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
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
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
To learn more about this issue, a variety of reports and
background information is available.
1Source: Statistics Canada,
2001Census of Agriculture