Due to the late spring and the early winter, farmers in Quebec were unable to spread their manure and fear an overflow of their pits by the spring of 2020. To prevent this risk, the Government of Quebec announced Monday that farmers will exceptionally be able to spread out of season in December 2019.
However, strict conditions will be imposed on agricultural companies and the operation must be supervised by an agronomist.
"It is very important to protect and improve the quality of water in our lakes, rivers and streams. This is why strict standards ensure the management of manure. When an exceptional situation, posing significant environmental risks, leads us to derogate from these standards, we must demand that all the necessary precautions be deployed, "said the Quebec Minister of Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Benoit Charrette, in a statement.
Among these conditions, the farmer must have explored any other possible alternative to dispose of his surplus volumes of slurry.
The volumes it will be allowed to apply will be strictly limited to those required to ensure continuity of breeding activities and to prevent any overflowing of pits by the spring of 2020.
The farmer will have to make sure that there is no flow to the watercourse, under pain of sanctions.
He will also have to submit a recovery plan for a return to environmental compliance by 2020.
"I am pleased that we have been able to find a one-off solution for this fall of 2019, but the Quebec government is committed to going further. We will evaluate the measures to be developed in the short, medium and long term to prevent such a situation, "said the Minister of Agriculture, Andre Lamontagne.