Prairie Watershed Climate Program (PWCP)

The Prairie Watersheds Climate Program (PWCP) is led by the Manitoba Association of Watersheds (MAW) and delivered by Manitoba’s Watershed Districts and the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds (SAW). Please read MAW’s press release regarding PWCP.

The PWCP provides up to $40 million in financial support, through OFCAF, to producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to accelerate their adoption and implementation of on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, support production efficiency, sustainability and resiliency on their farm operations. To assist producers with their adoption of new BMPs, the program offers producers resources to support BMP implementation and provide BMP design recommendations.

The three BMP streams in the PWCP program are:

1.     Improving nitrogen management:

2.     Increasing adoption of cover cropping:

3.     Expanding the adoption of rotational grazing:

Improving Nitrogen Management

How Does Improving Nitrogen Management Benefit Farmers and Climate Change?

Nitrogen management strategies ensure optimum productivity, reduce nitrogen losses, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance economic profitability and environmental quality. Farmers in
Manitoba and Saskatchewan make key decisions on formulation, rate, timing, and placement of fertilizer
nitrogen that are suitable for soils, climate change, and farming operations within which they operate.

How PCWP Can Help

The PWCP is helping producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to deploy real, measurable, and practical
climate solutions for agriculture in the Canadian Prairies through the management of nitrogen fertilizer
use. For example, the use of slow-release fertilizer, nitrification and urease inhibitors have been
effective in lowering the release of Greenhouse Gasses into the atmosphere.

Examples of eligible activities:agronomic services to develop farm-specific nutrient management plans, equipment modifications for fertilizer application in fields, and soil sampling and analysis.

To see all eligible activities and requirements of the program please see: Manitoba Association of Watersheds Nitrogen Management Fact Sheet

Increasing adoption of cover cropping:

How Does Cover Cropping Improve Soil Health and Reduce GHG Emissions?

A cover crop is grown for the protection and enhancement of the soil and provides a number of
ecological services. These may include: (i) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) to reduce leaching,
(iii) to provide nitrogen to the next crop, (iv) to reduce erosion, (v) to improve soil structure and soil
hydric properties (vi) to reduce parasite pressure on crops, (vii) to prevent weed growth, (viii) to
increase the biodiversity of the farming landscape and environment.

How PWCP Can Help?

The Prairie Watersheds Climate Program is helping producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to deploy
real, measurable, and practical climate solutions for agriculture in the Canadian Prairies by assisting
them to implement cover crop practices.

The PWCP will distribute part of Canada’s contribution to producers for the adoption and on-farm
implementation of cover cropping BMPs that are recommended by a professional agrologist, agronomist
or certified crop advisor. Funding will support BMPs that focus on the use of regionally appropriate
cover crops in field crops and horticultural operations to protect soil from erosion, enhance soil organic
matter and provide undisturbed cover over winter, which may only include:
• Fall planted cover crops as well as spring-planted cover crops underseeded with the main crop
(intercropping) and full-season annual and/or perennial cover crops in rotation;
• Planning and Technical assessments when needed (e.g., agronomic services).

Examples of eligible activities: payment-per-acre to cover adoption or related costs such as seeds and equipment.

To see all eligible activities and requirements of the program please see: Manitoba Association of Watersheds Cover Crop Fact Sheet

Expanding the adoption of rotational grazing:

Why Implement Rotational Grazing?

Rotational grazing is the practice of containing and moving livestock through pastures to allow forage
plants time to recover, deepen their root systems and improve soil health between periods of grazing.
Rangelands managed under rotational grazing practices have also been found to have higher soil carbon
sequestration rates than continuous grazing and may, therefore, serve as an effective carbon mitigation
option. Importantly, ranchers see rotational grazing as an effective way to improve the profitability of
their cattle operations while benefiting overall ecosystem health.

How PWCP Can Help?

The Prairie Watersheds Climate Program is helping producers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to deploy
real, measurable, and practical climate solutions for agriculture in the Canadian Prairies by assisting
them to create and implement rotational grazing plans.

Rotational grazing allows producers to manage their forage resources to allow the forage crops to
sequester carbon longer during the growing season. Managing the way forages are grazed and allowed
to grow throughout the year can store carbon in the soil and release less GHGs into the atmosphere.
Sound management of grazing rotations can help to extend the growing season, reducing the need for
producers to harvest and transport feed to confinement feeding locations. Managed rotational grazing
can also spread manure over a wider area and provide nutrients to forage crops to reduce the need for
synthetic fertilizer use.

Examples of eligible activities: agronomic services to develop grazing management plans, interior cross fencing, water system infrastructure, legume and forage seeds. Rotational grazing is the practice of containing and moving livestock through pasture to allow forage plants to recover, deepen their root systems and improve soil health.

To see all eligible activities and requirements of the program please see: Manitoba Association of Watersheds Rotational Grazing Fact Sheet

Prairie Watershed Climate Program Funding Opportunities

PWCP Projects

Cover Crops 101 – Fact and Planning Tool