Alternative Land Use Services 2 (ALUS 2)
Name: George Piercey
Name: Shawn Hill, ALUS Coordinator
The ALUS Program is a voluntary program for PEI farmers and landowners. The goals of the program are to:
- Reduce soil erosion and siltation of watercourses and wetlands
- Improve water quality
- Improve and increase wildlife habitat
- Reduce the impacts of climate change
Eligible applicants will sign an agreement to receive financial compensation annually to remove land from agricultural production or to establish/maintain beneficial management practices that protect soil and water quality or improve fish and wildlife habitat.
The length of the agreement will depend upon the year of application. All agreements will expire on March 31, 2018 at which time the agreements will be reviewed.
- Landowners who own agricultural land on PEI or farmers who own and/or lease agricultural land on PEI are eligible applicants.
Buffer zone tree planting - Eligible applicants losing agricultural land as a result of the 5 meter increase in the regulated buffer are eligible for payment on this land on condition that trees either currently exist in the first 5 meters adjacent to the watercourse or wetland or they agree to allow trees to be established in the first 5 meters.
- Eligible applicants can receive a payment if they allow trees to be established on any remaining portion of the regulated 15 meter buffer if it is currently cleared land.
- Trees can either become established through natural regeneration or they can be planted. You will not be responsible for planting or for costs associated with establishing trees.
- If you agree to receive a payment for establishing trees in the buffer zone, you will be contacted at a future date so that you can indicate your preference of native tree species to be planted.
Sensitive land retirement
Expanded buffer zone - Expanded buffer zones are areas of land, adjacent to the legislated buffer, that are retired to give added protection to the watercourse or wetland.
- To qualify for a payment, the expanded buffer area must have been in annual crop production at some point since the year 2000.
- Expanded buffer zones can be left in forage or they can have trees planted on them. Forage can be cut and harvested.
- Allowable management practices are similar to those required for regulated buffer zones no tillage, no annual cropping and no pesticide spraying.
Non regulated grassed headlands - Non regulated grassed headlands are those that are established at distances greater than 200 meters from watercourses or bufferable wetlands. Regulated grassed headlands do not qualify for payment.
- To be eligible for payment, the field must be in a rotation that contains row crops and the rows must drain towards the headland.
- To qualify for a payment, grassed headlands must be a minimum of 5 meters in width. The maximum width eligible for payment is 10 meters.
- If the grassed headland requires maintenance, it can be re-established with spring tillage in a year when the field is not in row crop production.
High sloped land - High sloped land is agricultural land that is identified by its red color in the Prince Edward Island Sloped Land Inventory (PEISLI) GIS layer. Other non PEISLI land can be retired as high sloped land if the topography warrants it.
- To qualify for a payment the field must have been in active annual crop production at some point since the year 2000.
- Retired high sloped land can be left in forage, planted to an agroforestry crop or planted to trees. Forages can be cut and harvested. Tillage and/or annual crop production would not be permitted.
Land under soil conservation structures - Land that is taken out of production to establish soil conservation structures is eligible for payment. Soil Conservation structures include diversion terraces, farmable berms, and grassed waterways.
- Natural hollows that are left in permanent grass are eligible for a payment if the grassed area is a minimum of 30 feet wide.
- To qualify for a payment, the field must be in active annual crop production and soil conservation structures must meet minimum standards that have been approved by a soil conservation specialist.
- Grassed waterways and farmable berms should be reshaped and reseeded as required. This maintenance work has to be performed in the spring in a year when the field is not in row crop production.
Maintaining livestock fences adjacent to watercourse and wetlands - Fences have been constructed on most livestock farms in the province to eliminate cattle access to watercourses and wetlands. This annual payment recognizes that there are ongoing costs associated with maintaining fences and alternate watering systems to ensure that livestock continue to be denied access.
- Fences must be constructed in a manner that ensures total exclusion of livestock from watercourses and wetlands.
