Farmland Advantage is a research and development project that works with farmers to conserve and enhance critical, natural values in British Columbia, Canada. 

Farmland Advantage works with farmers to enhance the natural values on their land. These natural values are often referred to as ‘ecosystem services’; services of a natural environment that benefits humans. They are values that are not traded in the markets but have great value to us all. They can include areas like wetlands that filter and purify water, and forests that clean the air and provide habitat for healthy wildlife populations.

The project helps farmers identify the natural values which can be protected and enhanced, and develops recommendations and plans to preserve them. These plans can include actions such as water or stream setbacks, strategic fencing, reforestation, or rangeland enhancement. Farmers then carry out the recommendations, and Farmland Advantage helps to provide compensation based on successful implementation.

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Area of Interest:
BC farmland, Nicola River

Protect & Conserve

Farmland Advantage is a research and development program that works with farmers to protect and conserve critical, natural lands, streams and habitats in British Columbia.

  • Regional Focused – with a farm-based approach to addressing climate concerns
  • Results Orientated – working in BC to effectively protect the natural environment
  • Financial Incentives – farmers are compensated to offset costs of improvements
  • Research Led – each project is driven by and informs our research
We assist hard-working farmers who look after their land, so the land can continue to work hard for us.

Expand & Enhance

Farmland Advantage targets high risk and high opportunity areas in BC based on pre-determined selection criteria:

  • Funding Priorities – Priorities of funding agencies
  • GIS Procedure – Multi-scale GIS procedure to target regions, sub-regions and sites
  • Industry Expertise – Industry expertise on the appropriate GIS mapping layers needed to align target areas with program / funder priorities
  • Ranking – Ecosystem Service Potential tool to rank farms based on their potential to contribute to ecosystem services
  • Other – Other considerations like watershed, winter range, elevation, slope and species at risk
Trees and fences near a mountain

Monitor & Measure

Farmland Advantage identifies at-risk or high opportunity restoration sites and works with farmers & ranchers to complete restoration activities on those sites such as:

  • Tree & shrub planting
  • Riparian protection infrastructure (i.e. fencing or other barriers)
  • Weed and/or competitive vegetation management
  • Thinning trees or shrubs
  • Seeding
  • Targeted grazing
  • Managed fire

Program Funding

In Spring 2021, IAF began officially administering and delivering the Farmland Advantage program following the success of a one-year pilot. The program is now funded by a variety of partners, including: Support from the Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which is delivered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia as part of its $10-billion COVID-19 response; Support from the Agri-Foods Future Fund, administered by IAF, with funding from the Governments of BC and Canada; Financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change; and The Township of Langley, who are providing some funding for projects in their municipal boundaries

Funding Provided By:

learn more about the Farmland Advantage Program