Ministry of Agriculture

Issues

In the last quarter century, BC's population has grown by more than 60 per cent.  At the same time, agriculture has also grown. In contrast to national trends that saw the number of farms and the amount of land being farmed decline nationally between 1976 and 2001, BC saw increases in farms (4.4%) and land in farm use (5.6%).

The result is more people and more farming, most often having to be accommodated in the same valley bottoms.  As the population grows, many citizens are moving into neighbourhoods adjacent to traditional farm areas and others have moved into rural areas. Some non-farm residents may have concerns about farm practices which create dust, odour, noise or other disturbances. Farmers also have concerns with trespass, theft of crops, increased traffic on rural roads, water run-off from urban areas and litter.

One of the foundations of Strengthening Farming is that farmers have the right to farm in BC's important farming areas, particularly within the Agricultural Land Reserve, provided they use normal farm practices.

Several positive steps have been taken to deal with current and emerging issues as the province's urban and farm constituents "grow together".  Focused on the work of the Farm Industry Review Board, a process is in place to resolve complaints about farm operations.

While the Strengthening Farming program is also focused on encouraging local planning processes and other initiatives directed at preventing conflicts, it can be anticipated that issues will continue to arise.
 

Audible Bird Scare Devices

One recent issue that has been the focus of Ministry attention is trying to find a balance between the concern of farmers for crop damage of certain fruit crops due to birds, and the concerns of non-farmers with the use of audible bird scare devices to protect crops.

To learn more about this issue, a variety of reports and background information is available.

  1Source: Statistics Canada, 2001Census of Agriculture