Sustainable development and food safety, our top priorities
Sustainable development is a priority for Ferme Marineau. We make every effort to minimize our ecological footprint and ensure that our products are tasty and healthful. Furthermore, because we eat what we grow; we’re the first to be concerned about food safety. By implementing strategies that are in harmony with our environment, we work with our surroundings and protect biodiversity. Our current strategies include integrated pest management, soil protection and water management.
Integrated pest management, an eco-responsible method
Integrated pest management is essentially observing the environment in which we grow our crops and experimenting with new ways of farming using mechanical, biological and chemical methods to control various pests (insects, fungi, diseases). This method involves five main steps: knowledge, prevention, monitoring of fields and greenhouses, intervention, evaluation/feedback. Through observation and knowledge of our crops and industry, we’re able to assess what are the enemies and what are the organisms that promote plant growth and determine if there’s a sustainable ecological solution to control pests and take preventive actions. For example, the use of Trichogramma (a tiny wasp) helps to control the corn borer and limit the use of pesticides. Bumblebees and honeybees are fabulous pollinators; so we have bumblebee hives and houses. Selecting suitable cultivars is another good practice. Lastly, spore sensors enable us to better target fungi, better assess their emergence and use fungicides only when necessary. Season after season, by studying and taking into account scientific advances, we can better adjust and fine-tune our actions.
Soil protection and conservation
By alternating crops from year to year, we preserve soil structure and fertility and avoid resource depletion. The development of insect pests and diseases is also limited, since the reproductive cycle is interrupted. In addition, we favour green manures, temporary crops that enrich the soil with essential minerals and help prevent leaching, drying out and erosion. For many years, we’ve been recycling and composting Laval residents’ dead leaves and wood chips to fertilize our fields; a great organic fertilizer!
Eco-responsible water management
By assessing the amount of water required for various crops and using measuring tools, we can more effectively determine the right time to water. A good drip-irrigation system not only prevents overwatering, but also enables us to efficiently meet the needs of the crops; a very effective method that protects this invaluable resource: water.
An essential advisory club focused on sustainable development
Implementing eco-responsible farming methods would certainly be more difficult without the support of the Services AgriXpert agri-environment advisory cooperative, of which Ferme Marineau is a member. The coop’s agronomists provide help and advice on the application of integrated pest management to crops. The members work in six areas:
- Fertilizer management
- Reduction of pesticide use
- Conservation tillage (preventing erosion and preserving soil health)
- Watercourse planning and protection
- Reduction of greenhouse gases
- Improvement of biodiversity