Ministry of Agriculture

Publications

Agriculture Statistics
Edge Planning
   Farm Practices Protection
  GIS and Land Use Inventory
  Growing Knowledge Reports
Growing Together Newsletters
Introductory Publications and Factsheets

  Planning for Agriculture
  Other Publications

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AGRICULTURE STATISTICS


AGRICULTURE IN BRIEF series

Agriculture in Brief is a series of two-page documents that summarize agriculture in 52 municipalities and regional districts throughout British Columbia. Using primarily Census of Agriculture data conducted by Statistics Canada, these documents highlight such aspects as total area farmed, farm land use, crop types, livestock, and total farm capital.

Use the drop-down box to select your municipality or regional district, then click the GO button. 

 


Statistics Canada information is used with the permission of Statistics Canada. Users are forbidden to copy the data and re-disseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada.

Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices - website at www.statcan.ca and its toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136.

 

 

AGRICULTURE OVERVIEW series

The Agriculture Overview series of documents provide a picture of agriculture in 34 municipalities and regional districts throughout British Columbia. These short documents present statistics primarily from the Census of Agriculture conducted by Statistics Canada, and they highlight features of agriculture in each community.

Use drop-down box to select a regional or community, then click the GO button. 

 

 


EDGE PLANNING

The following list highlights Planning for Agriculture publications that would be of interest to communities wanting to pursue Edge Planning.  Click on Overview for a short description or click on the title to view the entire publication.    
     
 
 
  Overview
  Overview
  Overview
 
  • Chapter 8 - Planning Along Agriculture's Edges
  • Appendix 20 - A Check List of Common Urban / Agricultural Conflicts
  Overview
  Overview
 
  Overview
 
  Overview
 

 

 


FARM PRACTICES PROTECTION

Farm Practices in B.C. Reference Guide

Farm Practices

Farm Practices in BC Reference Guide    (update 2003)

The Guide includes about 62 separate factsheets grouped under the headings 'Commodity Specific', 'Farm Activity', and 'Farm Nuisance'.   The documents describes many of British Columbia's diverse farm practices in general terms and refers to existing government legislation, industry guidelines and other sources of information related to farm practices.

 

 

IssuesGuidelines for Farm Practices Involving Fill

Guidelines For Farm Practices Involving Fill    (2006)

This 15-page Strengthening Farming factsheet describes farm practices involving soil and/ or woodwaste fill, and the rationale/ references for these practices. 

 

 

 

 

Siting and Management of Poultry Barns

Siting and Management of Poultry Barns    (2008) 

This 8-page Strengthening Farming factsheet outlines recommendations that are designed to help producers avoid costly changes that may be required to poultry operations as a result of negative impacts on neighbours such as noise, dust, odour, flies, or rodents. 

 

 

 

 

Siting and Management of Dairy Barns and Operations    (2010)

Proper siting and management of dairy facilities play a crucial role in ensuring good neighbour relations both within farming areas and along urban-agricultural boundaries. The recommendations in this factsheet are designed to help producers avoid costly changes that may be required of dairy operations as a result of negative impacts on neighbours such as noise, dust, odour, flies, or rodents.

 

 

 

Dust and Odour Considerations for Soil Amendment Applications in the Fraser Valley

(2013)

This is a 4-page factsheet with information on what is important to consider when applying soil amendments. Details about dust and odour are explained. The factsheet describes the 4R's of Land Application which can help minimize dust and odour complaints.

  • Right source
  • Right rate
  • Right time
  • Right placement

 

 

The Use of Audible Bird Scare Devices in British Columbia in 2001

This 64-page report addresses complaints about the use of audible bird scare devices to protect agricultural crops from damage by birds. It focuses on BC, but also considers regulations in a number of other jurisdictions.

Executive Summary - The Use of Audible Bird Scare Devices in British Columbia in 2001

 


 

GIS and LAND USE INVENTORY

AgFocus:  A Guide to Agricultural Land Use Inventory AgFocus: A Guide to Agricultural Land Use Inventory    (2004)

This 30-page guide outlines practical details on how to undertake a land use inventory in agricultural areas. It includes a ready-to-use coding system for agricultural activities and land covers. 

 

 

AgFocus: An Agricultural GIS - Pitt Meadows Pilot Project AgFocus:  An Agricultural GIS- Pitt Meadows Pilot Project (2001)

This 90-page guide outlines the benefits of applying a Geographic Information System in agricultural areas with details of how this may be undertaken. The guide was largely based on experience gained from the Pitt Meadows Pilot Project.

