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Agriculture & Farming Issues

ALR Interface Buffer

Living with Agricultural Practices

Learn how to manage some of the unavoidable disturbances associated with farm practices. The Provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands have created publications to learn how to control common issues relating to farming, including dust, noise, and odour.

Bird control

Farmers often seek audible bird scare devises to protect their agricultural crops from damage to birds. Farmers commonly use audible bird scare devices to protect blueberry, cherry and grape crops. Farmers need to consider neighbouring residents when using these devices. The Proposed Amendments to the Surrey Noise Control Bylaw - Use of Audible Bird Scare Devices reflects the revised provincial guidelines on noise control.

New farmers can find details on day-to-day farm activities in the province's The Countryside and You: Understanding Farming publication.

Urban land use challenges

The agricultural community faces challenges from neighbouring urban land uses. These challenges include pollution, soil erosion, competition for water, changing land values, flooding, and changing growth patterns of crops.

The following issues can have significant economic impact on farmers, and result in liability and safety concerns:

  • Litter can cause damage to crops and equipment, injury to animals and people, and a reduction in the value of crops to be processed.
  • Unleashed dogs can harm small farm animals and dig holes that can cripple cattle and horses.
  • Trespassers onto farms can damage crop and soil conditions and allow animals to escape.
  • An overgrowth of weeds from the urban side can introduce pests and diseases to neighbouring farms and can poison livestock.
  • Theft of crops, livestock, and equipment, and vandalism to machinery, buildings, and fences are issues farmers may also face.

For more information on these issues, visit the BC Ministry of Agriculture website, or the BC Agricultural Land Commission.

Guide for Farmers

The Watershed Stewardship - A Guide for Agriculture is a useful guide for all agricultural producers, from ranchers to greenhouse growers to hobby farmers. It outlines the stewardship principles regarding BC's aquatic environments in regards to farming and best practices.

Addressing the Urban-Agriculture Interface

The City of Surrey requires that landscaped buffers for residential developments adjacent to the ALR/Agricultural designation be planted prior to the issuance of building permits. View the City's landscape buffer procedures for more information on this process.

The sympathetic interface must be provided and maintained to minimize conflict between farm and non-farm (urban) uses. This is achieved through careful subdivision planning and appropriate landscaping and buffering.

Developers are encouraged to follow the Landscaped Buffer Specifications from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Provincial Agricultural Land Commission to create sympathetic interfaces between farm and non-farm uses.

Urban-agriculture interface in Surrey

See below for examples of how the urban-agriculture interface has been addressed in Surrey:

Looking north from 156B St, toward 40 Ave and the ALR: Lower density, suburban lots are generally located close to agricultural land.

40 Ave, west of 160 St: Landscaped buffers and roads can form an effective buffer between farm and non-farm uses.

Near 36A Ave and 164A St: An example of large suburban lots separated from adjacent agricultural land by fencing and a landscaped buffer.

Contact for more information on agriculture and farming in Surrey.