for September 7, 2011
The Manitoba Pulse Growers Association is calling for the support of all Manitobans in urging the provincial government to work cooperatively to solving the problems of Lake Winnipeg.
Bill 46, passed in mid-June, contains new provisions to reduce the amount of nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg including extending a 2008 moratorium on new hog barn construction or expansion in part of Manitoba, to the entire province.
A coalition of 15 Manitoba agricultural commodity organizations has issued an open letter to the citizens of Manitoba expressing concern over the legislation and calling for a co-operative approach to finding solutions that will improve our environment.
Manitoba Pulse Growers Association president Andrew Saramaga says the government needs to look at all aspects of nutrient loading.
Clip-Andrew Saramaga-Manitoba Pulse Growers Association:
It's a whole systematic approach.
It's not just singling out one group and one sector of this that is the main concern.
There has to be a proper dialogue here and not waving a piece of paper saying we're going to stop this manure from going into Lake Winnipeg when there's been reports published that it's not the major cause.
It's an easy target to look at because there is some perceived issues but the public needs to be aware of that there is multiple sources of contamination going into the watersheds and it's not just from one particular sector but there's numerous sectors.
When you consider how big the watershed for lake Manitoba is, after the flood this year we've gotten to realize how big that watershed is and it's not just this region or this province.
There's outside external forces that occur in this as well and that needs to be addressed and a proper stakeholder group looking at all aspects rather than just singling out one aspect as being the root source.
Saramaga notes, if the moratorium limits the expansion or the profitability of the hog industry, it will also impact pulse growers by reducing the local market for the feed products they provide.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council