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Money for on-farm environmental improvements

June 3, 2008  By Donna Speranzini OMAFRA Nutrient Management Program Lead Horticulture


Money for on-farm environmental improvements

Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan Program has extended funding of
environmental projects for 2008, bridging the gap between
the Agriculture Policy Framework and the Growing
Forward federal initiative.


June 3, 2008, Vineland, Ont. – The Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan Program has extended funding of environmental projects for 2008. This funding bridges the gap between the Agriculture Policy Framework and the not yet announced Growing Forward federal initiative.

efplogoThe maximum contribution per legal farm entity for Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program (COFSP) and Greencover Canada (GC) combined is $50,000 (the maximum contribution from Greencover Canada alone is $20,000). An additional $15,000 is available from the Canada-Ontario Water Supply Expansion Program (COWSEP) . This in an increase in coverage from the previous program. 

Producers who participated in a COFSP, GC or COWSEP between April, 2005 and March 31, 2008 will carry forward into 2008 any federal cost-share received for projects claimed during that period.

Ontario producers with an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Third Edition deemed appropriate through peer review are eligible to apply for cost-share incentives through the Canada-Ontario Farm Stewardship Program, Greencover Canada, and the Canada-Ontario Water Supply Expansion Program to implement actions identified in their farm plans.

The cost-share available is for new projects initiated on or after April 1, 2008. No cost-share will be offered for project invoices issued prior to this date.  All approved projects must be completed and operational, and a final inspection arranged with local OSCIA Program Representative, by December 15, 2008.

The Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan has lots of opportunities for horticulture producers.  Aside from the normal EFP things – like well head upgrades, fuel and pesticide storage, soil erosion protection and shelterbelts – money is available for the following horticultural items:


  • Equipment modifications for improved IPM (spray curtains, air induction or low drift nozzles, injection systems, spray towers, pesticide recovery units, rate controllers, tank rinse systems, air assist, foam marker systems, or GPS)   
  • Weather monitoring/reporting and prediction equipment, materials and services from a qualified provider   
  • Record keeping software   
  • Traps and sampling equipment   
  • Costs of biocontrol or cultural control practices   
  • Mobile water tanks for mounting on a trailer or truck


  • Irrigation equipment (low pressure nozzles, pipes, hoses, booms, filters and emitters, installation costs, soil moisture monitoring equipment, flow meters with totalized outputs, rain gauges)   
  • Water treatment units to meet fruit and vegetable washwater standards, irrigation water quality standards, or to remove ions and odour   
  • Water meters

Water Supply Expansion

  • Drilling and construction costs for new wells, test drilling and deepening current wells for agricultural use  
  • Well development (pump testing, water quality samples, consulting fees)  
  • Hydrologic impact assessments fees for professionals
  • Cisterns where required for agricultural use from low flowing wells
  • Construction and consulting for new pond/reservoir (sized for drought, water quality sampling, hydro-G)   
  • Expansion of current pond   
  • Pond aeration systems, pond liners and intake works, and fencing


  • Fertigation equipment (tanks, mixing, blending, metering systems, backflow valves   
  • Planter modifications to include drip tape
  • Repairs and improvements to water intake systems

On-Farm Composting

  • Infrastructure and specialized equipment for composting (pads, walls, covers, vessels, conveyers, mixing, watering and monitoring)

Cull Fruit and Vegetable Management (liquids and solids)

  • Modification and construction of storage and treatment facilities for liquid and solid fruit and vegetable waste.     
  • Recycling systems for waste waters (conservation tools to reduce water, storage, collection, and transfer systems)

Protection from Wild-life

  • Fencing to protect high value crops, and drip irrigation systems   
  • Scaring and repellent systems (electronic, netting, noise, guard animals, and chemicals)

Funding is provided for anywhere from 30 to 50 per cent of the project, depending on the particular details of the project. You have the opportunity to credit your time and machinery use as in-kind support for the project. Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of other sources of funding, for example your local conservation authority.

Although there is lots of money available, it is available on a first come first serve basis. So, if any of the projects identified above are on your to do list, the time is now for horticulture producers to take advantage of this program. 

This money can all be accessed through your local EFP coordinator. You find this information on the OSCIA web site or by calling 1-800-265-9751.

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