PEACE RIVER REGIONAL DISTRICT, B.C. – Two cooperative associations in B.C.’s Peace Region have been approved for $1 million through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund’s (PACF) Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative. The Fort St. John Seed Cleaning Cooperative Association and South Peace Grain Cleaning Cooperative Association will receive $746,000 and $254,000, respectively.
The Fort St. John Seed Cleaning Cooperative Association will use the funding to complete $1.2 million of improvements to its seed cleaning plant. This includes installing a state-of-the-art Cimbria SEA Optical Sorter, a colour sorter, gravity separator and super cleaner to assist with cleaning unwanted seeds and foreign objects from all grains, cereal crops, seeds and pulses.
In the Dawson Creek area, the South Peace Grain Cleaning Cooperative Association will use their funding to purchase and install an optical sorting machine. The sorter uses cameras, lighting, machine software and other technologies to remove foreign materials and unwanted coloured seeds that have subtle discolouration, size and/or shape defects. By improving the final seed quality, the producer can ensure consistent growth rates.
These two projects bring sophisticated technology and equipment to the Peace Region, providing farmers and growers with local options to improve the quality of their product without having to travel long distances to other facilities.
The PACF Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative is a proposal-based funding program that supports large-scale agricultural projects that have regional impacts and directly benefit agriculture and agrifoods economic activity in the Peace Region.
Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development
“The PACF Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative is an effective way to provide an extra funding boost to associations as they continue to support producers during a time when costs continue to rise. Allowing seeds and grain to be processed close to home will provide far-reaching benefits in the region and keep more money in the local economies.”
Heather Fossum, chair, BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund
“This $1 million investment into seed sorting and grain cleaning equipment will provide quality services for growers in the Peace Region for many years to come. All the members of both cooperative associations, as well as seed and grain producers throughout the whole region, will reap the benefits of state-of-the-art equipment close to their homes and farms.”
Wade Sutherland, vice chair, Fort St. John Seed Cleaning Cooperative Association
“This investment will provide decades of improved seed cleaning for all agricultural producers who use the service. The state-of-the-art equipment and ability to improve agronomic practices will only help lower the overall environmental and financial impacts faced by producers and will continue to compound year-over-year.”
Garnet Berge, chair, South Peace Grain Cleaning Cooperative Association
“The board of the South Peace Grain Cleaning Co-op are grateful to announce the purchase of a colour optical sorter and to offer farmers in the area this new seed cleaning technology. This was made possible with the approval of our application to the BC Hydro PACF Agricultural Impact and Opportunities Initiative. We look forward to offering this new seed sorting service to our members and other customers. Having this service at our local plant will not only save our members and customers money, time and trucking costs, but will also keep the plant sustainable for years to come. This is truly an opportunity for everyone in our local agricultural industry.”