The land farmers and ranchers care for is essential for their businesses and for many, their family homes.
Their lands cover wide areas of the province and can contain waterways and wildlife. Ensuring proper land management, which includes protecting wildlife, is key to passing their farm on to the next generation.
More than a third of Canada’s 68 million hectares classified as agricultural land isn’t suitable for planting crops (i.e., too rocky, hilly, wet or dry).
Often these areas are put to use as pasture for grazing livestock, but many do double-duty as excellent wildlife habitats. Many farmers choose practices such as planting native grasses, moving their livestock from pasture to pasture – we call this rotational grazing – and establishing buffer zones around water bodies to help sustain wildlife populations and promote biodiversity. And some species, such as grassland birds like the Bobolink or Western Meadowlark, rely on areas with tall grasses to nest. If farmers stop planting and maintaining grass crops, small shrubs and trees start to take over and those types of birds lose their habitats.