The BC Living Lab uses a production systems approach to define and develop practices that farmers are ready and willing to implement.

The ACS program, designed by AAFC, focuses on soil-based beneficial management practices (BMPs) that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon. As a result, we have worked closely with the following commodity groups to assemble the Living Lab:

Perirenal Row Crops

Dairy

Field Vegetables

Forage & Cattle

These commodity groups were confirmed through industry consultation and a review of existing research on climate mitigation practices. Representation from the commodities within each identified focus and across relevant growing regions in BC is an important aspect for all stages of the Living Lab.

Perennial Row Crops

BC grows a wide variety of fruit, including tree fruits, berry crops, grapes, and nuts. The tree fruit industry in BC has about 400 commercial growers who farm approximately 15,000 acres of various tree fruits. BC produces many varieties of berries for both local consumption and export, providing a valuable contribution to the BC economy. The grape industry in BC is composed of over 900 vineyards. Much of the production is in the Thompson-Okanagan, followed by Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Kootenay region.

Includes:

Grapes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Apples, Cherries, Hazelnuts and more.

Who is Involved?

BC Blueberry Council
BC Cherry Association
BC Fruit Growers’ Association
BC Wine Grape Council
Raspberry Industry Development Council

What Practices are Being Researched?

Inter row cover crops
Improved irrigation and fertilizer management

Dairy

British Columbia’s average herd size is approximately 140 cows. Most of BC’s dairy herds are in the Lower Mainland, southeastern Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan-Shuswap Area. Approximately half of milk production is utilized for fluid milk sales, while the other half is allocated to non-fluid industrial dairy product sales.

Includes:

Dairy

Who is Involved?

BC Dairy Association

What Practices are Being Researched?

Cover and relay cropping
Lower emissions manure spreading
Refined nutrient budgeting

Field Vegetables

Farmers can grow a wide variety of field vegetables in British Columbia, thanks to a moderate climate, fertile soils, and access to good water. The bulk of production takes place in the Lower Mainland. Other production areas include Vancouver Island and BC’s southern Interior.  Relatively small amounts of production occur in the Kootenay, Cariboo, and northern regions of BC.

Includes:

Potatoes

Who is Involved?

BC Potato & Vegetable Growers’ Association
Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust

What Practices are Being Researched?

Winter cover crops
4R nutrient management

Forage and Cattle

Forage consists of herbaceous plant material, such as hay or pasture, used to feed domestic animals. Most forage is grown and fed on the same farm. Cattle and other livestock are raised throughout British Columbia. BC’s farmers and ranchers supply beef and other animal products to local, national, and international markets. Cattle in BC account for about 5% of the national beef herd.

Includes:

Beef, Forage, Other Livestock

Who is Involved?

BC Cattlemen’s Association
BC Forage Council

What Practices are Being Researched?

Annual/alternative cover crops for winter grazing
Standing crops for winter grazing
Refined nutrient budgeting

Questions?