Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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New support for Ont on-farm water management


July 6, 2012
By Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association

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July 6, 2012, Guelph Ont – Farmers now have access to support for on-farm projects that will help protect Ontario’s lakes, rivers and other water sources. The new opportunity will provide cost-share funding for the 2012 cropping year for commercial greenhouses, landscape nurseries and vegetable farms to implement best management practices (BMP) that focus on improving water quality, water quantity and water management issues.

“We are pleased this new support is available to help affected farmers implement water management environmental improvement projects identified in their Environmental Farm Plans,” says Joan McKinlay, president of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA). “Farmers across Ontario make a valuable contribution to our provincial economy and they recognize the importance of operating their farm businesses in ways that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.”

To qualify for funding of either 30 or 50 per cent up to the category caps, eligible Ontario greenhouse, landscape nursery and vegetable farm businesses must have a peer-reviewed Third Edition Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) in place. As well, they must have selected a BMP from a pre-approved list specific to this funding opportunity that relates directly to an action identified in their EFP. Portions of six specific BMP categories are eligible for cost-share funding under this new initiative:

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  • Horticultural facilities runoff control,
  • Upland and riparian area habitat management,
  • Improved pest management,
  • Nutrient recovery from wastewater,
  • Irrigation management, and
  • Resource Planning.

“We welcome the launch of this program to help with water management in the commercial greenhouse, landscape nursery and vegetable sectors,” says Mark Wales, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). “On-farm efforts to protect our water quantity and quality will provide benefit to all Ontarians.

Cost-share funding will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The eligible invoice date for all projects is September 15, 2011 or later; the claim submission deadline is December 15, 2012. For more specific details, farmers are encouraged to contact their local OSCIA representative or visit www.ontariosoilcrop.org.