January 23, 2014
The National Farmers Union in this Province is strongly urging all Islanders to become involved in the discussion centering around the request by the Potato Board to lift the moratorium on drilling more high capacity wells in P. E. I. Islanders are encouraged to contact their MLA on this matter.
Since groundwater is a precious resource, vital to all Islanders, the National Farmers Union is requesting the Provincial Government to hold public meetings on the subject of drilling more high capacity wells. In this way, all Island citizens can be involved in the debate similar to the way they took part in the public meetings on land issues within the last year.
The Potato Board states that irrigation is needed in order for the Island potato industry to compete with growers in Idaho and other American states. It is virtually impossible to compete yield-wise with these growers where the topsoil is so much deeper than P. E. I. and where the growing season is much longer.
The NFU suggests there are other ways to improve the moisture-holding capacity of Island soils such as improving the organic matter of the soil, using better crop rotations, etc. Enhancing our livestock industry in order to have manure to fertilizer the soil would go a long way to improving soil conditions. All of this can be done without compromising the quality and quantity of our groundwater. It would be more prudent to work toward developing a marketing system whereby farmers receive their cost of production instead of risking our groundwater supply.
This moratorium has been in place for many years, and there is no good reason to lift it now.
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Contact: Steven MacKinnon, telephone 675-3426