Current Challenges

Current Challenges

There are many important challenges and opportunities in agriculture, and many different associations to represent them.

Water management is critical to agriculture. SaskFSA was formed by farmers to influence government policy pertaining to agriculture water management, in particular excess water. Water and land management go hand in hand.

SaskFSA is the only association that deals specifically with land and water policy. 

Provincial AG Water Stewardship (Mitigation) Policy

In 2019 WSA launched the first round of mitigation talks. SaskFSA intercepted this policy to host focus groups across the province to better understand producers regional concerns and alternative solutions to the proposed strategy. SaskFSA is working closely with farmers, industry, government and WSA on a NEW, Made-In- Saskatchewan approach to wetland mitigation. WSA is conducting broad based engagement sessions with a wide range of stakeholders to develop mitigation policy approaches that are acceptable, practical, and effective at achieving the goals set in the Agricultural Water Management Strategy. Read more here – WSA – Agriculture Water Stewardship Policy.

There are four key agri-environmental priorities that are directing this policy, in coordination with targets set out in the governments Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan and the Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy. 

Key Agri-Environmental Priorities: 

  1. FLOOD MITIGATION, DROUGHT RESPONSE AND ADAPTATION: We will manage our water resources to prevent flooding of private lands and impacts to infrastructure, and to increase our resilience to drought.
  2. WATER QUALITY: We will manage our water resources to ensure the quality is sufficient for Saskatchewan residents to continue using these resources for agriculture, recreation, drinking water and livestock watering.
  3. WETLAND HABITAT: We will manage our water resources to ensure there is sufficient wetland habitat in both quality and quantity to support valued wildlife species.
  4. SOIL HEALTH AND GREENHOUSE GAS MANAGEMENT: We will manage our water resources to ensure that soil health is maintained (e.g., wetland vegetation prevents soil erosion and prevents loss of soil nutrients) and is able to support a productive agriculture industry, and to contribute to managing our greenhouse gas emissions.

This is What We Do

– SaskFSA works with partners and regulators on drainage education, field tours to demonstrate the effects of temporary water (farmed through wetlands) within the agriculture zone, solution proposals for policy implementation and partnerships across the province to support practical, regional, progressive and responsible water management.

There are two ways farmers can mitigate weather… water management (proactive) and crop insurance. We prefer to be ahead of the game.

If you are interested in an update on where this policy is at, contact any one of our SaskFSA Board of Directors!

Drainage Research

SaskFSA is involved in various research activities at the farm level and provincially. Farm level research involves farm and yield data supporting the agronomic and economic benefits of being able to manage land and water resources.

We bring the knowledge of a wide range of experts on land and water management together. SaskFSA works with farmers, watershed associations, local watershed boards, AG industry experts along with provincial / inter-provincial associations and scientists.

Research Projects include:

  • Targeted Tile Drainage for Agronomic and Environmental Efficiencies – SaskFSA / IHARF Research Project  – to identify and quantify soil and crop production benefits of using targeted tile drainage to manage excess water associated with temporary or seasonal wetlands in a prairie pothole landscape.  The full report can be found in the SaskFSA NEWS/Information section.
  • Field Scale Science – SaskFSA members are continually collecting and monitoring field data on the benefits of managing temporary water within the AG zone – VR mapping, crop input efficiencies, soil health and salinity, crop health and stress reduction, weed and resistance management.
  • University of Regina’s Bridging the Water Adaptation Gap INFRASTRUCTURE FOCUS GROUP
  • An urban approach to research – Prairie Drainage Governance Study – Diagnosing Policy and Governance Effectiveness for Agricultural Water Management During Times of Change
  • The Dollars and Sense of AG Water Management
  • Exemptions and The 5 Acre Concept
  • Want to know more about what we do – contact us!

Ground Truthing the AG Drainage Application Process

An undeniable reality on the agriculture landscape – the AG Drainage Application Process requires improvements to enable timely and successful water management project approvals. In alignment with our solution-based mandate, SaskFSA continues to work on pilot projects and priority drainage application projects throughout different areas of the province with the objective to collect unbiased, in-depth, ground level information on how the current AG Drainage Application Process is working and what needs to be improved. 

SaskFSA works at the ground level with landowners and QPs to provide solution proposals to WSA on priority challenges within existing policy and process. Our objective is to increase the number of successful drainage approvals in SK!

If you require assistance with a project – LET US KNOW!

Promoting Responsible Water Management

Surface & Tile Drainage Workshops

Responsible water management is a priority for Saskatchewan landowners, their communities, our governments and our downstream neighbours. SaskFSA regularly hosts Drainage Field Days and Workshops to provide landowners with a more complete understanding of the planning, design principles and practices for drainage, sub-irrigation and water table management. Focused on responsible solutions for managing excess water, maximizing agronomic efficiency regarding soil health and nutrient utilization and best management practices that provide both water protection, agronomic benefits and flow controls. Contact us if you are interested to know more.

Carbon & Other Things…

SaskFSA is concerned about anything that affects our members, local communities and our provincial economy.

While we collectively support efforts to address climate change challenges and protect the environment, it is important to us all that the best available policy tools are implemented at the provincial and federal government levels to reach this goal. We are unified in opposition with other agriculture stakeholders to a federally imposed tax on carbon emissions. Addressing climate change, protecting the environment and supporting economic development is a process that requires collaboration between all stakeholders – SaskFSA Joint Partner Letter to Trudeau.

That being said, our focus is AG WATER MANAGEMENT.