 

 

AgFocus:  An Agricultural GIS - Overview AgFocus: An Agricultural GIS - Overview   (2001)

This 12-page booklet is a summary of  AgFocus: An Agricultural GIS- Pitt Meadows Pilot Project. The booklet is intended for local government representatives and others who want a snapshot of agricultural GIS benefits. 

 

 

 

GROWING KNOWLEDGE REPORTS

The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Abbotsford The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Abbotsford     (2008)

Abbotsford has grown from a small town in the early 1900's to the fifth largest community in the Province. Agriculture has fueled that growth and continues to provide stable, expanding support for the local economy. This study estimates the scope of that economic impact.

 

 

 

The Agricultural Land Reserve and its Influence on Agriculture in the City of Kelowna The Agricultural Land Reserve and its Influence on Agriculture in the City of Kelowna     (2008)

The ALC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands undertook this study to understand the impacts of the ALR with regard to its influence on agricultural land use in the City of Kelowna. Since the ALR was established over 34 years ago, it is useful to examine how agriculture has been shaped by the ALR and to illustrate its effectiveness in protecting farmland and sustaining the agriculture sector.

 

 

Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Services Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Services Provided by Farmland to Local Communities in the Fraser Valley    (2007)

This study asked urban residents what is important to them about having farmland in their community? What benefits do they see and what value do they place on the benefits? These benefits are often termed "public" or "social" benefits as compared to "private" or market based benefits. The results of this study provide an estimation of the value of the "public" benefit of farmland and this value can then be considered in future land use decision-making processes.

 

 

Direct Financial Contribution of Farming Areas to Local Governments in British Columbia

Direct Financial Contribution of Farming Areas to Local Governments in British Columbia    (2005)

This study provides some clarity regarding the financial contribution of farming areas to a local community by investigating the property tax revenues generated by the farming area and the cost of services provided in the farming area. The study looked at the communities of Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

Growing TogetherGROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTERS

Growing Together   is a series of four-page broadsheets on a variety of topics related to the Strengthening Farming program and the Partnership Committee on Agriculture and the Environment.

New  Guide to Edge Planning Helps Local Governments and Industry Work Together
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2008, Vol 9, No.1

Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Hires Agriculture Support Officer
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2007, Vol 8, No.1 

B.C.'s Strengthening Farming Program Highlighted
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2006, Vol 7, No.1  

Availability of Farmland Key to Agriculture's Success
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2005 Vol 6, No. 1 

Strong Start for Environmental Farm Planning (PDF, 2886KB)
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2004 Vol 5, No. 1

Local Governments Promote Agriculture
Farming in Partnership with Local Governments - Fall 2003 Vol 4, No. 1  

Nutrient Management Means Economic and Environmental Returns
The Agriculture and Environment Connection - Winter 2001 Vol 3, No. 1 

Reaping the Fruits of Change
Farming in Partnership with Local Government - Fall 2001 Vol 3, No. 2 

Partnership Committee Making Progress
The Agriculture and the Environment Connection - Winter 2000 Vol 1, No. 2 

BC's Local Governments Planning for Agriculture's Sustainable Future 
The Rural-Urban Connection - Fall 2000 Vol 1, No. 2 

Finding the Balance in Planning
The Rural-Urban Connection - Fall 1999 Vol 1, No. 1  

 

INTRODUCTORY PUBLICATIONS and FACTSHEETS

Good Neighbour Farming Two introductory publications were written after the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act was passed by the BC Legislature in 1995. The Act came into force in April 1996.

 

Good Neighbour Farming   (1996) (PDF, 3MB)

 

Consultation Background Report   (1995)  

 

 

Strengthening Farming brochure

Strengthening Farming brochure

Strengthening Farming is an initiative of the BC Ministry of Agriculture that is jointly implemented with the Agricultural Land Commission. This brochure gives an overview of the Strengthening Farming program.

 

 

 

Several factsheets were developed to provide further details about the Strengthening Farming program. Good Neighbour Farming

 

Strengthening Farming Program...An Overview
Highlights
"Normal Farm Practice" and the "Right to Farm"
Resolving Public Concerns and Complaints
Local Governments and the "Right to Farm"
Planning for Farming
Important Information for Local Government Subdivision Approving Officers
Important Information for Staff of Local Governments

 

 

NEWS about BC's  Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act

Three newsletters provide farmers, farm organizations, staff of local governments and the public with information about this initiative.

Strengthening Farming NEWS - Fall 1996 - Issue 1

Strengthening Farming NEWS - Fall 1997 - Issue 2

Strengthening Farming NEWS - Fall 1998 - Issue 3

 

 

 

PLANNING FOR AGRICULTURE

 

2013 Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas

Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas

NEW 2013 Edition    



This new edition of the Bylaw Guide offers standards for developing and amending bylaws affecting farming areas (land in the ALR, land zoned for agriculture, and land affected by a valid and subsisting aquaculture license under the Fisheries Act). It also provides general information for handling other planning issues involving agriculture.

