The Perennial Crop Renewal Program supports producers to remove unproductive, diseased, or unmarketable cultivars and to adopt growing systems that are better suited to environmental conditions and market demands.

The Perennial Crop Renewal Program (PCRP) is an up to $15M program funded by the Government of BC through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (AF) and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF).

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Area of Interest:

Background

The Perennial Crop Renewal Program (PCRP) is a multi-commodity program that provides cost-shared funding that will be available to BC-based perennial crop producers to remove unproductive, diseased, or unmarketable cultivars; and to adopt growing systems that are better suited to environmental conditions and market demands, based on sector-specific opportunities. Funding will also be available to perennial crop associations and stakeholder groups to conduct sector development projects that evaluate or define agronomic and market opportunities.

Program Objective

  • To support farmers to adapt to environmental and market conditions by diversifying, renovating, or expanding production.
  • To support agricultural sectors to evaluate and define agronomic and market opportunities.

Program Goal

To increase the competitiveness and resiliency of the BC agri-food economy in domestic and global markets.

Approach

Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funding is fully committed. While applications will be continually received, they will be reviewed in batches at set review dates against the priorities set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The first date for review is May 25, 2023. IAF will complete adjudication and notification of funding within two months of an application review deadline.

Program Structure

Funding is available to industry through three funding streams:

Funding Stream
Project Funding Limits
Cost-Shared Ratio
Stream 1: Sector Development Projects Max $100K 100%
Stream 2: Removal Projects Max $100K Not Applicable ($5,000 per Acre)
Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects Update available soon Update available soon

Funding Limits

Funding limits for planting projects will be sector-specific based on average costs but will not exceed the amounts listed above. Project length and annualized funding limits per project vary by stream. Specific details on eligible costs and reimbursement are provided in the sections to follow. If applying for funding to more than one stream under the PCRP, a separate application must be submitted to each stream.

Stacking

Stacking of funds from other government programs is allowed up to 100% except for select programs delivered by IAF, including (but not limited to): Agricultural Water Infrastructure Program, Farmed Animal Disease Program, Fraser Valley Flood Mitigation Program, and Food Processing Growth Fund. (Note: this list will expand as more programs become available.)

Eligibility Criteria

STREAM 1: Sector Development Projects

Stream 1 is closed for applications.

To be considered eligible for this stream, an applicant must be located in the Province of British Columbia and must be a perennial food crop industry association or sector stakeholder group.
Note: When not represented by an industry association, perennial crop producer groups are eligible to apply to Stream 1.

Eligible Activities
  • Fees for third-party consultants to complete market opportunity and competitiveness assessments, feasibility studies or climate suitability studies
  • Applied research projects that evaluate innovative growing systems, or existing cultivars in new climatic zones
  • Research projects that evaluate costs of production and net return to growers that have participated in the Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects Stream.
Funding Details

Maximum of $100,000 per project per year

Cost-shared Ratio: 100% of cost for third party consultant or researcher

Funding Reimbursement: 30% upon signing Contribution Agreement; 70% when project and final report complete.

Projects can be multi-year, however, activities cannot start until an applicant receives a project approval. Multi-year projects cannot exceed the funding limit above. All projects must be completed by February 1, 2026. Successful perennial food crop industry associations or sector stakeholder groups will be required to submit an interim and final reports to verify the workplan was implemented and deliverables complete.

All opportunity assessment project reports need to include:

  • Acreage or volume required to satisfy market demand
  • Specific cultivars, fruit/nut quality, harvest timing or suitability by harvest method and climate
  • Cost estimate of nursery plants for selected cultivars
  • Cost estimate of trellis system(s)
  • Minimum operation size by market channel to be profitable.
  • Potential barriers to replanting or implementing recommendations
  • Research needs to address gaps in knowledge

STREAM 2: Removal Projects

Stream 2 is closed for applications.

To be considered eligible for this stream, an applicant must be located in the Province of British Columbia and must be a perennial food crop producer. The applicant must be the owner or lessee of the land.

Note: The owner (and in the case of leased property, both owner and lessee) of the land must agree to plant removal.

Eligible Activities
  • Remove unproductive, diseased or unmarketable perennial crops, including field infrastructure (i.e. posts, wires, irrigation) from commercial farms located in BC;
  • Planting of a cover crop is recommended if fields are not going to be replanted in the following months;
  • Minimum 1 acre; Maximum 15 acres (Original maximum 20 acres. See update below.)
Funding Details

Funding for removal projects cannot exceed a set value of $5K per acre per year regardless of crop type.

