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New N.B. farmland development funded

The New Brunswick government has pledged $650,000 for a program to help farmers bring new land into production and improve productivity on ag land already in production.

The New Brunswick Agri-Land Development Initiative will provide funds to help producers take on projects such as land clearing, land consolidation and land levelling, the government said in a release Wednesday.

The initiative is expected to help farmers bring into production land that will support more sustainable crop rotations, increase the land base available for the production of crops, and increase farmers’ self-sufficiency in production of livestock feed crops, the government said.

“Land development continues to be one of the top issues that farmers in New Brunswick consistently bring to my attention during my regular visits and meetings around the province,” said Ag Minister Ron Ouellette in the release.

This year’s funding is the follow-up to $400,000 distributed to farmers for land development in the initiative’s first year. In the wild blueberry sector alone, the province said, it’s expected that within five years the supported land-development projects will increase the province’s total crop by three million added pounds of berries per year, with a value of $2 million to $3 million.

As well, the province said, almost 240 acres of potato land were cleared, levelled or improved for crop rotation in the program’s first year, thus increasing the sustainable culture of potatoes.

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