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Prince Edward Island: Mandatory crop rotation winning farmers' applause

July 17, 2008
A mandatory three-year crop rotation could be a real hot potato if the provincial (Prince Edward Island) government attempts to legislate it this fall, suggest some farmers who applaud the Commission on Nitrates in Groundwater report.

The report was made public on Tuesday (July 8) and calls for a replacement of the current legislation on crop rotation—which critics contend is filled with loopholes—with a legislated and enforced policy to help reduce nitrate leaching into groundwater.

“Not everyone will like it or want to be told what to do, but it’s the right thing at the right time,” said veteran grower Robert MacDonald of Belle River, who grows about 1,000 acres of crops with brothers Albert and Murray.

Most Islanders are under the impression the potato industry already follows a three-year rotation. “Farmers on a two-year rotation are mining the soil and causing even more contamination.”