Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Changes announced to environmental program


October 18, 2010
By Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association

Topics

October
13, 2010, Guelph, Ont – Adjustments have been made to cost-share funding
available under year three of the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program
(COFSP) that will alter project eligibility in some categories. The changes are
intended to broaden the availability of funds and come as a result of a review
of the funding program completed earlier this year following a high demand for
cost-share funds under COFSP year two.

October
13, 2010, Guelph, Ont – Adjustments have been made to cost-share funding
available under year three of the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program
(COFSP)
that will alter project eligibility in some categories. The changes are
intended to broaden the availability of funds and come as a result of a review
of the funding program completed earlier this year following a high demand for
cost-share funds under COFSP year two.
 

“We
are supportive of changes that will help more farm businesses access cost-share
funding under this program, “says Barry Hill, a farmer and president of the
Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). “The willingness of
farmers to utilize this program has been demonstrated over and over again.”

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For
the 2011 cropping year, projects in best management practice (BMP) category 14
– Improved Cropping Systems – will be capped at a funding level of $5,000 per
farm business to focus on first-time adopters of new technologies. BMP category
26 – Energy Conservation Measures for Agricultural Purposes – has been expanded
to support implementation of selected projects involving renewable energy
production that are intended for on-farm use only.

Funding
for BMP category 27 – Renewable Energy Production for Agricultural Purposes –
has been discontinued as support in this area is now available through the
Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) microFIT program. Funding previously allocated
to this category will be re-distributed across the remaining BMP categories for
other priority projects that may not otherwise be completed if cost-share was
not provided.

As
well, farm businesses with livestock or poultry as their primary commodity must
have a Premises Identification (PID) Number from OnTrace for the parcel of land
where the project is proposed.

“We have long been advocating for continued support of
on-farm environmental activities,” says Bette Jean Crews, president of the Ontario Federation of
Agriculture (OFA)
. “Farmers are responsible environmental
stewards and their interest and commitment will benefit all Ontarians. We are
pleased with the changes and look forward to continued government investment in
on-farm environmental programs.”

Project
applications for the 2011 cropping year will be available as of November 15,
2010 from OSCIA, which delivers COFSP under an agreement with the OFA on behalf
of the Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition. For more specific details, contact
local OSCIA program representatives or visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.

COFSP
is funded through Growing Forward, supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada (AAFC)
and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
(OMAFRA)
under the Best Practices suite.

OSCIA
is a not-for-profit farm organization dedicated to working with farmers to
facilitate responsible economic management of soil, water, air and crops
through development and communication of innovative farming practices.