Ducks Unlimited expands program to Alberta grain growers


A new program is being introduced for Alberta grain growers to take advantage of to increase profitability on their lands, while supporting biodiversity.

Ducks Unlimited Canada has expanded its Marginal Areas Program to the province after being very successful in Saskatchewan and Manitoba for a number of years.

The Marginal Areas Program offers the option to farmers that have identified areas of their cropland that are receiving a negative return on their investment. A payment of $125 per acre is offered through the program so farmers can seed the specified areas into forage. .

Agricultural Programs & Extension Specialist with DUC, Janine Paly says its a unique program. “We aren’t looking for large acre conversion. It’s more those pockets within land that they’re managing… that they’re struggling with.” Paly says they are trying to help producers with areas not seeing profitability by converting that land into a forage production and utilizing it in another capacity.

An opportunity to turn the land into a pollinator-friendly environment is also an option; with pollinator seed packs available at Performance Seed and Nutrien dealers throughout Alberta for no cost.

A number of issues could be addressed by converting land Paly says “It improves profitably, increases pollinator habitat and biodiversity within those fields, can reduce herbicide resistant weeds within that pocket as well. Forages act as a buffer zone just in case they (producers) want to seed closer to a wetland area…” Paly says establishing a forage could even act as a natural deterrent to spreading club-root to neighbouring fields and soil.

Eligible growers and program participants have until August 15, 2022 to apply for the Marginal Areas Program. More information on the program can be found here, or by contacting Janine Paly at or 825-987-0607.

You can listen to our full interview with Janine Paly down below and on the River Country Ag Show weekdays during the noon hour!

-Erika Rolling, Trending 55 Newsroom