Maximum of $100,000 per farm business per year

Project Funding: Successful applicants are eligible to receive $5,000 per acre of removal, up to a maximum of 15 acres ($100,000). NOTE: The original maximum was 20 acres. The maximum was changed to 15 acres to align with the scope of the program but allow the stream to fund more projects.

Funding Reimbursement: 30% upon signing Contribution Agreement or within two months of project start date; 70% when final report and field inspection complete.

Field Inspections

Applicants applying for funding under Stream 2: Removal Projects will be required to complete a field inspection. Final payments will be based on the outcome of the inspection and assessment of the project’s progress. Specifically, inspectors will:

  • Ensure proposed crop destruction method was implemented
  • Verify proper disposal or re-use of supporting infrastructure
  • Take photos
Ineligible Applicants
  • Annual crop producers, forage producers, non-commercial producers, farmland located outside of BC;
Ineligible Activities and Expenses
  • Removal of plantings that are less than 2 years old;
  • Removal of perennial crops other than hazelnut, raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, tree fruit or wine grapes

May 4, 2023 Update: There is no longer a 2-month lead time requirement for Stream 2 applications within the 2023 season. Instead, at direction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, IAF will provide conditional approval for Stream 2 projects with a start date on or after May 01, 2023.

In order to allow additional time for 2023 removal projects to be completed; the requirement to apply at least two (2) months prior to removal has been waived for 2023.

2023 Applications will be accepted with a start date as early as May 1st, 2023. Applications which are submitted post removal or within two months of removal start will be subject to conditional approval with reimbursement subject to inspection.

If you have already submitted your application and would like to alter the project start date please inform us via email at pcrp(at)iafbc.ca and we will make the required modification. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Project activities must be completed within a 12-month period and before March 31, 2025, to accommodate field inspections.

June 7, 2023 Update: To ensure funding remains available for Streams 1 and 3 of the program, in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, IAF will pause Stream 2 applications effective June 16, 2023. If you want to apply for a removal project your application must be submitted by 4:30 pm PST on June 16 to be considered for funding this spring.

July 18, 2023 Update: Due to overwhelming response from the sector for Stream 2: Removal, IAF has been working to develop an approach, in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture & Food, to maximize the impact and ensure as many producers as possible receive funding.

Stream 2 Updated Approach:

  • Funding allocation to PCRP’s Stream 2: $8M
  • 2022 Stats Canada BC Farm Gate Value (FGV) will be used to allocate available funding to commodity groups (see table below for FGV % allocation)
  • IAF will cap all Stream 2 projects at 15 acres (original cap: 20 acres) to align with the scope of the program but allow the stream to fund more projects.
  • Funding will be allocated to commodities on FGV and then any remaining funding will be pooled and applied from smallest commodity to largest (as per FGV % allocation) to maximize the number of applications funded.


(Statistics Canada)

Reminder: Participating in Stream 2: Removal does not qualify or guarantee funding through Stream 3.

STREAM 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects

Stream 3 is closed for applications, reopening Winter 2023/24.

For a sector to be included in Stream 3, the sector must have an opportunity assessment pre-approved.

To be considered eligible for this stream, an applicant must be located in the Province of British Columbia and must be a perennial food crop producer. The applicant must be the owner or lessee of the land to be planted.

Note: The owner (and in the case of leased property, both owner and lessee) of the land to be planted must maintain the field(s) for at least four years depending on the sector.

Eligible Activities
  • Cost of planting perennial cultivars that are aligned with agronomic and market opportunities.
  • Cost of planting perennial cultivars and adoption of growing systems that increase efficiencies in production or extend the harvest season.
  • Nursery plants and trellising outlined in the commodity opportunity assessment are eligible. Eligible nursery plants and trellising will differ based on the sector.
Funding Details

Funding limits for planting projects will be sector-specific based on average costs.

Cost-shared Ratio: The cost-shared ratio will be determined based on the commodity opportunity assessment.

Applications must be received at least 2 months before the planned planting date. Projects can be up to 24 months in duration but cannot exceed the funding limit above. All Stream 3 projects must be completed by or before November 1, 2025, to accommodate field inspections.

Field Inspections

Applicants applying for funding under Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects will be required to complete a field inspection within 3-6 months after planting. Final payments will be based on the outcome of the inspection and assessment of the project’s progress.

