Over the last several years, CropLife Canada and various grower groups have been working to develop a certification program for greenhouses and other protected agriculture producers to reduce the risk of nutrients and pest management products leaving the farm with irrigation water. This work was initiated after imidacloprid was found in high levels in some waterways in Ontario and British Columbia. A draft was released in 2020 for public consultation, and feedback has been incorporated into the latest draft which is now available for comment.
The first stage of the proposed water standard affects greenhouse producers who have recirculating irrigation systems. All growers who self-identify as having a closed-loop irrigation system will need to have passed an audit by December 31, 2023. You can find details on the specific definition of closed-loop in the proposed standard, but generally it includes growers with recirculating systems such as flood floors, flood benches and troughs. All greenhouse growers with these irrigation systems will need to be certified under the program – by successfully completing an audit, or by completing a self declaration indicating that their farm has an open irrigation system– by December 31, 2023. If a farm has not taken either of these measures, they may be prevented from purchasing pesticides for use in their greenhouses.Continue reading