This guide is composed of a series of factsheets on Farm Practices
and is divided into three categories and an appendix.
Use one of the category drop-down
boxes to quickly find the Farm Practice factsheet you require. Select your factsheet, then
click the GO button. A list of factsheets is available
Purpose of this guide
This document is an update of the initial Farm Practice Reference
guide published in 1996. It is an attempt by the
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to list and
describe many of British Columbia's diverse farm
practices in general terms. It also refers the reader to
existing government legislation, industry guidelines and
other sources of information related to farm practices in
Information contained in this guide, and all material
that is referenced, is intended to serve as a guideline
for considering farm practices in British Columbia's
agriculture industry. Reference material may provide
suggestions for "beneficial management practice" to mitigate
the impact of certain farm practices in specific
situations and conditions. However, it should not be
inferred that these "best management practices" should be
implemented on an industry wide basis. These guidelines
are also not intended to serve as formal standards, but
rather serve to describe current practices used by
farmers throughout British Columbia.
The guide is intended to be used by people seeking
information related to issues and concerns raised about
farm practices (e.g., farmers, peer advisors to farmers,
local governments, neighbours living near farms, etc.).
This guide may also be used by the Farm Industry Review Board,
the statutory body established under the Farm
Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act to hear
formal complaints about farm practices.
The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act (FPPA)
includes licensed aquaculture as a farming activity. The BC Fisheries
Act defines "aquaculture" as the growing and cultivation of aquatic
plants, or fish, for commercial purposes, in any water environment or in
manufactured containers of water and includes the growing and
cultivation of shellfish on, in or under the foreshore or in the water.
Aquaculture activities can occur on the land (e.g. commercial finfish or
shellfish hatcheries), above the bed of the ocean or lakes, (e.g. oyster
longlines or cages for salmon culture), or on beaches (e.g. beach
culture of oysters).
How is the "Farm Practice Reference Guide"
The farm practices described in this guide are divided into two
categories; commodity specific and activity specific. A third category
of nuisance references on dust, noise, and odour is also provided. The
intent of the nuisance references is to provide more detailed
information on dust, noise and odour that is referred to in some of the
farm practice documents.
The commodity specific practices provide a description of the
commodity, farm practices that are of particular interest to that
commodity, information on legislation that is specific to the commodity
and publications that can provide more information. The activity farm
practices that pertain to the commodity are referenced.
The activity farm practices provide more details on typical farm
practices used by BC farmers. Reference to other activities is made
when necessary. There is also a description of the nuisance concerns
that may be of particular concern to the farm activity. Information on
specific legislation that is specific to the activity is listed along
with publications that can provide additional information.
Act protects "normal farm practices"
The fundamental policy of the new Farm Practices
Protection (Right to Farm) Act is that farmers have a
right to farm in BC's important farming areas,
particularly the Agricultural Land Reserve, provided they
use normal farm practices and follow other legislation
listed in the act (Environmental Management Act, Integrated Pest
Management Act, Health Act and their regulations).
The FPPA also protects licensed aquaculturists provided they
use normal farm practices and are compliant with other legislation.
(e.g. Environmental Management Act, Integrated Pest Management
The FPPA applies to all commercial aquaculture operations in
the Province. For Crown land operations, land tenure is prerequisite to
Aquaculture Licence issuance. Consequently, an aquaculture operation
must meet all Crown land siting requirements in addition to the
requirements of the Aquaculture Licence, before the FPPA applies. For
land-based operations on private land, such as hatcheries and trout
farms, the aquaculturist requires only an Aquaculture Licence for the
Act to apply.
A "normal farm practice" is defined in the
act to include an activity "that is conducted by
a farm business in a manner consistent with proper and
accepted customs and standards as established and
followed by similar farm businesses under similar
Regulations may also be enacted to further define
normal farm practices. Farm practices vary among
different commodities and with local or regional
conditions across the province.