and applications, water/climate monitoring in agricultural regions, support of the drought risk management plan and Alberta Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) risk management.
  • Water Quality & Wetlands – water quality, watershed and basin management planning, representation on the Alberta North American Waterfowl Management Plan Partnership and Wetland Policy.

News June 2017

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