Field inspections could include the following:

  • Verify the source of planting stock and varieties;
  • Assess site and weed control;
  • Verify implementation of regenerative practices as proposed in application;
  • Measure average plant spacing and row spacing;
  • Measure field area;
  • Assess plant quality in terms of overall health;
  • Ensure support system is in place and trees are tied (if applicable)
  • Take photos
Ineligible Applicants
  • Annual crop producers, forage producers, non-commercial producers, farmland located outside of B.C.
  • Sectors that do not have a Stream 1 opportunity assessment pre-approved.
  • Producers that do not meet sector-specific criteria identified in opportunity assessment (e.g. size of operation)
Ineligible Activities and Expenses
  • Sector-specific opportunities identified more than 2 years prior to the inclusion of sector in PCRP
  • Cultivars not aligned with sector-identified agronomic or market opportunities

Applications

Important Dates

Applications will be accepted through the IAF Client Portal starting on April 28, 2023, on an ongoing basis. Applications will be reviewed in batches at the review dates listed below and funded on based on the priorities provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and available funds.

The review dates for each application batch for the 2023/24 fiscal year is as follows:

  • May 25, 2023
  • June 16, 2023
  • June 30, 2023

Additional dates will be added as required, pending available funds.

Project Start Date: Projects will start approx. two months after the application is received. The date will be confirmed at application approval.


June 7, 2023 Update: To ensure funding remains available for Streams 1 and 3 of the program, in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, IAF will pause Stream 2 applications effective June 16, 2023. If you want to apply for a removal project your application must be submitted by 4:30 pm PST on June 16 to be considered for funding this spring.

July 18, 2023 Update: To ensure associations have adequate time to complete their studies, research and/or assessments, and give IAF the opportunity to update the Stream 3 funding allocation, Stream 3 applications will be paused effective July 18, 2023.

September 12, 2023 Update: Stream 1: Sector Development projects applications are now closed. Please sign up for the newsletters for updates on Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting applications re-opening.

Application Process

Applicants will apply through the IAF Client Portal. The application process and required documents are specific to each funding stream. The application process will generally consist of:

  • Create a personal profile (name and email)
  • Organization information, including:
    • Name
    • contact details
    • type of organization
    • BC ID / CRA numbers
    • primary contact
    • and more

NOTE: It can take up to two business days for IAF Staff to verify your Organization Registration.

Select the Perennial Crop Renewal Program funding stream (1, 2 or 3) from Funding Opportunities, and provide:

  • Farm / property location / acreage
  • Lessee / Ownership information
  • Select sector group / region
  • Select project start & end dates
  • Select project activities from the eligible activities list or briefly describe activities
  • Describe project workplan, including timelines
  • Identify who will lead/undertake the project, including list of the names and qualifications of the people who will be carrying out the project activities.
  • List project expenses and project funding required (for streams 1 and 3 only)
  • List any communications/information sharing activities or performance measures (if applicable)

Applicants may be required to provide supplementary materials in support of their application (e.g. budget, map, purchase order, confirmation of ownership/lease, workplan). These documents can be uploaded through the IAF Client Portal as attachments to the application.

IAF staff are available to answer questions regarding eligible activities, costs and/or the application process. IAF may also contact applicants for additional information or clarification to assess or strengthen their application.

Applicants can contact pcrp(at)iafbc.ca with any questions about the program or to receive support in developing their application.

Applicants are encouraged to include only activities they are confident will be completed on time and within budget limits.

Need help with IAF’s Client Portal?

We’ve created a number of tutorials and FAQs about the IAF Client Portal to help you navigate this resource successfully.

Review and Adjudication

IAF will accept applications on a continuous basis with review and adjudication in batches based on the review dates noted. All applications received by the batch intake date will be reviewed by IAF for eligibility and completeness. Applications that meet program eligibility requirements will be scored and ranked based on the pre-set priorities and evaluation criteria for the application intake as provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Eligible applications received through Stream 1: Sector Development Projects and Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects will be reviewed by a professional agrologist/technical expert to provide funding recommendations. Applications that best align with the prioritization and evaluation criteria will be offered funding first. Applications will be considered in batches until all available funding is committed.

Applications that are not successful will not be brought forward to the next review batch and applicants will need to re-apply for future consideration. All adjudication decisions are final.