 

 

 

Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas

Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas - Archived
(Updated 2011 - Archived 2013)


This Bylaw Guide contains extensive information about the development of zoning bylaws in farming areas and contains the Minister's Standards to guide bylaw development. Farm bylaws are also discussed, along with other opportunities to strengthen farming.

 

 

 

Temporary Farm Worker Housing discussion paper

Temporary Farm Worker Housing in the ALR   

  

This discussion paper was prepared by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (BCMAL) and outlines a set of criteria that can be used by local governments to regulate Temporary Farm Worker Housing (TFWH) in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

 

 

 

Trail Guide - 56 pagesA Guide to Using and Developing Trails in Farm and Ranch Areas  (updated 2006)

This 59-page trail guide was developed to assist trail proponents and developers. The trail guide emphasizes the importance of land use compatibility when trails are being considered in or near agricultural areas. The guide outlines mitigative techniques, provides design examples and reviews planning and consultative processes.  The trail guide also provides a "Code" for trail users in farm and ranch areas.

NOTE : This guide  [12 mb]  may be viewed and printed as a complete book or by individual chapters for faster printing. 

 

 

Trails Through Agriculture - brochure

Trails through Agriculture Areas     (2005)

This 2-page brochure is designed to inform users of trails that go through agriculture areas of several key points to help ensure a safe recreational experience that respects the working landscape they are passing through.

 

 

 

 

Vegetative Buffers in BCVegetative Buffers in BC  - An Investigation of existing buffers and their effectiveness in mitigating conflict    (2003)


This 93 page report documents the results of an investigation that was undertaken in 2003 to determine the effectiveness of vegetative buffers in mitigating conflict.  By conducting physical assessments and interviews with farmers and residents who lived next door to buffers, a number of conclusions and recommendations were drawn to aid in the establishment of buffer guidelines to promote urban-rural compatibility.

 

 

Local Government Links with Agriculture

Local Government Links with Agriculture - Survey 2001


This report contains the results of a 2001 survey involving over 70 local governments in BC. The survey explored how municipalities and regional districts link with their local farm and ranch communities in decision-making and planning processes. The survey results were  forwarded to all local governments surveyed. 
A copy can be viewed at the Ministry office in Abbotsford.

 

 

 

Separating Agriculture and Urban Land Uses

Separating Agriculture and Urban Land Uses - An Investigation of the Effectiveness of Landscaped Buffers   

(2001)


This 98-page, unpublished report was prepared by the Ministry. The report focuses on decisions made by the Agricultural Land Commission that required buffering. Eleven case studies in three regions of BC were examined. 
A copy can be viewed at the Ministry office in Abbotsford.
 

 

 

Smart Growth Guide The Smart Growth Guide to Local Government Law and Advocacy   



This comprehensive guide, prepared by West Coast Environmental Law, focuses on the topics of "smart" urban growth.

Chapter 6 - Protecting Agricultural Land - discusses the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Strengthening Farming Program.

 

 

AAC Information PackageAgricultural Advisory Committees Information Package   (2000)

This information package has been developed to provide information for municipalities and regional districts that may be interested in appointing an Agricultural Advisory Committee.  The package includes:

 

 

 

The Countryside and You - Understanding Farming

The Countryside and You - Understanding Farming    (1998) (PDF, 4MB)

This 24-page booklet explains to the non-farmer living in or near an agricultural area what to expect from agricultural operations as farmers and ranchers go about their day-to-day activities.

 

 

 

 

 

Planning for Agriculture

Planning for Agriculture   (1998)

Planning for Agriculture - Resource Materials
(Table of Contents only) (1998)

Planning for Agriculture (66 pages) summarizes the key issues in the Planning for Agriculture - Resource Materials (400 pages).  The reports were prepared by the Agricultural Land Commission to encourage greater focus on agricultural issues and opportunities during planning processes. 
 

 

Bylaw Review

Bylaw Review
(Table of Contents only)  (1996 / 97 revised in 1998)


This 94-page, unpublished document reviewed the zoning bylaws of 19 local governments to better understand the agriculturally relevant portions of the bylaws. The bylaw review provided background information in the development of the Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas. Copies may be viewed at the Ministry office in Abbotsford.

