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BCFGA Convention


Replant program popular


Extra funding found to help accommodate eligible growers.


By Judie Steeves D espite receiving more


applications during the first two years than there was money in the budget to help growers with the cost of replanting their orchards, every effort was made to make sure all who were eligible received funds. That meant, in year one, extra funding was found so all eligible applicants were helped, with $117,000 coming from the seventh year’s allotment for the provincial replant program, plus $172,000 from the Summerland Varieties Corporation. It was over-subscribed again for this year, with 145 applications received by the November deadline, but staff will make careful use of ‘slippage’ where a grower is unable to use all his funds, to help out those who are next on the list.


At January’s B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association annual meeting, the agriculture ministry’s tree fruit specialist, Carl Withler, said that during the first year of the $8.4 replant assistance program announced in 2014, about 200 acres were replanted, 80 per cent of that apples, and mostly Ambrosias. Another 15 per cent were Honeycrisp and Galas.


Cherries accounted for 15 per cent of the total acreage, with most growers replanting to Sentennials and Staccatos. The remainder of the replanted acreage was in peaches, pears, plums and nectarines. Growers who replanted during that first year had their work inspected in late summer to ensure the varieties and density matched the application.


12 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2016


JUDIE STEEVES


Provincial agriculture ministry tree fruit specialist Carl Withler explained the replant application process to attendees at this year’s B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association convention.


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