Notifications & Obligations

Funding Notifications & Contracts

If the project is approved, IAF will inform the applicant of the details of the decision and any associated terms and conditions. The applicant then enters into an agreement with IAF which outlines the obligations of each party.
Funding is application and project-specific and must be used for the approved project and related expenses. Funds are non-transferable.
Project activities requiring financial resources cannot commence until the contribution agreement has been signed by both the applicant and IAF.
Projects funded in 2023 may begin on or after July 25, 2023 – unless otherwise approved, and must be completed according to the stream specific project timelines. Retroactive project reimbursements will only be considered for Stream 2: Removal Project (back to May 1, 2023) and Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects, which are eligible to submit back dated receipts (i.e. nursery plant order) up to one year prior to approval, if the expense has not previously been cost-shared and the field has not been planted.
If the project is not approved, the applicant will receive a written response from IAF.

Changes to Contracted Projects

If you are not able to complete your project or require a change, please inform the IAF Team as soon as possible using the IAF Client Portal.

Funding Acknowledgement

This program is funded by the Government of BC, as such acknowledgement of funding is required when publicly communicating about a project and/or funding. To ensure appropriate acknowledgement, all communications and marketing materials, including public announcements or social media posts, must be pre-approved by the IAF Communications Team. Materials can be submitted via the IAF Client Portal.

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants must complete a final report and/or field inspection (if applicable) prior to receiving final payment from the program and may be required to submit interim activity and financial reporting. All required reports must be filled out and submitted to IAF to be considered for funding reimbursement. It is important reports are submitted on time and with all required information. Please retain all invoices and receipts, you may be asked to submit some or all receipt/invoices following a review of your report(s) by the IAF Team. Expenses for Streams 1 and 3 will be reimbursed based on audited receipts, financial report and the approved project budget. All reporting will be completed via the IAF Client Portal.

2023/24 Prioritization Framework

Stream
Project type
Ranking
Stream 1: Sector Development Projects
Support sector level projects that evaluate or define agronomic and market opportunities.
Market opportunity, competitiveness assessments and feasibility studies or climate change resiliency studies. 1A
Applied research projects that evaluate innovative growing systems, or existing cultivars in new climatic zones. 1B
Research projects that evaluate costs of production and net return to growers that have participated in Stream 3. 1C
Stream 2: Removal Projects

Support producers to remove unproductive, diseased, or unmarketable cultivars.

Removal of unproductive, diseased, or unmarketable perennial crops. 1A
Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects

Adopt growing systems that are better suited to environmental conditions and market conditions.

Planting perennial cultivars that are aligned with agronomic and market opportunities:

  • Hazelnut: EFB resistant cultivars
  • Raspberry: IQF or fresh market
2A
Planting perennial cultivars and adoption of growing systems that increase efficiencies in production or extend the harvest season. 2B

Evaluation Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on a set of pre-determined criteria. The following are examples of evaluation criteria and considerations that will be used to score each application:

Stream 1: Sector Development Projects Evaluation Criteria
  • Scope of Opportunity Assessment
  • Quality of Contractor
  • Quality of workplan
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Quality of proposal (strength and quality of application)
Stream 2: Removal Projects Evaluation Criteria
  • Rationale for crop removal
  • Crop destruction method (best practices and in compliance)
  • Proper disposal of supporting infrastructure
  • Long term land use or ownership plan will ensure land is kept in agricultural production
  • Quality of removal proposal (strength and quality of application)
Stream 3: Sector-Specific Planting Projects Evaluation Criteria
  • Applicant experience growing crop on a commercial scale
  • Applicant experience growing this crop for target market
  • Applicant experience growing perennial crops on a commercial scale
  • Likelihood of horticultural success of the proposed planting
  • Variety has traits suitable for intended market
  • Likelihood of market success
  • Quality of planting plan (strength and quality of application)

Ready to Apply?

Stream 1 and 2 are closed for applications.

Stream 3 will reopen for applications in Winter 2023/24.

Resources

FAQ

Your organization must register through the IAF Client Portal to apply to IAF programs. Please note, if you have not already registered, this process can take up to 2 business days and must be completed before the application deadline.

For the 2023 intake only, retroactive applications will be accepted for removal projects (Stream 2) starting on or after May 1st, 2023.

A farm business is a separate legal entity which can enter into contracts that either owns or leases the land which project activities will occur on.

No, you can apply to both or either streams. The only consideration is that you cannot apply for Stream 3 projects on the same land as Stream 2 projects, in the same year.