 

Planning Subdivisions Near Agriculture

 

Planning Subdivisions Near Agriculture    (1997) (PDF, 3 MB)


This 12-page brochure summarizes the report Subdivision Near Agriculture... A Guide for Approving Officers. The brochure is designed for the general public, particularly those individuals who may be planning to subdivide next to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

 

 

Subdivision Near AgricultureSubdivision Near Agriculture...A Guide for Approving Officers

(1996) (PDF, 36MB)


This 21-page guide, was developed to assist subdivision approving officers when considering proposals for subdivision near farmland. It includes examples of ways to improve subdivision design, provide buffering and manage road patterns to improve land use compatibility along agriculture's edge.  Sample draft covenants associated with the provision of buffering are also included.

 

 

Strengthening Farming in British Columbia   Strengthening Farming in British Columbia
(Table of Contents only)

A Guide to Implementation of the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act  (1996)


This document, often referred to as the 'Yellow Binder', was completed in 1996 and forwarded to all local governments with land in the ALR.  It contains a compilation of information and documents relating to the Strengthening Farming Program including:

Landscaped Buffer Specifications

 

 

 Landscaped Buffer Specifications   (1993)


This document was developed by the Agricultural Land Commission to provide practical examples of the buffering of urban development next to farming. It includes fencing specifications.

 

 

 

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Publication in PDF format

Hot Spot Study   2009   (PDF, 6 MB)

A review of historical farming paractices over the Abbotsford aquifer near monitoring wells with long term nitrate concentration data.

 

 

 

 

Publication in PDF formatAn Estimate of the Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Goods Provided by Farmland in Metro Vancouver  
2009   (PDF, 5 MB)

This study asked urban residents what is important to them about having farmland in their community? What benefits do they see and what value do they place on the benefits? These benefits are often termed "public" or "social" benefits as compared to "private" or market based benefits. The results of this study provide an estimation of the value of the "public" benefit of farmland and this value can then be considered in future land use decision-making processes.

NOTE - Once the linked PDF file has opened at the cover page, double-click on either of the Bookmarks at the left and allow time for the large Report or Survey file to open.

 

Publication in PDF format

 

An Estimate of the Public Amenity Benefits and Ecological Goods Provided by Farmland in Metro Vancouver
  -  Executive Summary
  

2009   (PDF, 2 MB)

 

 

 

 

AAC Workshop 2007 Summary of Proceedings

 

Agricultural Advisory Committee Workshop Proceedings

Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) Workshops have been held in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The Proceedings documents summarize the presentations and small-group discussions.

 

 

 

BC's Food Self-Reliance

BC's Food Self Reliance
This report was conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands in 2006.

The goal of the study was to get a perspective on total food production and food self-reliance in the Province of British Columbia. The study used a methodology to estimate food self-reliance using farm gate production rather than wholesale value.

The report is an information piece, and does not necessarily represent current or future policy direction. The statistical data in the report is factual and will be used to develop benchmarks for further research and study by Ministry staff.

 

Small Scall Farming in the South Cowichan Valley

Small Scale Farming in the South Cowichan Valley    (2000) 

This publication, from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, is a report about the South Cowichan Valley which was studied to help paint a better picture of small scale farming in the community.  In 2000, the Ministry's work defined small scale farming as annual sales of less then $50,000 and small lots as lots less than 10 acres.

 

 

 

Small Lot AgricultureSmall Lot Agriculture


The Role of Small Lot Agriculture in the South Coastal Region

This This report explores the role of lot size in agriculture production in the past and the present in the hopes of developing a better understanding of how small lots may contribute to the farming industry and the rural community in the future.

 

 

Post World Congress Seminar Planning for Food    2006 Proceedings


On June 21, 2006, the Post World Congress Seminar Planning for Food was held in Vancouver.
This inaugural event examined the important issues of preserving farmland and planning for agriculture
within our expanding urban communities.

 

The Rural-Urban Connection: Growing Together in
Greater Vancouver
    2004) 


The "Rural-Urban Connection" is an article published in Plan Canada (Spring 2004 Vol. 44, No. 1). The article outlines how the Livable Region Strategic Plan of the GVRD and the Provincial farmland preservation program - the ALR - have worked together to provide for population growth while maintaining farmland and the many associated benefits of ensuring a vibrant agricultural sector in the Region.

 

Comox Valley Brochures 2003

These 12 and 8-page brochures were developed as part of the Comox Valley Agricultural Area Plan in January of 2003.

 

Feeding the Apartment Dwellers

Feeding the Apartment Dwellers    (2001)

"Feeding the Apartment Dwellers" is an article published in Plan CanadaPlan Canada

(Oct-Dec 2001, Volume 41, No.4). 

The article summarizes work related to the City of Richmond's Agricultural Viability Strategy.