- To qualify for a payment, the field must be in an active pasture rotation, the fence must be a minimum of 5 meters from the edge of the watercourse or wetland and the field must have the necessary alternate watering infrastructure and livestock stream crossings.
|ALUS Feature :||Assistance :|
|Buffer zone tree planting||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: Expanded buffer zone||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: Non regulated grassed headlands||$185/ha/yr|
|Sensitive land retirement: high sloped land||$150/ha/yr|
|Land under soil conservation structures||$250/ha/yr|
|Maintaining livestock fences adjacent to watercourses and wetlands||$0.30/meter/yr|
- You will automatically receive an annual payment for all subsequent years of your contract before March 31 of each subsequent year.
APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS
A detailed application form is available from the program lead and at www.peifarm.ca
All applications will be reviewed by the program lead. Eligible projects will be reviewed by an internal body which will determine approval or denial. The decision of this body will be conveyed in writing to the applicant.
Farmers should also attach a list of all properties that they lease if they will be farming the land until at least March 31, 2018 and are prepared to have the landowner sign a consent form in which he/she will agree to have the annual payment come to you.
For ALUS projects, a payment may be processed once per year following the audit process.
- Maps will be generated for each of the properties that you listed in your application form
- Program staff will contact you with respect to your application and arrange a visit to discuss eligible ALUS features on each of your properties and provide you with suggested management advice.
- All features that you agreed to receive an ALUS payment for will be entered into a GIS data base and a map will be produced that outlines those features for each of your properties.
- A table will be produced that identifies the eligible ALUS features on each property, the area of the feature, the payment for the individual feature and your total eligible ALUS payment.
- A second short visit will be arranged with you to confirm that all the information is accurate and you will be given a copy of the table and a copy of each of the maps that outlines where the ALUS features are for which you will be receiving payment.
- You will be issued an agreement, that you must sign and return to the program administrator. If you are claiming ALUS payments on leased properties you will also be required to have consent forms signed by the owner indicating that he/she is in agreement with you receiving the annual payment.
- Upon receipt of the agreement and all signed consent forms on leased land you will be issued an ALUS payment for the current year.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- By accepting and ALUS payment, you agree to allow government staff reasonable access to the lands under your ALUS agreement to conduct an audit to make sure that the terms of the contract were met. Random audits will be conducted each year.
- Your ALUS agreement can be amended at any time to include additional eligible items for which you wish to receive payment. Your ALUS agreement could also be modified to remove items due to unforeseen conditions.
- Assistance will be available only until funds are totally allocated.
- Program guidelines and application forms may be revised at any time throughout the life of the program, at the discretion of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- Project approval will be based on available funding and will be at the Province’s discretion. As such, not all eligible projects will be approved.
- Eligibility of all expenses is at the discretion of the internal body of the ALUS program.
- Recipients of funding under the ALUS are consenting to the public release of their name, the amount of funding received, and the general nature of the project.
This program is effective April 1, 2013 and will terminate on March 31, 2018.
This program may be altered or discontinued without notice by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.
This program is administered by the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as the Prince Edward Island Department of Communities, Land and Environment.
Agriculture Information Desk
PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry
Annual Crop - Any cereals, oilseeds or row crop grown at least once in a 5 year period.
Row Crop - Any crop that is spaced to allow cultivation between the rows. Examples are potatoes, carrots, cole crops, and corn.
Soil Conservation Structures – Physical structures including diversion terraces, farmable berms and grassed waterways that are established in fields to reduce soil losses to acceptable rates. Natural hollows that are left in permanent grass would be eligible for ALUS support provided that they are a minimum of 30 feet in width. All conservation structures must meet minimum standards as approved by a soil conservation specialist with the Department of Agriculture.
PEISLI – PEI Sloped Land Inventory layer found on the Provincial GIS database, representing a contiguous area greater than 1 ha and where the slope is 9 % or greater
Alternative Land Use Services 2 (ALUS 2) - Application Form