Commodity specific criteria (Stream 3) will be developed once the opportunities assessment is completed (Stream 1). This is an important step as the long-term viability, capacity and competitiveness of each sector needs to be taken into consideration.

 

For producers to be eligible for sector-specific planting projects (Stream 3 funding), a perennial sector must identify a specific, measurable goal that the PCRP can address. This is completed through Stream 1 – Sector Development projects led by Industry Associations.

The Ministry will review Stream 1 reports to recommend whether the identified opportunities are aligned with the PCRP and feasible for the sector.

At this time, raspberry and hazelnut sectors have provided justification for their inclusion in PCRP.

Opportunity assessments are currently being conducted by blueberries, cherries and wine grapes.

When not represented by an industry association, perennial crop producer groups are eligible to apply to Stream 1 (i.e. Tree Fruits). Sector-specific eligibility will be reviewed on a five-year cycle.

IAF provides payments by EFT (direct deposit). To get your EFT information set up to ensure timely delivery of your payment(s) please follow the directions provided here to update your client portal.

Streams 1 and 2: 30% of approved reimbursement will be issued upon project approval. The remaining reimbursement will be based on actual expenses reported in the final report, confirmation of all relevant documentation and completed field inspection (if applicable).
Final payments will be made based on actual expenses reported, and payments will be made in arrears. All Stream 1 and 2 projects will require a final report and the final payment will be retained pending submission of final reporting.

Stream 3: Payment issued upon successful completion of field inspection.

Project timelines to complete all activities are Stream dependent.

Stream 1: Maximum of 24 months to complete your project. All projects must be completed by February 1, 2026.

Stream 2: 12 months to complete your project. Field inspections must be completed within 3-6 months following removal.

Stream 3: Maximum of 24 months to complete your project. All projects must be completed by or before November 1, 2025 to accommodate field inspections.

Please provide the status of the permit and any supporting documentation at the time of application.

All recipients are required to comply with all necessary laws and regulations.

No, GST is not eligible for reimbursement.

Have a Question?

Contact the IAF Team

Perennial Crop Renewal Program Guide

Download the Perennial Crop Renewal Program Guide.

Funding Acknowledgement Requirements

Download the Funding Acknowledgement Requirements for the Perennial Crop Renewal Program.

Have a Current Project?

Please visit the program’s Project Resource Hub for more information.

General

The following resources have been provided by the Ministry of Agriculture & Food to assist applicants in their project development.

Land Stewardship Resources for the Fraser Valley:

Download Delta Farmland Wildlife Trust’s programs, including cover cropping fact sheets.

Selecting Plants for Pollinators

Download Pollinator Partnership Canada’s ‘Selecting Plants for Pollinators’ regional guide for the lower mainland.

Food for Bees

View BC Ministry of Agriculture’s Food for Bees webpage.

Enterprise Budgets

View BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s Enterprise Budgets webpage.

Agricultural Waste Disposal Best Practices Guide (Stream 2)

Download the Agricultural Waste Disposal Best Practices Guide.

Agricultural Burning (Stream 2)

Visit the BC Government’s webpage about agricultural burning.

Wood Waste Disposal

Visit the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s webpage about wood waste disposal.

Raspberries

The following resources have been provided by the Ministry of Agriculture & Food to assist applicants in their project development.

Eligible Raspberry Varieties (Stream 3)

Download the list of eligible raspberry varieties for the Perennial Crop Renewal Program.

BC Raspberry Production Guide (Stream 2 & 3):

Visit BC’s Raspberry Production Guide Webpage.

Cranberry Nursery List (Stream 3)

View the 2023-2024 Cranberry Nursery List by the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association

Raspberry Cultivars for the Pacific Northwest (Stream 3)

Download Oregon State University’s publication ‘Raspberry Cultivars for the Pacific Northwest’ from 2014:

Hazelnut

The following resources have been provided by the Ministry of Agriculture & Food to assist applicants in their project development.

BC Hazelnut Production Guide (Stream 2 & 3)

Visit BC’s Hazelnut Production Guide webpage.

BC Hazelnut Reference Guide (Stream 2 & 3)

Download the Hazelnut Reference Guide.

Eastern Filbert Blight (Stream 2)

 Download the ‘Guidelines for Removal/Disposal of Hazelnuts Orchards Infected with Eastern Filbert Blight’ document.

CAP Logo, Province of BC Logo, Government of Canada Logo

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.